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Why Business People Speak Like Idiots: A Bullfighter's Guide Free 26

It is encouraging to know that the news media are also undertaking a process of self-examination as we collectively remember this tragedy. Media were used in Rwanda to spread hatred, to dehumanize people, and even to guide the genocidaires toward their victims. Three journalists have even been found guilty of genocide, incitement to genocide, conspiracy and crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. We must find a way to respond to such abuses of power without violating the principles of freedom, which are an indispensable cornerstone of democracy.

Why Business People Speak Like Idiots: A Bullfighter's Guide free 26

The power of the myth of whiteness in sub-Saharan Africa is a thing that cannot be discarded, yet, at the same time, must be invoked with the greatest caution. A priori, Ruggiu's authority or credibility as a white man with Rwandan farmers who could not understand his words would seem at best dubious, one must recall that radio often feeds into the dynamics of other enduring social hierarchies and relations. As Immaculée, 36, a detainee accused of participation in the genocide, explained: 'Those who understood French liked to listen to the muzuungu and said he was on the side of the Hutu, and that he spoke well and was against the Tutsi. Educated people and bourgmestres would explain the French broadcasts to others' (interview, 11 July 2000). Here, one can see radio broadcasts as events in which different actors create multiple meanings. In a mutually reinforcing process, local elites could play upon and enhance their credibility as educated Francophones vis-à-vis those who could not speak French, while Ruggiu's reach was extended and his own authority strengthened by the endorsement of such notables.14

Besides apparently alerting listeners to specific targets and hiding places,15 RTLM's animateurs also implicated ordinary listeners in the activities of the genocide; farmers at roadblocks or on the street were frequently interviewed, and RTLM employed techniques that acted on relations among listeners. During an interview at a roadblock, a man once told Kantano that he and his colleagues had killed five inyenzi. After encouraging them to 'keep it up,' Kantano asked: 'When testing if people like a radio station, you ask the following question: who are the speakers of that radio whom you know? Who are the RTLM speakers you know? ... If you do not know them that means that you do not like this radio' (RTLM, 29 May 1994).




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