Class Discussion Notes from Oct. 24
This book is a “narrative approach to a set of events.”
Oops, we kind of had to read the whole thing, which I absolutely 100% did not do.
Is this a primary source? “Primary source” is not a yes/no answer type thing- it’s more of a spectrum. Proximity! Was he there when the genocide happened? No, he turned up about 2 years after the actual genocide and then did a bunch of interviews and started publishing in the New Yorker.
The source is not scholarly, it’s Journalistic.
The author is biased; who are the good guys and who are the bad guys? He thought the
Hutus (cultivators, square face, shorter, stockier, darker, had frizzy hair, the majority, poorer, pantu) vs. Tutsis (Nilotic [Nile peoples] nomadic, herders, taller, straight hair
Those categories, per say, didn’t necessarily exist 200 years ago. The idea of creating groups isn’t totally ridiculous
Who is Speeke? He’s credited with RACE SCIENCE/1863 (He’s an explorer, kind of an anthropologist, and came up with the Hamitic Myth)- that didn’t make him a terrible person, it just was the culture at the time. He also said “Noah had three sons and you can trace them to these groups”
His book was Journal of the Discovery of the Source of the Nile (or something like that)
Murami- the head guy, king, guy in charge
Louis de Lecger
Major challenge to politics in the 1950s: 1957 was the Hutu Manifesto (probably originally written in French)
1959 was the first real outbreak of violence
1972: 100,000 were killed in Burundi
Prior to the Rwanda genocide of 1994, the biggest previous round was the 1972 round of massacres
This book and author is a gateway
What are his biases? He only interviews victims of the genocide
Biased based on audience- American bias (he writes for Americans), kind of anti-French bias
Who encapsulates the American stakes/legacy/involvements? That Paul guy (Paul Kagame) is, today, the president of Rwanda. He mostly has a very good reputation- Rwanda has not had any violence since then, Rwanda is relatively prosperous today and very secure, it’s dealt with the legacy of the genocide quite well.
Clinton Administration said something at the peak of the killing: he said (about the Holocaust) that they’d never let such an atrocity happen again, like, AS THE RWANDAN GENOCIDE WAS HAPPENING. Classy.
They couldn’t call it a “genocide” so they called it “acts of genocide”
Controversy! (See above)
Somalia, August 1993, Black Hawk Down