Originally posted on July 2, 2020 on Facebook
Every successful execution of genocide has involved “excuses” that seemed right and just to the mostly-ordinary folks throughout history who stood by and allowed such atrocities to occur or who actively participated in them. It’s easy for us to stand back and think we’d never fall for the kind of propaganda that drove the Holocaust during World War II or the Rwandan massacres of 1994. But the scary thing about propaganda is how credible, powerful and relevant it feels to the people it’s carefully designed to manipulate.
Do you think that the fundamental nature of humanity has changed since the 1940s or the 1990s? Do you think we, right now, are capable of responding in fear, anger, or even hatred toward other humans who we find ourselves different from for one reason or another? Do any of the well-established steps toward genocide shown here sound familiar to you? And remember that this doesn’t have the be about race or religion. Any group can be victimized and any excuse can be used. By the time people are being killed, STEP 8 OUT OF 10, the perpetrators are so swept up in blind rage and primal justification that it’s too late for them to go back and recognize the subtle and yet well-worn early steps of the path to Genocide that make murderers of regular people.
Here they are:
“1. Classification – The differences between people are not respected. There’s a division of ‘us’ and ‘them’ which can be carried out using stereotypes, or excluding people who are perceived to be different.
2. Symbolization – This is a visual manifestation of hatred. Jews in Nazi Europe were forced to wear yellow stars to show that they were ‘different’.
3. Discrimination – The dominant group denies civil rights or even citizenship to identified groups. The 1935 Nuremberg Laws stripped Jews of their German citizenship, made it illegal for them to do many jobs or to marry German non-Jews.
4. Dehumanization – Those perceived as ‘different’ are treated with no form of human rights or personal dignity. During the Genocide in Rwanda, Tutsis were referred to as ‘cockroaches’; the Nazis referred to Jews as ‘vermin’.
5. Organization – Genocides are always planned. Regimes of hatred often train those who go on to carry out the destruction of a people.
6. Polarization – Propaganda begins to be spread by hate groups. The Nazis used the newspaper Der Stürmer to spread and incite messages of hate about Jewish people.
7. Preparation – Perpetrators plan the genocide. They often use euphemisms such as the Nazis’ phrase ‘The Final Solution’ to cloak their intentions. They create fear of the victim group, building up armies and weapons.
8. Persecution – Victims are identified because of their ethnicity or religion and death lists are drawn up. People are sometimes segregated into ghettos, deported or starved and property is often expropriated. Genocidal massacres begin.
9. Extermination – The hate group murders their identified victims in a deliberate and systematic campaign of violence. Millions of lives have been destroyed or changed beyond recognition through genocide.
10. Denial – The perpetrators or later generations deny the existence of any crime.”
Do you think anything described above could ever happen right now, in 2020? Is there anything on this list that you observe taking place right now?
Other Insight and Information:
J.B Handley Blog – Lockdown Lunacy
The Highwire with Del Bigtree
Great Barrington Declaration – Infectious disease epidemiologists and public health scientists