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I study genocide. It's been a theme in my academic endeavours for nearly 30 years. More accurately, I study the conditions in the lead up to genocide, be they cultural, social, political, economic, etc... 1/n
There's common themes and patterns. Usually it happens in an economically distressed country with falling standards of living for most people. Rising infant mortality is a good indicator variable. 2/n
The politicians enacting it are populists who benefit from stirring Us vs. Them narratives, placing blame for the woes of the nation on others who are somehow less worthy. They yearn for a mythological past w/o these people. It's a highly viable tactic for shoring up support 3/n
The "others" are labeled as criminals, perverts, threats to women and children, disgusting, and generally unworthy of empathy. Anyone who supports the vulnerable minority is attacked with, "So you support the horrible things these degenerates do?" 4/n
This effectively undercuts anyone from speaking out, for fear of being labeled as sympathetic to a parade of horribles.

The government also modifies the courts to ensure they will not block actions they take. 5/n
In the 20th and 21st century, genocide rarely goes from zero to all out slaughter in the blink of an eye. Even in Rwanda, the anti-Tutsi propaganda started in earnest in 1990. The plan for the slaughter began taking shape in 1992. Preparation began over a year ahead. 6/n
In countries where there is still something resembling a functional (ostensibly) elected government, the phases are slower. First, there's the propaganda, supported by things like government reporting of the crimes committed by the people they target. 7/n
Then there's public safety measures. Removing them from the military, and from federal service. Revoking clearances. Egging on stochastic intimidation and violence and failing to prosecute people who commit it. 8/n
Revoking basic civil rights once you have the courts in place to allow (or enact) it comes next. Establishing that the target group has less civil rights than every other member of the population, even de facto, adds legitimacy to what comes next. 9/n
Now that there's second class status, you can keep them out of the education system and deny them access to health care. Jobs are scarce. You can create vast zones where the minority is forbidden from public life. Make them carry/wear IDs identifying them as "other" 10/n
(If this sounds familiar, the Germans modeled their 1930's laws on those used to keep the US South segregated.)

Police harass and target the minority, and they are often arrested and abused with little reason. People disappear into the system. The goal of this is two fold 11/n
First is to get the public inured to these abuses. People disappear all the time, right?

Second, and this is where genocide actually starts, is to get people to actually voluntarily pack up and leave the country, or actively hide who they are. 12/n
This is the beginnings of cultural genocide: the minority disappears from the culture because they have either left, or have gone underground.

At the same time, the government is testing the world community to see how they react to other outrages. 13/n
Whether it's acts of military aggression, bellicose leaders, assassinating journalists, putting foreign nationals in filthy over crowded camps that are black holes; the country on the verge of genocide is looking to see if they can provoke a reaction. It almost never comes 14/n
In part, because the groups targeted are ones that other countries simply don't care about either. Jews, Tutsis, gays, Roma, South Sudanese, the disabled, mentally ill, poverty stricken immigrants; they historically aren't worth starting a fight over. 15/n
At some point, the government determines or realizes that no one will intervene, and that there's no additional consequences to moving to the next steps: where they move to planning on how to get rid of the targeted population. 16/n
How they carry out mass killing is irrelevant, in the sense that it's way too late to do anything by this point, and that it doesn't follow a pattern. Sometimes it's camps and neglect. Guns. Machetes. Killing fields. Death marches. Sometimes it's all of the above. 17/n
What is interesting to me is watching for the warning signs
* Rising infant mortality
* Demonizing government propaganda
* Us v. Them narrative
* Mythological past free of a minority
* Populist government
* Breakdown of democratic norms
* Politicized court beholden to party 18/n
* Removing minority from federal service
* Legally establishing that minority doesn't have same rights as everyone else
* Encouraging stochastic violence
* Preventing access to health care system
* Preventing access to education 19/n
* Mandatory segregation from general population under penalty of law
* Requiring something that outs people as the minority (ID, worn item, name, etc)
* Random arrests
* Indefinite "black hole" detentions
* Testing to see if foreign governments will move to stop abuses 20/n
* Minority groups fleeing the country.

However, if you're seeing these last two, it's probably already too late. I can't think of a time the world cut off a genocide at the pass, and global sentiment against refugees (SS St. Louis) means few escape. 21/n
Are you worried yet? You probably should be.

Because I am very, very worried. I am not saying it will definitely happen, but the necessary conditions are there, and many of the precursor events are in motion. 22/n
My spouse and our kids are Canadian.

We're laying the groundwork to go back there in 2021, even if I don't have a job waiting. 23/n
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