Mobs, Pitchforks and an Iron Fence

This is a true story. If you prefer hatred over humanity, it’ll be unpleasant.

September 2009, the townsfolk gather around his little house and roar. A monster hides here, born with no understanding, regret, sadness, only the most desperate thirst for everything you adore. Once they’d hide in the ceiling, or a basement. Their families could feed your community without being feared for what their blood created. Today, an advocate left along the driveway with his head high. The butcher down the road picked him aside and asked, rhetorical, how he could help this creature survive. Because he’s human? Yes, but he’s not one of us. He’s the same shape, born to two parents, he eats, sleeps and thinks? You lie, he couldn’t. They all say he has no heart.

Then why is he still alive?

Because if we removed this tumor, the law that labeled him malignant would condemn us too. Then we would be murdering monsters. It’s not the conscience that makes us human, it’s what the neighbourhood whispers. It sounds absurd, caretaker, but try disagreeing with them when that near-soundless wisp becomes an outraged cyclone, a whole suburb chanting and hanging warnings on your government-commissioned fence. Keep your children away from the ogre. Wouldn’t it deafen you to every other sanity? Look – you disagreed by helping him, and the first thing I wanted to do is topple you and your false morals.

False? Mister butcher, he wants to recover. An itch overcame him, the way the crowd deafened you. He hurt someone, corrupted them the way you nag his past sins closer and closer to his heart until he gives in and you prove yourselves right. Do you want less monsters in the world, or one less near your home, turned away in anger to find another victim? Either you want this monster to remain dangerous, or the hatred in your protests is borderline insanity. He’s atoning.

Atoning? How does a monster know how to atone? What did you get him to do?

I didn’t know about it until just now. He’s … well, he was a charity worker.

From ABC News, Wednesday September 16:

Ferguson has also confirmed that he has been selling items to raise money for Diabetes Australia at various locations around Sydney for the past three to four weeks.

Among the items he was selling were key rings, fridge magnets, pens and toy bees.

Diabetes Australia has contacted police and is reviewing its screening process …

… Diabetes Australia says it has received $230 from Ferguson for one tray of merchandise. It says it will confiscate the remaining items.

No, Caretaker, he chose his actions. He doesn’t deserve humanity. We scream through his windows and start fistfights outside this little fence because there are no morals here. Why should we advance when he doesn’t? He’s a monster. We call for blood and gather here like predators, because he is a hideous animal. There’s no humanity here, we’ll never treat an ogre like a human being – whether or not he’ll believe us and maybe become decent, self-controlled – because we don’t want one more human. That itch to be right tempts us more than we can control. We can’t have him contributing, helping scientists and diabetics. They’re above him! If a mob this big cries enough that there’s a heartbeat under his impenetrable freezing breastplate, it’ll become so. That’s why we protest.

You see, caretaker? Anyone can chase him out, but with our hatred and neverending cycles, we protect our livelihood.

It's easier if you forget they're a person. That any of us could've been him, with the right upbringing.

It's easier if you forget they're a person. That any of us could've been him, with the right upbringing.


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