Some genocides are more equal than others

Thirty years after the tragic 1994 mass killings in Rwanda, when mobs of ethnic majority Hutus slaughtered between 500,000 and 800,000 ethnic minority Tutsis with machetes, the idea of genocide is once again in the air – but not in the way you might expect.

Contemporary ideas of what constitutes genocide, or incitement to genocide, are becoming increasingly vague and subjective. Pro-Palestinian demonstrators are keen to lay this accusation at Israel’s feet for defending itself in the face of Hamas’s pogrom on October 7 last year, whilst denying that Hamas holds any genocidal aspirations of its own – despite its Founding Charter calling for the annihilation of Israel.

Other people, of a Black Lives Matter persuasion, honestly think there is a kind of “genocide by cop” going on across the United States right now, in which innocent black criminals (not a paradox, for BLM) are being gunned down en masse by evil white policemen, an idea in no sense backed up by any actual data. Even mixed-race tennis player Naomi Osaka has given voice to this paranoid theory when she pulled out of a tournament to protest "continued genocide of Black people at the hands of police".

The genesis of genocide

To be fair, the very word “genocide” is itself a relatively new concept. Go back a hundred years and try using the word, and nobody would know what you were talking about, even though appalling mass murders of entire ethnic or religious sub-groups had obviously taken place many times before. The Armenian Massacre was the first genocide of the 20th century – a million people died.

2024 marks the 80th anniversary of the coining of the term “genocide” by the Polish-born Jewish lawyer Raphael Lemkin, in his 1944 text Axis Rule in Occupied Europe, in the chapter “Genocide – A New Term and New Conception for Destruction of Nations”.

After fleeing to the United States in 1941, Lemkin heard a radio speech from Sir Winston Churchill about Nazi crimes of extermination of the Jews, Slavs, Roma, and others, which Churchill called “a crime without a name.” Therefore, Lemkin gave it one, from the Greek genos (race) and Latin cide (killing) – “genocide”, then, was defined as the murder of an entire race, religion, or other such human sub-group.

In 1948, Lemkin’s term was officially adopted by the United Nations, and there the matter rested. Time was, up until extremely recently, that you knew a genocide when you saw one. They were easy to spot: there were death camps, mass graves, and mountains and mountains of corpses.

Recently, matters have become slightly less simple. Just as being a “Nazi” has rather unsubtly been redefined as “voting for anyone other than those The New York Times and The Guardian tell you to”, with key symptoms of “fascism” including such evil things as believing in maintaining effective borders, declining to agree that “trans women are women”, being sceptical about abortion or, worst of all, being born with white skin, so the term “genocide” has been hyperbolically redefined as well.

Naomi Osaka’s belief that the US police are engaged in a form of mass genocide against black people, for instance, would have puzzled Raphael Lemkin. How is it a genocide? The police are not trying to wipe black Americans out; far from it. According to critics like the pro-police advocate Heather Macdonald, the majority of black gun deaths in America are perpetrated by other black people, with the nationwide presence of armed policemen (many of whom, self-evidently, are black themselves) actually helping save more black lives than those that are lost to police bullets.

Plus, the comparative demographics of white people versus black people living in the United States demonstrates a clear long-term trend to the numerical disadvantage of the former: due to mass immigration and disparities in birth rates, America is becoming less white, and more black and brown, at a very rapid rate indeed.

If this is indeed a genocide that racist KKK-member American cops are currently perpetrating against the black race, then they’re not doing a very good job of it, are they? Aren’t genocides supposed to decrease, not increase the number of the targeted group in question?

Up and atom!

Genocides are not past history. In Myanmar, the government is trying to wipe out ethnic minorities; in China, the government is trying to erase the Uyghurs and their culture. But in the West, the term “genocide” is now increasingly being deployed as empty rhetoric to smear your opponent (generally a conservative, a Christian, a Brexit voter or some other such piece of Untermenschen scum) as immoral and evil, a borderline neo-Nazi.

Consider the outcry last month when a Republican Congressman from Michigan, Tim Walberg, was recorded on-camera giving a speech about Gaza. “We shouldn’t be spending a dime on humanitarian aid. It should be like Nagasaki and Hiroshima. Get it over quick. The same should be in Ukraine. Defeat Putin quick,” he said.

What did come quick was condemnation of Walberg’s remarks. According to the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the Congressman’s declarations were a “clear call to genocide”. Democratic Member of the Michigan Senate Darrin Camilleri, meanwhile, tweeted to the effect that Walberg had been “caught on video endorsing and calling for a complete genocide in Gaza. He’s an absolute disgrace and needs to resign.”


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Admittedly, the Congressman’s off-the-cuff remarks were badly worded, thoughtless, and insensitive. But, as he explained later, he was only speaking metaphorically, not literally; he just wanted the US and Israel to “go nuclear” in the figurative sense of hitting Hamas hard and fast, to get the war, and its many ill effects upon the local civilian population, over with as soon as possible:

“As a child who grew up in the Cold War era, the last thing I’d advocate for would be the use of nuclear weapons,” he explained. “My reasoning was the exact opposite of what is being reported. The quicker these wars end, the fewer innocent lives will be caught in the crossfire.”

So, rather than advocating for the mass extermination of Palestinian lives, he was actually calling for the mass sparing of them.

What’s truly worthy of note here, however, is not that Congressman Walberg “misspoke”, but that his opponents chose to accuse him of being a genocidal maniac rather than merely a brainless blowhard.

Whenever one of the contemporary Left’s victim-groups du jour – Palestinians, transgenderists, violent black criminals, etc. – is targeted with “hateful rhetoric” (i.e., rational public criticism), the exceedingly hyperbolic and disingenuous claim is immediately made that the detractor daring to critique them is self-evidently preparing for future acts of actual, full-blown genocide.

This tactic trivialises the appalling inhumanity of real genocides. What’s more, it diverts attention from real, not imaginary, crimes.

If the persons targeted verbally are not blessed to be members of the Church of Identitarian Victimhood, however, then public calls for their wholesale elimination are conveniently ignored by the vast majority of compliant Western politicians and media.

Meat is murder

If, for example, you are unlucky enough to be white, old and Belgian, people can say whatever the hell they like about you: nuke the Old People’s Home in Antwerp, the EU could demand, and it would garner barely a 10-point mini-headline on page 64 of the Brussels Weekly Intelligencer.

Please compare Congressman Walberg’s mass public monstering for daring to use a clumsy metaphor about nuclear weapons to the muted official public response to the quite genuinely held words a week or two later of Luc Van Gorp, the President of Belgium’s biggest healthcare fund (ironically named Christian Mutualities), that the best way to solve his country’s looming pensions crisis was to euthanise the nation’s infirm elderly.

“Suicide is too negative a term,” Van Gorp explained, in true spin-doctor style. “I would rather call it: giving life back.” Here are some other of Van Gorp’s oh-so-sensitive words, which I would humbly suggest are a just a little teensy bit worse-chosen than Congressman Walberg’s own offhand spiel: 

“I sometimes [so, habitually, then, not just on a misguided, ex tempore, one-off basis!] compare the aging people with a mountain of meat. That mountain first ends up in healthcare. Doctors and hospitals get to work on this and make good money from it. But as soon as that meat starts to smell, they pass it on to elderly care [for long-term, non-profitable waste-disposal, I would guess].”

Just to be clear for the benefit of any Belgian lawyers reading this article, Luc Van Gorp is also speaking metaphorically. He is not a wannabe cannibal, a Sweeney Todd-like human pie-maker, or anything like that, any more than Tim Walberg is an aspirant atomic war criminal.

But… he does want to kill people. By their tens of thousands. For money. OK, they’re only Belgians, but still – BLM, Belgian Lives Matter too, surely? Van Gormless is actually making a genuine policy proposal here, one which would by definition involve mass deaths, albeit of a consensual, legalised kind. Medical murder on such a scale could be labelled as “genocide” by its opponents, could it not?

Nobody actually seems to have done so, however: certainly not any plausible or prominent public figures like politicians or the heads of NGOs, as happened with Congressman Walberg’s careless words.

Imagine, however, if M. Van Gorp had compared the Palestinian people to “a mountain of meat” that was “start[ing] to smell”, and so needed to be eliminated as quickly as possible for their own damn good. He would have been incinerated in the court of polite public opinion within a matter of seconds. But when he actually proposed that we should systematically kill off elderly white people, there’s complete and total silence.

Eighty years after coining his fateful word, what would Raphael Lemkin himself make of all this, I wonder? He’d probably go back to his Latin and Greek dictionaries and come up with the even newer term “suigenocide” – it’s what happens when entire civilisations decide, of their own free will, to begin killing themselves off entirely. Like those rotten Belgian pensioners, I think our whole society is increasingly beginning to stink.

Is our understanding of "genocide" becoming corrupted? Leave your comments below.

Steven Tucker is a UK-based writer whose work has appeared in print and online worldwide. The author of over ten books, mostly about fringe beliefs and eccentrics, his latest title, “Hitler’s & Stalin’s Misuse of Science” (Pen & Sword/Frontline) is available now, and exposes how the insane and murderous abuses of science perpetrated by the Nazis and the Soviets are being repeated anew today by the woke left who have now captured so many of our institutions of learning.

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Showing 4 reactions

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  • Michael Cook
    followed this page 2024-04-30 13:39:46 +1000
  • David Page
    commented 2024-04-23 10:02:37 +1000
    I am reminded of a movie from long ago, “Wild in the Streets”. The premise is that everyone over thirty had to be euthanized, for the good of humanity. I wouldn’t worry about it. It ain’t gonna happen.
  • David Page
    commented 2024-04-18 23:10:52 +1000
    Ethnic cleansing with lots of death is more apt for what is going on in Gaza.
  • Steven Tucker
    published this page in The Latest 2024-04-18 19:59:08 +1000