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Gregory Stanton Defines Genocide

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Gregory Stanton Defines Genocide




Oral history video clip featuring Gregory Stanton, Director, Genocide Watch. This video was originally produced by Media Entertainment, Inc., for the 2000 documentary The Genocide Factor.


Media Entertainment, Inc.


Genocide Factor Collection, Oral History Program, Tampa Library,
University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida.


Tampa, Fla. : University of South Florida Tampa Library.




Stanton, Gregory


Tape number: 4062C


video / mp4




Oral History

Oral History Item Type Metadata


Proctor, Cecily


Stanton, Gregory


Well, the legal definition, of course, as you know, is the intentional destruction, in whole or in part, of a racial, religious, ethnic, or national group as such. And so the legal definition especially relates to the targeting of particular groups. And notice that it doesn’t mean that you have to kill off the whole group. If you go after just a part of the group—for instance, if you go after all the intellectuals, all the Hutu intellectuals in Burundi, for instance, that’s enough to be genocide. My own view is that we can continue to use that legal definition, but I don’t think that should diminish our concern for mass killing of other sorts, which are still crimes against humanity. Political mass killings of the sorts that, you know, Saddam Hussein does or that other vicious dictators like Idi Amin and others do—Pol Pot, for instance, killed over a million people that qualify not as genocide, because they were of his own ethnic group, but over a million people, fellow Khmers: just killed because they were of the wrong class or they came from cities or, you know, wore glasses or whatever reason. I think that sort of killing, that kind of mass killing, should also be an equal concern with us. And so in fact the Campaign to End Genocide is actually a campaign against genocide and mass killing, and we should be just as concerned with that, too. The only reason, by the way, that political groups aren’t included in the Genocide Convention is that Stalin got them removed at the time they were writing the Genocide Convention in 1948. Political groups were originally part of the Genocide Convention. Stalin had the word “political groups” taken out, because of course he knew that if they included political groups, it would include a lot of the groups that he himself was murdering, mass murdering, in the gulags. And so my own view is that’s a good reason why we ought to essentially consider them back in, in our worries, in our concerns about mass killing.

Original Format

Beta tape




Media Entertainment, Inc., “Gregory Stanton Defines Genocide,” USF Library Special & Digital Collections Exhibits, accessed July 11, 2020,