Monday, December 1, 2008

Genocide in the United States: U.S. Policy

The terms irony, duplicity, and hypocrisy don't even begin to describe what I've just found, which is the U.S. government's Chapter 50a Code on Genocide, and how this government is mandated to respond to such an horrific event. An "event", it must be noted, can happen continually over hundreds of years with different tactics for achieving genocidal "success".

It is worth remembering, and never forgetting, what genocide is, in practice, inside and outside the United States.

The definition referenced below is from the book Acts of Rebellion: The Ward Churchill Reader (2003), page 260:
[T]he term “genocide” was coined to describe not only policies leading to the outright physical liquidation of “ethnical, racial, religious or national” aggregates, but also policies designed to bring about the dissolution, destruction, and disappearance of these “identified human groups as such,” by other means.

Now, on with U.S. policy:

U.S. Code; Chapter 50A;
Section § 1091. Genocide

(a) Basic Offense. - Whoever, whether in time of peace or in time of war, in a circumstance described in subsection (d) and with the specific intent to destroy, in whole or in substantial part, a national, ethnic, racial, or religious group as such.

(1) kills members of that group;
(2) causes serious bodily injury to members of that group;
(3) causes the permanent impairment of the mental faculties of members of the group through drugs, torture, or similar techniques;
(4) subjects the group to conditions of life that are intended to cause the physical destruction of the group in whole or in part;
(5) imposes measures intended to prevent births within the group; or
(6) transfers by force children of the group to another group; or attempts to do so,

shall be punished as provided in subsection (b).*

In what moral universe is the United States government not committing genocide against American Indians? And why isn't the U.S. government acting accordingly? (We know why. It is because in order to effectively carry out this policy, the U.S. government would have to commit suicide.)

I pulled those two pieces of information together: the definition and the policy regarding genocide, because when I do a Google search on "Genocide in the United States" I encounter the informational equivalent of crickets chirping. Genocide not being discussed among the citizens of a dominant society is one sure-fire way to guarantee genocidal practices will not cease any time soon.

This "silence" is an outrage. As the late great feminist, Andrea Dworkin, once noted in her discussion of the work of James Baldwin: Amerika has no memory and no mind.

I'll add: or soul.

*For more on the code, click here.

If you wish to address the hypocrisy of this governmental policy directly, or to express outrage that the U.S. government is, still, committing genocide against American Indians, the contact info follows:
Prevent Genocide International
1804 'S' Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20009 USA
Tel. 202-483-1948, Fax 202-328-0627