COMMENTARY

The Stain Of Genocide

One can employ a strict, torturous, and legal definition of “Genocide”, with mandatory boxes to be ticked, but only if certain necessary conditions of intent are met before a sufficient declaration can be offered. Even then, with apprehension, for genocide connotes a seemingly, unimaginable, dastardly deed for which denial or incredulity must be affixed.

The net effect of that “measure then cut to sew a fancy garment” template, that nobody wants to wear, is that we dither in the presence of atrocities in favor of arguing after the fact over culpability, responsibility, or denial, and by this approach supporting and enabling the bright red stains of history.

Redefining the color and nature of blood so that Sherlock can be guaranteed his pound of flesh, without due and careful regard to blood’s inviolable sacredness, whatever its color, is unethical. It is inexcusable.

Our profound apologies after the fact – if they come at all – betray the lingering attitude or ingrained conditioning of learned bias, that we do not only for the inhumane treatment of the other.

We cannot hate our enemies so much that their destruction at our hands matters more than their seeking safety and refuge in universally recognized sacred spaces. For that, in essence, is the definition of Genocide we torturously wish to avoid.

Warring parties are obligated to protect their enemies’ dignity, and to fight in ways that make peaceful coexistence – may it be soon in coming – a sustainable and deeper expression of our shared journeys. Genocide makes that challenging proposition even more difficult and presents us with a simmering time bomb of our own making.

To prevent genocide, we are asked to recognize that Abel would have been far better served by all of us if Cain was restrained in his righteous indignation by our thoughtful intervention before he went too far with thoughts, and deeds beyond the pale.

To not recognize Genocide, in its infancy or full-blown, is to cry crocodile tears at the alleged grave of Abel while taking selfies.

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Peter Peterkin, Readers Bureau, Contributor

Edited by Jesus Chan

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