In an online discussion group between political science, sociology and history lecturers, moderators (including myself) and students from America, India, UK, Pakistan, France, Australia and Palestine, a small argument began between those who supported Fanon’s notion of violence against the oppressor and those who disagreed and believed in “peaceful negotiations”.
Not exactly expected of a moderator, I defined my stance as one who supported Fanon’s idea of violence against the colonizer, the imperialist. One white French student remarked, “That’s what your culture teaches you, doesn’t it?” Every non-white student retorted and the session got rowdy for a moment. The same student asked this time, “Why would you support violence? We’re trying to address the issue of colonization in these regions. You’re not helping.”
It was right there that a Palestinian moderator and I laughed. Together. For our own reasons. Historical and contemporary. We found it so absurd, so ridiculous, so funny for a young man with forefathers that colonized people in different places, to tell us how to behave in order to eradicate the ailment of being a colonized person, of living in a post-colonial era. I asked him: How would you feel if someone stole your lands, raped your women, abducted your children for labor, labeled your culture and traditions as barbaric and uncouth, controlled your resources and lived in higher settlements upon the very soil that belonged to you and your father and your grandfather? Would you be nice about it? Would you tell him politely, “It would be very kind of you, dear sir, to leave my home” or would you take back what is rightfully yours - even if it required violence.
He stayed quiet. For a good reason.