This is what I do, don't try to understand how I do it; I don't really know either

Rwanda 1994

Estimated one million people slaughtered viciously because they were told they were different. Once the killing started no one came to help. They were not given value by the world because they were African.

I will never waiver that we are human before we are anything.

We are human before we are African or North American.

We are human before we are male or female.

We are human before we are black or white or brown.

Today I watched Hotel Rwanda. I had never seen it before. It is different to watch it and to have been there last year, in the country and at the hotel.

The most horrible line from the movie is given by a man who filmed footage of the massacres and got it out of the country. The hotel owner believed that if the world saw what was going on they would take action. The man said, “If they see this footage they will say oh my god that’s horrible and go on eating their diner.”

I was in grade 10 at the time and I knew nothing about the genocide until I was in my late 20’s.

There are two kinds of people in the world: those who will choose to eat their diner and those who will do whatever means necessary to help others.

I will teach my children about the horrors of the world because we must remember, because we must never continue to eat our diner. I don’t want to be that kind of person. A person who does not recognize humanity.

You may never touch a machete, but you are just as guilty of the babies slaughtered in their mothers arms because as a world we did nothing. We all failed the people of Rwanda.

When I was there I realized how much we can learn from them, and not just the lesson of our disgraceful apathy. A lesson of humanity.

If you ask the question now, are you a Hutu or Tutsi – they will answer, I am Rwandan. They all answer I am Rwandan. They are no longer divided but one people as they always should have been.

May we learn from the Rwandans that we are united, not divided.

We are all humans first.


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