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Letter from the editor: the ‘Genocide Awareness Project’

Ariana Sawyer, Opinions Editor

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From 1941 to 1945, around six million Jewish people were systematically wiped out in one of the greatest tragedies ever to mar the history of human existence. This is genocide.

Earlier, in 1915, the Ottoman and then Turkish governments and their supporters sought to eradicate the Armenian people, managing to destroy some two million innocent lives. This, too, is genocide.

In a faux pas of epic proportions, the so-called “Genocide Awareness Project” has co-opted the word genocide, conveniently disregarding its etymology, in an effort to shame, horrify and embarrass young people at California State University, Long Beach into some alignment with their repressed Catholic agenda. Abortion is not genocide.

The word in question comes from the Greek word “genos,“ which means race, kind, tribe or clan and the suffix,“-cide,” which means killer or killing. People of all ethnic and racial backgrounds practice abortion throughout the world. Through the word’s most essential meaning, abortion is not an example of killing based on race.

A Jewish legal scholar from Poland, Raphael Lemkin, coined the word genocide in 1943 to describe what happened to the Armenians, Assyrians and Jews. He fled Poland and the Nazis in 1941 and continued to lobby for the global recognition, prevention and punishment of acts of genocide.

Lemkin is responsible for the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide that the United Nations later ratified.

The official UN definition of genocide is:

“ . . . Any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: killing members of the group; causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; [and] forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.”

Again, since the practice of abortion does not target a particular ethnic group, it is not an act of genocide.

The anti-abortion group posted photos of emaciated Jewish people – actual genocide victims – next to photos of gory aborted fetuses and asked the viewers to connect the dots. They were asking young people who believe that women have a choice to equate themselves with Nazis. In this twisted logic, rape victims and pregnant teens become WWII criminals intent on shooting and burning every Jew in sight. And what about the ethnically Jewish women who maybe had or are planning to have an abortion? Surely the GAP demonstrators don’t want them to believe they are any better than Nazis.

Since when does free speech equate to the shaming and harassment of mostly innocent students? What CSULB administrator saw this campaign and agreed that that would be a good display to put in the middle of campus?

That administrator is the only person who ought to be ashamed, for the demonstrators clearly have none.

A university is a place for learning, so there is simply no excuse for the ignorance that was on display two weeks ago.

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1 Comment

One Response to “Letter from the editor: the ‘Genocide Awareness Project’”

  1. Kyle Rodriguez on September 17th, 2015 11:35 am

    If both pictures were gory…..why is it a stretch to compare the two? I wonder if the millions of aborted babies were given the opportunity to grow up and stare you in the face if you could argue your definitions. Most women that have abortions are never fully informed of the gore and intense emotional consequences that come with having an abortion. Most are never given a chance to see their babies on an ultrasound or offered any type of counseling before or after. That is the real tragedy. Women don’t realize what they are doing until its too late and many end up in counseling for years afterwards dealing with the regret and guilt that comes with extinguishing a life.

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