I wanted to write a post about sterile ethical quandaries like the trolley problem, and contrast that with real-life situations in which people had to make horrible decisions. So I started Googling to see if I could turn up the article I read a few years ago, in which a man from Rwanda, a Hutu, was offered a choice by the mob: either kill his Tutsi wife, or the mob would kill his whole family. The wife begged him to kill her instead, and so, machete in hand, he chopped at her as she sobbed and implored him to do it quickly. His children saw the whole scene. Later, the family immigrated to Canada, where the man is still haunted by the screams of his dying wife.
I couldn't find the article. Instead I stumbled upon the account of a Tutsi woman who, during the 100 days of genocide in 1994, was raped in her own home by 500 men while her children cowered in the next room. Now I'm too sick at heart to write witty prose on the trolley problem. Jesus, have mercy.
Thought process started by Enbretheliel's post featuring a short film called Black Button.
Fortnightly Book, December 4
1 hour ago