The Atlantic

In Rwanda, We Know All About Dehumanizing Language

Years of cultivated hatred led to death on a horrifying scale.
Source: Baz Ratner / Reuters

In Rwanda, we know what can happen when political leaders and media outlets single out certain groups of people as less than human.

Twenty-five years ago this month, all hell broke loose in my country, which is tucked away in the Great Lakes region of Africa. Hordes of members of the Hutu ethnic majority, armed with machetes, spears, nail-studded clubs, and other rudimentary weapons, moved house to house in villages, hunting for Tutsis,,or cockroaches,” and as , or “snakes.” The station, unfortunately, had many listeners.

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