In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

­ 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...


Additional Information

Related ISBN
MARC Record
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.