EDITORIAL NOTE: I’ll just leave this here, for no particular reason.
And so, gentlemanly country lawyer Atticus Finch did call his client, Tom Robinson, into his law office. Tom Robinson, a black man, had been falsely accused of rape and since it was the Jim Crow south, no lawyer other than Atticus was willing to help the poor man.
“I swear I didn’t rape that woman, Atticus,” Tom said. “I swear, I didn’t. Do you think you’ll be able to save me at trial?”
“Well,” Atticus said as he sipped a mint julep. “I’m just a simple country lawyer who likes to sit on his rocking chair and enjoy a nice cool breeze on a summer’s evening, but I say, I do declare that whether we should save you is not the proper consideration but rather, the appropriate issue is should we save you?”
“Should we save me?” Tom asked. “But sir, I have been falsely accused!”
“Sir!” Atticus said. “Lower your voice! I shall not have such triggering hate speech in my office.”
“What?” Tom asked.
“You see, Tom,” Atticus said. “It doesn’t matter if you were falsely accused or not because all accusers have the right to be instantly and automatically believed. Why, if you don’t believe an accusation without further question or inquiry, then you are not just insulting the individual accuser in this case but anyone and everyone who has ever dared to stand up and accuse someone of anything.
“But Mr. Finch,” Tom said. “I’m not trying to tarnish the reputation of anyone who has ever made an accusation. I realize that for the world to keep turning that people need to be able to stand up and say when something bad happened. I’m just saying that in this case, when my accuser makes a false accusation, I need you to present my case and prove the truth. I didn’t do it, sir. I’m innocent and that fact must be presented to the jury.”
Atticus brushed a piece of lint off his clean, white suit. “Sir, I say, I do declare I’m sorry but I just can’t go on with this hateful discussion. All accusers are to be believed, sir and frankly, whether or not you are guilty or innocent is immaterial. If you do not skip this trial and skip straight to hanging yourself then your accuser’s feelings, as well as the feelings as anyone who has ever made an accusation against anyone since the beginning of all time will be hurt and we can’t have that, so please, go hang yourself now.”
Tom stood up. “Sir, if I may be so bold, if you’re not going to defend me against an accusation then why are you here?”
“Why, I do declare I’m just here to sip mint juleps and look good in this white suit,” Atticus said. “Good day, sir. Please go see the proprietor of our local mercantile and acquire a length of rope. I’ll see to it that your estate will handle the bill just as soon as you hang yourself promptly.”
Tom shook Atticus’ hand. “Very well, sir. You make a fine point. I don’t want accusers to feel bad and even if the accusation against me is false, my life must be over now because if it isn’t then people with true accusations will feel bad and true accusers just won’t be intelligent enough to be able to figure out that in this particular case, the accusation was false. I will go hang myself posthaste.”
“Glad to hear it,” Atticus said. “Enjoy your hanging, Tom.”
Tom left the room. Atticus’ young daughter, Scout, had been playing with a doll in a corner of the room the entire time.
“Daddy?” Scout said.
“Yes, dear?” Atticus replied.
“The world sure has gotten fucked up, ain’t it, Daddy?” Scout asked.
“It sure has, Scout,” Atticus said. “It sure has.”