How To Prevent Genocide. In school Deavan and I have been learning about Genocide, and as we learn we came across an interesting presentation. I want to share a basic outline of the principles he put forth, because upon reading and research it would seem that Genocide is a collective thing, it is not brought on by a single human with too much power...It would seem that pre-genocide activities penetrate the public at large. Ultimately we are responsible to prevent it from happening again. How?
By understanding the steps necessary to reach an environment that would accept genocide as being okay.
Gregory H. Stanton is a research professor in Genocide Studies and Prevention, he has studied and traveled to understand how and why genocides happen. Through all his work he has found that there are Eight Stages of Genocide. Please continue reading...it is up to you and I to prevent this from ever happening.
Here is a summary of what Mr. Stanton teaches: (Keep in mind that though each step is a stage, it is a continuous process, meaning the stages continue as they move forward.
Division, as it would seem, is a natural thing, something that a social world ends up doing. Language and cultures require classification in order to divide, leading to an "us" and "them" separation. This may be natural but can lead to devious things. All to often we treat different categories of people differently.
Examples Mr. Stanton uses: " Racial and ethnic classifications may be defined by
absurdly detailed laws -- the Nazi Nuremberg laws, the "one drop" laws of segregation in
America, or apartheid racial classification laws in South Africa. Racist societies often prohibit mixed categories and outlaw miscegenation. Bipolar societies are the most likely to have genocide. In Rwanda and Burundi, children are the ethnicity of their father, either Tutsi or Hutu. No one is mixed. Mixed marriages do not result in mixed children"
The next dangerous step seems innocuous because we use symbols everyday, we signify organizations, words, and events by using symbols. But, it is when we start to symbolize people that we begin a dark journey down the wrong path. They named people in Rwanda Hutu and others Tutsi. We call people Christians, Muslims, Jews, Gypsies. Sometimes we separate groups based on their appearance, black, white, yellow, red. We separate people by status, who they are, how much the make. What we have to avoid is associating groups with symbols because when the process has reached later stages, genocidal governments prepare to separate the targeted members by making them wear an identifiable symbol: The yellow star for the Jewish people, comes to mind. Another was that of Khmer Rouge forcing people in the Eastern Zone to wear a blue-checked scarf...this was the mark for forced relocation and then elimination.
***It is important to keep in mind that the first two steps are a natural part of life, a way we have adapted, right or wrong it is there...it is when we move into the next phase that things get scary. It is not enough to label someone, lets say "pretty" no it is when we begin to separate "pretty" people to a point that we no longer consider them to be human.
Think about this one carefully. Take responsibility for your actions and feelings. In our society, at least in my opinion, we do this one all the time, especially when we are teens. When I read this mans works I really said to myself...I need to stop seeing certain groups as less than human.
As Mr. Stanton states, the two first steps of genocide only work when combine with the third: dehumanization. Denial of someones humanity is the step which allows killing without impunity to happen. The universal human abhorrence of murder of members of one's own group is overcome by treating the victims as less than human. In incitements to genocide the target group will be dehumanized by calling of names. Nazi propaganda would call the Jewish people rats and vermin, in Rwandan Hutu "hate" radio announcers began referring the Tutsi to cockroaches. This of course leads to people being linked with disease, microbes, infections...they become the cancer...the plague...they must be destroyed in order to preserve the way of life.
How do we stop this one, because we all like to think of a group as "evil" easy example...Pedophiles...YES, I KNOW, I KNOW...they are evil...but if we step back and say, their act was evil...then I think we can put things into perspective and find healthier ways of preserving life without losing our own humanity in the processes.
Genocide is ALWAYS a COLLECTIVE...it derives its force from group identification. It is organized, often by states, but also by militias and hate groups (we can think back to the KKK and the abhorrent things they did to African Americans) Keep in mind planning need not be some elaborate scheme, one with a lot of invested time. Hindu mobs have hunted down Sikhs or Muslims, led by a local leaders. Methods are not always complex either, they can be simple, this happened in Rwanda, many Tutsis were killed from machetes. Muslim Chams in Cambodia died from hoe-blades to the back of the neck...as a sick example in Cambodia and with Native Americans being killed by other means...the words "Bullets must not be wasted" is a disgusting, sickening notion, but it has happened many times before.
This of course varies based on the social organization of the genocide and the culture that has been developed. It reached its most mechanized..bureaucratic form in the Nazi Death Camps.....Death squads may be trained for mass murder, and then they force everyone to participate by spreading hysteria in order to overcome individual resistance...think about this, what would happen if a group of people caught an illness, how easily would it be to spread hysteria?
We are now in the genocide. The people are hysterical, they have been classified, tagged, and dehumanized. People have organized...and now it moves in a downward spiral of killings....It becomes a massive cycle...MASS MURDER has arrived. Killings by one group may provoke a revenge killing by the other. This massacres are aimed at polarization...they want to eliminate moderates who could slow down the cycle. The first to be killed in a genocide are moderates from the killing group, those who oppose the extremists: "The Hutu Supreme Court Chief Justice and Prime Minister in Rwanda, the Tutsi Archbishop in Burundi. Extremists target moderate leaders and their families. The center cannot hold. The most extreme take over, polarizing the conflict until negotiated settlement is impossible." (Stanton).
The preparation for a genocide includes the identification process. This is when lists of victims are drawn up. Homes are marked, known, maps show how and when to get to victims. Individuals will be forced to carry ID cards identifying their Ethnic or Religious groups. This is dangerous because identification will greatly speed up the mass murder. We need only look at history: In Germany the ID of Jews, defined by the LAW...was performed easily, methodically by bureaucracy...LIST ARE DANGEROUS!! In Rwanda ID cards showed each persons ethnicity.
Also, the preparation will include taking away the victims property, and may force them to relocate people into ghettos, stadiums, and churches. In the most extreme example they are taken to Extermination Camps.
This is the final step to the actual murders. The murders believe the only solution is to completely exterminate the group targeted. Now keep in mind for this to work the killers must think of it as extermination, rather than thinking it is murder...because remember they have dehumanized their victims...they are simply killing the disease and not a person.
Eighth step: Denial
This may seem like a strange step...after all the genocide is done, the people have been murdered, death lingers in the air.
To quote Mr. Stanton and his work:
"Every genocide is followed by denial. The mass graves are dug up and hidden. The historical records are burned, or closed to historians. Even during the genocide, those committing the crimes dismiss reports as propaganda. Afterwards such deniers are called “revisionists.” Others deny through more subtle means: by characterizing the reports as “unconfirmed” or “alleged” because they do not come from officially approved sources; by minimizing the number killed; by quarreling about whether the killing fits the legal definition of genocide (“definitionalism”); by claiming that the deaths of the perpetrating group exceeded that of the victim group, or that the deaths were the result of civil war, not genocide. In fact, civil war and genocide are not mutually exclusive. Most genocides occur during wars."
Now why would I post this, it was not to scare you....no it was to give the power back to the people. There is no medicine for Genocide, once it is done...it is done...This is something that must be prevented...but as we have seen it keeps happening, over and over and over again...like some sick cycle that people can not escape. Why? Because we don't understand how it happens. By understanding how it happens we, as humans, as being connected one way or another, can stop this by not allowing ourselves to step down these dangerous slopes.
As always have a blessed day....Peace out...and know you are loved!!!
**All information was compiled via watching seminars given by Mr. Stanton, and by his written works. ** You can visit his work and learn more about it by going to genocidewatch.org ...I want to thank him for his hard work!!!!
Love to all.
Shit I want to Post