Quotes About Rwandan Genocide

Quotes tagged as "rwandan-genocide" (showing 1-10 of 10)
Christopher Hitchens
“I once spoke to someone who had survived the genocide in Rwanda, and she said to me that there was now nobody left on the face of the earth, either friend or relative, who knew who she was. No one who remembered her girlhood and her early mischief and family lore; no sibling or boon companion who could tease her about that first romance; no lover or pal with whom to reminisce. All her birthdays, exam results, illnesses, friendships, kinships—gone. She went on living, but with a tabula rasa as her diary and calendar and notebook. I think of this every time I hear of the callow ambition to 'make a new start' or to be 'born again': Do those who talk this way truly wish for the slate to be wiped? Genocide means not just mass killing, to the level of extermination, but mass obliteration to the verge of extinction. You wish to have one more reflection on what it is to have been made the object of a 'clean' sweep? Try Vladimir Nabokov's microcosmic miniature story 'Signs and Symbols,' which is about angst and misery in general but also succeeds in placing it in what might be termed a starkly individual perspective. The album of the distraught family contains a faded study of Aunt Rosa, a fussy, angular, wild-eyed old lady, who had lived in a tremulous world of bad news, bankruptcies, train accidents, cancerous growths—until the Germans put her to death, together with all the people she had worried about.”
Christopher Hitchens, Hitch-22: A Memoir

“...and my eyes no longer gaze the same on the face of the world.”
Jean Hatzfeld, Machete Season: The Killers in Rwanda Speak

Christopher Hitchens
“George Bush made a mistake when he referred to the Saddam Hussein regime as 'evil.' Every liberal and leftist knows how to titter at such black-and-white moral absolutism. What the president should have done, in the unlikely event that he wanted the support of America's peace-mongers, was to describe a confrontation with Saddam as the 'lesser evil.' This is a term the Left can appreciate. Indeed, 'lesser evil' is part of the essential tactical rhetoric of today's Left, and has been deployed to excuse or overlook the sins of liberal Democrats, from President Clinton's bombing of Sudan to Madeleine Albright's veto of an international rescue for Rwanda when she was U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. Among those longing for nuance, moral relativism—the willingness to use the term evil, when combined with a willingness to make accommodations with it—is the smart thing: so much more sophisticated than 'cowboy' language.”
Christopher Hitchens, Christopher Hitchens and His Critics: Terror, Iraq, and the Left

Christopher Hitchens
“The last time I heard an orthodox Marxist statement that was music to my ears was from a member of the Rwanda Patriotic Front, during the mass slaughter in the country. 'The terms Hutu and Tutsi,' he said severely, 'are merely ideological constructs, describing different relationships to the means and mode of production.' But of course!”
Christopher Hitchens, Hitch-22: A Memoir

“The truth is not believable to someone who has not lived it in his muscles.”
Jean Hatzfeld, Machete Season: The Killers in Rwanda Speak

Naomi Benaron
“In Europe, his contacts apologized and said there was nothing they could do. They would keep trying, but no one was listening. Rwanda had no oil or strategic interest, no diamonds or gold.”
Naomi Benaron

“It always bothers me when I hear Rwanda's genocide described as a product of "ancient tribal hatreds." I think this is an easy way for Westerners to dismiss the whole thing as a regrettable but pointless bloodbath that happens to primitive brown people.”
Paul Rusesabagina, An Ordinary Man: An Autobiography

“The genocide [in Rwanda] was not a spontaneous eruption of tribal hatred, it was planned by people wanting to keep power. There was a long government-led hat campaign against the Tutsis.”
Jonathan Glover, Humanity: A Moral History of the Twentieth Century

“The UN lacked the ability to act without the support of its more powerful members, notably the United States. The American government wanted to avoid a repetition of its unsuccessful intervention in Somalia, in which thirty American troops were killed. President Clinton issued a directive on UN military conditions. The operations would also have to be directly relevant to American interests. These conditions excluded American support for UN intervention to stop the genocide [in Rwanda].”
Jonathan Glover, Humanity: A Moral History of the Twentieth Century

“Rwanda’s Muslim community is an example of a group (a full community rather than isolated individuals) that resisted the appeal of dangerous speech and other pressures to participate in the genocide. The Muslim community, which had both Hutu and Tutsi members, not only refused to participate in the genocide but actively opposed it. Its actions during the genocide included rescuing, hiding, and taking care of Muslim and non-Muslim Tutsis, and providing safe haven in mosques. Muslims also rejected commands to kill or reveal Tutsis hidden in their communities, on several occasions going so far as to fight back and be killed themselves.”
Rachel Hilary Brown, Defusing Hate: A Strategic Communication Guide to Counteract Dangerous Speech

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