from Fanon's "Letter to a Frenchman"

Millions of young bootblacks. Millions of "porter, madame?"
Millions of give me a piece of bread. Millions of illiterates "not knowing how to sign, don't sign, let us sign."
Millions of fingerprints on the police reports that lead to prisons.
On Monsieur le Cadi's records.
On the enlistments in the regiments of Algerian infantry.
Millions of fellahs exploited, cheated, robbed.
Fellahs grabbed at four in the morning,
Released at eight in the evening.
From sun to moon.
Fellahs gorged with water, gorged with leaves, gorged with old biscuit which has to last all month.
Motionless fellah and your arms move and your bowed back but your life stopped. The cars pass and you don't move. They could run over your belly and you wouldn't move.
Arabs on the roads.
Sticks slipped through the handle of the basket.
Empty basket, empty hope, this whole death of the fellah.
Two hundred fifty francs a day.
Fellah without land.
Fellah without reason.
If you don't like it you can just leave. Shacks full of children. Shacks full of women.
Wrung-out fellah.
Without dream.
Six times two hundred fifty francs a day.
And nothing here belongs to you.
We're nice to you, what are you complaining about?
What would you do without us? A fine country this would be if we left!
Become a swamp in no time at all, yes!
Twenty-four times two hundred fifty francs a day.
Work fellah. In your blood the prostrate exhaustion of a whole lifetime.
Six thousand francs a month.
On your face despair.
In your belly resignation…
What does it matter fellah if this country is beautiful.


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