Thursday, 3 November 2016

Hotel Rwanda

A few years ago I watched the film Hotel Rwanda. I have always been fascinated with Africa, so watching it was part of trying to learn and understand more. It's a horrific story that I'm sure everyone is mostly familiar with. Normal people, go from living somewhat normal lives, to being massacred based on what "type" they are. I won't bother adding any more colour to the description or story, as the film can portray it much better than I ever could. It left me wondering what I would do if it happened now. 

In Hotel Rwanda the international response was bad. They needed help, but countries were reluctant to help. It wasn't long after the events of Somalia, so the world was cautious of getting involved in the problems in a country they don't really understand. But when there are that many people being killed, how can you not respond? I was sure that I would be one of the few that would go out of my way to do something.

Many years ago, in a Psychology lesson, we looked at the Milgram experiment, with the premise "The Germans were different". That what happened with the Nazi's couldn't happen in another country. How could people not fight back? How could they accept how the Jews were treated? I understand the difficulties faced by people who did go against the country, but surely you'd do all in your power?


I cannot recognise any humanity in the people that kept slaves. Those people are so different to me that they might as well be a different species. But whether you kept slaves or not, would you not do all you could to help people get free? To fight against an accepted reality where people can be possessions?

If I was in Alabama in the early 1800's I know I would fight against slavery. If I was in Germany in 1940 I would be secretly handing out leaflets, and helping to hide Jews. If I wasn't 7 during the Rwandan Genocide, I wouldn't stop shouting to the government until they intervened, and I cannot understand the reasoning of people who wouldn't...

... Until now. There's a lot going on in Syria. I honestly have no idea. There's so much noise that it's hard to pick out information. My understanding is that ISIS are ploughing through, anyone who doesn't leave are forced into ISIS or killed. There's a load of fighting within the country. Honestly, I don't know. I think it's a really bad situation for everyone there but our media is full of showing people who were probably fine in Syria, now using the opportunity to get into other countries just because they'd like more money. I don't believe that, but because that is the main line it's hard to find out what is really happening. I have a lot of sympathy for the refugees, but I've not really "done" anything. I think if I could see what is actually happen it would completely change my mindset.

Assuming our media ever reports honestly, I can picture in 20 years time people unpicking what happened and wondering how people didn't help. They will not understand the reasoning behind people who didn't do all they could to make the situation a little bit better. Except this time I will be one of the people, and my children will be wondering why we didn't do anything.

1 comment:

  1. What you're saying is completely true. I know that everybody must say the same thing, but I just think that you put it in a way that everyone can understand. I'm sure you'll reach so many people with what you've got to say.

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