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The Rwanda Genocide - Essay Example

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English 1A August 2, 2011 The Rwanda Genocide Xenophobia, the hatred or fear of certain targeted ‘outsiders,’ is one of the most destructive group phenomena in human history. Various incidents in our collective past portray how xenophobia has negatively impacted the lives of so many people…
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The Rwanda Genocide
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The Rwanda Genocide

Racial superiority has caused much violence and many deaths for those who have been labeled by the ‘superior’ as ‘inferior.’ This violence has been spawned mostly by an extreme hatred for those viewed as different or inferior. Furthermore, such feelings of hatred have been translated into outright acts of violence against those viewed as inferior, and this at times often prompted retaliation against their oppressors, such as the case in Rwanda. With these premises, the world has been witness to various acts of violence, including the massacre of a significant number of people, all in the name of racial superiority. The concerned countries of the world have often refused to act in time to stop these events even though ample signs of trouble were apparent. Racial superiority has traditionally been an issue for various countries at one point or another in their history, but none worse than that displayed by the Nazis over the Jews and by the Tutsis over the Hutus in Rwanda. Similarities can be seen between the events of the Holocaust and the Rwandan genocide. “Rwandan genocide took place between April and June 1994. During this tragic period of 3 months some 800,000 Rwandans died, the majority were ethnically Tutsis murdered by their rival countrymen the Hutus” (BBC News). ...
The blame was placed firmly on the shoulders of Tutsi leader Paul Kagame (who is now the current Rwandan President, but then leader of the Rwandan Patriotic Front (BBC News). This was denied by Kagame who blamed the attack on Hutu extremists. Nevertheless, within a few hours of the attack, violence broke out all over the country; and such violence would not wane until three months after the assassination of Habyarimana (BBC News). By then nearly a million Rwandans would lose their lives. The persecution of the Jews began in the early 1930’s. Adolf Hitler became chancellor of Germany in 1933. The persecution continued and built up into and through World War II, finally ceasing in 1945 when war in Europe finally ended. It is believed that some 6 million Jews died, as well as members of other minorities such as Gypsies. During this time, six million Jews in Europe were murdered, the rest were persecuted and tortured, and 5000 Jewish communities were destroyed (Perry 67). The deaths did not begin as soon as the Fascists came into power. Time was spent first in spreading propaganda across Germany against those seen by the government as the enemies of the Aryan race; at the same time, life for the minorities was made very difficult. The aim was to encourage Jews to leave the country. To some extent, this succeeded; however, Hitler could not wait and in 1938 came Kristallnacht – these were the state sanctioned riots aimed at the Jewish population (Gellately 45). It seems then that xenophobia can be about more than feeling other people are different, or even inferior, but can also be about poor self image and the resentment of other people’s success. Rwandan genocide and Holocaust showed ... Read More
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