An enduring lesson from the Rwandan genocide -- not unlike the Holocaust -- is that it occurred not only because of the machinery of death, but because of state-sanctioned incitement to hate and genocide. Indeed, as the Supreme Court of Canada recognized, and as echoed by the International Criminal Tribunals for Rwanda, the Holocaust did not begin in the gas chambers -- it began with words. As the jurisprudence of the Rwandan tribunals demonstrates, these acts of genocide were preceded by -- and anchored in -- the state-orchestrated demonization and dehumanization of the minority Tutsi populations.
In the annals of human evil, Rwanda's genocide takes a special place. With a kill rate of about six people a minute for more than three months, it's likely one of the fastest mass slaughters of humans in history. Most were hacked to death by machete, partly because the perpetrators found it cheaper than using bullets.
The years since the Arusha Accords ended the slaughter have been trying, as Rwanda made a difficult transition to democracy. Paul Kagame was elected president in the country's first-ever democratically contested multi-party elections in August 2003. Kagame was re-elected in a landslide in 2010. He is such an effective leader because he hasn't lost touch with his people.
A fresh campaign is underway to push the United Nations to label Canada's treatment of First Nations people "genocide." On
I've been reading about the war in Burma/Myanmar. It's a conflict between the Buddhist Burmese majority and approximately 800,000 Royhingya Muslims in the Arakan (Rakhine) State. They are among the world's least wanted and most persecuted people.
My father had to cope with an unfathomable situation: At the young age of 16, he was a prisoner in Auschwitz..Recently, he and I have begun speaking to business executives about resilience--the ability to face adverse events with fortitude and to enact successful coping strategies.
Little Bighorn, MT -- Some say George Custer died for the White Man's sins. What I hadn't heard before was that Sitting Bull
I live in a small rural community. Mostly white. Mostly Christian -- in name if not practice. Imagine my surprise when I
If we Jews and all other citizens of humanity actually mean the words we speak when we say, "never again," then we must take a stand, today, and actively choose to care and to defend justice by celebrating the uncelebrated and by protecting and giving voice to the voiceless among us, and to say that hatred and intolerance, in any shape or form, no matter how small, has no place in this world.
As we remember the six million Jewish victims of the Shoah -- defamed, demonized and dehumanized, as prologue or justification for genocide -- we have to understand that the mass murder of six million Jews, and millions of non-Jews, is not a matter of abstract statistics. For unto each person there is a name, an identity; each person is a universe. As our sages tell us, "whoever saves a single life, it is as if he or she has saved an entire universe." Conversely, whoever has killed a person, it is as if they have killed an entire universe. Indifference in the face of evil is acquiescence with evil itself.