Tag Archives: mental health

Living the Conditions of Genocide

genocide,60s Scoop, ptsd, mental health, living genocide, healing and welness
Healing from Genocide

One day, nestled in the forest, a child giggles and points to the birds flying by, staying close to his/her parent. This parent teaches the child how to pronounce words, naming the birds, a tree, the grass. That smile that lights up the parents face when this child repeats the words back, correctly, makes this child happy beyond words. It’s called joy. This world can truly be a wondrous place with this parent. Can you imagine experiencing such a joy and sense of freedom, security, from your own childhood years?

Genocide, in our minds, refers to ‘mass murder’ of a people but there are a few other terms that need explaining since they get used interchangeably but have their own separate definitions. As we know, the United Nations defines Genocide as ‘the destruction of a national ethnic, racial or religious group‘ and is considered the ultimate crime against humanity. It doesn’t have to necessarily mean complete annihilation of a group but still aims, to ‘eradicate‘ a part of Humanity.

Crimes against Humanity refers to systematic attacks against the civilian population regardless of whether in times of peace or war. It refers to acts against common human rights and values such as murder, extermination, forced displacement, slavery, rape, torture and other inhumane acts.

War Crimes, refers to criminal acts committed during armed conflicts and severe acts of Breach to the Rules of warfare. These rules are set down in the Geneva Conventions to protect the innocent civilian population, prisoners of war, sick or wounded military personnel, destruction of towns, cities, not justified by armed combatants.

The term crimes against humanity, is considered an ‘umbrella‘ term to encompass crimes that are not necessarily extreme as genocide but these crimes do not need to reach this point, in order to be defined and punished, by International laws.

The conditions that occur in armed conflict zones affect people who make up a society. A society is defined as, ‘a group of people who live within the same territory and share a common culture’ (Sociology, The Core). Their social structure (more-or-less recurrent and stable patterns) are disrupted and people are displaced when homes, towns, villages are destroyed.

Culture refers to ‘the social heritage of a people, learned patterns for thinking, feeling and acting that are passed from one generation to the next. It includes ‘non-material’ culture, (the abstract creations like values, beliefs, symbols, norms, customs) and the ‘material’ culture which refers to the ‘physical’ artifacts and objects’.

The armed conflict zones, even in peaceful zones,can affect society and culture especially if ‘ethnocentrism‘ (judge the behavior of other groups by the standards of one’s OWN group) is the driving force to perceive others as an object of loathing, strangeness, evil and danger. It is one of three ingredients that arise from apathy towards the acts of racism.

The urge and need, for self-preservation kicks in, and people will flee the conflict zone. They will enter a new nation seeking asylum and refuge. They will learn to add a new ‘culture‘ to their own. One barrier may be ‘language‘. It is considered one of Man’s greatest ‘symbols‘ since it is ‘a socially structured system of sound patterns with specific and arbitrary meanings’. Language is the ‘cornerstone‘ of every culture around the world and PRINCIPLE means by which human beings create culture and share it from generation to generation’.

Perspectives on reasons that conflict exists may differ, such as :

i) failure to give minorities full equality, wastes valuable human resources, generates ethnic hostilities, reduces economic production and undermines authority

ii) A study of dominant group policies has revealed that a dominant nation ‘developed six types of policies: assimilation, pluralism, legal protection of minorities, population transfer, continued subjugation, and extermination‘(George E.Simpson and J.Milton Yinger, 1972). The minorities are kept ‘in their place‘-subservient, vulnerable and exploitable.

The long term effects of conflict zones have been studied since the First World war. Many names have been applied and today, a common term is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and is used to describe the psychological impact of a traumatic event for an individual.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has reported that ‘10% of the people who experience traumatic events will have serious mental health problems and another 10% will develop behavior that will hinder their ability to function effectively‘. It is a tragic consequence of living through conflict upon any Human regardless of age.

Research has found that rehabilitation can be gained with positive new life experiences, psychological support, religious and cultural practices. If we can provide opportunity to fulfill Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs: physiological (water, food, air), safety and security (shelter), love and belonging (family, friends, community), self-esteem (positive new experiences, hope, joy), self-actualization (conscious of others, able to help others), rehabilitation and recovery can be attained. People accessing help are found to be resilient and find recovery. WHO and the UN continue their research for improving and providing continual help in this area.

Did you know that 2/3 of the Indigenous population of N America, were wiped out by the early colonists and pride abounds, in that extreme act? Remember the little child, so happy beyond words? Well, 1950’s to today, First Nation children have been systematically and regularly ‘apprehended‘ and removed, from their FN communities and families. Adult children of the 60’s Scoop have literally ‘lived‘ the EXACT same conditions and experiences, as the terrified refugee’s (arriving on our shores) but, in government care by the Childrens Aid Society, in their own homelands, Canada. Do you think that’s truly fair to do, upon a People? a Child?

Learning in Action

Related Reading

Racism Can Cause PTSD Similar To That Of Soldiers After War

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

FREE Download, UN Declaration of Human Rights

What is PTSD and What can we do about it?

I hope you found this article informative and gained some new insight. Please feel free to share your new found knowledge with others. Use the ‘Contact’ form to make a request on a topic of your own interest. I hope you visit again for more informative articles coming soon.

Article(C)2009 An Informal Cornr, all rights reserved. Ginsense writes articles on business skills, development, health, science, technology and society and enjoys advocating for independence, security and a better world for all of us. She works as a VEA to help businesses operate more effectively.

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Dwindling Economics and Racism

chasing money away
chasing money away

The pride and practice of racism which refers to a ‘prejudice or discrimination against a person or group because of a difference in race or ethnicity‘ hurts people but can also hurt one’s surrounding economy. What would an influx of money do for your community?

 So, what does an influx mean? It’s defined as ‘ a steady stream or flow‘. Can you imagine having people arrive daily, year round to or near, your community, spending money because there’s something special about your particular area that attracts them? It’s called ‘tourism‘ and is a beneficial industry for one’s community and nation too. Tourists come from all over the land and from other lands around the globe.

A tourist will have money to spend on expenses for travel, food, shelter, gifts for themselves and family. This money helps build the ‘services‘ so one can cater to the travelling tourist. A hotel for shelter, restaurants for food, vending machines for snacks, gas stations for vehicles and recreational vehicles, a park for RV’s and/or camping, a market full of locally made gifts, to name a few services. These businesses don’t just pop out of nowhere for no reason but having them, creates their own ‘needs‘ and jobs are posted. A win-win for business and the local people.

 Now back to the opening of this topic about racism and what’s the point? Well, practicing racism has a certain attitude. One may think they’re hiding it but no, it’s there. A stranger in town may not quite be able to put their finger on what’s wrong but their intuition says, ‘danger‘ and leaving quickly is their goal. They are uncomfortable and will seek ‘shelter‘ of a different sort, like, maybe police protection and leave town by sunset. Would this be a good goal for a community hoping to better their economy?

 The idea of tourists flocking to your community with their wallets at hand vs the tourist running out of town, as fast as possible, with their wallets. Which one would be preferable? Personal safety must be taken into consideration for a successful tourist destination, business or industry, to thrive. Practicing open racism and/or unhealthy attitudes towards ‘strangers‘ sends the message loud and clear ‘you’re not welcome‘ here. This in effect will quickly shut down efforts to bring new money, into your community.

 A loss of money will have a trickling effect on the community as a whole. Your local businesses that are part of the ‘hospitality‘ industry which caters to the ‘tourism‘ industry will be forced to downsize and may eventually close. People will lose jobs and financial security because there is no ‘influx‘ of money since the local businesses, have no customers. Do we really want to chase ‘tourists‘ out of town?

Sociologists state that people are not born human but only do so, through interaction with others. The process of social interaction aka ‘socialization’ helps the ordinary human being learn and acquire the knowledge, attitudes, values and behaviors to function, live and contribute positively, or negatively, to society. In effect, a being who may readily contribute positively or negatively, to their community hospitality and tourism industries. Hospitality and tourism is a ‘people‘ industry that requires one to genuinely enjoy interacting with people. Is racism good for the economy?

Where does racism come from? It could be viewed as the capacity of how one has ‘evolved‘ or to not have, as a human. Others will say it’s an ‘expression‘ of fear. Neuroscience speaks of the Male Warrior Hypothesis ” which states that a ‘GROUP aggression by males is a persistent trait of behavior and is not commonly found in women. These types of behaviors can be found displayed in groups of chimpanzee’s yet, again, not as much with the females, in that group’.

The success of planning or building a tourist based industry in our communities can be affected by poor attitudes and behaviors. I’m not sure one would want others to see, or feel, threat of violence against or done on others, when they’re visiting. It leaves an extremely poor image and reputation for the community as a whole. We know how ‘gossip‘ can be quite ‘viral’  especially with today’s technologies. ‘Word of mouth’ is considered one of many popular ‘advertising‘ mediums. So, what would you want people to say about your community?

Thankfully, humans do have the ability to ‘transcend’ in their behaviors but it is a personal ‘choice‘. We cannot force racist attitudes to disappear and some would say, ‘unfortunately, every village got to have an idiot’. One common finding with researchers that is shared, believe that ending racism must begin with the government. Applying protections and consequences can help towards changing ‘open and hostile‘ acts and practices of racism. This won’t work though if the government, whether openly or subtly, practices and perpetuates racism themselves. What would you want to see for your nation?

Learning in Action

Extra Reading

Implicit Association Test

Types of Racism

Is Racism an Illness?

I hope you found this article informative. Please feel free to leave your comments and share your thoughts. Send me a email if you have a request on a topic of interest or to say hello using the ‘Contact Form’. Have a great day!

Article(C)2013, all rights reserved. Ginsense creates and posts articles online about business development, home business, health, science, technology and society. ‘Life should be interesting, never mind the boring’.

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