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CNN’s Anderson Cooper Compares Capitol Hill Riot To 800,000 Murdered In Rwandan Genocide
The date of arrest and a red cross are seen written on the face of Felicien Kabuga, one of the last key suspects in the 1994 Rwandan genocide, on a wanted poster at the Genocide Fugitive Tracking Unit office in Kigali, Rwanda, on May 19, 2020. - French police on May 16, 2020 arrested one of the last key suspects in the 1994 Rwandan genocide, describing him as its "financier" and one of the world's most wanted fugitives. Felicien Kabuga, once one of Rwanda's richest men, was living under a false identity in the Paris suburbs, the public prosecutor's office and police said in a joint statement.

CNN host Anderson Cooper compared the rioters who were involved in the breach of the U.S. Capitol Building on January 6 to people who were involved in carrying out the Rwandan genocide in 1994 — a catastrophic event that saw approximately 800,000 people slaughtered in the span of just a couple of months.

“Part of it, I think, just based on what you were just saying, it comes to mind, the idea of otherizing people is something I think we saw a lot of over the last four years. I mean, certainly we’ve seen a lot over the last decades, but it’s so easy to otherize people, to make people other than, other than American, other than patriotic, other than human,” Cooper said to a nodding Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), a frequent critic of Donald Trump. “You know, and we’ve seen it in Bosnia, we’ve seen it in Rwanda, where radio was telling people that you know, Hutus, were telling the radio listeners that Tutsi were cockroaches for you know, getting them ginned up for genocide.”

“And you see it in in these videos where people who claim they are patriots are in the face of a police officer calling him you know, as we’re seeing it right there and and you know, gouging out of the eye of one, you know, squeezing one in, you know, a suffocating one in a doorway,” he continued.


Cooper previously associated the events of January 6 with the Rwandan genocide just a few days after the riot happened.

“You know, I remember seeing you in the lobby of a hotel in Egypt in the midst of the revolution. And it was a really scary day,” Cooper said to New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman. “I was, I was, I’ve seen a lot and I was very scared that day. Um, you’ve been to a lot of civil wars. You know, I was in Rwanda in the genocide briefly, I was in Bosnia, we’ve, you know, we’re in Iraq, Afghanistan, you’ve been around the world, you’ve seen a lot.”

“I hear people talking about civil war in America as if they know what they’re talking about, as if they know what that looks like,” he continued. “And unless you’ve seen it up close, I mean, it is a horrible, horrible thing. I am so upset when I hear these people at rallies, Trump rallies talking about civil war as if it’s some sort of a cleansing.”


Cooper made a similar comparison late last year when discussing then-President Donald Trump.

“In the mid-90s, I think it was like ’96, I was in Kinshasa in the waning days of Mobutu, and Mobutu was a pretty awful dictator and when he finally fled the country and the rebels were moving to take the capital, his son drove around in a pick-up truck with a machine gun and settling scores with people he felt with people had not been supportive enough with Mobutu,” Cooper said. “Thankfully, it hasn’t come to that here, but I can’t believe we’re in a situation where a transfer of power is not — I can’t believe we are in this situation here — it just seems so petty and I know it’s about Georgia and I know it’s about setting up grievance politics that will perhaps allow him to run in four years.”

One major development from the Rwandan genocide took place last year when European law enforcement officials tracked down and arrested Félicien Kabuga.

Kabuga “was behind the radio station whose hate-filled invectives turned Rwandan against Rwandan, neighbor against neighbor, even spouse against spouse,” The New York Times reported. “[Kabuga] was the man, it was said, who imported the hundreds of thousands of machetes that allowed countless ordinary people to act upon that hatred in one of the last genocides of the past century.”

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