Which forces allowed some participants to do what they believed was right during the genocide in  Rwanda?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

One of the most dominant forces that allowed for an authentic belief in what was done as being right came from social affirmation.  Many Hutus believed that the presence of the Tutsis meant that their own place in Rwandan society would be lost.  In the economic challenges of the early 1990s, the Hutu belief that the presence of Tutsis would mean that they would be denied their own political voice helped to facilitate the feelings that total Tutsi elimination was the only option to pursue.  This was enhanced by historical tendencies to see Tutsi control as coming at the cost of Hutu empowerment.  These beliefs percolated to the surface with the attempt of the coup on the part of the Tutsis.  

In the end, this was where the Hutus, in majority population, felt that the only way to safeguard their own political and social future resided in elimination of the Tutsis.  It was in this where so many participants felt that what they were doing was right.  There is no other justification than this when teachers, doctors, and priests williingly participate in genocide.  The authenticity that they were attacking and exteriminating "an enemy" or an existential threat to their being is what drove the Hutus to such a horrific end.

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