“Never Again in Germany in the 1930s and 40s.”
When we say “never again” to genocide, what we really mean is “never again” to the Holocaust. This is very clear because genocide goes unnoticed all over the world. What is happening in Myanmar/Burma? In Central African Republic? In Darfur? Why do we, the international community, not even know about this stuff?
I will write a longer post about this later, but for now I want to posit these three reasons:
1) We feel overwhelmed. There are fires, floods, unusually warm winters, unusually cold winters, crop failures, oil spills, immigration, joblessness, austerity measures, and so many other things to deal with. We can’t be everywhere at once.
2) We benefit from instability. Stable governments control the flow of goods and people, and impose taxes. Consumer goods are cheaper and easier to get when they come through corrupt or unstable countries.
3) We are blinded by our cultural narratives. If we are taught to expect violence from a group of people or a country, we see it as typical, and tend to read the facts as part of that narrative. So if the group is targeted for genocide, we fail to notice or read it as “war” against a “warlike” group, and if they perpetrate it, well, that’s just what anyone would expect, right? Either way, it merits little attention.
I will be writing much more about #2 and #3 soon. In the meantime, I’ll just say this: I’m angry. Genocide makes me angry. People who ignore or brush it aside make me angry. If you are lucky enough to live in a country where you are permitted to contact your government, you should be doing that. You should be talking their ears off. You should be reminding them that complacency kills.