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Rwanda. Matis - Matis, 1 On Race, Radicalization and Rwanda...

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Matis, 1On Race, Radicalization and RwandaSabrina MatisPolitics of GenocideDecember 5th, 2016Professor Cocozzelli
Matis, 2At this point in time, humanity seems to be predisposed to violence. It seems as if we ashuman beings are inclined towards violence with the amount of deadly conflict that has takenplace just in the past 50 years; not to mention the amount of oppression and bloodshed hashappened in history as a whole. Race and Radicalization plays a crucial role in oppression. It hasbecome a way to set differences between social classes and/or economic classes. Race hasdivided humanity for so long that the divide is even biblical, however racial, ethnical, andcultural discrimination goes way back to before modern religion as well(Isaac, page 110.)Race has its own origin story within Genesis when Noah had cursed the descendants ofhis son Ham with lives of slavery.(Mamdani, page 81.)Ham and his descendants have beenwidely portrayed in art and in elaborations of the Genesis story as dark skinned which wouldportray dark skinned people as those meant to spend their lives as slaves. Some elaborationsportrayed blackness to be a part of the curse itself, not just Ham’s skin color when he was cursed(Lee, 2003.)This furthers the concept of racial hierarchies which developed throughout history, itmay also branch out to ethnical and religious hierarchies. Hierarchies are chains of power thatdetermine each “link’s” importance to the regimes. An example of an ethnic hierarchy would becolonialist Rwanda.When dangerous hierarchies are formed, the levels within these hierarchies tend to bepoliticized. The most powerful link in Rwanda’s power chain was Belgium, as they were thecolonizers. Belgium created divided ethnic communities, the Hutu and the Tutsi which are theother two links in the chain. Eventually, politicization of these two ethnic groups by the colonialstate will result in problematic radicalist views which will be promoted through propaganda andenforced with discrimination and structural violence(Mamdani, 34.)These dangerous
Matis, 3hierarchies have been the cause for discrimination which have been the cause for unrest withinthose being oppressed and eventually it is the cause of war and genocide.The idea that a group of people and their very existence is inferior and in some casesinconvenient to another group of people is typically what starts ethnic cleansings and killings. To

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Term
Spring
Professor
Fred Cocozzelli
Tags
Political Science, Genocide, Race, Modernity, Government And Politics, Rwanda, Rwandan Genocide, Hutu, Tutsi, radicalization, Mamdani, Sabrina Matis

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