Discourse on Colonialism and White Man’s Burden
The focal point of the discourse on colonialism is colonization and civilization. The debate seeks to establish the line of colonization and civilization and as such it suggests that colonialism does not necessary mean civilization. Rather, colonialism masquerades in the name of civilization, what the writer terms as ‘hypocrisy.’ This fact is true. The idea and events that characterized colonization completely differ from the principle of civilization. For instance, colonization, in the long run, will decivilize the colonizer. Moreover, no civilization should justify colonization. A sick civilization is one which advocates for settlement. A good example would be the fact that colonization is responsible for the destruction of the classical Indian civilization. Also, colonization condemned civilization in the Southern Sea Islands, Nigeria, and Nyasaland to perish in the future.
According to Aime Cesaire, the European attitude towards the colonized people is very negative. They view them as inferior humans who have no essence other than being used as production tools. The Europeans perceives the colonized as a ‘thing,’ not people. The writer proves this when she clearly highlights about people forced to dig the harbor of Abidjan using their hand. Another example to justify this is the sacrificing of men in the Congo-Ocean by Europeans. She states that there is only room for forced labor, bullying, pressure, the constabularies, levy, robbery, rape, scorn, distrust, conceit, self-complacency, swinishness, dim elites, and degraded masses between the Europeans and the colonized.
There are similar ideas in the poem ‘A white man’s burden’ and the discourse on colonialism. Both the poem and the article show the how the colonized has been made inferior. In the poem, they are referred to as sullen people. In addition to this, just as in the disclosure on colonization, the poem has shown how the whites use colonialism to rip the colonized their entitlements and rights. The poem states, “seek another’s profit” to signify how the colonizer benefits from the gains of the colonized. Nonetheless, the two works show the attitude of the colonizer to the colonized, a spiteful attitude. In the poem, this is signified by the phrases, “The hate of that ye guard,” and also “The cry of host ye humor.”
The poem is satirical. The poet is satirical. For instance, the poets suggest that the colonizer sets his sons free so that they can serve the needs of their captive. This statement is satirical since it is the reverse that happens. The colonizer does not serve his captives. As compared to the discourse on colonialism written in a straightforward way, the poet is satirical in the poem.