Professor Howard French explains the prism in which people look at the rape in the Congo. Vast numbers of Western observers have descended on the Congo, not to analyze or understand, but to search for the germ of human wickedness: to uncover African barbarism, and the essentially evil nature of humanity itself. In place of any analysis of the immense political complexities and the international dimension to the conflict in a country the size of Western Europe, we have borderline pornographic descriptions of instances of brutality and hysterical comparisons with the Holocaust.
Storyline: Congo vs. Rwanda
In this clip, Professor French deals with why the Rwandan story has been easy to understand for an American audience, rather than the “complex” Congo story.
Howard Waring French is an associate professor at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism as well as a journalist, author and photographer. He was most recently a senior foreign correspondent with The New York Times.