Latin America: An Institutional and Cultural Survey

Asynchronous Blog Post on Discourse on Colonialism

In the comment section down below  write a response (200-words minimum) to a set of two questions (due on 9/2 before class):


.Césaire argues that colonization works to decivilize and brutalize the colonizer. He says that “a poison has been distilled into the veins of Europe and, slowly but surely, the continent proceeds towards savagery.” Explain. (Pages 35-36)

.Césaire holds that “nobody colonizes innocently.” Discuss what he means by that. (Page 39)


.Césaire proposes that colonization is based and justified on contempt for the native and that it changes the colonizer. Amplify. (Page 41)

.What are the effects of colonization on the colonized? (Page 43)


Respectfully interact with ONE of your classmates’ responses.

.Do you agree with their arguments and interpretations? Do you disagree?

.What other observations about Discourse on Colonialism do you want to bring into the discussion?

34 thoughts on “Asynchronous Blog Post on Discourse on Colonialism”

  1. I choose option 1 in which the author Césaire talks about “nobody colonizes innocently.” What he means is that if you are colonizing then nothing good comes out of it. In other words, he is trying to say that if you are colonizing you are up to no good as colonizing usually you are affecting the area and the inhabitants around it. Such examples are murder, pillaging, enslaving indigenous people, destruction of the landscape for building/farming trading resources until it ran out and they moved on. While there were some benefits to it like modernization and education. overall many had paid the price to get there like forced labor.

    1. Pages 35-36 The author Césaire talks about how “colonizing decivilize and brutalize the colonizer”. He is talking about the fact that when people colonize it desensitized them and makes them more Apathic in their nature. Then he talks about how “a poison has been distilled into the veins of Europe and, slowly but surely, the continent proceeds towards savagery.” He is referring to the fact these immoral savage acts are acting as a poison and is spreading back to there homeland Europe and is affecting the people there more aggressive.

  2. (Pages 35-36)
    Césaire’s depiction of colonization as poison to its master, “a poison has been distilled into the veins of Europe” meaning the poison that is being aimed at the weak “uncivilized” Arabs, “coolies”, and “niggers” is the same poison that will seep into their homeland and decivilize the same white man that introduced such poison into the hearts of indigenous people, creating racism, hate, and division between those people.
    Nazism is the name given to the poison that the white man used against himself leaving a stain on the image that they created to represent a civilized society, the same stain that tells people that a “developed” society can and will use that poison against those seen as uncivilized in their own society.

    (Page 39)
    “nobody colonizes innocently.” The mind of a society that sees a society different from theirs and decides to exploit that society for its resources is sick to its core and more than likely the same people in power are just as sick in the mind, body, and core of their being, are just as sick as the darkest parts of the society they live in because nobody colonizes innocently or with impunity, they justify that action by closing their eyes to the destruction of a society may never recover from colonization.

  3. (Page 39)Cesaire proposes that “no one colonizes innocently” meaning that anyone who want want to is already a bit crazy. Every single person who colonizes has their own personal gain and own personal reasons for this. Usually when someone colonizes.. they have to expect murder, disease and other things to also come along with that. Colonizing has its positive and negative effects for each. Someone who would be colonizing would take everything until there was nothing left and go find another place to run to.

    PAGE 43:

    Some of the terrible effects of colonizing can be pollution, ethnic wars,disease, and having an economy that cannot support itself alone. One example of the effects of colonization would be that it could intrude on the ecosystem and bring in new species and making animals extinct. This could result in people not having the proper food or materials.This also introduced diseases to animals that were never heard of before.Harsh living conditions are also a negative effect on the people being colonized and making them work in terrible living conditions.

  4. Option One
    Césaire argues that “colonization works to decivilize and brutalize the colonizer” which is true because people who are considered colonizers become destroyed by the concept of colonization. Césaire states in this excerpt that “a poison has been distilled into the veins of Europe, and slowly but surely, the continent proceeds towards savagery.” (Césaire 35-36) What he means by this statement is that Europe has been doing horrible things to colonizers. They turn their heads and do not acknowledge their wrongdoings when “in France they accept the fact, each time a little girl is raped and in France they accept the fact each time, a Madagascan is tortured.” (Césaire 35) The author provides these examples to show the drastic effects colonization by Europe is having on these various countries. The word “poison” is specifically used to produce a negative connotation within the reader and to express the spread of this “poison” throughout Europe. Europe colonizing these different countries did not have positive outcomes and merely led to the murder, mistreatment, torture and cruelty these people endured. With this control Europe inevitably used their brutal power and force to benefit from colonizations. The Europeans in the end did not care for the good and advancements of other countries but only for their own profit and wealth.

    Césaire expresses in this excerpt that “nobody colonizes innocently.” (Césaire 39) When Césaire makes these statements he is trying to explain that Europe did not colonize all these countries to in the end help them advance. By colonizing these places Europe destroyed the culture, people, and country as a whole. The people being colonized were being murdered, raped, enslaved, diseased and tortured for the benefit, profit and power of Europe. In the end Europe did not colonize to help benefit these countries but colonized to help themselves. The colonizers watched and ignored the fact that colonization was not helping these people. They were not innocent and “in France accepted the fact” that these horrific things were happening as a result of colonization. (Césaire 35) Europe went to different countries and took all of their resources until the country had nothing left. In the end Europe would be left with these resources and more powerful than before so they can continue colonizing other countries. Since Europe was becoming so powerful these countries were unable to fight against them making it extremely easy for Europe to take control. For each country that Europe colonized the more powerful they became.

    1. I agree with your argument for both sections. The lines “did not have positive outcomes and merely led to the murder, mistreatment, torture and cruelty these people endured” and “The people being colonized were being murdered, raped, enslaved, diseased and tortured for the benefit, profit and power of Europe” are great supports for each argument respectively. I would like to add that civilizations that “justifies colonization” are “already a sick civilization, a civilization which is morally diseased” according to Césaire. (pg.39)

    2. I completely agree with the explanation, In the passage, they went into great detail in specifying the horrors these colonizers imposed on the natives. Saying you were just trying to modernize and or advance with new technologies would just be an understatement. On the other hand; homes were destroyed, peoples lives were being taken, diseases were being spread, and a form of “Nazism” resurrected. In the hope it would pass, things just kept getting worse. These colonizers were “poisoning” what once was a sign of cultural significance. As Kristin sited “in France they accept the fact, each time a little girl is raped and in France they accept the fact each time, a Madagascan is tortured.” (Césaire 35) Things became so normalized, and these immoral actions did in fact create drastic effects in all of these countries invaded.
      After the many success Europe has had, taking over and remaining in control became easier. At this point although the colonizers did realize taking control over these third world countries wasn’t helping anyone they didn’t stop. If anything this continued because it felt like it was part of who they were, part of their own culture. With every big leap in adcancvefments they had, They moved the countries in which they invaded 10 steps back. Calling it immoral would be considered an understatement.

  5. Option One:

    Césaire states that “a poison has been distilled into the veins of Europe and, slowly but surely, the continent proceeds towards savagery.” This means that colonization will not stop once it has started and it will not be graceful. There will be consistent conflict between the colonizer and the native people of the land. Césaire also claims that colonization works to decivilize and brutalize the colonizer. He further explains his point by stating that colonization will “awaken him to buried instincts, to covetousness, violence, race hatred, and moral relativism”. (pg.35) Additionally, Césaire writes about how the colonizer “gets into the habit of seeing the other man as an animal,” which then results in the colonizer “treating him like an animal, and tends objectively to transform himself into an animal.” (pg.41) To further explain this, seeing a human as an animal means that you’ve lost all respect for that individual and now that individual is dehumanized.

    Césaire states that “nobody colonizes innocently.” This means that the act of colonizing is not a rightful deed and that no one colonizes by accident, but instead with full intention. In the text, Césaire writes “that a civilization which justifies colonization” is “already a sick civilization, a civilization which is morally diseased”. (pg.39) Additionally, colonizing is not a peaceful transaction. Colonizing could result in “forced labor, intimidation, pressure, the police, taxation, theft, rape, compulsory crops, contempt, mistrust, arrogance, self-complacency, swinishness, brainless elites, degraded masses.”(pg. 42) All these terrible consequences are definitely not pure nor innocent.

    Option Three:

  6. Option 1
    (Pgs 35-36)
    Césaire states how “colonization works to decivilize the colonizer, to brutalize him in the true sense of the word, to degrade him”(Césaire 35). He mentions this because he’s stating how by colonizing other nations and committing these awful acts they become more and more used to and adjusted to what they’re doing. Maybe the first time they kill someone, or pillage they feel regret and remorse for these people they’re colonizing but at some point it becomes so commonplace to them, they do so without a second thought. Césaire then goes on to state that “a poison has been distilled into the veins of Europe and, slowly but surely, the continent proceeds towards savagery,”(Césaire 36). What Césaire is saying is that by Europeans colonizing and become desensitized to the acts they’re doing to the colonized nation that this apathetic mindset and brutality makes it way back to Europe. Césaire also goes on to say how this was a major reason that Nazism happened since the poison of colonization already spread back to Europe and people simply didn’t want to acknowledge it or care since up to that point it was only directed towards non-Europeans.
    Césaire also states that “nobody colonizes innocently” because in his eyes a nation to even have the idea of colonizing another nation and thinks it’s the right choice to make is already impure and corrupted. He also goes on to state how not only are they morally corrupt but by also seeking colonization as an answer they’ll eventually be punished for it. In Europe’s case the punishment for colonization was Hitler and the rise of Nazism. I personally think he makes a good by stating that a nation even thinking about colonizing another already shows that at least morally the nation is impure and can’t state that it’s one hundred percent innocent.

  7. I choose to answer Option 1

    In the pages 35-36, the Cesaire states that ” a poison has been distilled into the veins of Europe and, slowly but surely, the continent proceeds towards savagery.” I think in the this sentence, the poison is means colonization. And colonizes makes people savagery because colonization was an expression of ambition, violence and selfishness. A country grab the resources they needed or wanted through colonization, that is behavior of savagery. And that will cause the suffer of the colonized. Colonization was like a poison that plunged the continent into unfortunate darkness. Colonization will also lead to violence because colonization will led to war and death. That is the express of how colonization like a poison cause the continent become savagery.

    In the page 39, the Cesaire states that “nobody colonize innocently.” This is means it is guilty of colonization. The colonist’s invasion will cause the bad effect on the colonized. The colonization would lead to chaos, fear, and threat. The colonized would be robbed, beaten, murdered, deported, forced into slavery and other forms of injustice treats. Colonists don’t think about the feelings of the colonized, they only care about their own interests. even if their actions hurt others. This action is immoral and sinful.

  8. Option 1:
    Césaire states that colonization will make the colonizer decivilized and brutalized. This means that when the colonizer realized that they have total control over a population, their greed will be, “distilled into the veins of Europe and, slowly but surely, the continent proceeds toward savagery,” (Césaire 36). This is proven by the examples that he provided, such as raping little girls, cutting off the heads of innocent people, and torturing patriots because of their different races, ethnicity, and background. This causes people to believe that this is the way their society is supposed to be, and all they can do is hope that misfortunes won’t happen to them.

    Césaire also believes that “nobody colonizes innocently,” (Césaire 39). This means when a nation starts to colonize other nations, they did it for their own prosperity, wealth, and success. Colonizing is just an excuse for stepping on others to reach their own glory. They do not care about the well-being of the colonized countries, in fact, they will eliminate any threats that are proposed to them, which shows that a nation that colonizes is already a sick civilization (Césaire 39).

    1. I agree with your statement in the fact that when colonizers take over an area their greed and need to demonstrate power and authority over others begin to take over and as a result though the evidence you stated many lives were unfortunately lost through colonization. In your second paragraph you used Césaire quote, “ nobody colonizes innocently”(39) I also agree with this quote because thought out history we see that when civilizations are colonized it’s not for the benefit of the people currently living there but for the colonizers themselves. Like you stated before many misfortunes happen but another thing that happens is the striping of one’s culture as well their lives are completely taken over. The people with in these civilizations are forced to go by they colonizers way of life instead of their own way and as a result many languages and traditions are lost and stolen from the people. Colonizers viewed the people in the civilizations they were taking over as savages and felt the need to force their way of life upon innocent people through brute force. Going back to the statement “ nobody colonizes innocently”(Césaire 39) though their actions we conclude that the true reason as to why people colonize these areas is to take drain them of their resources and use the people for their own personal gain.

  9. Option 2
    Césaire proposes that colonization is based and justified on contempt for the native and that it changes the colonizer because of the dehumanization occurring. The colonizers have no consideration for the colonized. They conquered their land and colonizing their people, crops, animals, homes, and etc. As stated in the passage “They prove that colonization, I repeat, dehumanizes even the most civilized man; that colonial activity, colonial enterprise, colonial conquest, which is based on contempt for the native and justified by that contempt, inevitably tends to change him who undertakes it; that the colonizer, who in order to ease his conscience gets into the habit of seeing the other man as an animal, accustoms himself to treating him like an animal, and tends objectively to transform himself into an animal. It is this result, this boomerang effect of colonization that I wanted to point out.” This shows that more one par takes in these actions and feed off making the people like animals, they also become an animal in the process. and they seem to disregard that the person was there first and they own the land.

    Some effects of colonization are crucial to the human being. For example “I am talking about natural economies that have been disrupted harmonious and viable economies adapted to the indigenous population about food crops destroyed, malnutrition permanently, introduced, agricultural development oriented solely toward the benefit of the metropolitan countries; about the looting of products, the looting of raw materials.They pride themselves on abuses eliminated”. The colonizers are stripping the natives of their own belongings. As you can see malnutrition is introduced, economy disrupted, food crops destroyed, etc.

    1. Hi Mario,
      I agree with your interpretation of the change of the colonizer through colonization. There is of course the economic benefit that colonization extracts resources from the colonized nations to transport back to the original country for improvements. However, there is a simultaneous transformation in mentality when the colonizer’s people begin to think there is an objective explanation for their success and for the colonized’s suffering. I would say that the metaphor of animals also provides the analogy of a food chain where some animals act as predators and others as prey. The difference is that these labels would acknowledge that the colonizers and colonized are equal in some regard, which is not often their perspective.
      I would also add Cesaire’s comment that “since no one knows at what stage of material development these same countries would have been if Europe had not intervened,” it is inaccurate to say that Europe is the sole reason that these nations have modernized (Cesaire 45). This is commonly used as a justification for colonization, but it ignores the possibility that these advancements could have been achieved without the oppression, destruction, and hypocrisy of the “civilized” nations. Hopefully, the abuse and disruption from the colonizers that you mentioned can serve as a lesson of social awareness and appreciation of fellow humans for the future.

  10. Option 1
    On pages 35-36, author Cesaire describes a sordid image of poison being “distilled into the veins of Europe,” slowly pushing the continent “towards savagery.” His argument revolves around the ‘pseudo-humanism’ of European philosophers, with which they attempted to objectify and justify the colonization of non-European peoples. The pseudo-humanist sentiment generally allots an inferior or menial characteristic to other races while maintaining the Europeans are unfit for the treatment with which they inflict unto others. Cesaire rebukes their philosophy, elaborating on how it has “diminished the rights of man” and is “narrow and fragmentary, incomplete and biased” (Cesaire 37). He captures this vicious brutalization of the colonizer with his boomerang metaphor: the colonizers begin to perceive others as animals, treat others as animals, and in turn transforms themselves into animals (Cesaire 41).
    Ceasire on page 39 also contends that “nobody colonizes innocently.” This is a continuation of his rebuke, suggesting that any attempt to absolve colonization of inherent wrong is futile. Every colonizer engages in a cruel system, no matter its intention. Cesaire describes colonization as “bridgehead in a campaign to civilize barbarism” alongside descriptions of colonizers engaging in barbaric practices such as decapitation and collection of ears (Cesaire 40). The author emphasizes colonization is objectively wrong, subjecting victims to cruelty and colonizers to a transformation through brutalization.

    Option 3

  11. Option 1
    Cesaire argues that colonization works to decivilize and brutalize the colonizer because partaking in colonization transforms a person to become inherently more barbaric. A colonizer is involved in horrific acts in their attempts to take over someone else’s lands. The text specifies the relationship between a colonizer and the colonized. The colonized suffer through “ forced labor, intimidation, pressure, taxation, theft, rape, degrades masses” (142). The humanity of a colonizer gets stripped away through each evil act. They use violent physical acts to get their way instead of practicing diplomacy like civilized people would. They get lost in their domination of others and become capable of committing recurrent brutal acts. Eventually, the colonizer is no longer a civilized human since they have reverted back to primitive ways.
    Cesaire holds that “nobody colonizes innocently” because colonizing or anyone who partakes in colonizing cannot be justified. Cesaire mentions different ways that others have explained colonization to make it seem positive. Barde claims that if the goods of this world “remained divided up indefinitely, as they would without colonization, they would answer neither the purposes of god…” (39). This is one way that people try to justify colonization. Colonizers can’t colonize innocently because they are not asking for a share of other countries’ goods or lands, they are ripping everything away. Colonizers are killing, raping, robbing, and forcing people to suffer to take what does not belong to them. These actions were not necessary, and anyone who has inflicted this pain knew exactly what they were a part of. These colonizers were aware of the affliction they caused therefore their acts are not justifiable nor did they colonize innocently.

  12. From Natalie Pena:

    (34-35) Césaire argues that “a poison has been distilled into the veins of Europe and, slowly but surely, the continent proceeds towards savagery.” By saying this he means that once the Europeans started to colonize cultural parts of the world, it was almost impossible for them to stop due to the “poison” that was instilled through their “veins”. The savagery he is referring to is all the carnage of innocent lives, families being broken up due to slavery, and the illness and disease brought over to these lands wiped out lots of civilizations. These natives were pushed out of their initial land and given nothing to make up for their losses is return.

    (39) when Césaire states “nobody colonizes innocently” on page 39, what he means is when a civilization makes the intentional decision to cause harm to another civilization for their own benefit, its considered inhumane. “a civilization which justifies colonization- is already a sick civilization, a civilization that is morally diseased”, this quote helps further explain how if you choose to colonize there is clearly ill intention for the people on the other end, implying using force but things do not go their way. (Césaire39). Using force meant having to do things that shouldn’t have been humanly acceptable.

  13. When Césaire says that “a poison has been distilled into the veins of Europe and, slowly but surely, the continent proceeds towards savagery,” he is referring to colonization by Europeans and how they are becoming savages because of the violence that they use to colonize other countries. He is trying to tell people that colonization is not a positive action because colonizers are only colonizing for their personal benefits and not to help other countries out. Césaire states there is “force, brutality, cruelty, sadism, conflict, and, in a parody of education, the hasty manufacture of a few thousand subordinate functionaries”(Pg 42). This proves that Europeans are forcing natives to become slaves and the young children are taught only what the colonizers want them to learn.

    Césaire states that “nobody colonizes innocently,” which means that colonizers do not simply settle into another country’s civilization and take over it freely. The natives of that country will defend against the colonizers and fight back because they refuse to accept the idea of new people taking over their land. He talks about “societies drained of their essence, cultures trampled underfoot, institutions undermined, lands confiscated, religions smashed, magnificent artistic creations destroyed”(Pg 43). The natives are treated as inferiors, everything they own is taken away, and their culture is treated as garbage. Therefore, there is no innocence involved whatsoever in the colonization of these countries.

  14. 1). “no one colonizes innocently”: This means that colonizing or being a colonizer isn’t a righteous act and there’s a sinister reason behind it. Colonizing isn’t beneficial and was for personal or for a countries gain. Colonization under the guise of being beneficial such as making the country and culture more modern allowed the colonizers to do whatever they wanted (such as erasing their culture, killing, enslaving, etc) which many places colonized felt the affects for decades later. For example people colonize certain places for the wealth they can bring from sugar, artifacts and more. Colonizing isn’t innocents. They just shouldn’t do it.

    2). “effects of colonization”: The effects of colonization is massive. There’s no one effects and even though colonization can have it’s pros and cons people aren’t going out of there way wanting to be colonized. They might want to be more modern which colonization can bring which is a pro as well as natural resources, religion, education , etc. However like in the text the effects of colonization (when its a con) is “…I am talking about societies drained of their essence, cultures trampled…lands confiscated, religion smashed…I am talking about thousands of men sacrificed to the Congo-Ocean…millions of men torn from their gods, their lands, their habits, their life…”. Colonization disturbs the way of life for the colonized. Everything they know, everything they were gets erased or hopefully some of it isn’t but it’s not the same.

  15. Option two:
    Cesaire proposes that colonization is based and justified on contempt for the native because colonizers don’t view the colonized as humans. When the natives possess something that is worth value (ie. Land, money, resources), the colonizers want to take that away from them as they feel they deserve it more. Due to this perspective that the natives are undeserving of what they have, it encourages colonizers to take over and do as they want. Because of this greed, it changes how the colonizer thinks and acts which in turn, harms the colonized. When one is polluted with greed and thirst for acquisition, they are willing to do anything and go against their own morals. They will justify all their actions with reasons that they think are valid.
    With the power, colonizers will resort to torture, murder and threat to force the natives to give in. In doing so, the natives lose their dignity, culture, land, home and lives. They often try to fight back but without the same level of power, it’s unlikely that they will win. The only way to come out of colonization alive is to obey and lose themselves in the process. But even if they do listen and stay alive, their lives are fully controlled by the colonizers and life won’t be the same as before their land was intruded upon. The colonized will always be the victim and suffer many mental and physical consequences.

  16. Option 1:
    I have to agree with Cesaire’s interpretation of the way colonizers acted in an uncivilized manner. He even went as far as to compare them to nazi’s which I believe is not uncalled for. The many nazis imprisoned kept repeating that they were following order which is why they were able to do atrocious actions with no questions asked. I believe the colonizer would have a similar response if asked why did they think it was ok to murder, torture, rape, and do so many other unspeakable things. Even as a human the action of taking someone else’s life is a universal crime, so how was it possible that a group of men were able to go past their morals to kill women, children, and men. I believe that is why Cesaire claims that colonization caused colonizers to become decivilized and brutal, with the benefit of gaining more land and power, civilians were able to turn the other cheek to their people authorizing mass murder. No one in power spoke up to put an end to all of this because they were conditioned to think savagery was necessary for civilization, and soon after the civilians began to believe the same. They essentially became what they believe they were eradicating, savages.

  17. Option 1
    Césaire states how colonization works to decivilize the colonizer which in fact is accurate. The idea revolving around colonization plagues the mind of the colonizer and makes the colonizer believe what they are doing is justifiable and acceptable. The poison that has been distilled throughout France is colonization as after colonizing a land their mindset changes to their greed and true ambition come out. We see the savagery come out after colonization with racism, torture, slavery, disease, and more due to colonization. (35-36)
    Césaire says that no one colonizes innocently which is correct as there is always some greedy reason behind colonizing a land. When one colonizes a land, it is almost never to benefit anyone but the colonizer and his side. Almost always is there an unjust reason behind it such as becoming wealthy, having access to raw materials, or shifting their ideals to the people who are already living in that land. (39)

  18. (Option 1)
    Césaire argues that colonization works to decivilize and brutalize the colonizer. He says that “a poison has been distilled into the veins of Europe and, slowly but surely, the continent proceeds towards savagery.” Explain. (Pages 35-36)
    Through the argument that Cesaire makes, he defines colonization in a way that indicates that such a practice is meant to commit savage acts including brutalization and exploitation towards the colonized. The “poison” as described by Cesaire is what I believe to be the practice of colonization, becoming the common practice of Europe; hence “distilled into the veins of Europe”. In the European perspective, the idea of expanding your territory into the New World may seem to be revolutionary and tremendously beneficial, so much so that it could cause them to be blind on the receiving end. Those on the receiving can only hold despair as a continent is rapidly being “poisoned” by the act of colonization. As the Golden Age of Exploration dawned upon Europe, it also brought the downfall of many civilizations around the world, transforming Europe into the country of tyrants in the eyes of the colonized.

    .Césaire holds that “nobody colonizes innocently.” Discuss what he means by that. (Page 39)
    In this statement told by Cesaire, he pronounces simply and shortly that the practice of colonization will never be innocent. The idea of a innocent colonization is simply a contradiction as exploiting and disrupting are two factors of colonization that will always go against innocence. To fill the criteria of an innocent colonization, both the colonizer and the colonized must agree to consent to such, however in history we have yet to see that happen. There is typically one main objective of colonization; territorial benefits. The countries of Europe did not try hard to hide this objective as their way of colonization were always resolved by violence without peace first, hence the practice of a “innocent colonization” may be never obtained.

  19. Option 1
    Césaire makes a claim that “a poison has been distilled in the veins of Europe”, the poison he’s referring to is colonization that has taken place and that continues to. Césaire then proceeds in calling the actions of those in Europe as “savagery” and how they have inflicted damage onto the natives due to their “racial pride”. This idea was implied when discussing the different places where this behavior was seen whether it was “a head cut off” in Vietnam or “little girl is raped in France.” These horrific descriptions show how far they are willing to go to gain power regardless of who they need to hurt. It’s also discussed how only then when they become victims do they care. In Europe they had tolerated nazism before they had become victims of it.

    Césaire discusses that “nobody colonizes innocently”, which is a true statement because not once was human life valued or considered when taking control of the innocent’s livelihoods. The phrase “white man’s burden” is thought of when discussing the colonizers intentions and how it was for their own selfish reasons that they decided to conquer and steal land not because they wanted to help other civilizations. They use the excuse that they were doing it because they felt like the natives were underdeveloped which was another example of how they felt they were superior.

  20. Césaire states,European men have engraved into their head that “colonization works to decivilize and brutalize the colonizer.” They (European men), have taken the action of torturing, raping, killing, all theses races they believe to be superior to. Although they believe they’re just opening up a new world to these races, Césaire is saying that because they’ve implanted this idea of colonization into their brain, these actions that they’ve taken are gonna come back into their “home” and things will become chaotic.
    When Césaire mentions that “nobody colonizes innocently” he saying that those colonizers are coming with ill intentions. They’re taking the action of colonizing these civilization for their own personal gain. Its previously stated that “Humanity must not, cannot allow the incompetence, negligence, and laziness of the uncivilized peoples to leave idle indefinitely the wealth which God has confided to them, charging them to make it
    serve the good ofall(39).” This is stating that actions must be taken and not let these resources that “god” has provide just sit around and not be used. Because of this idea, colonizers are committing hateful crimes stripping civilians out of everything they have for their own personal gains. everything done is out of pure evilness.

  21. .Césaire argues that colonization works to decivilize and brutalize the colonizer. He saids that “a poison has been distilled into the veins of Europe and, slowly but surely, the continent proceeds towards savagery.” In my opinion, I believe Césaire is saying when a colonizer sets foot to colonize a land that colonizer is poisoning the land with their unwanted spirit. Throughout the reading, the author repeatedly explains why civilization is no longer a society that gathers people but, tears apart civiliations with chaos due to the fact that intruders wanna take over land to make a home where home was already there for people. That is why the author countines to say, ” a poison has been distilled into the veins of Europe and, slowly but surely, the continent proceeds towards savager” because no plant can ever grow in a enviornment where the garder doesn’t take care of the tree. This shows me that the posion will countine to spread because civilzations are place to build a community, not to spread dieases.

    Césaire holds that “nobody colonizes innocently.” What this quote means on page 39, is someone who colonizes a land have no good intentions for example,” that a nation which colonizes, that a civilization which justifies colonization— and therefore force—^is already a sick civilization, a civilization which is morally diseased.” This proves a civlization that isn’t build on princples is a weak civilzation due to the fact of not upholding to their expections. To countine, civilzations are build with structure to maintain the overall rules of the land. A civilzation that targets other civilzation for their own benefit, causes problems.

  22. Césaire demonstrates his frustration, and strong emotions on the connections between colonialism and the stereotypes of what civilization stands for in the western hemisphere specifically. His passion for how strongly he despises what happened in the past to colonized nations portrays itself when he uses the hyperbole ‘poison’ to describe how evil the continent of Europe has been to the whole world. The quote I am speaking on is, “a poison has been distilled int0 the veins of Europe and, slowly, but surely, the continent proceeds towards savagery” as we can see, the imagery with the help of the hyperbole- helps the reader imagine how the well known European Colonizer have been slowly making themselves look less, and less civilized with the actions that the colonizer has proceeded to do. Césaire in revenge, reverses the stereotype card onto the original creators (the European Colonizer) of the negative stereotypes that they have set in the first place, about anyone who does not identify as, or have the phenotypes of a European. He does this by calling the European Colonizer ‘uncivilized’ and uses the word ‘savagery’ to describe their actions. Now I will proceed to describe what the author means in the quote, “nobody colonizes innocently”. The quote on page 39 seems very self explanatory, but if you look more into it- it seems very subliminal. When the author stated that “nobody colonizes innocently” he was referring to the European colonizers that have been trying to cover up their actions as actions of “good” for many generations. Since Césaire is trying to educate people on the true colors of the European Colonizer, he is trying to make sure that any victimization or thoughts of a positive outcome of the colonizer’s actions is diminished in one’s mind.

  23. Option 1 :
    1. Césaire says that “a poison has been distilled into the veins of Europe and, slowly but surely, the continent proceeds towards savagery.”, and the Colonization became poison. After colonization, many bad things appeared, such as racism: discrimination against colonial people, torture, enslavement of colonial people, diseases, etc., because colonial rulers colonized other countries for their own interests.
    2. Césaire holds that “nobody colonizes innocently.” What he meant was that no country did not colonize for the sake of profit. There will surely be opportunities for them to benefit from this place, and the colonization itself is through violence, otherwise no country wants to be colonized.

  24. Option 1-
    Césaire argues that “a poison has been distilled in the veins of Europe.” The poison he refers to is the normalization of the horrible acts that have taken place as a result of colonization. Césaire goes on to give examples of the horrors that have been normalized, like “a head cut off” in Vietnam or a little girl being “raped in france.” Césaire believes that the blame for these horrible acts lies not only with active colonizers, but with the citizens that stood by and watched. He goes on to call citizens “accomplices” because “they tolerated that Nazism before it was inflicted on them,” “shut their eyes to it, legitimized it.” The poison Césaire refers to is the desensitization of a whole continent, which allowed colonization to continue for much longer than it should have.

    Césaire’s belief that “nobody colonizes innocently” refers to the bad intentions of colonizers despite efforts to justify their actions. Ideas like the white man’s burden have been used as justification for colonization time and time again, through arguments that frame the white man as the victim of a heavy burden. As we know, colonizers acted out of self interest and conquered land with rich history and culture solely for economic gain. In addition to this, colonizers didn’t just conquer other cultures’ land, but spread diseases, mistreated, disrespected, and harmed the native people. Based on this evidence, Césaire was correct in his belief that nobody colonizes innocently.

  25. Césaire proposes that colonization is based and justified on contempt for the native and that it changes the colonizer. Amplify. (Page 41)
    When the colonizer views the natives as less human and calls them “savages” it makes colonizing their home and murdering the families feel just because they are the saviors defeating the “villains” on the land. Césaire states that, And they wait, and they hope; and they hide the truth from themselves, that it is barbarism,” The colonizers and everyone who agrees with them turn a blind eye onto the horrors of what is happening in the West Indies or Madascgar or Vietnam because of the colonized barbarians who are a threat. This is a simplified example of what eurocentrism is, if it is not affecting those in Europe it must not matter, so most do not show remorse, specifically the colonizer. Like Césaire states, colonization dehumanizes the civilized colonizer. It changes the colonizer so much that he sees his own kind as animals that need to be tortured and as result, the colonizer is the real “animal” because he has already changed his consciousness so drastically it makes him capable of committing atrocities to those he sees as below him.
    What are the effects of colonization on the colonized? (Page 43)
    Colonization affected the colonized terribly with acts that felt irreversible. Césaire states harmonious and viable economies adapted to the indigenous population—about food crops destroyed, malnutrition permanently introduced.” Their economies were disrupted, their mind was left traumatized, and they were drained from the luscious cultures and religions. Césaire states “I am talking about millions of men in whom fear has been
    cunningly instilled, who have been taught to have an inferiority complex, to tremble, kneel, despair, and behave like flunkeys.” Colonizers looted and abused their land along with the people who resided there. The colonized had to face that their society was destroyed by them and the long-lasting effects still last to this day. The effects of colonization are less of a stain on history but instead a smear that does not run out of ink.

  26. Césaire says that “a poison has been distilled into the veins of Europe and, slowly but surely, the continent proceeds towards savagery.” by this statement he means that only civilization with no humanity and honor would colonize other nations. He believes that colonization is a clear factor of savagery and of degradation, because people forget about their values.
    So when civilization starts to colonize it’s slowly falling apart, because people start to adapt to the horrors that are happening around, but you can’t normalize violence in a proper civilization. Therefore this leads to a boomerang effect, as people in civilization become cruel towards each other. That’s how Nazi Germany and Hitler were raised. Colonization is an evil, that damages both the colonizer and the colonized.

    Césaire holds that “nobody colonizes innocently.” By that he means that nobody colonized to make it a better place. It’s the opposite everyone colonized because of their own wishes, greed, and violence. All of the colonizers wanted to be powerful and wealthy no matter what they had to do for it: kill, rape, or rob. All of the European mother countries just sucked out all of the possible resources for themselves, not even bothering about the native people.

  27. From Marjhorie Mejia:

    Césaire says that “a poison has been distilled into the veins of Europe and, slowly but surely, the content proceeds towards savagery”; he makes this statement due to the barbaric and almost savage-like behavior that occurs during colonization. Shortly after making his original statement, he says that the way the Europeans were acting would be equivalent to Nazism which is essentially just an extreme version of fascism which is when a group applies a lot of pressure and dominates the opposing side leaving them helpless. This definition applies to colonization which is kicking out people of their land or forcing them to join them. The quote “We aspire not to equality but to domination” from Hitler stood out to Césaire because it is basically what is happening in Europe with their colonization enterprises.

    Césaire believes that “no one colonizes innocently” which is just saying that no matter how much good intention you have for colonization you still know that it is wrong. To further push his point he describes these civilizations as “morally diseased”. Civilizations that are described as morally diseased obviously don’t have a moral standard and just want to become more powerful which furthers the point that it isn’t possible to innocently colonize.

  28. From Laura Portillo:

    (35-36) Césaire argues that colonization works to decivilize and brutalize the colonizer. He expresses that once a man starts colonizing, he keeps doing it as it awakens evil intentions within himself. The intention to brutally massacre millions, and along the line, destroy culture and identities. He later amplifies this point by saying, “a poison has been distilled into the veins of Europe and, slowly but surely, the continent proceeds towards savagery.” Here, Césaire is emphasizing that a colonizer can no longer put a halt to their barbaric actions. Now that this poison runs in their veins, colonizers will continue to cause harm until they fulfill their twisted and greedy appetites, and as this occurs, the continent grows desensitized. The shameful news of natives losing their land, family, and lives no longer evokes shock. The people move on with their lives, ignoring the cries for help of the natives. And as the silence grows, so does their hatred and greed.

    (Page 39) God, Gold, and Glory. This is how colonizers justified their actions. Colonizers argued that God told them to spread Christianity. They showed contempt for natives and believed that gave them the right to strip away natives’ rights and culture. And because they were ‘superior,’ they deserved to obtain all the resources deemed beneficial. According to the colonizers, they had good intentions, and we’re trying to ‘help.’ However, Césaire differs when he argues that “nobody colonizes innocently.” Césaire means that when a civilization chooses to colonize, it is because of their internal evil motives. This statement is further emphasized when Césaire states that Colonizers used force. They used cruel tactics to get what they wanted. So it was never about helping natives because what they really wanted was to help their country grow stronger and wealthier. And to torture, rape, and kill millions for wealth and pride is pure evil.

  29. In the film “Tambien la lluvia” we can see similar behavior within the film itself and the Christopher Columbus movie. From the start of the movie we see how the movie director promises everyone will be able to get a chance and show their acting skills. Just like the colonizers they promised things they did not keep. They wanted to keep them under control and most importantly calm, so it did not cause them problems. Shortly after this scene we saw local people from the community help them set up a giant cross, despite knowing how dangerous it could be. Costa defends the actions by saying they saved a lot of money by having them do it then a professional team. We can say Costa only cares about saving as much money as possible. This seems similar to the Colonists because they let their greed get in the way and did not respect those native to the land. They actually wanted more after they saw all the goods they could offer. Within the film itself Costa sees people who are willing to work for low pay. Later on in the film we see Sebastian got his way of adding the local guy Costa did not want because he looked “problematic”. Costa was caught during a phone call saying the locals were happy with their two dollar pay. He was blinded by the fact that locals knew english. Costa had also told him to stay low and not cause any problems until the film was over. We see during the film the hardships the locals go through, yet Costa does not feel their pain in fact he wants him to stay back for a few until the film production is over. Once again we see how he is saying and doing things for his own benefit. Just like the colonizers did. In the Columbus film we saw them remake the scene where the Colonist made them look for a certain amount of gold everyday, if they did not meet their needs the natives were punished. In this case Castro is using people they are willing to work for low pay and take any job at hand.

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