If not genocide, what else would we call it?



At the UNC Charlotte UNCC), Dr. John Cox, Associate Professor of International Studies, came out to cast aspersions on our scholarship and our character (to put it mildly).  He claimed that abortion is not genocide, staking his claim on the 1948 United Nations (UN) Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.

When I brought up UN Resolution 96, adopted in 1946, Dr. Cox angrily denied that the UN ever defined genocide outside the 1948 Convention.  Wrong.  In fact, Resolution 96 stated

Genocide is a denial of the right of existence of entire human groups, as homicide is the denial of the right to live of individual human beings; such denial of the right of existence shocks the conscience of mankind, …and is contrary to moral law and to the spirit and aims of the United Nations. …

The General Assembly, therefore, affirms that genocide is a crime under international law … whether the crime is committed on religious, racial, political or any other grounds…

(Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genocide_definitions, accessed June 17, 2016)

Note that targeting any group for extermination is genocide, whether those groups are targeted based “on religious, racial, political or any other grounds” (emphasis added).  With abortion, the entire human group being denied the right to live is unwanted, preborn children.

Dr. Cox insisted that because he had written a book about genocide, he knows.  I was not impressed with his appeal to authority (a common logical fallacy, to which arrogant college professors are unusually susceptible) and I invited him to google UN Resolution 96.

Perhaps Dr. Cox does not understand the difference between a general definition, which is intended to convey meaning, and a legal definition, which is often written to circumscribe the scope of some law or regulation.

Perhaps Dr. Cox was not aware that the scope of the 1948 Convention was limited to national, ethnical, racial, and religious groups solely for political reasons.  Genocides against social and political groups, for example, were excluded because the Soviet Union feared Stalin’s mass murders might be considered genocidal if broader language were adopted.  (The Study of Mass Murder and Genocide, Robert Gellately and Ben Kiernan, in The Specter of Genocide: Mass Murder in Historical Perspective, Cambridge University Press, 2003, p. 18)

Dr. Cox kept talking about his book, but given his error concerning the UN definition of genocide, I suggested he issue an errata sheet.  A bit provocative, perhaps, but when a belligerent college professor arrogantly asserts a falsehood, he must be held to account.

Professors have tremendous power in the classroom, and they use that power to propagandize the gullible students and bully the rest.  They routinely make appeals to authority (with themselves as the authorities, of course), and students rarely have the knowledge, experience, or courage to expose the professors’ logical fallacies.  We have to be willing to bring them down a notch when they deserve it, and this one did.  Maybe that was my inner Donald Trump coming out.

I should mention that if the preborn are not living human beings, then abortion does not kill humans and there is no relevant similarity between abortion and genocide.  But if the preborn are living human beings — science tells us that they are both alive and human — then abortion kills 1.2 million humans every year in the US alone.  If not genocide, what else would we call it?

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