Daily Archives: November 15, 2007

Panel to Respond to State of Race Speech.

By Simran Jain



A group of Emory faculty members who opposed allowing the “Hotel Rwanda” figure Paul Rusesabagina to speak unopposed at State of Race last month has organized a follow-up event to present other views on the Rwandan genocide.

The event, scheduled for Nov. 27, is titled “Beyond Hollywood’s Rwanda: Truth and Justice, Security and Development after the 1994 Genocide,” will be a panel discussion about Rwanda. Susan Allen, professor of global health at the Rollins School of Public Health, said Rusesabagina is a “genocide denier” who has misrepresented the facts of the 1994 genocide for political purposes.

“You have to be a critical thinker. Just because he says things, doesn’t mean it’s true,” she said. “That’s how this panel began. It’s not ‘let’s bash Paul,’ it’s, ‘let’s tell the truth.’” In the past, College Council’s annual State of Race address has featured a panel of experts, not one person speaking unopposed.

“The contract Emory signed with Rusesabagina really went against the spirit of the State of the Race,” said Professor of Anthropology and Global Health Peter Brown, another organizer of the November event.

“If $20,000 of our tuition money went towards this man making political-ethnic tensions worse, then you’re putting $20,000 in the war chest,” Brown added. “We don’t know for sure, but these are things to be concerned about.” One panelist will be former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Andrew Young, who produced a documentary called “Rwanda Rising” about the genocide.

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