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Fanons Three Stages Related To The Indigenious People Of Chiapas

1164 words - 5 pages

Fanon's Three Stages Related to the Indigenous People of ChiapasThe passage Shadows of Tender Fury by Subcommander Marcos of the Zapatista Army explains that the people of Chiapas are currently facing a period of revolution. The Zapatista army (consisting of Chiapian campesinos) has risen to combat the intolerant system of oppression by the Mexican government and has attempted to create a better lifestyle for the campesinos of Chiapas. Frantz Fanon's three stages to national culture; assimilation, self discovery, and revolution, relate to the struggle of the campesinos of Chiapas. In the last 500 years, the indigenous people of Chiapas have faced all three of Fanan's stages during their struggle for the development of a national culture.Five-hundred years ago when the first Europeans came in contact with the Mayan Indians, the first stage of Fanon's theory, assimilation, began formalizing. Throughout history the colonizers of Mexico were more technologically advanced than the natives. The Europeans had guns, cannons and massive ships. Not only did these possessions enable them to have greater brute force, but it took the white man to the level of the gods in the eyes of the natives. The colonizers could easily take advantage of this reverence. Fanon states 'The effect consciously sought by colonialism was to drive into the natives' heads the idea that if the settlers were to leave, they would at once fall back into barbarism, degradation, and bestiality.'(FanonStone 2211) The colonizers, believing the natives were savages that needed enlightenment, forced European culture upon them. The Europeans believed that to assimilate the natives to European culture was to help them progress. Therefore, to return to the old ways would have been regressing. When the natives objected to the forced assimilation, the colonizers smothered the rebellious efforts with stronger, more lethal weapons. Fanon compares the colonizer to a mother who restrains her 'perverse' child so that he will not commit suicide.(Fanon 211) The analogy implies that the colonized must be protected (by the colonizer) from self-destruction. In the minds of the European colonizers, this idea of protection justified forcing assimulation onto the natives.Although the native campesinos (the poor people of Chiapas) haven't fully assimulated, they have adopted particular aspects of European and present day Mexican culture. The campesinos have learned the Spanish language and joined the catholic religion. An example of Fanon's first phase is when the colonizer tries to calm the angry, poor and exploited colonized people by promising social reform.(Fanon 207) These reforms promise things such as employment, welfare and education. According to Fanon, the government rarely follows through with pledged social reform. They find it easier to simply increase the number of army troops, police officers and jail cells. The oppressors intention is to stop present campeseno rebellions by putting the rebels...

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