Phrenology and the Rwandan Genocide
ABSTRACT Belgian colonizers used phrenology to create an irreducible division between the two major groups living for centuries in Rwanda-Urundi. This formed the basis for the implementation of systematic efforts to subdue the large Hutu population. Both the Hutus and the smaller, and initially privileged, Tutsi group soon incorporated the racist discourse, which was pivotal to the gradual increase in violence before and after Rwandan independence in 1962. The Rwandan genocide in 1994 culminated in the horrible pinnacle of this process, involving recurrent episodes of slaughtering. Doctors should not underestimate the racist potential of pseudoscientific misconceptions.