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Unformatted text preview: 6 Mamdani includes in this politicization both the negative libeling of the native by the settler, as well as the positive self-assertion of the native response to this libel, a perspective remarkably similar, as we shall see, to Fanon's position in Black Skin White Masks. The 1994 genocide in Rwanda -- unprecedented for its massive civilian participation in the massacre of the Tutsi population -- occurred in the context of a political world set in motion by Belgian colonialism: a world divided into natives and settlers. The genocide was a natives' genocide , Mamdani argues, a struggle by the majority, the Hutu, to cleanse the country of a threatening "alien" presence, the minority Tutsi, a group with a privileged relation to power before colonialism. This was a violence not of neighbors against neighbors then, as it is generally portrayed, he contends, but against a population viewed as a foreigner; a violence therefore that sought to eliminate a foreign presence from home soil. Rather than focusing on the origin of a racial or ethnic difference, the crucial task, according to Mamdani, is to ask when and how Hutu...
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