“The Genocide Awareness Project”. It truly does sound like a cause fit for the righteous and the noble. I imagine there are few people on campus who are opposed to eradicating genocide.
The main problem with this project is the branding of the project. The problem with the so-called “Genocide Awareness Project” is that it is less about spreading knowledge and enlightenment, and more about spreading fear and hate amongst our campus. Pro-life and anti-life are ideologies; most of the time, those ideologies do not meet in the middle. “The Genocide Awareness Project” takes the pro-life stance to extremes, by equating legal abortion with the inhumane torture and death of Nazi genocide victims and African American lynching victims.
To be certain, no qualms should be raised concerning this group’s right to say what they wish. As is well established by the United States Constitution, the people’s right to free speech and peaceable assembly shall not be abridged. Likewise, as some may be surprised to know, Radford University also allows protests like this to take place under its own free speech protection clause, a portion of which states,
[f]ree inquiry and free expression are indispensable to the vibrancy and vitality of a campus community. At Radford University, we value and honor diverse perspectives and believe it essential that groups and individuals have the opportunity to engage in peaceful and orderly protests and demonstrations (“Free Expression Policy”).
However, while “The Genocide Awareness Project” is free to express their freedom of speech and freedom of peaceable assembly, this writer will make sure to express his own freedom of speech and freedom of the press.
“The Genocide Awareness Project” is welcome to tout their beliefs, but make no mistake, their argument is biased towards women who desire the ability to plan their own lives and families, biased towards men who support those women (regardless of their eventual choice to abort or not), and perhaps most egregious, is that their entire premise and argument makes very little sense in terms of the actual definition of genocide.
As outlined by the United Nations,” the United States defines genocide as an act which possesses “intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethical, racial, or religious group as such appearing in Article II means the specific intent to destroy, in whole or in substantial part, a national, ethical, racial or religious group” (“Chapter IV”). It should be clear that abortion, as a medical procedure, is not an effort to stamp out growth of any group in the United States. Abortion is a medical procedure which was settled by the Supreme Court in 1973, commonly referred to as Rowe v. Wade. “The Genocide Awareness Project” should familiarize themselves with the statutes of American law. Under an ideological banner, they are free to stage protests with the intent to suppress or deter women from consulting with a doctor about the potentially emotional subject of abortion. However, “The Genocide Awareness Project” should also be warned that the letter of the law is not on their side.
Protest is perfectly acceptable, as laid out by both The United States Constitution and Radford University; but, “The Genocide Awareness Project” must be intimately aware that their crusade against female liberty will not be tolerated by those of us who have moved beyond 1973. Restrictions on abortion are already in place, and for good reason. These restrictions mean something. Great care has been taken in formulating laws against abortion; no one condones the killing of fetuses past the third trimester. For 41 years, women have had the right to choose for themselves what types of medical care is most beneficial to them, their family, their financial state, and their mental well-being. No one will take that right away from them. The court has spoken, and they spoke loudly and clearly 41 years ago.
“The Genocide Awareness Project” should be intimately aware of their messaging strategy. Their entire premise of existence is predicated on the aspect of shock and awe.
If they feel abortion is tantamount to genocide, then we, as citizens, students, and teachers certainly reserve the right to call their project the incoherent ramblings of a demented and misogynistic group of raving lunatics.
“Chapter IV: Human Rights.” United Nations Treaty Collection. United Nations, 12 Jan. 1957. Web. 14 Oct. 2014. <https://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=UNTSONLINE&tabid=2&mtdsg_no=IV-1&chapter=4&lang=en#Participants>.
“Free Expression Policy.” (6 August 2014). 1-3. Print.