Travel Log 7: “Global Responsibility” Part 1 by Samantha Prevot. Notting Hill, London, England.

In the editorial cartoon “She’s Waving Goodbye…” the skeleton of a woman, labeled in red with the name of the country Rwanda, seems to be waving to a group of onlookers who are puzzled as to what she could be waving about. They ask themselves “Now what’s that she’s doing?” “Does she want something?” and some respond by saying “We should wave back, I suppose.” “Yes, indeed. As concerned, nations, we ought not appear rude.”

This cartoon is a representation of the state of foreign relations during the genocide that occurred in Rwanda from April until July of 1994. The Hutu majority in the country targeted members of the Tutsi, and the attacks led to an estimated 800,000 deaths. The genocide was 5885341planned by members of the political elite, and was carried out by members of the army, government-backed militias, the Catholic clergy as well as ordinary civilians. Some militias named themselves the “Army of Jesus” as they believed it was their mission to destroy God’s enemies. During this time, the United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda (UNAMIR) was operating in the country and were unsuccessful in their peacekeeping efforts. Other countries such as France attempted to send aid to Rwanda, but were also unsuccessful. Overall, many nations failed to even acknowledge the genocide in Rwanda and the UN did not allow many of the ideas put forward by UNAMIR commander Romeo Dallaire.

This is the situation depicted in the cartoon; one where other nations stood by and watched as this mass slaughter took place. The actions taken by the Rwandans and the other nations of the world are most definitely in violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that was written by the United Nations. Article 1 of the Declaration states that “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights” and that they should “act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.” Some of these rights are mentioned in Articles 3 and 5 such as the right to “life, liberty and security of person” as well as not being “subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.” The Declaration also says that every person is equal before the law and is entitled to equal protection of the law. Genocide in itself is a violation of these rights, as humans are murdering one another in cold blood, but other nations such as the United States should also be held responsible. They did not act towards Rwanda in a spirit of brotherhood by acknowledging the situation and sending help, but rather just ignored the situation and tried to make amends following the attacks. It was as though other nations did not see Rwandans as equal before the law and that they did not deserve their human rights of life, liberty and security of person.

There are some reasons why other nations were not as eager to send help, and those are explained somewhat by the cartoon and the film Shake Hands with the Devil: The Journey of Roméo Dallaire. In the cartoon, the bystanders say “As concerned nations, we ought not appear rude” in reference to waving back to the skeleton woman. Dallaire alludes to this notion of diplomacy and manners in the film when he discusses his propositions to the UN, saying they didn’t accept his plans because they did not want to take such extreme measures. The cartoon could also be referring to the actions of countries such as the U.S. after the genocide, when President Bill Clinton gave a speech giving his condolences and apologies on behalf of his country, as a way of “not appearing rude” in the aftermath of such horrors, although the damage has already been done.

A similar situation can be seen today regarding the conflict in Syria. This is often a topic discussed when it comes to United States foreign policy, and it is truly a global issue. Refugees are leaving the country and migrating to others, especially those in Eastern Europe. Unfortunately, governments are becoming less and less accepting of refugees and immigration policies are becoming increasingly strict, particularly and now famously in countries such as the United States following the elction of Donald Trump. It seems as though no one country in particular, or the United Nations as a group, want to take charge and try to stop the conflict or try to handle the refugee situation. Instead, we are getting a similar situation of other countries becoming bystanders and watching as people are killed or displaced from their homes. After crises like these, we take a step back and say “never again”, but hopefully we will finally say “never again” for the last time and begin to actually follow the Declaration of Human Rights and maintain a spirit of brotherhood between the countries of the world.

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Travel Log 7 “Global Responsibility” Part 1 by Abby Spooner. Dunedin, New Zealand

During our workshop we discussed the notion of universal human rights. As an American it is easy to simplify this issue to surround complex political policies such as racism, gay marriage, or religious practices. However, in reality it is far more than this. We see basic human rights as natural or god given. Not many of us contemplate human rights on a daily basis because within our own society it is not something we are required to fight for. Unfortunately the simple and most basic human right, the right to life, is not possible in every nation. Yet as privileged Americans we often turn a blind eye to the harsh realities of third world countries simply because it is not happening to us. This is exactly what happened in the Rwandan Genocide, and if we don’t change our perspective on foreign relations soon, it will happen again and again.

Genocide, never again? Unlikely.

The outsiders view on genocide and the associated human rights are presented in the cartoon above. The depicted graveyard with several gravestones creates a very bleak and somber feeling upon first glance. After a closer look, it is evident that this image has a meaning deeper than an everyday gravesite. All the stones name a genocide and say ‘never again’ yet are surrounded with later dated stones with the same words. This exposes both the bogus worldview on genocide. Following every tragedy we say never again, but is there every a follow through? In reality graveyards are constantly expanding every day. This image leaves in impression that just like a real graveyard, another stone will be carved and placed next to the others. The artist is sending the message that actions speak louder than words. He is showing and proving that simply saying ‘never again’ is no enough. In order to prevent genocide and stop the addition of gravestones something must be done to stop it before it happens again. We can no longer afford to sit back and watch minorities die every few years. Action is required from our world leaders not only for the benefit of the minorities but also for the sake of the global community.

In the case of Rwanda, the genocide only escalated once the Belgian soldiers decided to evacuate and abandon their peacekeeping mission. As a result the worldview of human rights and genocide can be connected to the principles of rites of passage. Slimbach says, “we need to step back and think about the actual conditions triggering our mental and emotional disorientations, and our physical response to it”(Slimbach, 165). Although Slimbach is referring to the rites of passage of an abroad traveler, the same principal can be allied to the reaction Belgian world leaders had. Once the unfamiliarity of the situation became to harsh of a reality the Belgian leaders and soldiers got freighted and left. If those in power had taken a step back and thought about the conditions before making a physical response the fate of Rwanda may have been different and the whole genocide prevented. It is now our job as global citizens to remember this tragedy so that when a the beginnings of a similar situation arise again, a more thought out plan can be executed. We all have a voice and we all must use that voice to protect not only our own human rights but also the human rights of the global community. Just as the individual in the picture below is jumping the gap between groups- we must all join in and recognize the global community as one entity endowed with the same universal human rights.

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Mural created in a Rwandan village following the Genocide Source: The Japan Times News

Travel Log 7 “Global Responsibility” (Part 1) Athena Rine, Seville Spain

We live in a society where the majority of people use social media, magazines, and television as their main sources of news. Not everyone reads the newspaper every morning, nor do they keep up on the latest political, or economic topics of interest in the United States or other countries. People today are more concerned with what the latest fashion trends are, which celebrities are dating, or what crazy things are happening in America, that in the grand scheme of things, mean very little compared to other national and worldly crises.

I found this editorial cartoon depicting how ignorant and unconcerned the United States media and its followers were to the Rwandan genocide of 1994. In the picture you can clearly see that tons of photographers, videographers, writers, and reporters are flocking towards the scene of an O.J. Simpson press conference. One of the reporters is saying that he knows another reporter from somewhere and is trying to figure out which of the most recent events they might have met at. He mentions the Bobbitt Trial and Tonya Harding, but when he brings up Rwanda, another reporter is confused as to what Rwanda is and what has happened there. It’s honestly sad to think about how privileged Americans are that our biggest concerns and topics of conversation are about a few crazy people in the United States who are becoming rich and famous for silly little incidents, when at the same time there are innocent people being slaughtered and murdered in other parts of the world.

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Any genocide violates human rights. Specifically those mentioned in articles 3 and 5, which mention “the right to life, liberty, and security of person” and that “no one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.” When reading the Universal Declaration of human rights, one really stood out to me as relating to the ideas in this cartoon. Article 2 states the following:

“Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.”

There is no question that the Rwandans experienced a violation of their human rights. Article 2 of the declaration was clearly violated because the American press and the American citizens were concerned with the happenings of people from the United States, but not those living in Rwanda, who are just as much entitled to all the human rights as anyone else. In the video “Shake Hands with the Devil: The Journey of Romeo Dallaire” there is a quote that relates very well to this idea. “Every life counts; the soldier, the innocent bystander, or the villager. They’re all human lives.” It is the responsibility of all humans to respect each other’s rights and protect each other from those who disregard them. But unfortunately our own lives and other happenings get in the way far too often. This isn’t to say that the reporters should have gotten on a plane and flew to Africa, but simply raising concern about the Rwandans who were truly in need of support could have gone a very long way. The way I see it, if even one life were saved from an action of an American citizen involved in the media, it would have been worth it.

A more recent example of a violation of this same human right is the issue of female genital mutilation in African countries. This is a violation of women’s human rights that doesn’t get nearly as much publicity in America as it should. Again, people today are more worried about what the best getaways are for spring break, getting in shape for the summer, and the new colors of lip-gloss and nail polish that Kylie Jenner just released. And we wonder why people dislike or look down upon Americans? It’s because we’re so wrapped up in our cushy, luxurious lives and we don’t take the time out of our day to think about or contribute to worldly issues such as this one. Its nauseating how little global treatment of these types of issues has changed in the past decade. We have so much fantastic technology that can spread news in a matter of seconds but we aren’t using it for the right things. Imagine how knowledgeable we could be about worldly issues if we read the newspaper or discussed global problems just one tenth as much as we check Facebook, emails, and text messages.

 

 

 

Travel Log 7: “Global Responsibility, Part I”-By: Erin Foley, Paris, France

After being introduced to the horrifying events of the Rwandan genocide of 1994 through Shake Hands with the Devil, I was astounded by the lack of global intervention. Given that I was born two years after, I had heard of this atrocity but never fully understood the preface of the issue that led to full-scale massacre. According to the video, conflicts amongst the Hutu and Tutsi ethnic groups grew increasingly tense during the early 90s. The Hutu people, fearing minority status, waged a war that systematically eliminated a significant portion of Tutsi population. While this was a civil war in which only Rwandans perished, many other nations are blamed simply for their lack of involvement.

For my political cartoon, I have chosen a scene set in the United Nations headquarters that depicts a representative holding up a scroll to an empty room, albeit one person vacuuming, acknowledging “the UN’s role in the Rwanda Genocide.” The second air bubble says, “We won’t do anything” because that is exactly what they did twenty years ago when the violence was at its peak. I believe the artist included a single person seemingly occupied with her vacuum to represent the attitudes of major countries that had the power to prevent the genocide. She is ignoring the address while occupying herself with an arbitrary task in order to avoid acknowledging the issue all together.

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Unfortunately, there were many human rights violations in the Rwandan genocide that are represented in this political cartoon. I have chosen three in particular: “everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person” (Article 3), “no one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment (Article 5) and “everyone has the right to a nationality…no one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality” (Article 15) (Universal Declaration of Human Rights). Most obviously, the Tutsi people’s rights stated in Article 3 were infringed as the Hutu people used the rights stated in Article 5 against them. Therefore, the Tutsi people were denied right to a nationality and were treated quite poorly simply because of this. More powerful nations who freely possess these freedoms—like the United States or wealthy European countries—should have defended these human rights. Because these rights are human, every person inherently should have the power to exercise them. The rest of the global community feared involvement because of the widespread panic it would have caused. Instead of protecting human lives, the more powerful nations of the world preferred to turn a blind eye to the situation in Rwanda.

The parallel between the Rwandan genocide and the ongoing Syrian crisis is astonishing. Members of the Islamic extremist group are killing fellow Syrians if they do not agree with nor wish to follow the beliefs set forth. Innocent men and women alike are being slaughtered simply for holding different religious beliefs than those of their extremist counterparts. Fortunately, global treatment seems to have changed as more nations are realizing the severity of this group’s actions. France, England and many others are joining the United States in the fight against ISIS.

TL7 “Global Responsibility” Part 1 by Kari Julien Trice -Barcelona, Spain

I had briefly heard about the Rwandan genocide in a class before, but after watching the documentary, Shake Hands with the Devil, I learned much more about this terrifying point in history. The Rwandan genocide was a violent conflict that occurred on April 4, 1994 and continued for weeks after. Over 800,000 people were killed through this violence between the Tutsi and Hutu within 100 days. These victims were denied their human rights. In our workshop we discussed human rights as being universal and given to all human beings, regardless of nationality, ethnicity, religion, gender, or any other classification. Human rights are something that every single one of us is born with, however, many people do not recognize the human rights we have, and some choose to ignore it.

The cartoon that I have posted to depict the Rwandan genocide is a picture portraying how the media publicizes news. As a Communications major, I have learned that the news stations only report an extremely small portion of what actually occurs within the world. The cartoon depicts how the media covered the O.J. Simpson trial, and Michael Jackson. I remember when I first heard of the King of Pop’s death on the radio. His passing was all over the news for weeks, but with the Rwandan genocide, not much was mentioned. It is really unfortunate that something as important as this genocide was ignored within the media. The media chose to present minimal news about Rwanda, and therefore many people were unaware of what was going on.

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After looking through the list of human rights, one that stood out to me particularly was, “Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law” (Universal Declaration of Human Rights). I wish that the media recognized the people in Rwanda as human beings whose lives are just as important as those constantly announced in the news. I understand that this right may express more a right when in a courtroom, but I think an important keyword here is recognition. We must recognize that there are other human beings out there with different cultural backgrounds and different ways of living. We may have cultural differences but each person has human rights and they matter too.

Travel Log 7 “Global Responsibility” Part 1 By Zelia Pantani. Nice, France

Foundational documents are foundational for a reason, they are necessary for sustainable life and sets the conditions under which individuals are generally allowed to conduct themselves. Most individuals are aware of their native countries founding documents, rules, regulations and pillars it was founded on. However, the Bill of Human Rights, a document pertaining to all humans, is often unheard of or blatantly ignored. Personally, I was not aware that actual documentation existed until reviewing it with my peers during a workshop. In the United Nations “Universal Declaration of Human Rights” under the very first article it states “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.” While this seems obvious, there are countless examples throughout history that prove this sentiment untrue. Particularly through the lens of the film: Shake Hands with the Devil: Journey of Romeo Dallarie , the complete and utter disregard for human dignity, rights and even the abonnement of a moral conscience altogether are more than obvious. Through this film, viewers are taken through the history and repercussions of the Rwandan Genocide, just one of the many instances where freedom and equality of dignity and rights were ignored between individuals.

 

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One of the great things about mass media these days is the many different forms of expression. This political cartoon depicts not only one of the most serious aspects from the 1994 Rwandan Genocide but also depicts a similar phenomenon that is occurring, nearly 20 years later in Syria. The artist’s objective is to display the repetition in history of neglect for human rights from the international community and how little progress has been made in preserving lives and basic human rights. Particularly for the Rwandan Genocide, it highlights one of the biggest problems, that was also highlighted in the film Shake Hands with the Devil: Journey of Romeo Dallarie, abandonment from it’s allies and protecting forces. During the Rwandan Genocide, many in the international community either turned in fear (specifically, Belgium) or watched from a far in sorrow—regardless, action being taken to preserve human dignity and equality was slim to none. One of the quotes from the video that emphasizes this cartoon is “Simply if only, it had been operationalized, the whole thing could’ve been stopped”. If only the international community watching from a far in sorrow would have stepped in and acted towards one another in the spirit of brotherhood, acting on the Bill of Human Rights the death count would have been significantly less and lives would have been preserved.

However, the artist brings this view point to light in more recent and similar events. The Rwandan Genocide began as a civil war that progressed excessively, leaving many victims and collateral damage. Just as of February 1st peace talks were arranged on behalf of the Syrian Civil War, that is presently occurring. As an international community, there is to a degree responsibility on us in order to preserve the Human Bill of Rights. One of the most debated issues in politics at the moment deals with Syrian refugees are looking for safety from persecution. It’s evident through the mixed view points of allowing these refugees into foreign countries that it is an innate disposition to put our safety among our neighbors. While this fact may stand through history, the global community should keep in mind the effects of the past such as the Rwandan Genocide and the impacts that has upon various human rights. It is arguable though, that the international community has not changed their viewpoint and proactivity towards protecting collective human rights through the events occurring in Syria. In reference to the repercussions of these global violations during Rwanda’s Genocides, we have to put into question our methods today and if we are doing enough? It’s always easier to look in retrospect and criticize than look in the moment and notice our own faults.

 

Travel Log 7. “Global Responsibility,” Part 1, By Taylor Chelo. Perugia, Italy

When I did some background research regarding the 1994 Rwandan genocide, one of the unfortunate, yet common headlines that I came across described the United Nations as “hopeless.” As far back as I can remember from my many history classes, I have always thought the U.N. was a major contributor and supporter throughout the global community. However, the film Shake Hands with the Devil: The Journey of Roméo Dallaire alarmingly highlighted a time in our world’s history when the U.N. did not live up to their standards. The human rights editorial cartoon that I found portrays the ignorance of other members of the global community, ignorance to shed light on the catastrophe in Rwanda.

The 1994 Rwandan genocide was a mass slaughter of over 800,000 Tutsi in Rwanda, East Africa by members of the Hutu majority. The slaughter was sparked on April 6th, 1994 when an airplane carrying Habyarimana and Burundian President, Cyprien Ntaryamira, was fatally shot down. This is what prompted Canadian General Roméo Dallaire to not only accept the U.N. mission, but to also stay there in hopes of resolving the issue while other members of the global community were withdrawing. The genocide began the following day, yet, as shown in the cartoon, potential international supporters like the United States were too preoccupied by national events going on that same day to send support. For example, in Waco, Texas, a gun siege broke out amidst a search and arrest procedure by

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Human Rights Editorial Cartoon. Source: http://1994rwandagenocide.weebly.com/political-cartoon.html

the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF). In Detroit during the 1994 U.S. Figure Skating Championships, the ex-husband and bodyguard of former figure skating champion, Tonya Harding, hired someone to break the leg of Harding’s opponent, Nancy Kerrigan. The Bobbitt’s were a famous American couple, whose relationship made worldwide headlines when Lorena Bobbitt cut off her husband’s penis with a knife overnight. Between 1993 and 1994, Michael Jackson faced his first child sexual abuse allegations. O.J. Simpson was charged with the murder of ex-wife Nicole Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman in June 1994. In the midst of what were, at the time, major media spotlights in our nation, the streets of Rwanda were being lined with thousands of dead bodies, dead bodies of Tutsi individuals, dead bodies of innocent members of our global community. Thus, the cartoon artist’s message was to depict the pure arrogance of the United States media to shed light on a much more severe event occurring in Rwanda.

The artist also depicted two major human rights violations. According to Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person” (United Nations). Article 10 continues to explain how Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as […] national or social origin, property, birth or other status […] no distinction shall be made on the basis of […] international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs” (United Nations). Regardless of our place of origin, where we live, or what is occurring in our nation, our actions and decisions affect other members of the global community outside of our nation’s borders. The United States was so focused on the happenings aforementioned in the late Spring of 1994 that they did not take note of the bloodshed in Rwanda until tourists traveled to see the memorials that were resurrected years later.

Although I was not around during the time of the 1994 Rwandan genocide, I did not know about it until I watched the documentary for this travel log. This fact alone has touched me profoundly. The fact that the United Nations has established an official document explicitly outlining the human rights of the global community is also baffling to me because we have yet to meet its standards. When one looks back on our world’s history, we have failed to faithfully recognize any of the Declaration’s articles, and the poor , global treatment of these human rights violations has not truly changed. People still kill innocent human lives around the globe, fueled by the discrimination of one’s skin, like the shooting of Michael Brown in 2014, and one’s religious identity, like those of the Islam religion who are under the pressure of recent bombings. As the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states, all individuals of the global community hold global responsibility. We are all members of the universal human race, and we are all entitled to creating a better world.

Travel Log 7 “Global Responsibility” Part 1 by Aileen Sheluck – London, England

One of the foundations of this class, which we learned about from the start, was this idea of human rights. We discussed this in depth during our seminars, watching a video about the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. What was very interesting was that not many of us, including me, knew prior to that seminar that an actual piece of paper existed that listed the rights that all people are entitled to simply by being human. Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights describes the most fundamental of all human rights: “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.” The people who were unnecessarily slaughtered during the Rwandan genocide were denied all of these rights. Watching the video Shake Hands with the Devil was a very somber experience.

This is a cartoon I found that depicts an aspect of the Rwandan genocide.Untitled

This cartoon shows the massive casualties caused by the genocide in Sudan, which is very similar to that in Rwanda. There is a man, a representative from the UN, that, looking at the pile of bodies, says, “Call us back when you have some Europeans.” This artist definitely means to show that because the people being murdered weren’t European, the UN didn’t find it necessary to protect them. They were less of a priority than citizens of UN countries in the eyes of the UN, which is a blatant disregard of human rights as well. During the Rwandan genocide, the UN pulled away its support. This left Rwandans armed and against each other, with no support from neutral countries. This allowed the genocide to rage and get much worse because the UN decided that they didn’t need to keep their resources in Rwanda. There is one main violation of human rights depicted in this cartoon, and that is the very first article, which states that, “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.” The UN completely disregarded this right when they removed their support. They are the United Nations, and they left a nation abandoned in its time of need. The UN should not have pulled its support away. In this case, they were responsible for protecting the lives of the Rwandans. However, in reality, these rights shouldn’t need protecting. If everyone is endowed with these universal human rights, everyone should follow and respect them. It is very sad that this is not the case in the world.

Recently, there have been similar violations of human rights in a lot of the cases in the US that started the “Black Lives Matter” movement. These violations are treated a lot differently by the media than the Rwandan genocide was. Hardly anyone knew of the genocide in Rwanda, but everyone knows the Black Lives Matter movement and every event that sparked it. It was very well covered in the news, which the Rwandan genocide was not. Something that I want to know is what makes these events different from the Rwandan genocide? Is it that too many of these genocides have happened in the past, and people don’t want to seem like they’re ignoring it anymore? Regardless, I hope that as time goes on, more people will start paying attention to violations of human rights, and, sometime in the future, everyone’s rights will be valued the same.

 

Travel Log 7: “Global Responsibility-Part 1” By Jim Webb: Perugia, Italy

The Rwanda genocide occurred over approximately one hundred days where an estimated 500,000 to 1,000,000 people were killed.  Members of the Tutsi population were openly attacked by the Hutu population in an effort to exterminate them.  This conflict, following a civil war, resulted in the deaths of more than twenty percent of Rwanda’s total population.  The world stood idly by as the genocide engulfed the country and blame was cast in all directions.  The United Nations (UN) made little effort to supply the UN Assistance Mission for Rwanda (UNAMIR) with adequate supplies, people, and support.  As a result, the UNAMIR, lead by Canadian Lieutenant-General Roméo Dalaire, did as much as it could but was fighting against unsurmountable odds.  The fault does not solely lie on the UN but also on France, who allegedly supported the Hutu-led government during the genocide, and Belgium who left Rwanda in a state of disarray after ravaging the country of its resources during the colonization period.  I personally think Belgium should take much of the blame because it was them who divided the population into Hutu and Tutsi and indirectly created a void between the population.

The political comic I chose is called “She’s Waving Goodbye.”  This comic portrays Rwanda as a starved, husk of a human, whose hand is reaching into the air seeming to be begging for assistance.  In the distance a group of people in business attire are saying, “What’s she doing? Oh must just be waving. Hello!”  I think this portrays the stance that the majority of the world took during the Rwanda genocide.  Instead of looking at the problem closer they turned a blind eye and saw only what they wanted to see in it.  People in the United States were more concerned with the O. J. Simpson trial and the news focused heavily on that.  France was “allegedly” supporting the Hutu-led government and in my opinion the blame lays heavily with them.  Its one thing to not get involved in another nations affairs in order to protect the lives of your own citizens but France was knowingly supporting a genocide.  Another nation that I believe is at fault is Belgium who created the two political parties based off of arbitrary medical examinations.  The Belgium government in Rwanda ruled from 1922 until 1945, after WWII, and in 1935 Belgium introduced identity cards.  These cards were used to label members of the population as Tutsi, Hutu, Twa, or Naturalised.  The identity cards created a class system and a void between the populations, which lead to racism and the eventual genocide.

I think genocides are still occurring today but the way the media portrays it and how governments alter the details change how we see it.  Sometimes its very hard to tell a civil war from a genocide when your news is biased and you do not know what to believe.  I also think there is still a problem of nations shirking their responsibilities and pushing the blame to someone else.  The bottom line is that I don’t believe most Nations are doing enough to intervene in genocides and prevent them from occurring.  We can look back at history and see we haven’t learned much because genocides are still occurring.

The Holocaust 1941, Bangladesh 1971, Cambodia 1975, Guatemala 1981, Bosnia 1992, Rwanda 1994, Darfur, Sudan… When will we change?

 

http://genocideofrwanda.weebly.com/political-cartoons.html

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Travel Log 7 “Wise for the World” by Doug Beebe; London, UK

The Rwandan Genocide, which took place for approximately 100 days after April 4th, 1994, came about from the ongoing conflict between the Hutu and Tutsi people (main political party groups) since 1990. The genocide was comprised of mainly the Hutu people, consisting of the Rwandan army, police forces and government backed militias, killing over seventy percent of the Tutsi population, which was approximately twenty percent of the Rwandan population.

The political cartoon that I chose to use that I felt represented this genocide the best was one that depicted the media attention towards the Rwandan Genocide. As you can see in the cartoon, there are mobs of people running into a building that is for the OJ Simpson Press Conference. The media persons running into the building were expressing to one another that they had potentially met each other before, and then proceeded to list the different big headlines that had been in recent news, one being the Rwandan genocide. One person then said “what’s a ‘Rwanda’,” showing that they had never heard of Rwanda as a country no less the immense genocide that had taken place there. The medias negligence to shed any light on the genocide could have definitely played a huge part in the fact that it continued to take place for over 100 days.

7bAfter researching the genocide more in depth and reading an article from unitedhumanrights.org about the genocide I began to understand why there was no attention on this horrific event. The major powers of the world had basically decided to ignore the fact that this was happening and denied the legitimacy of the massive slaughter even though they knew that the Tutsi’s were targeted for elimination by the Hulu’s. What should have happened was further investigation of the situation rather than the constant ‘sweeping under the rug and pretending it isn’t there’ tactic.

On the United Nations website under human rights its explicitly states, “the human rights council is…responsible for the promotion of all human rights around the globe” which includes article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which states “no one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.” The United Nations should have intervened in the situation or at least investigated the mass slaughter as their duty to uphold human rights around the globe. The main powers of the worlds negligence coupled with the medias attention to more mainstream and popular topics at the time is the reason why the genocide was a genocide.