TheColonizer and the Colonized
"Thereare neither good nor bad colonists, there are colonists" is thestatement byJean-PaulSartre in the introduction part of the “the colonizers and thecolonized.” By this statement, Sartre meant that both thecolonists who accept colonization and those who refuse to acceptcolonization are all colonists. Both of them are colonists becausethey are both under the rule of colonization and participate in thecolonization activities of the system. The colonists who refuse toaccept colonization is no different from the one who accepts thesystems and its officials because even thought that the colonist isnot happy with the harsh conditions the natives are experiencing, hefails to confront the system and fight to relieve the people from theinjustices of the system. Therefore, such as colonizer can eitherdecide to leave and go back to Europe or stay and get used to theexperience the sufferings of the local natives and the harshtreatment. The colonizer who makes the decision to stay vows not toaccept colonization but continues to enjoy the privileges he isentitled to and at the same time feel sorry for the colonized. Also,despite the feelings of sympathy for the marginalized andimpoverished colonized, choosing to go back to Europe will not changethe situation because the natives will still be subjected to harshconditions.Allthese two choices do not make the colonizer any less bad or betterthan the colonizer who accepts colonization. The colonizer whoaccepts colonization is considered to be less human thusautomatically he is a bad colonizer. He makes his position clear andis ready to enjoy his privileged position without having to thinkabout the consequences of his actions on the natives. This colonizerpretends not to see the sufferings of the colonized and thus does notfeel sympathy for them. Therefore, the actions of both the colonizerwho accepts and those who refuse colonization do not make any ofthem to be different from the other. Both of them are colonistsbecause those who accept colonization justifies the system andengages in its activities while enjoying their entitled privileges.On the other hand, those who refuse to accept colonization do notconfront the system but rather choose to leave or stay and enjoy theprivileges while feeling sorry for the natives. Therefore, it can beconcluded that both colonizers are colonists. The colonizer whorefuses to accept colonization could be regarded as good if he was toremain behind and confront the system by fighting against theinjustices of the system and save the local natives from the harshtreatments (Sartre,1990).
of the Colonizer Who Accept and Refuse
Thecolonizer who refuses to accept reality experiences a lot ofdifficulties because of living a life that is internally conflicted.“Refuse” is defined as either remaining to combat and changethose conditions or withdrawing physically from them. Most of the newarrivals were dismayed by the harsh conditions the local nativeswere subjected to. They debated between staying and fighting for therights of the natives or going back to Europe and not experience thesufferings of the local natives. The colonizer who refuses the stateof the local native can protest openly about the harsh treatment ofthe natives, join a group that is not harsh towards the colonized orsign a petition to confront the system. In this situation, thecolonizer has only changed challenges and discomfort. Sartre(1990) indicatesthat it is difficult to flee mentally from an existing situation whenrefusing the ideology of the colonizers, which he denounceshalf-heartedly but at the same time continues to live with itsconcrete relationships and benefiting from those privileges. Thistype of colonizer finds himself in a difficult position thus becomesa prisoner of choice. By refusing to accept the effects of colonizeron the natives, the colonizer starts living a life of contradictionthus deprives him harmony and coherence never find peace withinthemselves (Sartre,1990).
Thecolonizer who accepts is the kind of a colonizer that acceptscolonization and thus is ready to take the journey from being acolonial to a colonialist. A colonialist is referred to as acolonizer who only consents to be a colonizer. The colonizer whoopenly declares his position and sought to legitimize colonization.The colonialist agrees to take his privileged position and is notconcerned with the effects of his actions on the natives. The onlything the colonist is concerned with is entitlement to hisprivileges. The colonialist defends his position in two ways. First,the colonist justifies the colonization system and the officials andpretends not to have the sufferings of the local natives. Secondly,this type of colonizer attempts to free himself from the guilt byparticipating in self-deceiving activities such as the reconstructionof history and developing a contemptuous attitude towards thecolonized. Additionally, such type of colonizer finds fun in the ideaof executing genocide in order to save himself from the dilemma. Thecolonizer sees himself as superior to the natives thus they do notdeserve to be treated equally. Therefore, in this case, the colonizeris depicted as inhuman. Racism forms a platform for colonization byproviding a justification for the development of a colony thus fitsin the process of colonization (Sartre,1990).
Sartre,J. P. (1990). Introduction to Albert Memmi. TheColonizer and the Colonized,26.