I will begin with a blanket statement. Racism leads to genocide. Period. That is the inevitable result of unchecked racist propaganda. And history has taught us this lesson over and over, unfailingly.
Netflix current has a series called “World’s Most Wanted.” One of the episodes is about Félicien Kabuga: The financier of the genocide in Rwanda. I highly recommend watching at least this episode, though I must warn you it accurately depicts a very dark time.
Félicien Kabuga was a very rich man in Rwanda. He was a Hutu and closely allied to the country’s dictator. Kabuga owned major media outlets in Rwanda including the radio station RTML. He used the power of live radio to continuously incite hatred against the Tutsi minority in Rwanda. As he incited the hatred, he also imported hundreds of thousands of machetes. You get the picture. The result was that in 100 days the rage unleashed against Tutsis in Rwanda resulted in as many as a million dead.
Kabuga escaped and remained a fugitive until May 2020. He now awaits trial for crimes against humanity in The Hague.
This is all covered in easily available reference material and in the documentary above. The connection we have to make for ourselves is the exact parallels between the type of propaganda campaign run by Kabuga and those we find in the history of the United States, Germany, South Africa, Bosnia, Belarus, and on today’s FOX News. It also exists in the words and actions of the former president with his infamous references to Mexicans all being rapists and criminals and his reference to Nazis as “very fine people.”
The Creation of “Danger”
Hutus in Rwanda were being convinced by Kabuga’s relentless propaganda broadcasts that they were in imminent danger from the Tutsis in their midst and that they needed to do something about it. In present day America, followers of the former guy are bombarded with similar dangers of “immigrant invasions” or other terrifying ideas like history lessons being “forced down children’s throats in schools.” White supremacists are terrified that history is being taught in schools.
We can make light of the obvious and transparent stupidity of people like Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity and Jeanine Pirro, and the other “channels” like Newsmax, OAN and Breitbart, but make no mistake there is nothing funny about the direction of their rhetoric. It is simply racist and political propaganda. It is a message of hate and a message of the “danger” of difference.
This is the same media mentality that popularized “the only good Indian is a dead Indian” 150 years ago in our bastion of “human rights” and which then reveled in the outright slaughter of the native population of this country. Always remember that Hitler’s Einsatzgruppen death squads in Western Russia, wiping out Russian civilian populations, were modeled after our destruction of American native tribes.
One of the patron saints of psychology and psychiatry was a man named Wilhelm Wundt. He taught his students in Leipzig in 1879 that “man is an animal.” This incredibly false concept was happily used from that time forward to underlie and give power to the dehumanization of “others.”
Kaiser Wilhelm used it to make it okay for his soldiers to kill enemy soldiers because they were “just animals.” King Leopold of Belgium used it against the tribes of the Congo as he slaughtered men there that stood between himself and the riches of that expanse of real estate. Hitler used it against Jews and anyone else he hated—which was a lot of people. Stalin—he had his own pet mentalist, Pavlov—still used this concept. Kabuga painted Tutsis as creatures who ate cockroaches, Radovan Karadžić in Bosnia painted Muslims as subhuman.
And Donald Trump called Mexicans rapists and murders, except for a few good ones.
These are the ideas supported by outlets like FOX, OAN, Newsmax, Breitbart, InfoWars and other propaganda operations. They all paint people who do not think like them as “others.”
And if they are allowed to continue unabated, well that is not a pretty concept.
How do we solve this? One way is to bring back the FCC’s Fairness Doctrine. Another is to shut down all our personal lines of communication to those that espouse a racist (Nazi) mentality. No one needs to receive communication from insane people. The First Amendment does not give protection for hate and incitement, which of course is why these folks scream when they get “canceled.”
Having the United States enter into the agreement for the International Criminal Court and sending a few more over there, say for ripping children away from their parents at the border and putting them in cages would be a good idea too.
The ignorance of history leads to its repetition. Hence the panic in some quarters about history being taught in our schools. We need to stand fast and do all we can to prevent this ignorance. Racists hate history lessons. They correctly see themselves in those pages. Let’s stop allowing them to write new ones with these same horrors.