The sky is dark. Missiles rain down from the sky, and bullets fly with no regard for the innocent as they suffocate under the growing pressure of the impeding hatred. The impeding hatred takes form in a word that many shudder to say – genocide. Genocide is the strangulation of innocence from a people whose perceived guilt is the subject of attack. We have seen genocides that plague our Earth. We proclaim never again, but again and again genocides occur with the innocent dying mercilessly.
When we say the word genocide, the Holocaust would be the first to come to mind. The Holocaust saw the death of six million Jews, and millions of other people were also slaughtered at the hands of the Nazi regime and their collaborators. It was with these crimes that we recognize the cruelty that humanity can inflict with the right conditions and lack of interruption. We’ve seen heinous atrocities across the world throughout time – an act that remains timeless. We grow, and we adapt, yet we still do not get past the strife of war and the need of weaponry to decimate our enemies at the helm of our differences. These atrocities remain poignant, whether it was the slaughter of Native Americans in North America, the Darfur genocide, the Bosnian genocide, the Rwandan genocide, and the Cambodian genocide. These examples only scratches the surface of the atrocities that man has committed to meet a sadistic objective.
We are a collective unit of creatures classified as humans – something that connects each of us despite constant attempts to create separation and superiority between us. We all share this commonality, and this connection represents the broader idea called life. Everyone in life serves a purpose of some sort, and these purposes are indicative of the life choices we make – the opportunities we seek and avoid. Every genocide starts with a human being. We often try to classify them as bestial in nature – as being out of this world in their cruelty. The questions, “how could they do this? Why would they do this?” echo throughout conversations across the world. The Nuremberg Trials served as an eye-opening experience for a number of reasons, but that was just the start of a greater focus into the minds of mass murderers. With no regard for life, children, men, women, and elderly fell to the ground by the bullet of a gun, and the trigger, pulled by a family man. A man who goes home to his wife and children and acts as though nothing has happened. Rudolf Höss remains the example that rings through my mind. The Commandant of Auschwitz – a man who witnessed death daily, but maintained what one could assume to be a normal life with his family. Outside of Höss’ door step was the slaughter of innocent humans. Children that were younger than his own dying to starvation, brutality, and Zyklon B. Women that were not much different than his own wife – filled with love and dreams for their family. Yet, the distinction was made that the Jewish people were to be considered less than human., a simple excuse used to slaughter the Jewish people with no regard for their innocence. Poisonous propaganda swirled at the helm of this alliance of hatred, and this propaganda served as an empowering tool to eliciting the cruelties of humanity on a scale that we would have never imagined.
We remain complicit in our contentment – we watch as regimes exterminate troves of innocent people with the idea that intervention would lead to a larger war. If it does lead to a war, is it not more just to end the cruelty and slaughter of innocents than to wait and try to reason with the already unreasonable? If the force of the world stands before the perpetrators, what other option do they have but to capitulate? The scars of genocide have scarred our planet for far too long, and we have to stand together and say enough is enough. Regardless of who it is, regardless of their race or creed, we have to speak for the voiceless and stand for them. Together, we are an unstoppable force of justice. Fragmented, we are ignorant and powerless. We are powerless in the face of hatred – the very essence of evil. We remain oblivious to the suffering of others while our lives remain fruitful and joyous. What if they were not? Would you not wish for the world to come to your aid, too? It is upon us as a greater society – as the great humanity – to stand together as one unit against hatred. One unit against genocides and the hatred that fuels their action. Should a nation transgress against our people, we will stand tall in our repellent of these opponents; however, should a nation transgress against innocent people – our brothers and sisters of life – we remain silent. When do we get angry enough to draw the line? When do we stop feeling “sorry” for the victims and begin protecting the victims and potential future victims? The complications of politics are often at the helm of such inaction, but why is our own happiness considered more valuable to those who are innocently shattering beneath the boot of a cruel regime?
We all share this planet with one another. Our words and actions trickle through generations. It is time that we think of that future – not just for our own generations, but for the generations of our fellow man across the world. It is time that the right to life doesn’t just include our own, but also those of the billions of people across the world. We are the catalyst for change – we are the catalyst for the future. We owe it to our fellow man to be better. We owe it to our fallen family members across the world – regardless of the time that has passed since their collapse to the floor by hatred’s broadsword. We must stand against hatred at every corner because it impacts all of us. It alters our future, and it alters the future of our fellow man. We must speak for those who do not have a voice, and we must stand for those who cannot stand for themselves. Humanity touts how it is the most advanced creatures on Earth, yet we cannot seem to find a way to put our weapons down and just love one another. We all have our differences, but those differences serve as a bolster to our uniqueness as a human being. A reminder of the creation of a truly beautiful creature. A human being. In its creation – pure innocence. We must work to establish this innocence in ourselves today. We must change – evolve – become the advanced creatures that we claim to be – become humanity.