Genocide is: Killing members of a group or causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group. It can also be describe inflicting conditions on a group to bring about their destruction, as well as preventing births within the group and forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.
Not to belittle the term, or those who experienced violent and barbaric equivalencies as mentioned above, but by those definitions, genocide occurs here, in our own country, first, and still, with the Indian population and shortly afterwards, the black population. These demographics have consistently, since the inception of this country, have been subject killing and bodily harm by state sanctioned or popularly led actions; though the brutality of such grievous treatment is in remission, elements of hatred based on race still exist. Genocide prerequisites such as “mental harm” to the group are evidenced in land appropriations, forced relocations and legal codes meant to stifle and isolate. The lack of reparations is obvious; the United States still exists: there is no Iroquois Confederacy or Cherokee nation or a sovereign Lakota territory within American borders.
I say this because the term fails. Its non-usage in the face of obvious atrocities, such as those in Bosnia or Rwanda, almost shows that the term is only applicable so long as the victim is white, Jewish or a popular form of Christianity. Inaction almost wiped out the Jews and Armenians, and UN idleness in the last few instances that fit the genocide definition, almost resulted in the same for their respective peoples. The use of the label is inexact, although, I’m sure, a sincere attempt to redress what could just be simply put: barbarism. I say we forget about the nomenclature, and work to stamp out barbarism in our own society and others we are in league with, rather than deliberating incessantly over the term ‘genocide’ and when and if each situation deserves to be legally defined as such.