5 Amazing Acts Of Mercy Toward Horrible People
Approximately 67 percent of the news cycle is comprised of people trying to murder one another over the color of their skin, or over their religious beliefs, or over their preference for Pepsi over Coke. It's refreshing to read a few stories about the opposite: Acts of incredible human bravery and mercy. Possibly sponsored by Pepsi. They seem to think they have a patent on human compassion these days.
A Black Teenager Shields A KKK Member From Violent Protesters
This is America: No matter who you are, you have a constitutional right to express your opinions -- even if said opinions are astoundingly stupid.
You do not, however, have a constitutional right to expect others to be happy about it. In 1996, the Ku Klux Klan held a rally in the unlikely town of Ann Arbor, Michigan, where they found themselves opposed by an equal but opposite force of protesters. Although police in riot gear did a bang-up job of keeping the two sides apart, one guy bedecked in SS tattoos and Confederate flags strolled through the wrong side of the crowd. It's unclear whether he meant to join the march, or if he was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time (and by "the wrong place at the wrong time," we of course mean Earth, anytime in the last 70 years), but regardless, the chase was on.
Ah, a fine American tradition: The Running Of The Bullshit.
Mob mentality is an ugly beast. What began with simply chasing the man away soon transformed into a probably well-deserved, but certainly illegal, beatdown. And then, in an act of unbelievable courage and mercy, Keshia Thomas -- an 18-year-old black woman -- threw herself atop the man to protect him from the rampaging crowd.
"Maybe the SS stands for Super Sweet!"
The protesters, moved by the sight of Thomas putting her well-being on the line for the sake of a man who'd just as soon spit on her in return, backed off. Thomas never saw the guy again, but months later she was approached by another man, this one offering thanks. When she asked what for, the young man replied, "That was my dad."
By choosing compassion over bloodlust, she may have broken one family's chain of perpetual assholes. And that's how the world becomes a better place: by breaking one asshole chain at a time.
A Hate Crime Victim Sues To Save The Man Who Nearly Murdered Him
Following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Mark Anthony Stroman gave his head a fresh shave, loaded up his shotgun, and went out seeking revenge against anyone with vaguely brownish skin. He gunned down store clerks Waqar Hasan and Vasudev Patel (who was, incidentally, neither Arab nor Muslim) before turning to Bangladeshi American citizen Rais Bhuiyan. Bhuiyan survived, but he lost sight in one eye and faced months of tortuous recovery after Stroman blasted him right in the goddamned face.
Which somehow stayed intact.
Now, we believe there's something in one of those holy books about the appropriate trade ratio of eyes, but Bhuiyan took the opposite tact: citing his strong Islamic faith, Bhuiyan not only forgave his attempted murderer, but sued the state to stay his execution. Bhuiyan spent years petitioning Texas lawmakers to commute Stroman's death penalty sentence, even going so far as to found a nonprofit foundation to garner widespread public support for his campaign.
While his pleas mostly fell upon deaf ears, they were received loud and clear by at least two: those of Stroman himself, who would grow to admit that he had destroyed the lives of innocent people "out of pure anger and stupidity." During the duo's lone telephone conversation, Stroman even told Bhuiyan that he loved him.
"Can we both touch hands on the glass?"
Of course, seeing as how he murdered two men, and the only thing a Texas lawmaker loves more than his gun is his death penalty, Stroman was executed approximately one Texas minute after Bhuiyan's final appeal was denied.
A Hindu Widow Hides A Group Of Muslims From A Murderous Hindu Mob
While you might assume that the biggest religious opposition to Islam stems from Christianity or Judaism, Muslims also receive their fair share of hatred from the Hindus. In India, Hindu-Muslim violence can reach truly horrific levels. Back in 2015, the body of a 20-year-old Hindu man was discovered in a nearby field -- ostensibly murdered due to his affair with a Muslim woman -- and a horde of 5,000 Hindus descended upon the village of Azizpur Bahilwara intent on massacring every last Muslim they could find.
As the mob advanced through the village, leaving a swathe of charred homes and vehicles in their wake, villager Shail Devi -- a 50-year-old Hindu widower -- herded somewhere between 10 and 20 Muslims into her home, cramming them beneath a wooden cot and covering them up with sacks of grain. Then she went straight outside and, staring down their pointy sticks and flaming torches, informed the mob that hers was a Hindu household (the only one in the village, in fact), and therefore not the target of their ire.
"What, you can't tell the difference? Racists."
For her efforts in saving the lives of her neighboring Muslims, Devi was recognized by Bihar Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi with a handshake and a check. Now, granted, it probably wasn't "become a charred husk if the angry mob sees past your ruse" money, but it's still nice to see a bona-fide hero get some well-deserved recognition.
A Muslim Librarian Smuggles A Precious Jewish Manuscript Away From The Nazis (In His Pants)
Hermann Neubacher, head Nazi foreign minister for the Balkans, once called the Croatian Black Legion's genocide against the Orthodox Serbs "a crusade that belongs among the most brutal mass murder undertakings in the entire history of the world." When your actions manage to turn a Nazi's stomach, you know you're doing something wrong.
The assholes of assholes.
Johann Fortner was a general of his own Wehrmacht division, as well as a prominent leader of the Black Legion. Dervis Korkut was a dapper, fifty-something Muslim in a three-piece suit and a fez, as well as chief librarian of the Bosnian National Museum. When Korkut met Fortner, the former could be forgiven for stepping aside and letting the latter take whatever he wanted. But that is not what happened:
See, Fortner had gotten on der Fuhrer's good side by collecting Judaica (Hitler had plans to create a "museum of an extinct race" after he'd wiped them all out) and Korkut's library was home to one of the most precious (and priceless) Jewish manuscripts in existence: the Sarajevo Haggadah, dating clear back to 1350.
You can tell by the graphics.
You might be thinking that for Korkut -- a Muslim -- the choice between his own life and limb and an old-ass Jewish book would be an obvious one. But you'd be wrong. Before his meeting with Fortner, Korkut took the book and stuffed it into his pants. Then he told Fortner that he'd already handed it over to another German officer, while presumably also explaining that he was born with a tragically deformed, book-shaped crotch. After the meeting, Korkut smuggled the book through war-torn Sarajevo streets, and tucked it alongside the Korans in a remote mosque, where it remained safely hidden until after the war.
An Amish Community Sets Their Grief Aside To Protect The Family Of The Mass Shooter Who Attacked Them
On the morning of October 2, 2006, Charles Roberts walked into a tiny, one-room schoolhouse in the Amish community of Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania, shot 10 young schoolgirls (killing five), and then turned his gun on himself.
Then, mere hours after the attack, a group of Amish made their way to the house of the attacker's fresh widow, Marie Roberts ...
Oh, not to burn the place down, or even deliver a stern lecture. They just wanted to voice their concern for the couple's three young children.
Once again, just after losing five of their own young children.
The Amish community also donated money to help the family through the financial hardship of losing their breadwinner. On the day of Roberts' funeral, several Amish families -- some of whom had just buried their young daughters the day before -- gathered at the small Methodist church where he was to be buried (it's estimated that fully half of the funeral's attendees were Amish).
Though the case may seem out of this world because ... well, the Amish kind of live in a world of their own making, that's the sort of compassion that should be universally lauded, planet of origin be damned.
Jordan Breeding has a blog, a twitter, and offers no mercy to grilled cheese sandwiches. Never. Britni Patterson writes mystery novels in between sleeping, and hunting down anything made with Nutella. Follow her at her website, Facebook, or Twitter.
For more stories that'll brighten your day, check out 29 Pieces Of Good News That Got Choked Out By Trump Stories and 7 Pieces Of Good News About Huge Stories (No One Told You).
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