All cultures have categories to distinguish people
into “us” and “them” by ethnicity, race, religion or
nationality; German an Jew, Hutu and Tutsi.
Bipolar societies that lack mixed categories, such
as Rwanda and Burundi, are most likely to have
The resistance of Pol Pot classified people by;
intellectuals, educated people, professionals,
monks, religious enthusiasts, Buddhists,
Muslims, Christians, ethnic Chinese,
Vietnamese, Thai or of any of those ancestry.
What is symbolization?
We give names or other symbols to
the classifications. We name
people “Jews” or “Gypsies,” or
distinguish them by colors or
dress; and apply the symbols to
members of groups. Classification
and symbolization are universal
human and do not necessarily
result in genocide unless they lead
to the next stage, dehumanization.
When combined with hatred,
symbols may be forced upon
unwilling members of pariah
The blue scarf was the yellow star,
which symbolizes the classification
made by the Khmer Rouge Central
Committee and imposed by its
own cadres in Phnom Penh.
One group denies the
humanity of the other
group. Members of it are
equated with animals,
vermin. Insects or
overcomes the normal
human revulsion against
murder. At this stage,
hate propaganda in print
and on hate radios is
used to vilify the victim
Pol Pot tortured his
victims if he felt like it,
and killed if they were
sick or disabled. He had
labor camps for people
who could work on farms.
He treated them like
dogs, fed them little, and
just made them suffer so
much. It made no
difference to the Khmer
Rouge whether they were
dead or alive. He used
various torture techniques
for little to no reason
Genocide is always organized, usually
by the state, though sometimes
informally (Hindu mobs led by local
RSS militants) or by terrorist groups.
Special army units or militias are often
trained and armed. Plans are made for
Pol Pot was giving orders to the
troops and commanding. Khmer
Rouge also helped Pol Pot command
troops and plan everything including
the socialist program to reconstruct
the way Cambodia was "agrarian
Definition: Extremists drive the groups apart. Hate groups broadcast polarizing
propaganda. Laws may forbid intermarriage or social interaction. Extremist terrorism
targets moderates, intimidating and silencing the center.
Cambodia: It was common for people to get shot who were speaking a foreign language,
wearing glasses( due to the people thought that if people were wearing glasses that they
were being educated), smiling or crying. Cities were raided and people relocated to
communal farms. Most people were left to starve, dehydrate or work to death.
International organizations offered aid but the government refused assistance.
Definition: Victims are identified and separated out because of their ethnic or religious
identity. Death lists are drawn up. Members of victim groups are forced to wear identifying
symbols. They are often segregated into ghettoes, forced into concentration camps, or
confined to a famine-struck region and starved.
Cambodia: Religion was banned so leading Buddhist, monks and Christian missionaries
were killed. The United States distributed the guns to Cambodian people. In the 1980s, the
U.S. and U.K. instead offered financial and military support to the Khmer Rouge forces in
exile, who had now sworn opposition to Vietnam and communism. The government
attempted to suppress the communist and Vietnamese presence. People were given a blue
scarf to wear in the eastern part of Cambodia. Some people were taken to killing fields.
Extermination begins, and
quickly becomes the mass
killing legally called
"genocide." It is
"extermination" to the killers
because they do not believe
their victims to be fully
human. When it is sponsored
by the state, the armed forces
often work with militias to do
the killing. Sometimes the
genocide results in revenge
killings by groups against each
other, creating the downward
whirlpool-like cycle of bilateral
genocide (as in Burundi).
The population was put to work as
laborers in one federation of
collective farms. Anyone in
opposition was killed. Anyone
refusing to leave their home, didn't
go fast enough, or disobeyed were
killed. Professional citizens (doctors,
lawyers, teachers, politicians, etc.)
were killed. Army was killed. All
monks and approximately 8,000
Christians were murdered
Denial is the eighth stage that always follows a genocide.
It is among the surest indicators of further genocidal
massacres. The perpetrators of genocide dig up the mass
graves, burn the bodies, try to cover up the evidence and
The campaign to end genocide
supports an international
tribunal to try the Khmer Rouge
Promotes U.S. signature and
ratification of the treaty
creating an international
intimidate the witnesses. They deny that they committed
any crimes, and often blame what happened on the
victims. They block investigations of the crimes, and
continue to govern until driven from power by force, when
they flee into exile. There they remain with impunity, like
Pol Pot or Idi Amin, unless they are captured and a tribunal
is established to try them.
The US tried to cover it up. The
US and Cambodians were at a
secret war with each other.