14th Anniversary of the Rwandan Genocide – Remembering and Honoring Victims

Here is a late announcement, but hopefully those who are able to can attend and support, remember and honor those who were victims of the Rwandan genocide.

On Sunday April 6th, 2008, on the 14th anniversary of the 1994 Rwandan Genocide, there will be a mass commemorating and honoring victims of the Rwandan Genocide. The mass will take place at 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM at St. Thomas Moore Church on 6105 S. Third St., in Louisville, KY, 40214.

Following from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM there will be a lunch with Paul Rusesabagina (Hotel Rwanda). The lunch fees are $25 /person or $50/Family. The lunch location will be announced after the Mass ceremony.

It is advised that those who wish to attend RSVP by calling 502-609-0355 by March, 31 2008.

All who can, are encouraged to attend to honor victims of this tragic event.

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Is Obama Associating With Racists?

Short answer is no.

It seems that many people have issues with Reverend Wright, and are eager to accuse him of racism, despite the context under which his comments were made (read: comments not racist but incendiary), and his background. But more than that, they have a problem with Barack Obama associating with Wright and are personally offended that Barack refuses to throw him under the bus.

Here is the video that in short explain how not racist Rev Wright is, regardless of agreement with his words and sentiments:

Ironically, even if Obama were to throw Wright under the bus because he believes it’s the right thing to do, or simply for votes, they still wouldn’t vote for him. As a presidential hopeful he should be subjected to strict scrutiny. But some insist on reaching for the imaginary trying to discredit, undermine, and hopefully catch Barack Obama red handed.

It’s unfortunate for Hillary because she’s actually racist herself but luckily for her…she never means it.

How Did So Many Manage to Miss Obama’s points?

After Obama’s phenomenal speech on race yesterday (Michelle Obama above seen crying afterwards), it is inevitable that the defensive, entitlement class blacks and whites (from opposite sides of the fence), and ready to serve blacks would come out, and show their true colors. It is so apparent how many of them missed Obama’s point. Rather than consider the whole speech holistically, and in the context of this presidential race, and race relations in America, they will find one itty bitty thing to pick on in attempts to undermine Obama and the very strong and relevant statements he made while addressing the country.

Some are claiming that he “threw his grandmother under the bus” completely ignoring or missing the point he is making about himself as a person, his stance on race, and what makes him who he is in regards to his racial and American identity. Rather, they would prefer he threw his pastor under the bus, so that they feel better, less guilty, less racist, and himself more like them; one who doesn’t experience racism nor one who see it as still existing in American societies and cultures even if reality says otherwise.

Others are claiming that they are simply concerned about his association with his former pastor, Jeremiah Wright. Although I seriously doubt that they are all of the sudden anti-Obama, and were probably avid supports of his before. The recently publicized soundbites of Jeremiah Wright now serve as their passports to “outing” their dislike, and distrust for Obama. If Obama wants their vote, he has to renounce his pastor, who dares speak on race and racism in America. But weren’t they concerned when Michelle Obama’s thesis was made public, and everyone learned that it was on race?

He must be blind to Billary’s racist tacticts within this presidential race, and if black people speak of any injustices to them by the larger American society, he must “throw them under the bus” Bill Cosby style so that he can become president.

Yeah. Missed the point completely.

It appears that Billary pulled multiple tricks to remind racists (notice that I didn’t say whites) that Obama is Black and therefore not American. After all, when one refers to another as an American, aren’t they really saying white? Meaning, to vote for Obama is to vote for a non-American? Fortunately, none of the their tricks worked, and often seemed to backfire.

Luckily for Billary and their fellow racists, out of over thousands of hours of sermons, 30 second soundbites were extracted from Reverend Jeremiah Wrights’s preaching, magically absolving Billary and their supportive racist followers (both left and right) of any social responsibility in regards to race and allowing them to feel at ease about their past racist actions. They knew it all along, and were punishing him for attending a racist church for 20 years, and so all of their actions have now become justified.

And nothing he said regarding race relations in this country was heard, except that his pastor is wrong but still like family (to the discontent of many), and that his white grandmother was racist. It’s almost baffling.

One thing I found particularly striking and relevant item in his speech is the fact that racial discrimination towards blacks isn’t simply a figment of black people’s imaginations.

No really, it does exist.

And there are issues on both sides of the fence – anger and hostility, which are issues that must be worked through. Is that too much to process for the average bigoted mind?

My theory is that most of these people missed the point because they don’t care about racism, they don’t want anyone to acknowledge that there is racism including perhaps within their own immediate families, and because at the end of the day, it’s not their problem, so they would like to think. Disillusioned they continue to perpetuate the cycle of racism, blatantly or subtly, while it continues to corrode the American social core. Depriving us perhaps of one possibly awesome president, ever.

Sadly.

Propagandists Take a Break Others Speak Up

Well, not exactly.

On March 29th in Montreal, there will be a conference where a group of anti-propaganda expositionists will discuss “The Media and Rwanda: The Difficult Search for the Truth.” Among the featured panelists are French author-journalist Mr. Pierre Pean (Black Furies, White Liars), Spanish lawyer Mr. Jordi Palou-Loverdos, Belgian journalist Mr. Peter Verlinden and Canadian author Mr. Robin Philpot (Rwanda 1994: Colonialism Dies Hard).

It comes as no surprise that the Rwanda government is protesting this conference, and calling panelists negationists. In the tradition of promoting propaganda and distorting truth, this conference and similar happenings and events are being labeled “a form of hate and racism.” As opposed to a “ligitimate historical debate”

Hate? Racism? Anything to suppress the truth eh guys? Is it racist and hateful because they will not be discussing ways to exterminate all Hutus? Or the fact that they plan to elucidate on your involvement in the genocide? They are really going out of their way to make sure this and other similar events don’t receive the attention they need. So much so that,

government in Rwanda put up National Anti-Genocide Commission that is planned to campaign globally against any such future occurrences.

Try as they might, they can’t hide the future forever, no matter how much they try to rewrite Rwandan history.

Well anyway, if you are in the area, and you get a chance to attend, do let us know about it, and the great knowledge that will get “dropped.” While the propagandists will not take a break, others will most definitely still speak up.

And They Say This Isn’t Genocide

After the Rwandan conflict in 1994, when our heroic rebels took over power, liberated Tutsis and moderate Hutus, and the evil genocidaires were exiled into Zaire, all was well and peace reigned in the land of Rwanda because democracy had returned right?

Umm…no. It didn’t. And more than that, the conflict between the invading RPF and Rwanda didn’t end when they took over. The RPF followed Rwandans – non-combatants – into the Congo under the pretenses of hunting down the genocidaires. So all those who were fleeing the rebels became characterized as genocidaires so that the world could support the RPF’s invasion into DRC again with impunity.

In his Congo Resource Wars, author Andrew G. Marshall writes,

In 1996, two years after the massive killings in Rwanda, a new conflict arose, which today is still ongoing, and has in the last 12 years resulted in millions of deaths. The Congo, which before went by the name Zaire, was invaded in 1996 by Rwandan troops under the orders of Tutsi President Paul Kagame. He argued “that the Hutus across the border posed a threat to Rwandan security.”[3] Kagame’s army, “massacred thousands of Hutu noncombatants who had taken refuge in The Congo when Kagame came to power” in Rwanda.

Marshal continues by saying that,

In 1998, Kabila had Rwandan and Ugandan troops leave the Congo, however, Rwanda “again invaded, claiming that it needed to pursue Hutus threatening its security,” and Uganda, too, invaded under the auspices of fighting Ugandan rebel groups which were based in the Congo.[5]

Also,

Keith Harmon Snow, an independent human rights investigator and war correspondent for Survivors Rights International, Genocide Watch and the United Nations, recently reported that in October 1996 there were at least 1.5 million Rwandan and Burundian refugees in eastern Zaire [Congo]. The full-scale invasion began more formally when the Rwandan Patriotic Army and Ugandan Patriotic Defense proxy forces shelled the refugee camps, killing hundreds of thousands in a “clear case of genocide.”[18]

Yet this isn’t considered genocide. The message is clear. It’s okay to kill Hutus, as long as you call them genocidaires. And as long as they are a Hutu, no one will question whether you’re being truthful or not. They will believe you.

Fortunately there are those who have seen past the propaganda. They will be brought to justice yet. To read more on how the “west” was involved in the conflicts, read the rest of Marshall’s article.

Moderate Hutus and Dead Hutus are the Only Good Hutus?

As ridiculous as outrageous the title of this post is, unfortunately a very large number of people around the world believe this to be true and perpetuate this absurd notion deliberately while some harbor it subconsciously. Where do you fall into?Let’s me try something real quick. What if I said:

Moderate Whites and Dead Whites are the only good Whites.

How ridiculous would this sound? After all, it’s true that a lot of people of color even some whites believe that many whites have committed a lot of atrocities and offenses against many groups around the world. So would it be fair to classify all whites in these narrow categories?

How about making it specific. Belgium is known to have really fucked (for a lack of a more encompassing word for all the tragedies and multiple genocides that were committed by them) with DRC. So is it fair to say:

Moderate Belgians and dead Belgians are the only good Belgians?

No. It’s not.

So why is it okay to classify Africans, Rwandans as such? Why do a great number of people believe this? You will never hear anything positive associated with the Hutu ethnic group, unless it’s followed by the socially appropriate “moderate” qualifier. Are Hutus really that simple minded that one can simply classify them as either “extremists” or “moderate” or are they so inherently evil aside from an exceptional few? Is any group EVER that simple? Of course not.

What does the word “moderate” mean in the context of the Rwandan genocide? I think this term became really popular when Hotel Rwanda came out, and large numbers of people became “educated” or at least aware of the Rwandan Genocide. And the term was deliberately concocted to set the framework under which discussion about Rwanda would occur.

When one refers to Rwandan Hutus as “moderate” one is in a way saying that they support and did support the Tutsi rebel groups who supposedly saved everyone, and specifically the Tutsi from genocide committed by “extreme” Hutus. And dangerously enough, this assumes that any dead Hutus could not have possibly been killed by Tutsi Rebels, but by “Hutu extremists” who were out to get the moderates due to their moderate status (or their support of the Tutsi Rebels). And even more so, that that it’s impossible to have “extremists” among the rebel group. Genius.

The Tutsi rebels are conveniently set up as as the liberators, the freedom fighters, whose bloody hands are given a “get out of jail free” card because of their nobleness and courageous fight. Perfect.

And quite easily, anyone who does not support these freedom fighters (oh the irony) becomes a killer him/herself. Or rather, a genocidaire.Below I provide questions and answers that may arise under this framework, and why when you think about it, the answers are simplistic and idiotic.

Q: But what about the Hutus that didn’t support the Rebels?

A: They’re extremists more commonly known as genocidaires. There is no other way or possibility.

Obviously this is a stupid answer and doesn’t really speak to the reality of the situation. Because they are Hutus and disagree with the terrorist war caused by the rebels, they are automatically labeled genocidaires. Whether they killed anyone or not.

Q: What about the Tutsis who didn’t support the Rebels?

A: They are also genocidaires and traitors to their ethnic groups.

In a land where sheep roam, this is perfectly acceptable. But how about we get back to the complex non monolithic humans?

Q: What about Hutus who died at the hands of the Rebels?

A: They are collateral, and very few in number.

This is very intelligent how they set this up isn’t it? Just like that, our terrorist become our heroes. And since the Dead Hutus can’t speak for themselves, if they suffered at the hands of our “heroes” we’re led to believe that they probably supported the rebels too, and the only enemies they had were others in their ethnic groups, and the rebels are really sad to see them die, but it’s for the greater good.

Obviously this doesn’t speak to the complex reality of the situation. There were bound to be a multitude of varying opinions, and most likely, a large number of people were caught in the middle of conflicts they wanted to do nothing with.

Do you think it’s possible for the world to stop pigeonholing Hutus? Unfortunately I don’t think they can. And the rebels can’t afford to, because if Hutus were “allowed” to speak out, a different story would emerge. But as long as the whole world believes them to be genocidaires, the rebels can sleep peacefully at night, mission accomplished. They have the world’s full and unapologetic support.

Was war against Rwanda in 1990 By Tutsi Rebels Justified?

Could be…could be not, who’s to say?”

Just kidding!

Nakedmaninatree posed these questions on his blog, so I wanted to address them here, so as not to take away from his post on DRC.

But it is important to understand the reason why Kagame and the Tutsi were fighting and attempting to oust Habyarimana as they did. The Tutsi were being oppressed and discriminated against in a land that was as much theirs as it was to the Hutus (as far as I understand).

This is a very interesting statement, and it’s also important to note that Kagame had never lived in Rwanda after his family fled as refugees (so if there was any discrimination to experience, he didn’t experience any). While he may have been concerned about other Tutsis living in Rwanda, I don’t really think his overall goal was to liberate them. I think he prefers that they are the upper and ruling class though. Which was ultimately his goal.

Also, it’s important to note that during the period following 1959-1962, those Tutsi who remained in the country (who were a very large number also by the way) married and intermarried with other Hutus. Everyone was mixed with everyone else. It’s rare to find someone who is of “pure” blood, although children are associated with their fathers’ ethnic group. There was relative peace for the remaining Tutsi, but there were some who were discriminated against. It’s bound to happen, bigotry exists EVERYWHERE. There were also social programs put in place (such as affirmitive action in the USA) to account for the fact that the Tutsi were a minority. Not the smallest minority in Rwanda by the way but the largest minority.

This means the Tutsi were fighting simply for a place to live. Because so many were exiled from Rwanda they became a burden for other countries who were forced to hold them because the Hutu and Tutsi could not come to a conclusion on how to live side-by-side in their native lands.

Like I said here, they lived so peacefully side by side, that it’s rare to find a “pure” blood in the sense that they descent from Tutsis only for ever. They intermarried, went to the same schools, etc. Another reason why using the framework that there was a genocide against the tutsi  and  that tutsis were the only victims of the massacres is very inaccurate in many cases in what happened in Rwanda. It’s true, a lot of Tutsi died and certainly it was genocide, however, there were other simultaneous conflicts that really complicates things, such as the extreme rpf rebels. Many people were targeted for associating and working with them as an extremist group, so a lot of people (both hutu and tutsi) became victims of their political associations with the rpf not just because they were Tutsis. Although like I said, genocide against tutsi was a reality amongst the confusing layer of other political bloody conflicts.

The Tutsi attempted to retake their natural position as citizens of Rwanda without discrimination and the Hutu wanted them to remain gone and continue to live under discrimination. While Habyarimana advanced things for the Hutu (as Kagame has done for the Tutsi) neither of these things are without their repercussions on the other ethnicity.

There is no evidence that supports claims that Habyarimana did not want the Tutsis to return to Rwanda. In fact, I believe that there is evidence to the contrary. True there are repercussions for most things, but characterizing one whole group of people as “genocidaires” is just wrong.

And to Tutsi credit when they were advancing in on Rwanda and overthrowing the country it was the Tutsi who kept the war military-related while the Hutu were involving innocent civilians. BUT with saying that – much of the plundering of the Congo and displaced civilians within the Congo today are the result of the Kagame/Tutsi government.

Actually, during 1993 before genocide occurred, there were over one million internally displaced persons within Rwanda. Those people were fleeing the extremist Tutsi Rebels, not the Rwandan Government. Because they could have fled into Uganda where the rebels were coming from and the Rebels could have protected them from the Rwandan Government, but instead, they fled into urban areas including the capital of Kigali.

I hope this answers some of your questions. I do appreciate thought provoking questions, so I’ll look out for more. Also, note that what I’m writing is not so much placing blame, but more to provide historical accuracy based on the mystification that has occurred regarding this story.