Orderly and oppressive

As Americans, we tend to assume that democracy is the best option. Human rights groups are jumping on the Rwandan government for achieving order through oppression.

Rwanda offers ample evidence that democracy requires ripeness in the form of at least a baseline of education, common values, and economic stability.

Perhaps it’s too early in Rwanda’s reconstruction to call for democracy. This is a nation carved out and then divided by outside forces. It was the Belgian government that arbitrarily determined who was in the majority (Hutu: fewer than ten cows, dark skinned, medium height) and the minority (Tutsi: more than ten cows, lighter skinned, tall). The situation is imperfect, and people are suffering, but now again is not the time for outsiders to press for their way of doing things.


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