I watched Hotel Rwanda last night (Purchased the DVD as planned, I missed the theatrical release). It was very good and informative for those who were unfamiliar with the event, though I would suggest that people gather information as to the formation of that country. But that’s not the focus of this post. There are two things that stood out in the film:
a) The Red Black and Green “Ponchos” that the Interahamwe, or their affiliated groups were wearing. There was a lot of symbolism in the movie, characters that didn’t exist in real life but were composites of different people. Supposedly the Interahamwe had signature shirts they wore during rallies and supposedly during the killings. In the movie many people were wearing Red, Black and Green “Ponchos.” The problem I have with this is two fold:
1) If the Interahamwe did in fact use the Red Black and Green, in that particular order, why did they do so? Garvey must have been rolling in his grave to see the colors of Black Unity, Pan-Africansim and Comradeship of all Africans, be miss-appropriated by an organization that allowed the poison of colonialism to lead to mass murder.
2) If in fact the Interahamwe did NOT have such “ponchos” then why was such a blatant symbol of “black power” used in the film? Why were there no objections to its miss-use? I have been searching the web and of all the photos of the Interahamwe that I have seen I have not noticed any such poncho. Even the pictures drawn by children show only normal clothed individuals or clearly drawn military uniforms. Clearly, if such a blatant and persistent pattern was in use where are the pictures? I’m going to continue to look but either way the sighting of the RBG in relation to the genocide in Rwanda is simply unacceptable.
b) The second thing reflects back on a paper on Ifa and the theistic problem of Evil. One of the participants of the genocide claimed that "Satan” took over his mind and body. Now to someone who has no belief in Satan, this seems to be a very bad excuse for what was essentially a decision he made to surrender to “groupthink.” I would assume that the Catholic Priest that hired a Hutu to bulldoze his church filled with Tutsi, was also possessed by Satan. Ultimately I have come to see the Genocide in Rwanda, and indeed the goings on in Sudan as an object lesson in self-hate. Indeed the Hutu who went on a “purification” spree bought into the colonial mentality that they were apparently disgusted by.
In the paper, the author discussed that Olodumare allows evil or indeed does evil, if it is necessary. That is since we believe Olodumare to be Omnipotent, then the doing of evil, hate , etc. is not beyond Olodumare’s abilities. Indeed what we consider evil is sometimes the necessary means of teaching humans a lesson. Indeed I believe Rwanda to be a lesson, a lesson not learned and therefore to be repeated. Did millions die because Olodumare is nasty? No! humans did the killing and Olodumare had to let us do what we would do so that we would learn. In Ifa we learn that all events save birth and death are knowable AND given the proper behavior the outcomes mutable. As Olodumare has made it so that there are infinite possibilities in the Universe, Olodumare allows us, through Ifa, or whatever system we use, believe in, etc. to change course and avoid pleasantries or unpleasantries. I have no doubt that the warnings were there but went unheeded.
In closing I think that the Rwanda genocide should be an object lesson in black psychology in terms of self-hate and it’s consequences.