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Hotel Rwanda: Sanctuary or Graveyard?

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Hotel Rwanda: Sanctuary or Graveyard?

Erika King

Missouri Valley College

Author Notes

        Prepared for CJ440 Ethics in Criminal Justice, Taught by Professor Karen Reeter, Spring Term 2016.

Hotel Rwanda: Sanctuary or Graveyard?

        The film Hotel Rwanda opened with a radio call in which the Hutu rebels stated that they hated the Tutsi because “The Tutsi were collaborators for the Belgian colonists, they stole our Hutu land, they whipped us.  Now they have come back, these Tutsi rebels.  They [were] cockroaches; they [were] murderers” (George, 2001).  What was failed to be mentioned in that scene was the fact that both Tutsi and Hutu spanned from the same tribe (George, 2001).  It was troubling to realize that those people held so much hatred toward one another when their history, their roots, were intertwined.  Even if they were not of the same original tribe, there was nothing that initiated the violence besides pure hatred.  People were still people, no matter what their color or background.

        Another problem relayed in the film was that the UN did not put forth the effort that they should have into helping the people involved in the genocide (George, 2001).  Again, all people were equal and nobody should consider themselves above anyone else, including those that could have stopped the rebellion.  The UN had the ability to help, they simply refused to fight or fire upon the enemy until their own men were killed (George, 2001).  It should not have mattered who was killed, from the time the first person was shot the UN and other governments should have been prepared to protect those that were being targeted.  It’s a matter of ethics, right vs. wrong, and the question was whether it was right to stand by and allow innocent people to be slaughtered by their own people.

        There was never a reason or time for innocent people to be sent to their death by those seeking vengeance or by anyone else for that matter.  Many of the victims portrayed in the film were children that were being killed to eliminate future generations (George, 2001).  No innocent person deserves a death sentence, no matter the situation.  Even though some may argue that it was important to focus on the greatest good for the greatest number of people, was genocide ever the greatest good?  It was not ethical to murder innocent people.


References

George, T. (Director/Producer). (2001). Hotel rwanda [Motion picture]. United States: United Artists.

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