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Archive for the ‘genocide’ Category

Is America still genocidal? According to the Teflon Theory of White History the answer is no: the last full-blown genocide was in the 1800s. That was too long ago, so it has absolutely no effect on the present. To prove your case you need to provide Recent Examples:

  • Because wiping out over a million people could not possibly affect White American ideas about race and human worth. Or be a sign of how screwed up they might still be;
  • Because enjoying the material fruits of said genocide could not possibly cause a serious case of Moral Blindness in which white people turn a blind eye to the very faults that led to genocide.

Genocide is a crime. And like with other crimes, those who have done it once are more likely to do it again. Sudan has carried out two genocides in my lifetime. Ethiopia and what used to be Yugoslavia are also repeat offenders.What about America?

Genocides unfold in eight stages:

  1. Classification: the division into “us and them”. Example: Asking an Asian American what country he is from.
  2. Symbolization: applying symbols to the them to mark them out as pariahs, as objects of hate. Examples: black skin, yellow stars, race or religion on ID cards.
  3. Dehumanization: seeing the pariahs as not truly human. Example: the word “nigger”.
  4. Organization: training and arming. Example: the Ku Klux Klan.
  5. Polarization: silencing the voices in the middle that still stand up for the pariahs. Example: calling whites who stand up for blacks “nigger lovers”.
  6. Preparation: separating the pariahs from everyone else. Examples: ghettos, prison camps.
  7. Extermination: mass killings. Example: the Holocaust.
  8. Denial: dispute the numbers, blame history, see it as “natural”, derail discussions about it, etc. Examples: The comments on this post?

The first step is “natural”, as Americans would put it, meaning it is common to all human societies. It is when it moves beyond Stage 1 that something is going seriously wrong.

White America has gone beyond Stage 1 not once but at least three times:

  • Stage 7: 1600s to 1800s: Native Americans
  • Stage 5: 1870s to 1950s: blacks
  • Stage 6: 1940s: Japanese Americans

Where different sorts of Americans are now:

  • Stage 0: whites
  • Stage 1: Asians, Mexicans, Muslims
  • Stage 2:
  • Stage 3: blacks
  • Stage 4:
  • Stage 5:
  • Stage 6:
  • Stage 7:
  • Stage 8: Native Americans ?

Jews I would put at 0.6, Muslims, at 1.8.

I am not sure if Native Americans are an 8: I put them there because in my experience whites are not comfortable talking about it and try to derail. If you cannot admit to a fault there is little chance of change. Like a drunk who thinks he is not a drunk.

But even apart from that, you still have blacks at 3. Deep down whites think of blacks as monkeys. That makes it easier to kill them or, what is most commonly the case, to stand by and do little when they die in large numbers, as during the heroin and crack epidemics and the high murder rates that followed.

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darfur_aerialThe eighth and last stage of genocide is denying it ever took place. This allows the genocide to continue, either now or sometime in the future.

Here are the common ways to deny a genocide:

  1. “Don’t rock the boat” – Or the peace talks might break down. Or contracts for oil or arms might be cancelled. Or you will look weak if you call it genocide and do nothing. Just go with the flow.
  2. “We are helping these people!” – and show outsiders model camps. Like how the Nazis showed the Red Cross Theresienstadt but not Auschwitz or Dachau. See how nice we are!
  3. Make it about the numbers – if they say 50,000 were killed, you say it was 5,000. Get into that dispute.
  4. Make it about words – Oh, it is just “ethnic cleansing”. Oh, it is not about race but land rights and that is not genocide. And so on. Overlooking the fact that if people only of a particular race are dying then it is about race no matter what anyone says or wants to believe. Because that kind of thing is not an “accident”.
  5. Make it about the accusers – question their motives. Overlooking the fact that they are telling the truth.
  6. Blame history – say this kind of stuff goes on all the time. Overlooking the fact that genocide is rare, despite what racists like to believe.
  7. Blame bad luck – blame it on disease, lack of food, lack of Western aid, etc. Overlooking the fact, say, that these people were driven off their land or moved to a place that cannot support their numbers. A trick favoured by Sudan and America.
  8. Blame out-of-control forces – after all genocides are often started  by paramilitary forces that seem to be acting on their own. Overlooking the fact that many of these same forces are secretly supported by the government. If the government is not seriously fighting the force in question, it is receiving its blessing.
  9. Blame the victim – say the victims started a civil war. Overlooking the fact that there is no military reason  for the mass killing of women and children.
  10. Dehumanize the victim – “They’re Africans. They do these sorts of things to each other.” They are not like us. Their lives do not matter. Why do you care? Overlooking the fact that everyone’s life matters, not just those who are like us or live nearby.
  11. Peace matters more than justice – Let us forget the past and just move on to give peace a chance. Overlooking the fact that a lasting peace can only be built on justice, otherwise there could be another round of genocide.

Genocide is rare. It is not “natural” – except to a racist. Tens of thousands of women and children of a particular race, religion or ethnicity do not just up and die by “accident”, not even in war. It is done on purpose, thought out in advance by sick minds. Who tell themselves these lies.

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sudan_oil_map_10inThe worst genocide since Hitler took place in Sudan. No, not in Darfur, but in southern Sudan and the Nuba mountains. From 1983 to 2000 at least 1.9 million died, all of them black Africans, most of them Christians.

Sudan is two countries that the British made into one: the north is Muslim and Arabic-speaking. The people are dark but not black Africans. The south is black and mostly Christian. It has two-thirds of Sudan’s oil.

The government that carried out the genocide was run by Arab-speaking Muslims from the north. It was not just a case of genocide: it was also a jihad, a Muslim holy war, the largest in living memory.

As a genocide it is upstaged in the Western press by Rwanda, where 800, 000 were killed, and even Darfar, where 300,000 have died so far. Both are much smaller genocides.

As a jihad it is upstaged by the one fought by Al Qaeda and the Taliban, which, so far, has been far less deadly, though it is directed against Western interests.

The genocide was directed against the Dinka, Nuer, Shilluk and Nuba. It sold tens of thousands of them as slaves. It destroyed Christian churches, schools and hospitals. It wanted to clear the lands where there was oil.

The government kept food from reaching the south knowing full well that people there were dying of hunger.

For example in 1998 in Bahr al-Ghazal, the very province that Alek Wek fled more than ten years before, government bombings spread terror and caused 700,000 Dinka to flee their homes. Then the government stopped Westerners from flying in food, causing 70,000 to die of hunger.

In the Nuba mountains in the centre of the country the Nuba were sent to “peace villages” where the women were raped by government soldiers – to make their offspring lighter (the Nuba are very dark). Their children were taken from them and sent to the north to serve as slaves. Over 100,000 Nuba “disappeared” never to be seen again.

The south was fighting a war of independence against the north, it is true, and the rains in those years were not always the best. But if you look at scale of the killing and who was killed and what the government did and did not do, it is clear that it was bent on wiping out its own citizens based on race and religion.  That is genocide.

For some reason all this got very little press in the West and few knew about it. I find that very odd. Darfur and Rwanda had no trouble getting plenty of press.

In any case word of it in America spread mainly through churches. It became an issue with the Christian right, a big part of President Bush’s base. And so America pushed for a peace deal for southern Sudan and got one in 2005. But now the Sudanese government is doing the very same thing in Darfur, where the people are black too, but in this case not Christian.

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genocide

rwandaGenocide (1943) is like homocide, but where homocide is the murder of one man (Latin, homo), genocide is the murder of a people (Latin, gens). Like what Hitler did to the Jews, what Americans did to the American Indians or what the Hutus did to the Tutsis in Rwanda in 1994.

When Hitler killed the Jews it was not against international law. In fact the word “genocide” was not even in the dictionary! The crime is ancient but our idea of it is a creation of the 1940s.

The word “genocide” was coined in 1943 by Raphael Lemkin. He had gone to the League of Nations ten years before to try to get it outlawed, but they turned him down – even though they knew that the Turks had killed over a million Armenians in the First World War.

It did not become a part of international law, the law between nations, till 1950, five years after the fall of Hitler, and America did not agree to it as a part of international law till 1988!

As a part of international law the word has a very particular meaning:

Genocide means any of the following acts committed to destroy, in whole or part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:

  1. Killing members of the group;
  2. Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
  3. Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
  4. Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group
  5. Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

genociderwanda11Killing soldiers is not genocide – that is just war. But killing women and children and old men – unarmed people – just to wipe them out because of their race, religion, country or culture – like Jews, Armenians and Tutsis – that is genocide.

Killing people in huge numbers to carry out a revolution or to put down a revolution does not count. So the 20 million killed under Stalin, the 20 million under Mao and the half million under Suharto do not count as genocide.

That is no accident: the word was invented by the winners of the Second World War, so Stalin had a hand in it.

Selected genocides from 1492 to 1945:

  • 1492-1518: Spain: Tainos: 3 million in the Caribbean.
  • 1607-1890: Britain/US: American Indians: ?
  • 1645-1754: Russia: Siberians: ?
  • 1755-1758: China: Zunghars: 600,000.
  • 1788-1901: Britain: Australian Aboriginals: 20,000?
  • 1817-1867: Russia: Circassians: 1.5 million.
  • 1826-1829: Britain: Tasmanians: 6,000.
  • 1870s: Argentina: Patagonians: > 1,300.
  • 1885-1908: Belgium: Congolese: 22 million.
  • 1904-1908: Germany:  Hereros and Nama in Namibia: 70,000.
  • 1915-1918: Ottoman Empire: Greeks, Assyrians, Armenians: 3.15 million.
  • 1919-1920: Russia: Cossacks: 500,000.
  • 1933-1945: Germany and Eastern Europe: Jews, Gypsies and Slavs: 11 million.
  • 1937-1938: Japan: Chinese: 300,000 at Nanjing.
  • 1941-1945: Yugoslavia: Serbs: 650,000.
  • 1943-1944: Ukraine: Poles: 200,000.

All the genocides since 1945 that have killed at least 100,000 people:

  • 1945-1974: Ethiopia: Oromo, Eritreans, Somali: 150,000.
  • 1947: India: Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs: 100,000s.
  • 1961-2003: Iraq: Kurds, Shiites, Kuwaitis: 190,000.
  • 1962-1986: Guatemala: Mayans, 200,000.
  • 1962-2007: Burma: Shan, Karen: 100,000.
  • 1967-1970: Nigeria: Igbos: 3 million.
  • 1972: Burundi: Hutus, 100,000.
  • 1974-1999: Indonesia: East Timorese: 200,000.
  • 1983-2005: Sudan: Nuer, Dinka, Christians, Nuba, etc: 1.9 million.
  • 1992-1995: Bosnia: Muslims: 200,000 – Srebrenica.
  • 1994: Rwanda: Tutsis: 800,000.
  • 1994-2000: Ethiopia: Oromo, etc: 100,000.
  • 2003-2010: Sudan: Darfuris: 400,000.

The eight stages of genocide:

  1. Classification: the division into “us and them”;
  2. Symbolization: applying symbols to the them to mark them out as pariahs, objects of hate;
  3. Dehumanization: seeing the pariahs as not truly human.
  4. Organization: training and arming;
  5. Polarization: silencing the voices in the middle that still stand up for the pariahs;
  6. Preparation: separating the pariahs from everyone else;
  7. Extermination: killing them;
  8. Denial: lying about it.

Source: Genocide Watch (2009), Wikipedia (2014). 

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The eight stages of genocide

paris_wwii_a

The eight stages of genocide (1996) are the steps that every genocide goes through. Gregory Stanton, who had studied the genocide in Cambodia for the American State Department, noticed this when he saw the genocide in Rwanda unfold in just the same way. He wrote up his findings shortly afterwards in 1996 and now, before our eyes, the genocide in Darfur is following the very same steps in the very same order:

  1. Classification: the division into us and them. This is extremely common in human society. While it is not a sign that genocide is on the way, genocide would be impossible without an us and a them.
  2. Symbolization: words or symbols are applied to the them: the yellow star that Jews had to wear under Hitler, skin colour, classifications put on ID cards. Again, this is common and is not a sign of genocide, but genocide cannot proceed unless there is some sure way to tell people apart.
  3. Dehumanization: the them become pariahs: they are seen as less than human, as animals or a kind of disease. The Tutsis in Rwanda were called cockroaches before they were killed by the thousands. Killing them was no longer murder – it was just ridding the country of something bad. Dehumanizing words, like “gook” and “nigger”, belong to this step. Unlike the first two steps, dehumanization is not common! It is the first sick step on the road to genocide.
  4. Organization: To kill people in large numbers you need organization: leaders, followers, a chain of command, duties, meetings, guns, training, hate speeches. Sometimes it is the government that does this, but often it is a paramilitary group that seems to be acting on its own (but which the government is either secretly helping or at least turning a blind eye towards). The killing might start at this stage, but not on a huge scale. Examples: the SS in Nazi Germany, the Ku Klux Klan in America, the janjaweed in Darfur.
  5. Polarization: The first people killed in any genocide are not the pariahs themselves but those in the mainstream who speak up for them. The voices in the middle are silenced through threats, arrests or even killings. Now the message of hate goes unchallenged.
  6. Preparation: the pariahs are often separated from the rest of the country – into ghettos, camps, reservations or some undesirable part of the country. Their property is taken from them (they are not coming back!). This step leaves them defenceless.
  7. Extermination: the mass killings, the genocide proper.
  8. Denial: The leaders of the genocide downplay it or tell complete lies and say there  never was a genocide. As long as they are in denial the killings can go on.

America has gone through all eight steps with Native Americans, arguably up to step 6 with Japanese-Americans and at least as far as step 4 with blacks. Now you know why “nigger” is a bad word.

Stanton says that genocide is preventable by stopping it at one of the early stages.

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