Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust
by Immaculee Ilibagiza
I tried to swallow, but my throat closed up. I had no saliva, and my mouth was drier than sand. I closed my eyes and tried to make myself disappear, but their voices grew louder. I knew that they would show no mercy, and my mind echoed one thought: If they catch me me, they will kill me. If they catch me, they will kill me...
I don't normally read autobiographies, but this one, although sad and gut-wrenching to read, was an inspiring first person account of one refugee's struggle to survive and through the will of God, did.
In 1994, in the country of Rwanda one ethnic group, the Hutus, went about cleansing the country of the Tutsi minority, neighbors turned on neighbors, in a six month rash of such brutal killings, such debauchery, that I can't believe this all went on the year my first son was born. The United States, and many other countries looked the other way. Finally the French helped them but not before 100's of thousands of Tutsi were killed. Families completely wiped off the face of the Earth.
Immaculee's family was one of them. Before the genocide, as she calls it, their family did well. They had their own house, a car, a motorcycle. Her father owned land, was a farmer and businessman. She and her three brothers all went to university, were all educated and were doing well when this began. She was nineteen. Her story is an inspiring one of undaunted courage and faith in God. I recommend it to anyone interested in obtaining a world view of how an abuse of power can lead to the justified annihilation of almost an entire race and how even one person can defy the odds.
Racism and hate is still alive and well in the world, festering in the sores of the disenchanted; the angry. It even lives in our own country. While I am proud that our next president is an African American (according to some that's the only reason I voted for him), I am concerned for his safety. Even the editor of our local paper discussed it yesterday.
Some conservative blogs have compared Obama to Osama bin Laden, a Nazi, Hitler, even. He's not my President, they say. One site was encouraging people to hang their flags upside down in response to his winning. Text messages were sent telling everyone to wear black to signify the death of our nation. I found the horrific picture below.
All this from people who probably claim to love our country. It disgusts me. If McCain had won, while I would have been disappointed, I would still be proud of the great country we live in. A country that allows free speech even in the form of what I consider racist, anti-American rants from sore losers, who if they aren't careful, are going to incite just enough rage to fuel another skinhead out there with a plan.
In the 1830's, Andrew Jackson meant to squelch an uprising by an unruly state of South Carolina who meant to nullify some federal laws. "Disunion by armed force is treason," he said. "Are you really ready to incur its guilt?"
And so, to some of you out there I ask, Are you?