"It's hard to understand if you haven't been in a country where foreigners are loved and respected. If there were riots in America and we were like, 'Find a Venezuelan,' it'd be crazy. ... But here, foreigners are respected."
On one of the worst days of the genocide, Carl put himself between the militia with their guns and machetes and an orphanage with 400 people inside. He stayed that way for hours.
"And then a police officer came. I begged him to spend the night with the kids. He begged for me to find reinforcements. I don't know if the police spent the night, but he said he'd hold these guys at bay."
Reminder: These guys.
Carl left the orphanage in the police officer's care and rolled his pasty butt down to the mayor's office. He knew these militiamen had promised to kill everyone in that orphanage the day before, and he didn't know if that cop was the sort of dude who'd place himself between vulnerable people and bullets. When Carl reached city hall, the mayor wasn't home ...
"But his secretary was there. I'd built a relationship with this lady; I told her about the massacre about to happen, and she said, 'Well, look, the PM is here on a surprise visit: why not ask him?'"
On top of the foreigners thing, it helps to also imagine a country where
you can just bump into the prime minister in the course of a day.
For a wee bit of historical perspective, that prime minister was Jean Kambanda, the only head of a government to ever plead guilty to genocide. He wasn't the best person to ever find his way into office, is what we're saying.
Carl wondered, "Why would you ask one of the two to three people responsible for the genocide to stop the killing?"
But he talked to Kambanda about the orphans and their plight. The PM spoke with his entourage and told Carl that he was now aware of the situation, and he'd make sure the kids weren't harmed. Then he and Carl shook hands, posed for a picture, and the prime minister was off. Surprisingly, the next day all 400 of the orphans and their entourage were moved to a safer location. They survived the butchery, and we're honestly not sure what the lesson is here beyond: some monsters are polite, and you'll be surprised how many murders you can stop if you just ask nicely.