Bunyakiri.  The facilitation team using a consensus process, decided to travel to Kunyakiri as planned.

When the team arrived we were warmly welcomed by a group of people who were happy to see us.  [Similar to the lesson I learned above—being present is at times gift enough.]  The church choir and the children’s choir sang songs for us, and everyone prayed for a successful workshop…

We should not put our concern for our own safety ahead of our concern for the afflicted.

Does anyone know who Theoneste Bagasora is?  I have never yet had an American give the correct response to this question.  He was the “mastermind” of the Rwandan genocide, presently on trial at the International War Crimes Tribunal for Rwanda in Arusha, Tanzania.  He was the leader of a group called “Hutu Power” who thought that the majority Hutu should rule Rwanda and that all Tutsi should be eliminated.  Their theory was even more diabolical than that used in Nazi Germany during the Holocaust. Their idea was to force every Hutu to participate in the genocide of the Tutsi so that there would be a Hutu solidarity of silence and impunity. If everyone was guilty, then no one could be tried for any murders committed during the slaughter.  In one hundred days about 850,000 Tutsi and moderate Hutu were killed,--organized from the top down by Bagasora and others in a most effective manner.  This was about 75% of the Tutsi in the country at the time. The attempted power grab failed and the Hutu leaders, rather than ruling over an ethnically “pure” Rwanda, are now on trial in Arusha.  Many of the worst perpetrators of the genocide have fled to the Congo, thereby creating a lot of conflict and killings there, while over 120,000 accused of participating in the genocide have spent more than ten years in jail with no chance of even an unfair trial.

Theoneste Bagasora’s theory of genocide may have failed in Rwanda, but it succeeded here in the United States where we are heirs to a policy of silence and impunity. The Lenni Lenape Indians who John Woolman went to visit no longer exist—in 1867 its remaining remnants joined the Cherokee Nation and now live in Oklahoma.

Their demise was not pretty.  Here is one quote from the War of 1812 when they had been pushed into Ohio. An American militia from Washington, PA attacked a group of Lenni Lenape Indians who had converted to the pacifist Moravian Church.

On the pretext of leading the Indians to safety, they [the American militia] gathered together the residents of Salem and Gnadenhutten in the latter village.  When the Indians were assembled, they were formally accused of being accessories to murder, and were sentenced to death.  March 8 was set as the day of execution, and while the Indians sang hymns taught them by their pastors, prayed, pleaded for their lives, and protested their innocence, they were beaten to death with mallets and hatchets, and scalped.  According to Moravian records, 56 adult Indians were killed (29 men, 27 women) and 34 children of various ages…{The militia} burned the buildings at Gnadenhutten to the ground, including the structures in which they heaped up the copses of the victims.  The also burned to ashes the neighboring villages of Schonbrunn and Salem and then loaded their horses with the spoils of the raid, which they divided and took home with them. [Pages 316 -317, The Delaware Indians: A History, by C A Weslager].

It strikes me that we Quakers ought to visit the remnants of the Lenni Lenape Indians first to ask them how they are doing and second to apologize for our failure in helping them to survive. As Woolman says, “[ have for] many years felt love in my heart toward the natives of this land who
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