Posted by Ann Garrison
Reading the OpEdNews, which the Wikipedia defines as a United States-based, progressive/liberal news, and opinion website, on 04.06.2011, the 17th anniversary of the Rwanda Genocide, I came across some deeply dangerous, ethnic hate speech demonizing East/Central African Hutu people, in a piece of writing titled “Rwanda, a Light for the World.”
This piece of writing had already been promoted to the site’s #3 headline, risen to #39 on the list of most viewed posts, and been reposted to Facebook four times.
Its appearance, on a website that would never tolerate such talk of African Americans, Native Americans, or any other American ethnic group, demonstrates how widely accepted the official version of the Rwanda Genocide history, that Hutu extremists killed 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus in 100 days, is—-and, how widely accepted the consequent demonization and/or dehumanization of East/ Central African Hutu people is. In order for this to be published in the liberal, “progressive” OpEdNews, an OpEdNews editor had to approve it.
Most ethnic hate speech is based on inaccurate information, but even if the official version of the Rwanda Genocide history were accurate, it could not possibly justify this wholesale demonization of Hutu people, which comes very close to an overt argument for genocide and/or, one form of genocide— the Kagame regime’s plan to sterilize 700,000 adult Rwandan males, which legal scholar Charles Kambanda so eloquently deconstructs in “Rwanda: Why Sterilize the Poor?” (The majority of Rwandans are Hutu, and, very poor.)
Specifically, the author, Olga Bonfiglio, writes:
Mass migrations have taken place since 1959 when Tutsi refugees spilled into the neighboring countries of Burundi, Congo, Uganda and Tanzania because Hutu regimes preached hate and discrimination. President Paul Kagame, who led the rebel army against the Hutu government in 1994 and subsequently quelled the 100-day genocide, was among those Tutsi families who fled to Uganda.
Since the Tutsi takeover of government, 3 million Hutu have left the country, some of them still lusting after Tutsi blood. This massive dislocation of the population is unsettling for Rwandans as well as for their neighbors who are forced to host refugees they don’t want. Meanwhile, Rwanda remains one of the poorest, most densely-populated countries in the world with scarce resources to boot.”
Even as she claims to be praising Rwanda a model for ethnic reconciliation, Bonfiglio sounds as though she would really like to exterminate—e.g., by sterilization—this Hutu refugee population which is “still lusting after Tutsi blood,” and is such a burden, not only to neighboring countries who don’t want them, but also to Rwanda, which is already so poor and overpopulated without them.
Best I can say is that Bonfiglio at least acknowledges that there was a Tutsi takeover of the Rwandan government in 1994, a reality that Rwandan President Paul Kagame and most of his other propagandists are still trying to deny, claiming that they have instead abolished ethnic identification and privilege based on ethnic identification.
- Her claim, like theirs, that Rwanda is “the light of the world,” a model of reconciliation, and,
- Her acknowledgment of an ethnic Tutsi takeover, and,
- Her hate speech demonizing and dehumanizing Hutu people as so many have since the Tutsi, Rwandan Patriotic Front victory in the Rwandan Civil War of 1990-1994.