Exterminate All the Brutes Essay

1846 Words Mar 9th, 2013 8 Pages
“EXTERMINATE ALL THE BRUTES”

Sven Lindqvist’s “Exterminate all the Brutes” explores the idea that genocides have been deeply rooted in European thinking over the last century. It is written in the form of a travel dairy and a historical examination of European racism over the past two centuries. Lindqvist argues that the harrowing racism that led to the Holocaust in the twentieth century had its roots in European colonial policy of the preceding century. The act of genocide itself is not a new one. When we think of genocide today we think Rwanda and the Holocaust. Genocides have been validated by the idea of racial superiority, colonial expansion and imperialism. The most civilized of men are capable of the most brutal acts.
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Churchill writes about the events regarding the situation as a complete massacre. “The rifles grew hot- so hot they had to be exchanged for those of the reserve companies. The Maxim guns exhausted all the water in their jackets…The empty cartridge cases, tinkling to the ground, soon formed small but growing heaps round each man (pg.65).” Churchill’s account clearly depicts the overkill of force used on the Sudanese. Somabulano knew that the British were out to exterminate the native people. In his speech about peace negotiations: “You came, you conquered. The strongest takes the land. We accepted your rule. We lived under you. But not as dogs! If we are to be dogs it is better to be dead (pg.62). ” This was not the case of many rulers giving up their power. Most gave up without a fight no arms were used but at Omdurman they fought.
Lindqvist ties together many written works by different authors to depict the brutal view on white colonialism. Colonial countries are invisible killers; they are able to kill the native people without having to be persecuted (pg.77). They can kill without being seen from yards away because of their gun power. They can kill because they feel they will not be persecuted or the rules from home don’t apply (pg.77). No one can see their brutal actions and the law of the blacks will not uphold against them. Think of what anyone would do if they

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