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The autobiography An Ordinary Man by Paul Rusesabagina is the real testimony of a person who survived to a slaughter using his speech skills as lives saver, is the story of a man who fought against the people of his same nation without hurting any single human being. He is the Hutu who didn’t want to act as the rest of his same condition did, following the radical ideas of a national radio station which made Hutus kill people living door next to door, people who had spent a whole life together “Kindness is not an illusion and violence is not a rule.
The true resting state of human affairs is not represented by a man hacking his neighbor into pieces with a machete.
That is a sick aberration. No, the true state of human affairs is life as it ought to be lived.” (Paul Rusesabagina, page 202). Paul is the perfect definition to even if the situation is really awful, there are still people out there with humane morality, respect, and willing to act like true heroes according to the ideals our parents taught us, being a good person.
Extremist influences had a big role during the Rwandan genocide; the killing didn’t come from nowhere, it all came from RTML radio station’s “funny” comments about Tutsis and Hutus that ended up becoming a radical Hutu power. The radio station looked down the Tutsis and tried all they could to convince Hutus that the Tutsis needed to be destroyed because they were inferior as ethnicity, they needed to make it possible by putting fear in their lives.
The radio moved seamlessly from playing Congolese pop to giving assassination instructions to their listeners “Do your work, clean your neighborhood of brush. Cut the tall trees” (RTML radio, page 82). The Tutsis were physically taller than the Hutus so they used this expression to secretly make Hutus understand the Tutsis were the trees and they all needed to be killed. The worst is the message was said like if it was the normal thing to do.
After the messages were spread, the Hutus behavior against the Tutsis was brutal; they wanted fear, they wanted cries, they wanted pain, they wanted death. In those months of the slaughter humanity was a hidden value in a nation covered in corps and blood, compassion was inexistent in Hutus morality. Paul’s little son, Roger, lived an impacting and extreme situation being just a two-years-old-kid; his next to door friend was killed inhumanely with his family “He lay face down in the backyard in a small pool of his own blood” ( Paul Rusesabagina , page 85). His friend was hacked apart with a machete; a child who had a hole childhood ahead to live was gone forever, after this incident Roger did not speak for the next several days.
Like Roger’s friend dead, were all the other people massacres around the country. Paul was a Hutu and he didn’t pass to the cruel side even though he was threatened to and Hutus like him were killed because they were traitors. He first started keeping scared Tutsis in his house treating them like family and after he brought them to the hotel and treated them as guests; he tried his best to not just keeping them save, also to make them feel like home under different circumstances. For doing that Paul saw himself facing death with army officers looking for blood. He was a hotel manager and for him the killers were like angry hotel guests; the best way to calm them down was to offer them drinks,tobacco, money … until both sides agreed to a temporal solution “Most people are a conversation away from their normal selves” ( Paul Rusesabagina, page 127). Rusesabagina believed in the power of words, he would kept talking using the right words until the killers turned into a man open to make a deal.
The Rwandan genocide showed how fear and brutality were covering all the nation; people would argue about how to kill more painfully, how to spread the fear faster, how to destroy a country… instead of protecting each other. Behind all the chaos there were still people hoping for peace and trying to save as many lives as possible like Paul did“ … ordinary heroes believed that balance would one day be restored” (Paul usesabagina, page 201). Rwanda didn’t receive any international help nor protection, the government was under Hutu power and all tutsis were unarmed innocent surviving for mercy. Ordinary men and women became heroes for Rwanda, the heroes who saved a nation.
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