Tuesday, October 19

“For every person who commits great acts of violence, there are many more who agree”


  • Ana Pais (@_anapais)
  • BBC World News

Assault on the Capitol on January 6

Image source, Reuters

Caption,

The assault on the Capitol occurred while a session of Congress was being held to certify the results of the presidential election, which Trump lost.

It was April 1994 when one of the most violent episodes in modern history took place in Rwanda: in just 100 days, more than 800,000 people were massacred, many of them with machetes.

Those who survived the genocide and those who have studied it agree that the hostile rhetoric used for years by the ruling ethnic group, the Hutus, against the Tutsi ethnic group was key in the violence that the former unleashed on the latter.

Perhaps the best explanation for the role of speech in the massacre was heard years later when a witness stated that a local radio station had been responsible for “spread gasoline all over the country little by little, so that one day the whole country could catch fire”.

These types of messages capable of inspiring mass violence are the focus of study of the Dangerous Speech Project, created and directed by the American Susan Benesch.


www.bbc.com

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