In the video Genocide: Worse Than War, we follow the author Daniel Goldhagen’s journey to understand more about genocide. This video was sickening to me as it went into great detail on how and why genocide takes place. Leaders decide to initiate the killing; ordinary people make a conscious effort to participate; while those with the power to stop it, choose to do nothing. There are many excuses or reasons used for one group wanting to eliminate another group. Mostly through propaganda, the killers are made to feel that the group they are looking to eliminate is truly dangerous to them. The goal is to completely eliminate the targeted group. The level of brutality discussed during the video was beyond comprehension. Stories about children being slammed on the ground, pregnant women having fetuses cut from their bellies and slammed against trees repeatedly, rape, and machetes being used to chop people in pieces. I truly wanted to shut the video off after hearing about a baby just learning to smile, looking at their killer smiling, then being killed. This really hit home for me since I have a 6 month old that just learned how to smile. How can someone do such a thing? The reason is they have basically lost all sense of someone else being human. They feel that the targeted groups hold no human value whatsoever. During the video, Goldhagen’s journey takes him to Rwanda, Guatemala, the Balkans, and then Ukraine and Romania with his father. The detailed first hand accounts from survivors and killers were truly eye opening. It was also eye opening to see the excuses that are used by leaders that stand by and do nothing when genocide is occurring. As the video stated, we need to hold leaders accountable to end elimination and genocide. This is the best I can do for now. I need some time to really process what I just watched.
1. Genocide is the deliberate killing of another group of people with the goal of fully eliminating the group. It usually marked by the severe level of brutality used during the killings. Emotions play a large role in genocidal murder as the killer feels the group they are targeting is truly dangerous to them in some way. Often the killers are influenced by propaganda which leads the to believe that they are acting in a justified manner.

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The video “Genocide: Worse Than War” was truly eye opening. The documentary follows Daniel Goldhagen as he visits various countries where genocides happened and explains the reasons why genocides occur. I really had no clue there have been so many genocides within the last one hundred years. I didn’t even know there was there problem in Darfur when the documentary was being filmed. I also found it shocking that more people have been killed due to geneocides than those killed through wars. Near the beginning of the film, Goldhagen makes the powerful comment of genocide comes down to a series of choices: leaders choose to initiate the killings, ordinary people make a conscious choice to participate and those with power do nothing to stop it. People make conscious decisions to kill thousands or millions of people just because they are part of a specific group. I thought it was interesting that we actually got to hear from the people who actually participated in killing people during the genocides. Hearing what they were thinking as they kill people or why they would do it was just horrible. I thought it was especially hard to hear everything they do to children. Obviously killing anyone at any age is horrible but there is just something extra horrifying about going after a child who is unable to protect themselves, kids who are just so vulnerable as it is. This video definitely made me think about genocide in a completely different way than before. I can only hope people in power have seen this and have used it to help those people who are being killed and attacked.
What is empathy? Describe how it is related to prejudice?
Empathy is the ability to feel the emotions that others experience. This ability arises from being able to see the world from the other person’s point of view. Empathic feelings include sympathy, compassion and tenderness. Researchers have found that more empathetic people exhibit less prejudice. One explanation of this is that when one is able to share another group’s experiences, they are better able to see their point of view and recognize how its members are similar to us. Therefore, being able to see the world from the viewpoint of minority groups leads people to see an affinity between themselves and members of those groups that inhibit the development of prejudice.
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