Contemporary Genocide

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Contemporary Genocide Lecture: Our contemporary genocide lecture series highlight the importance of teaching the Holocaust: because the Holocaust was a genocide and genocides continue to occur.
Using Dr. Gregory Stanton's 8 Stages of Genocide we compare the stages that led up to the Holocaust alongside the stages that led up to other genocides, such as Darfur and Rwanda.
The 8 stages of genocide are:

  • Classification
  • Symbolization
  • Dehumanization
  • Organization
  • Polarization
  • Preparation
  • Extermination
  • Denial

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In order to help explain how and why genocides occur, Dr. Gregory Stanton presented the US State Department in 1996 with his Eight Stages of Genocide. He argued that these stages can be predicted and prevented but that they are not linear and each one does not have to be present for a genocide to occur. These stages also continue to operate through the genocide.

Stanton’s presentation to the State Department was a message to governments that they need to interfere and attempt to prevent the genocide even if the government or nation has no political or economic interest. It was a general call for people to help defend people. Thus far governments are unwilling to interfere in foreign countries’ internal matters. This then, is where non-governmental and non-profit organizations have stepped in. Organizations such as Save Darfur, Stop Genocide Now and Change.org are paving the way to interfere in genocides, aid displaced persons, and hunt down perpetrators.