The White Genocide myth: Rwanda, that was a REAL genocide

Genocide. This word is a triggering one for me. Twenty-six years ago, my childhood home country Rwanda was plunged into a human extermination campaign that may have been (according to some experts, at least) more efficient than the Holocaust.

In a period of around a hundred days, close to a million people were shot, butchered with machetes, stoned, buried alive, set alight, and subjected to some of the worst crimes imaginable. I will never forget the footage of these events, nor the gruesome stories that started to filter through as the genocide progressed (I was 12 when we left Rwanda after over 7 years. It is the nature of being a child of immigrant workers).

Every single day between April and July 1994 8,000 to 10,000 women, children and men were dragged out of their homes, churches, hospitals, clinics, schools, universities, and buses and killed for one reason: they were Tutsi or moderate Hutu. The perpetrators worked according to a “hit list” and went from door to door. They knew who to get and how.

Daughters were raped in front of their mothers before being killed, and their mother’s endured a similar faith in front of their husbands. Men were forced to shoot their children and rape their wives. People were locked into churches, which set alight and thrown with grenades. Clinics were raided, patients butchered in their beds. Buses were torched.

Some of those victims were very dear to me and my family. Josepha was killed with her two young children whilst in hiding. I was the bridesmaid at her wedding. Her husband, a truck driver, was on the other side of the country at the time. He survived, but only just.

My school friends and neighbours Emilie and Arnaud (and their parents and baby brother Cedric) were butchered in cold blood because they didn’t have the correct identity cards.

A colleague of my dad’s bus was pelted with grenades and set alight, after which remaining survivors were met with machetes.

Tens of thousands died of cholera and other nasty diseases in over-crowded refugee camps across the border. Others contracted HIV because of mass rape campaigns. Some of the survivors ended their lives later on, no longer able to carry the past on their shoulders. God knows how many of my classmates, the majority of whom Rwandan, died in 1994 and the years after as a direct result of the genocide.

I could go on and on about who died and how (and about who inflicted violence on others) but I really can’t because I’ll throw this phone against a wall in pure anger. The same anger I felt back then because THERE WAS NOTHING WE COULD DO.

What amplifies my not-so-dormant anger is a) that the genocide was a direct consequence of a system of colonialism, implemented by the West (my hood) b) that despite this, the West did sweet fuck all to stop it (the UN could have done something but didn’t. Ask me for a copy of my thesis. It’s in Dutch but still) and c) had we been in Rwanda in 1994, our pale skin and fancy passports would have granted us a one-way ticket to safety.

I digress.

Rwanda 1994: THAT is what genocide looks like, white South Africans who have jumped on the “White Genocide” bandwagon! 

Sure, the farm murders are bloody horrific and this issue definitely deserves/needs/has to be addressed NOW. Please read very carefully: I am not condoning nor ignoring nor brushing aside nor making light of the matter. It is, however, *NO* GENOCIDE! The white genocide myth is causing so much harm in your country, and it is about time you exploit that word to drive your racist agenda

Classifying crime and violence against white farmers and white South Africans (ignoring the millions of people of colour, including black farmers, who are killed every year) as a mass extermination campaign is delusional. It also reeks of sheer arrogance and disconnectedness with reality.

White South Africans are NOT dragged out of their homes en masse and killed like flies – unlike Jewish people in the 1940s and the Tutsis in the 1990s. We, as a population group, continue to enjoy a far more superior socioeconomic position than our fellow citizens of colour. Look around you! Open your eyes! It’s not that hard!

Your white genocide myth bullshit is furthermore a big fat slap in the face of Josepha, Emilie, Arnaud (and all the others before and after them) who were subjected to genocide and paid the highest price for it.

Yes, I am taking this personally – and I’ll do my very best to give them a voice, for they can no longer speak.

So get over yourselves! And if you think Australia is better for you: GO! This country can do without you!

Finally, your fellow countrymen and women of colour deserve much more than being collectively suspected of wanting/planning/plotting to commit crimes against humanity against people who share your skin colour. Seriously! Stop this white genocide myth, please!

× Send me a WhatApp!