restricted access 4. Sorting and Suffering: Social Classification in the Aftermath of Genocide
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­ 128 4 Sort­ ing and Suf­ fer­ ing So­ cial Clas­ sifi­ ca­ tion in the After­ math of Gen­ o­ cide In ­ Rwanda the shib­ bo­ leth of gen­ o­ cide ­ forced a clear yet some­ times ar­ bi­ trary de­ mar­ ca­ tion ­ between Hutu and Tutsi. This vi­ o­ lent partition had an en­ dur­ ing im­ pact on the lived ex­ pe­ ri­ ence of so­ cial clas­ sifi­ ca­ tion in the after­ math of the gen­ o­ cide. The pre­ vi­ ous chap­ ters de­ scribed how the Rwan­ dan Pa­ tri­ otic­ Front’s (RPF) man­ age­ ment of na­ tional mourn­ ing, its rewriting of na­ tional his­ tory, and its heg­ e­ mony man­ i­ fested in am­ plified si­ lence pro­ duced a moral econ­ omy that ­ equated “Hutu” with “killer” and “Tutsi” with “vic­ tim.” As Geof­frey Bow­ ker and Susan Star (1999) argue, all clas­ sifi­ ca­ tion ­ systems carry moral and eth­ i­ cal agen­ das. In their ex­ am­ ina­ tion of race clas­ sifi­ ca­ tion under apart­ heid in South Af­ rica, Bow­ ker and Star trace the ways that “the lives of in­ di­ vid­ u­ als are ­ broken, ­ twisted, and tor­ qued by their en­ coun­ ters” with the ra­ cial clas­ sifi­ ca­ tion ­ system (1999, 26). Gen­ der and eth­ nic so­ cial clas­ sifi­ ca­ tions in the after­ math of the gen­ o­ cide af­fected Rwan­ dan women in sim­ i­ lar ways and in­ creased the mar­ gi­ nal­ iza­ tion of cit­ i­ zens who did not fit Sorting and Suffering 129 into the so­ cial cat­ e­ go­ ries de­ ployed in the dom­ i­ nant dis­ course about the gen­ o­ cide, civil war, and na­ tional his­ tory. While many schol­ ars have al­ ready tack­ led the mean­ ings of eth­ nic clas­ sifi­ ca­ tion in pre­ gen­ o­ cide ­ Rwanda, few have writ­ ten about eth­ nic­ ity in post­ gen­ o­ cide ­ Rwanda. In­ ves­ ti­ gat­ ing or writ­ ing about eth­ nic­ ity in ­ Rwanda today is not only ex­ tremely dif­fi­ cult, it is also dan­ ger­ ous. Under the RPF’s pol­ icy of na­ tional unity, it is im­ pos­ sible to ask re­ search par­ tic­ i­ pants di­ rect ques­ tions about eth­ nic­ ity. Dur­ ing the bulk of my eth­ no­ graphic re­ search in­ Rwanda ­ between 1997 and 2002, this pol­ icy was a pub­ lic se­ cret, un­ stated but uni­ ver­ sally known. In 2001 the Law on Dis­ crim­ i­ na­ tion and Sec­ tar­ ian­ ism cod­ ified this pol­ icy into law and de­ fined “di­ vi­ sion­ ism” as a crime pun­ ish­ able by one to five years in ­ prison. The 2003 con­ sti­ tu­ tion ­ stated that the Rwan­ dan peo­ ple ­ should root out “gen­ o­ ci­ dal ideol­ ogy” every­ where and in all its forms. Nei­ ther law ­ clearly de­ fined “di­ vi­ sion­ ism” or “gen­ o­ ci­ dal ideol­ ogy.” As a re­ sult, the govern­ ment has used these laws to si­ lence RPF crit­ ics and to sup­ press move­ ments op­ posed to RPF rule. The first ex­ am­ ple was the 2004 par­ lia­ men­ tary study of di­ vi­ sion­ ism in inter­ na­ tional and na­ tional civil so­ ci­ ety or­ gan­ iza­ tions. The re­ port re­ sulted in a witch hunt of local civil so­ ci­ ety lead­ ers of the or­ gan­ iza­ tions named in the re­ port. The lead­ ers of the Rwan­ dan human ­ rights or­ gan­ iza­ tion Ligue rwan­ daise pour la pro­ mo­ tion et la dé­ fense des ­ droits de ­ l’homme (LI­ PROD­ HOR) fled the coun­ try be­ cause of the­ threat im­ posed by the re­ sults of the re­ ports (IRIN 2004a, 2004b). In 2005 the Rwan­ dan Sen­ ate com­ mis­ sioned a study to iden­ tify di­ vi­ sion­ ism and gen­ o­ ci­ dal ideol­ ogy among ­ foreign schol­ ars (US De­ part­ ment of State 2006). In 2006 a Ca­ na­ dian re­ searcher was de­ tained by Rwan­ dan au­ thor­ ities who then re­ voked her re­ search per­ mit. They ­ seized her pass­ port and re­ quired her to at­ tend an in­ gando (sol...