Posted: November 2, 2018
Written by: Genocide Survivors Foundation
On October 30th, in a radio interview with Stand Up! With Pete Dominick, Genocide Survivors Foundation (GSF) founder and president, Jacqueline Murekatete, spoke out about the current rise of Anti-semitism, racism and other forms of extremism in the United States.
Ms. Murekatete began by sharing her own personal experience as a survivor of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda and detailed how that genocide did not happen in a vacuum but arose from many years of discrimination, indoctrination in anti-Tutsi propaganda, scapegoating and dehumanization of Tutsis. She noted the genocide in Rwanda happened because Rwanda at that time had political leaders who had vested interest in dividing people along ethnic lines, politicians who in their efforts to monopolize power pinned the Hutu ethnic group against the Tutsi ethnic group, portraying the Tutsis as the enemy of the country.
Ms. Murekatete then expressed deep concerns about the current rise of Anti-semitism, racism and other forms of extremism in the United States as illustrated for example by the recent Anti-Semitic shooting and murder of Jewish men and women at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania or by the Emmanuel African Methodist Episcopal church shooting of African Americans by a white supremacist in Charleston, South Carolina.
She also spoke out about the dangers of the anti-immigrant rhetoric that is currently going on in the United States where certain groups of immigrants, immigrants from particular countries are seen as undesirable and are branded as terrorists, rapists, invaders or given other negative and dangerous labeling.
Based on her experience as a genocide survivor and human rights activist, Ms. Murekatete emphasized the power of words, their power to heal or hurt and called on Americans to hold their leaders accountable when they engage in negative labeling and branding of an entire group of people based on that group’s race, religion, ethnicity or nationality.
Genocide happens when racism, anti-semistism and other forms of extremism are given space to flourish and grow. The best way to prevent genocide, therefore, is to promote tolerance and respect for the basic human rights of all people and to treat people as individuals rather than putting them in one basket and labeling them as undesirable or even dangerous.
Murekatete called on her listeners to be vigilant and stand up against hate and all forms of bigotry when and wherever they see it and to refuse becoming victims to fear mongering by ill-intentioned politicians who thrive on dividing people along racial, religious or ethnic lines.« Back to News + Blog