Rwanda To indoctrinate Children With Propaganda

There is a great post over at Claude Adams’ Blog titled The Pitfalls of “Official” History. The post raises some interesting points about the new Rwandan history and curriculum and the challenges and difficulties of re-writing history. Claude Adams writes,

Within the next few weeks or months, new history textbooks will be introduced in Rwanda’s schools. This is a vitally important event for the Central African country. After all, says Deo Byanafashe, the Rwandan professor largely responsible for the reclamation project, “history is where we find our identity.”

This should be cause for celebration. But is it? Will Rwandan schoolchildren be getting an authentic history text that honestly traces the roots of the ethnic violence that tore their society apart? Or will the New History be just another official mythology, a narrative born of political expediency, or political necessity?

The government, controlled by the minority Tutsis (who make up less than 15 per cent of Rwanda’s population), argues that an agreed-upon history is critical to reconciliation. Indeed, the slogan of the new history program is “Education for Reconciliation.” This offers a clue to the question of authenticity: Can history be “used” as a remedy for social disharmony? Aren’t we talking here about “designer history” as a form of therapy?

After a very compelling post, Adams reaches this conclusion regarding the Rwandan Government’s failings :

There [in Rwanda}, the government seems to be deliberately misrepresenting important events in its recent history, in an apparent effort to consolidate power, and to put a new, and unreal, face on Rwandan society. In so doing, it glosses over the terrible emotional complexity and confusion one still finds among survivors of the genocide. It ignores the fact that many Tutsis and Hutus still view one another with dread and suspicion–feelings that will not be expunged with a new, selective history.

Anyone who can should read it.

Personally, I think it’s a no brainer that Rwanda will continue to spread propaganda throughout the world and to children. I don’t doubt that this has the potential to cause harm in the long run, especially with this forced suppression of ethnic identities and such. I figure it’s going to manifest itself in other ways, which might be more harmful than letting people simply be who they are.

One major problem with what’s happened in Rwanda is that one whole group of people has been demonized that it’s almost beyond people to comprehend that there exists people within that group that aren’t actually evil nor killers, nor did they have anything to do with what happened. And also, that these people aren’t actually the exception, and no they are not “moderate” as Kagame would like us to believe. So this idea of trying to curb “genocide ideology” by suppressing people’s identities is exactly as Adams put it, it’s a means to consolidate power and remain in control. I really have a difficult time believing that Rwanda is acting with altruistic intentions when promoting the erasure of group identities.

So what do you think? How do you think propaganda will affect the children’s identities? Do you think it will be harmful or not? Will this be like how in America they don’t teach Black history in schools but Black people have to dig deep to actually find it? Is there anything that can be done at this point?

4 Responses

  1. there seems to be no comments on this blog nor claude adam’s blog. no thoughts from anyone?

  2. While we rejoice the capture of Kagame’s chief of staff Col. Rose Kabuye, Rwandans must always remember that the issues affecting our society have never been solved. The ICTR leaves the legacy as the only court in the world that succeeded in dividing Rwanda. Tuts-dominated RPF is afraid of truth. That is why they are busy hiring demonstrators in Kigali. Its amusing to see young illiterate men carrying large plat cards written in foreign languages they hardly speak nor write. This is a reminder of RPF authoritarianism. Imposing its will on the people.
    I doubt whether a regime that seized power by arms will ever allow the country to be under the rule of Law? We are tire of ghost elections, ghost development, ghost democracy. Its a minority dictatorship- simple.
    But again we must also act. Nobody is going to clean our mess. Rwandans have the responsibility to do so. The FDLR must be disarmed and return home. But Kagame must clean his closet too and stop clinging in guns.
    The way forward lies in frank, fair and fearless talks. Not in indoctrination. I mean, indoctrination has worked in a few countries…Tanzania (Nyerere), Uganda under Museveni. Its impossible to indoctrinate a country with a long history as Rwanda. Just face facts, end impunity and lets build Rwanda together in stead of sidelining Hutu.
    Otherwise, we teach our children their history. We teach them that this are extra ordinary times, that they have to be prudent, cautious and serene. Evil is real and exists. If you play with it, you may loose your soul.
    Finally, lets condemn genocide together regardless of its time frame. Let Rose Kabuye carry her own cross. Why is the panic…i mean, if she stopped the genocide?

  3. Hey we need a Hutu advocacy group that can handle petitions and legislative negotiations. The RPF won because they controlled Uganda and they used is it as a mouth piece for their cause. we have no foreign armies or organs, but truth will triumph.
    Do u have another idea of how to broadcast this petition further. I have tried on facebook, but i still want to do more.
    Have you realized when Tutsi are referring to Rwandans they don’t keep Hutu and Twa in mind. For example, their facebook group says, Rwandans lets support Rose Kabuye. But what percentage of rwandese really supports such a cause. How can Batwa and Hutu protect someone who exterminated or helped exterminate them. Its therefore time, to say it loud and clear that we are unapologetically hutu and that we want to solve the issues affecting the HUtu community. Of course, Tutsi people can have their own groups( which they already do) but the culture of lying that we are Rwandese is counter=productive

  4. Hi, my Rwando-Californian friend,
    So, why don’t you join internet fora like “Democracy and Human Rights”, “Umusoto” or “Great Lakes 1” on yahoo.com? You could exchange your point of view with other Netters who fight for Truth-Justice-Peace-Reconciliation, and also make contra-propaganda against RPF-afficionados! Hoping to find you there soon!
    Agaculama.

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