- Politics and Social Issues
Genocide in America Today
What is Genocide?
Genocide is a combination of the Greek word genos (γένος), "race, people" and Latin the word cīdere "to kill".
In 1947 the term genocide was coined by the United Nations, defined as an intent to destroy a nation, a race, or a religious group, either in part or in whole. Genocide is considered to be one of the most heinous crimes under international law.
Genocide refers to the disintegration of political and social institutions, the death of a culture, of a language, of national feelings, or religion, as well as the end to the economic existence of national groups, and the destruction of personal security, liberty, health, dignity, and even the lives of the individuals.
This riveting book covers the history of genocide against African Americans. I have read this book and it is very heart-wrenching and eye-opening.
"We Charge Genocide"
"We Charge Genocide: The Crime of Government Against the Negro People" was created in December of 1951 by the Civil Right Congress. The document accused the U.S. government of genocide against African Americans.
Presented during the UN Genocide Convention, We Charge Genocide addressed issues like lynching of the black community in the United States, as well as legal discrimination, including unlawful arrests, police brutality and repeated instances of inequality when it came to issues of health care and quality of life.
Hundreds of copies of the document were made by W.E.B. DuBois, who intended to deliver the documents to a number of important parties, but the documents never arrived at their destination. Theories suggest that the United States government intercepted the documents and destroyed them before they could reach the public.
Although the document We Charge Genocide was written over fifty years ago, many claims made in it still ring true today. These claims include inequality regarding health care, inequality regarding fair wages, as well inequality when it comes to the United States justice system.
A Quote from Elie Wiesel on Genocide
The opposite of love is not hate; it's indifference.
The opposite of art is not ugliness; it's indifference.
The opposite of faith is not heresy; it's indifference.
The opposite of life is not death; it's indifference.
Because of indifference, one dies before one actually dies.
Genocide in America Against the Native Americans
We are a nation founded on genocide. When Christopher Columbus claimed America, this land was already claimed by the Native Americans. Since the beginning of our history, we have been pushing the Native Americans further and further away from their home and their ancestry.
The genocide of Native Americans is a real issue in present day America. Archaeological data shows that the population of Native Americans when Christopher Columbus settled near Plymouth Rock was in the hundreds of millions. Since then, those numbers have plummeted.
The Native Americans have endured centuries of genocide - killed off by diseases like smallpox, influenza and plagues.
While many of the deaths of Native Americans were of natural causes, many more were caused by massacres, infections induced by other nations, as well as war. Today, Native Americans are experiencing genocide through displacement and disruption to their land.
One of the biggest disruptions to the Native Americans today is the Keystone Pipeline, over one thousand miles of pipes planned to go right through the small area still inhabited by Native American tribes.
A peaceful group called the Moccasins on the Ground for Resistance has formed in reaction to the pipeline. For Native people the Keystone XL pipeline means death. The Keystone oil, extracted from tar sands, is "environmental racism," they say.
At a recent press conference, the tribes said, "Tar sands pipelines will not pass through our collective territories under any conditions or circumstances." This is a life-and-death struggle for Native Americans.
Genocide in the United States Today
One week after the fatal shooting of Akai Gurley, one day after the decision to let Prosecutor Wilson walk free after shooting Mike Brown, almost three years after the tragic death of Trayvon Martin, the public is becoming increasingly aware of a growing racism problem in America.
With skyrocketing rates of life sentences to prison, "accidental" and even intentional murders rooted in race, the question begs, is racism alive and well in America?
Its not that the United States is a country that hates black people, its that America has become a nation of hate period. We have laws banning us from feeding the homeless, a justice system that allows the rich to purchase freedom while the poor and innocent are locked behind bars. We have been taught to hate those who are different, whether it be because of their race, their economic status, their religion, their gender, their culture, or just their beliefs. The United States bleeds hatred and it needs to stop.
The United States Human Rights Network, a network of scores of US civil rights and human rights organizations, recently had this to say about the issue: "Discrimination permeates all aspects of life in the United States, and extends to all communities of color".
Louisiana, a single state, imprisons more people annually then anywhere else in the world, Russia, China and Iran included.
Within the American education system, a survey of black students in sixteen majority white universities found that four of five African-Americans reported some form of racial discrimination.
Not only is racism prevalent in the United States, but genocide is as well. Not only is it present, but it s even celebrated through holidays like Thanksgiving and Columbus Day.
Niece of Dr. martin Luther King, Dr. Alveda King speaks at colleges all over the country about a growing genocide among African Americans against their own people, abortion. “In Georgia, 53.6 Percent of Babies Aborted Are Black,” “In Mississippi, 72 Percent of the Babies Aborted Are Black,” and “More Black Babies Die in Abortions in New York City Than Given Birth."
© 2014 Kathleen Odenthal