Bigotry, hatred, and viciousness takes on a new meaning.

No where in the world can one match the bigotry, hatred, and viciousness of the antisemite. As Jews, we can clearly identify with the memories of our friends in the Rwandan Tutsi community. Their issues are our issues. Holocaust and genocide and the pure lust of slaughtering children and adults by the perpetrators must never be forgotten.
The following article explains in part how western media and NGOs today, twenty-three years after the 1994 genocide, have begun to explain the Rwandan genocide against Tutsi. The article’s content is alarming.

The Underlying Racism behind Western Media’s Anti-Rwanda Hysteria.

Dayo Ntwari JIN August 3

by Dayo Ntwari

The implicitly racist language with which western media and “NGOs” spread their anti-Rwanda hate, the closer Rwanda gets to the 2017 presidential elections is deeply disturbing. There is a lie that is being pushed in western media, one of an alleged “climate of fear” in Rwanda. As I have said before on Twitter, there’s definitely a climate of fear. But it’s not in Rwanda. There’s a climate of fear about Rwanda. The fear that Rwanda will continue to rise. Nobody’s done more damage to Africa in modern times than these “progressive” Westerners of the Economist, HRW & Amnesty school of “thought”. The fear about Rwanda is that our country is increasingly a symbol of inspiration on our continent. An example of a break from chronic subjugation. So when you’ve got a government in Rwanda that puts Rwandan interests first and will NOT be another African vassal state, OF COURSE western colonialist interests will fear this.

This video clip tweeted by The Economist follows the same racist footsteps. A central lie about President Paul Kagame is presented as fact: “Why are his people so frightened of him?”

In usual fashion, the Economist attempts to downgrade President Kagame’s respectability, by referring to him as “Kagame”, instead of “President Kagame”. This happens with all African leaders who don’t toe the Western line. You rarely see an American or European head of state not addressed along with their title, in western reporting. This chauvinistic ignoring of political/governmental roles is reserved for Africans and other dark-skinned folks of the “Global South”.

rwandaOne of the more glaring displays of how much the Economist despises Rwandans can be seen in the Economist’s attempt to minimize the Genocide Against the Tutsi: “Genocide of more than half a million people.The majority were Tutsis, but many moderate Hutu were also killed.”It’s come down to half a million now? Each year, I observe how western media takes a hundred thousand off the number of victims of the Genocide against the Tutsi. One day, they will tell us only three people were killed in the Genocide, and they will stop calling it a genocide, all together.

genocide rwandaNext, the Economist presents a single African voice who regurgitates the desired narrative about Rwanda: the ex-Prime Minister of Rwanda. First the Economist tries to convince you of the ex-Prime Minister’s credibility: the ex-PM tells you he lost 30 family members during the Genocide against the Tutsi. You are now expected to take everything else that comes out of his mouth as the incontestable truth. The Ex-PM then tells us (from his house in Belgium), that we Rwandans are living in tyranny here in Rwanda. He claims it’s a dictatorship, no freedom of speech, etc.

The Economist attempts to manufacture an image of President Kagame as a warlord. This is imagery that the Western audience is most familiar with, when talking about Africans with a military background: warlord, child soldiers, etc. The Economist tells you Pres. Kagame “has kept the peace at home, even as he’s pursued wars against neighbouring Congo.” No further elaboration is provided. A B-roll of supposedly African IDPs or refugees is played in the clip. That’s it. But what wars? What were the wars about? No further explanation. This just serves to flesh out the portrait of this African “tyrant” who wakes up in the morning and goes to war, simply because it is in his nature. That is the prevailing Western view about Africans. We are savages, because without the aid and approval of our white masters, we have no option but to sink into animal savagery. The insidiousness of the White Saviour Industrial Complex, is how it couches this deeply racist dogma inside seemingly caring and benevolent narrative.

Next up in the video clip, “Paul Collier Prof. of Economics – Oxford University”. This snippet from the professor is meant to prevent you from recognizing the fundamental malice in the Economist’s narratives against Rwanda. Prof. Collier tells us President Kagame has had his biggest success in “the reduction of mass poverty, which has been quite exceptional by African standards.” This is simply not true. Nevermind the condescension behind the phrasing “by African standards”. Poverty reduction rates in Rwanda have been exceptional by WORLDstandards! Not just “African standards”. According to a 2013 report, by Prof. Collier’s very same Oxford University’s poverty and human development initiativeRwanda is among the “star performers” in poverty reduction levels, and identified as a place “where deprivation could disappear within the lifetime of present generations.” Tyranny? A media house of the West, where the wealth gap is an ever-widening chasm, where the richest 1% own as much as the rest of the planet combined, will have us believe Rwanda is a tyranny.

Well, the Economist continues its paternalistic dismissal of the agency of the Rwandan electorate, by framing the Kigali Convention Center as an epitome of “Kagame’s economic vision for Rwanda”. As, if we Rwandans are a mass of 12 million helpless children who are suffering at the mercy of a single man’s whim. Not once does the Economist acknowledge even in passing, that ours is a collective vision for our country. According to the Economist we probably don’t even understand what the word economy means, and therefore The Economist is here to save us from our own ignorance, right?

The Economist goes on to state that “some economists now talk of the Rwandan miracle.” This is immediately followed by presenting once again the “exiled” former PM of Rwanda: who is quick to remind us that “Kagame’s rule is based on tyranny. There is no freedom of speech”. You will hear this a lot, “freedom of speech” as the allegedly universal yardstick of a country’s level of democracy. There is freedom of speech in the United States, however the U.S. has the planet’s largest prison population, by far the planet’s largest military budgets and is at any given point engaged in dozens of wars and proxy-wars under the nebulous umbrella of the so-called War on Terror.

To the Economist, the ex Rwandan PM’s baseless accusations supersede all that anyone of us 12 million Rwandans have to say. The ex-PM’s unfounded accusations supersede any established statistics and facts presented, be they from Oxford University, the UN, World Bank or anybody else. No. This one guy here … actually he’s in Belgium in “exile”, is trying to convince us here in Rwanda that we’re all blind and stupid and just don’t understand we’re living in “tyranny”.

The Economist continues, and says the ex-PM “challenged Kagame for the presidency” in 2003 and then states “in the official result, Kagame took 95% of the vote.” Then the Economist claims the victory was rigged. Another lie, presented as fact, with no supporting evidence whatsoever. 2003 were the first presidential elections in Rwanda since the Genocide against the Tutsi. And the Economist appears to be somehow shocked that the man behind the liberation of Rwanda from Genocide, when the whole world turned their backs on us and left us to die, got 95% of the vote? It’s like claiming Jay-Z rigged record sales because he sold tons more records than Lil Mama.

This is quickly followed by the ex-PM telling you how living in Belgium, away from Rwanda, has affected him psychologically. This is meant to shore up further sympathy for the ex-PM and make you malleable to swallowing his claims without any scrutiny. This poor guy, he’s sitting with his laptop in Belgium, thinking about us and missing us so much. Awww, poor guy, hm? He states he “must live freely in his country”. Well, if that is his genuine wish, why not hop on the next RwandAir flight back to Kigali, instead of trolling us from afar and being a puppet of neocolonialist lies against Rwanda?

The Economist tells us that “in reality Rwanda is a one-party state”. Yet another lie, presented as truth, with no further explanation or evidence. Here The Economist also lies by omission. It conveniently omits the easily verifiable fact that in Rwanda’s Constitution, under Article 62, it is stated clearly

“a political organisation holding the majority of seats in the Chamber of Deputies cannot have more than fifty (50%) percent of Cabinet members”.

So, a multi-party system is explicitly guaranteed by our Constitution. The only time The Economist even mentions our Constitution is to allege that in 2015 the RPF “ushered through a constitutional change which could in theory allow him to remain as president until 2034.” Notice the language used here: “constitutional change”. You see, in the framework of the White Saviour Industrial Complex, the following mental acrobatics are always adhered to:

“constitutional amendment” = perfectly normal process in White people democracy
“constitutional change” = African savages living in tyranny

The Economist commits another lie by omission: they don’t tell you that the amendments to the Rwandan Constitution came by a national referendum. Again, the perpetual outright rejection of the political agency and self-determination of an African people. The White Saviour Industrial Complex did not authorize our national referendum, therefore it must be considered null and void.

Again, Prof. Collier of Oxford gives his opinion in which he implies Rwanda is an autocracy. No evidence to support this is provided, and by doing so you are expected to assume this is so trivial a fact, it is so obvious it needs no verbose provision of supporting evidence. The white man said Rwanda is an autocracy, so it must be true.

Towards the end of this racist video clip, the Economist refers to our government as a “regime”. This is a standard approach by Western media when talking about any government in the so-called Global South that does not dance to the tune of the Masters of the so-called Global North.

“administration” = your govt is either a Western govt, or useful to the West, but not likely useful to you.

“regime” = your govt is useful to you, but not useful to the West.

There is a deep and casual implicit racism in the narrative peddled by the likes of the Economist and other “well-meaning” pseudo-progressive Western outlets. And this implicit racism is easily identifiable in the language used when describing the people of the African continent. These Western faux-liberal media houses call our leaders “strongman”“despot”,“tyrant”. They call our governments “regime”“junta”“militia”“rebels”. They tell you our political systems are “autocratic”“dictatorial”“tyrannical”, and that our countries are under a “climate of fear”, and “repression”. They tell you the so-called opposition is “imprisoned”“murdered”“exiled” and so on.

This deeply racist language comes from a historically colonialist mindset: the African is an animal incapable of viable human life, unless he is uplifted and controlled by the Western hand. This colonialist mindset that has been perpetuated since Europeans first came to the African continent to exploit and subjugate its peoples, this racist wannabe-progressive narrative will never change until the Western mind is fundamentally decolonized.

Publisher’s Comment: The above article written by Dayo Ntwari and republished in full, can be viewed on Mr. Ntwari website 

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Fighting the good fight. Has it left the Jewish Community?

“Diaspora Jews. I have a sense we just don’t care anymore!”

by Alan Simons

Why is it, I wonder, Diaspora Jews are willing to show as a group how philanthropic and ardent they are towards raising funds and giving their time and support towards non-Jewish distresses, such as the Rwandan Tutsi, the people of South Sudan, the ethnic rights of minorities in Burma, Canada’s First Nations, and currently Syrian refugees? Yet, as individuals, why do we continue to be uncomfortable to willingly expose ourselves, to open our arms favourably, towards Christian, Muslim and other individuals? Why do many in the Diaspora treat non-Jews with utmost suspicion?

Yes, our long standard tradition of tikkun olam (repairing the world), tzedek (righteousness) and gemilut chassadim (acts of lovingkindness) are renown and respected by non-Jews. But more and more these days we repetitively remain on the sidelines in showing support to those who fight the good fight.

JIN RCMP dThis past Sunday I had the honour of being invited to the inaugural 2017 Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP)/IDI GTA Intercultural Ramadan Friendship Dinner. Organised by the Intercultural Dialogue Institute GTA., the event was held at the Canadian Forces College in Toronto.

To put the importance of this Canadian event into perspective, the RCMPs media advisory reported:

“This occasion demonstrated a gesture of mutual respect and partnership between community and law enforcement.

In attendance were the Chiefs of Police and dignitaries from Government offices. This occasion also included Canada’s 150 year celebration.

The IDI has been working closely with the RCMP and policing partners in the Greater Toronto Area to promote social cohesion, personal interaction, respect and mutual understanding among people through dialogue and partnership. The RCMP Integrated National Security Enforcement Team – Public Engagement Unit has been very active in developing trusting relationships in the community to improve engagement and implement community programs.

‘What an incredible opportunity for us to interact with so many from the diverse communities we support,’ said Superintendent Lise Crouch, Assistant Criminal Operations Officer for National Security. ‘It is events such as this one that continues to remove barriers for our police officers. The police are members of so many communities and contribute both on and off duty. This friendship dinner highlights the strength in collaboration and respect.’ ”

JIN RCMP cOut of the countless hundreds attending from many faiths and cultures, I would hazard a guess there were no more than four Jews present, and certainly, no rabbi found the time to join the clergy from other faiths.

To my mind, I regard in the eyes of the Diaspora, this to be one further example of how the Jewish community has become more entrenched in its attitude of “us” and “them” and less willing as individuals to show where they stand on issues relating to interfaith/cultural (call it what you will) dialogue at the grass roots level.

What a missed opportunity to support those who are attempting to fight the good fight. As Elie Wiesel once said, “We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”

Diaspora Jews, take heed! Mutual respect and partnership are an integral part of our very being. I have a sense we just don’t care anymore!

(Photo credit: RCMP)

Alan Simons can be reached at alan@alansimons.info

COMMENTS

“I could not agree more, Alan Simons. Well said. Same issues here in Winnipeg. Proud of our Muslim Jewish Interfaith dialogue group, but we are not representative of the attitude of the “institutional Jewish community.” It’s more than just caring, Alan, it is massive ignorance about each other. We might be willing to donate a little money to make ourselves feel better but most Jews know nothing about Islam or Christianity and frankly harbour some horribly incorrect notions, yet purport to “know the truth.” However, other cities are doing better – Calgary for instance because of the example of true leadership by strong clergy in the Jewish, Muslim and Christian communities. The recent recognition by King Abdullah of Jordan reflects their exemplary achievement.”

-Belle Jarniewski, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Rwanda: 7 April 2017. Never Again!

Four words:

Duhore Tuzilikana Kirazira Kwibagirwa!

We Must Never Forget!

Today, 7 April 2017 is the 23rd Commemoration of the Genocide Against the Tutsi. 

by Alan Simons

In a few weeks time, on 23 April at sundown, Jews throughout the world observe Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Memorial Day. It is the day where we pay tribute to all the victims of the Holocaust and ghetto uprisings. Inaugurated 64 years ago we like you, have no intention of forgetting our loved ones. Therefore, as a Jew, my message to you is not from a stranger, but from a brother and partner. For in commemorating the 23rd anniversary of the 1994 genocide against Tutsi, your loss, is also my loss.

However, I ask myself what right do I have to speak of such experiences of genocide?

Who am I to speak of such unthinkable acts of violence and cruelty, unequaled in modern history?

I never witnessed killings, or had my life threatened. I never lost immediate family members, nor witnessed rape or sexual mutilation, or had to hide under corpses.

Rwanda April 7 2017 bSo, what authority gives me the right to speak about Rwanda’s genocide, to talk about your families and friends who perhaps survived these 23 years, and hopefully, I repeat hopefully, have been able to overcome their traumatic experiences and find optimism in the future, as well as speak of those who were murdered?

Well, a few years ago President Kagame of Rwanda, photographed above, said: “The world chose to watch as one million were being slaughtered. Victims were turned into perpetrators and justice was turned into a political tool. The world has shown us that we cannot afford not to fight. Do not be afraid to stand up for truth, justice and for who we are. The only way to live in this world is to stand up for ourselves, stay true to who we are and define our own destiny.”

Perhaps, more than anything, it is in these words that binds Jews and Rwandans together in a mutual understanding of what intolerance and hate is all about in our society today. And, we have only to look at the past few weeks of what happened in London, a few hours ago in Stockholm, as well as the gassing earlier this week of children and adults in Syria, to appreciate the scope and threat of the world we continue to live in.

Hate is hate, irrespective of one’s religion, colour or nationality.

Even now in Canada there are deniers of both the Rwandan genocide and the Holocaust who continue to thrust their sick fermented ideas into the international arena. As Hitler remains centre stage to many antisemites, it was only a couple of months ago that Rwanda’s deniers actually competed to question who was to blame for the 1994 killings. 

It’s been said that sadness is but a wall between two gardens. May all of those who perished in the genocide be remembered for their beauty and fragrance that grace our gardens.

My dear Rwandan brothers and sisters, finding an appropriate way of honouring and remembering the dead is one of the goals of the mourning process. For, as Elie Wiesel the Nobel Laureate and Holocaust survivor said, “To forget the dead would be akin to killing them a second time.”

(Photo credits: From Paul Kagame’s Post, in Timeline Photos)