"Le nègre n'est pas, pas plus que le blanc."
Translation: "The Black man does not exist; no more than the White [man]."
Franz Fanon, Martinican and Marxist psychiatrist, was one of the founding spokesmen for ethnocentric existentialism.
His savage attacks against race relations, encapsulated in his work "Black Skin, White Masks," enraged not just elite white community--both in France and around the world, but the entrenched black communities who relied on racial strife to define their struggle against injustice.
On the surface, a callous turn like "The black man does not exist" seems to repudiate the struggles and legacies of minorities trying to be heard and shape circumstances to better themselves. The following phrase explains the necessity of repudiating the mindset. To the extent that that the White Man exists, the Black man exists; to the contrary, therefore the contrary.
How is this possible? Look no further than the title of the book: Black Skin--the color, the contour, the culture, the class, the criminality of one group (in effect, a select number of elites) imposing on another group of people a set of characteristics not endemic to them in the first place. This hateful arrangement stems from its creator/creation, the White Man [who does not exist, either except as self-imposed myth]. The White Man, or anyone who plays identity politics, certainly live behind masks, yet they also create the Black masks (or falsehoods of any other color)imposed on minorities, including blacks (or Negroes, or African-Americans, as context and circumstance will determine or dictate).
The Black Man does not exist because it is a myth manufactured. Existence, the personal, individual experience of a man, cannot be made or unmade, merely received and developed, whether by informed choice, fraud, or deception by imbibing the propaganda of the powers that be, whether Black or White.
By defining oneself by a color, even in solidarity against an oppressor, one has still engaged in a debate according to terms designed to fail and dispossess the person trying to exist fully, to make of himself more than what others, or even he himself, thinks of himself.
"The Black Man does not exist, no more that the White Man." The whole clash and conflict of race, prejudice, discrimination, is a game, a hateful game have trapped the designed and instigators within the very rules which they unjustly imposed on themselves and others.
If neither the Black Man or the White Man--the myths, the fantasies, the empty notion of race as identity and definition--do not exist, then what has everyone been talking about for the last fifty years?
From the Civil Rights leaders to the Klansmen, from the Nazis to the Religious Zealots of all denominations, the battle of words to define, rectify, and dominate has remained entrenched in the ideal and abstract, forever ignoring the flesh and blood beings who can never be defined or delimited by notions of creed or color.
To resolve the conflicts, to end the hatred that compels (or rather wickedly justifies) people strike before being struck (or stricken), we must do away with labels as lead-in.
The statement literally reads, "The Negro is not, no more than the White." In the original language, Fanon emphasizes that he is discussing types, or typologies, not types of people, for a person can never be a type.
"The Black Man does not exist," because a man cannot exist as a color. . "no more than the white man."