Deborah Lipstadt: Rwanda: A new form of genocide denialRoundup: Historians' Take
The mantra of these deniers is: Tutsis have been killing Hutus for years. This was an example of the Hutus striking back.
Other than simply being incorrect, this mantra essentially blames the victims for their own brutal deaths. What will surprise most readers of this blog -- it certainly surprised me -- is that one of the people who has been most active in spreading this form of denial is Paul Rusesabagina.
If his name does not ring a bell, think Hotel Rwanda. He is the central character. He is speaking on college campuses, including Emory and serious scholars in many fields are deeply worried. At Emory these scholars include people who worked in Rwanda for years prior to the genocide and who witnessed the horrors up close.
This is not simply a matter of historical revisionism but also an attempt to destabilize the current government of Rwanda which has, apparently, made tremendous strides in creating stability and reinvigorating the economy.
On January 27th there will be a high powered panel to address this issue:
Beyond Hollywood’s Rwanda: Truth and Justice, Security and Development
Location: Glenn Memorial Auditorium, Emory University
Time: Tuesday, Nov. 27 6-8 PM
Andrew Young Former U.S. Ambassador to the UN and Mayor of Atlanta, Chairman, Goodworks Intl
James Kimonyo Rwandan Ambassador to the U.S.
Deborah E. Lipstadt Dorot Professor of Modern Jewish and Holocaust Studies
Egide Karuranga Virginia State University Professor, Genocide survivor at the Hotel des
Gregory S. Gordon University of North Dakota Law Professor, Former legal Officer for International Criminal Court Tribunal for Rwanda
Jeffrey Richter Senior Historian, US Department of Justice Office of Special Investigations
Limited Seating. Free Tickets available at DUC information desk, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory School of Law, and other Atlanta locations.
comments powered by Disqus
fair left - 11/27/2007
The mass killing of Tutsis in 1994 is historical fact, but not much more than that. For example, the approximate number killed (within a 100,000?) is unknown. Also, it is not known how many deaths were the result of genocidal intentions rather than of the fear and dis/misinformation of civil war and/or its always massive 'collateral damage'.
It's unfortunate that there obviously is a politically correct position (at a history website no less) on applying the contentious term 'genocide' to Rwanda. The events of 1994 are recent, it is difficult if not impossible to get sufficient unbiased and first-hand documentary evidence, and there definitely are the usual poltical uses and distortions of recent history in play. Therefore, responsible historians should now be very cautious about final judgements. Unfortunately this post demonstrates that that obviously is not the case.
As for economic progress the writer contends is being made in Rwanda, it may be the kind of economic growth that benefits the upper class and hurts especially the rural poor:
"Soaring inequality is threatening poverty reduction and economic growth," the [UN's] National Human Development Report 2007 noted, adding that Rwanda’s high growth rates have hidden large and growing inequalities between social classes, geographic regions and gender. ...
"Disparities cut across all sectors and undermine Rwanda’s progress towards the MDGs [Millenium Development Goals] in all areas from health to education and even poverty reduction," Soumare [Moustapha Soumare, the UN Resident Coordinator in Rwanda] said.
According to the report, Rwanda’s recent growth has bypassed the rural poor leading to a concentration of wealth at the top of the income distribution bracket - a situation that could lead the country to exhaust its ability to reduce poverty rates through economic growth alone.
- Rubio Surges Into Second In New Hampshire
- Branstad Says Cruz Ran ‘Unethical’ Campaign
- Christie Highlights Santorum’s Endorsement of Rubio
- Portman Comes Out Against Trade Deal
- Megyn Kelly Gets a Book Deal
- A Big List of the Bad Things Clinton Has Done
- An Unambiguous Sign Sanders Won Last Night’s Debate
- Still Friends at the End
- Quote of the Day
- Trump Still Leads as Clinton Slips
- Clinton Can’t Shake Image as Wall Street’s Friend
- Maddow Doesn’t See Sanders Winning
- Why Does the Media Still Shield Chelsea Clinton?
- Bush Jokes His Mother May Have Abused Him
- Rubio Closes the Gap in New Hampshire
- Humans Hard-Wired to Teach, Anthropologist Says
- Parents outraged after students shown ‘white guilt’ cartoon for Black History Month
- Maryland is once again considering retiring its state song
- One of the last remaining Nazis goes on trial in Germany
- Inside story finally told of the young US diplomat who cracked the case of the murder of 4 nuns in El Salvador in 1980
- Historian at the center of Sanders-Clinton debate
- James Loewen Says Additional Baltimore Confederate Statues Should be Removed
- NYT History Book Reviews: Who Got Noticed this Week?
- A historian’s advice to students thinking of getting a PhD in a tough economic climate
- German historian Heinz Richter cleared of charges