You're out in the middle of the woods at night, when you see the glow from a fire up ahead of you. As you get closer you begin to hear voices, lots of voices. So you creep up to a point where you can see what's going on, without being seen yourself. The sight that greets you makes you recoil in horror. There, in the middle of a large clearing, stands a burning cross. Gathered around this cross are about 40-50 figures, dressed completely in white robes with pointy white hoods covering their heads. Yes, you've guessed it, this ain't no teddy bear's picnic. This is the Klan having a little campout in the woods. And they're not telling each other ghost stories either, they're chanting racist slogans and such like.
Then an amazing thing happens. You can't believe your eyes as, all at once, every single pointy hood disappears into thin air. The chanting stops. The figures all start spinning around, trying to figure out what the hell's going on. Who's just pulled their hoods off. Fingers are pointing everywhere. Accusations and curses are flying about the clearing like moths around the burning cross. Who? How? Where? When? Why?
Then reality slowly begins to dawn on them. Somehow, someone has unmasked them, all at the same time. They stand round, gawping at each other in total disbelief.
You see their naked faces in the firelight. There's Burt, from the Sheriff's office; Charlie, who owns the grocery store in town; George, the school teacher who teaches your little boy Billy in 4th grade; Chris, your neighbour's son, on leave from his 2nd tour in Iraq; Jerry, the paramedic you were having a beer with last night. And there's, no, it can't be, it is, it's Pastor Phillips. What's he, of all people, doing here? But the fun's not over yet.
You suddenly have to hold your hands up to your eyes as the night explodes in a thousand flashes. You blink to clear your vision, and as the blurriness fades away you see them. Hundreds of paparazzi are coming out of the woods and into the clearing. The guys in white robes are running everywhere like headless chickens. Microphones are being stuffed in their faces as they try and cover them up, desperately searching for their nice little pointy hoods, but they're nowhere to be seen. You spin to your left as a white SUV roars onto the scene. People jump out and start setting up transmitting dishes. The guys in white robes stop running, there's nowhere for them to go. They're trapped; frozen in the media circus which surrounds them, like deer caught in headlights. It all goes quiet, then the shouting starts. More cursing, only this time they're screaming about human rights and threatening law suits and other things.
I'm going to pause the action at this point, and hand over control to you. I'm also going to give you a few things. First I'm going to hand you the remote control that has allowed me to stop time in this little scenario. Then I'm going to give you a big pile of pointy white hoods and all the rolls of film from the paparazzis' cameras, plus a jerry can full of kerosene and a zippo lighter.
Now you have a choice.
1)You can burn all the film and put the pointy hoods back on the guys in the white robes, then hit the button to re-start the action - allowing the pointy hoods to run off into the night as if nothing had happened. Or...
2)You can burn all the hoods, put the film back in the cameras, then throw the guys in the white robes to the wolves by hitting the button.
No I'm not crazy. On the 18th November 2008, someone posted on the internet, the full membership list of the British National Party (BNP). It included the names, addresses, telephone numbers, e-mail addresses and, in some cases, the occupations of over 12,000 members of the BNP. For those of you outside the UK, the BNP is a far right and whites only British political party, whose roots lie in the British Union of Fascists. They are openly racist and membership of the BNP is forbidden for police officers and carries certain restrictions for other occupations. Among the list of members are at least one serving police officer (who has been suspended pending further investigations), armed forces personnel, a solicitor, teachers, healthcare workers and even members of the clergy. The list was taken down from the site where it was originally posted but not before going viral. I'm not going to give you any links to it, you can find it for yourselves with a simple search.
Since being unmasked, BNP members have been screaming human rights violations - though they have actively campaigned against such legislation. They have threatened legal action through the data protection act, but the information is now well and truly in the public domain. It appears that whilst some of their membership are unconcerned about this, others are not at all happy with their dark little secret being dragged out into the open for everyone to see.
Now before you make your choice there are a few things to consider. You do have a major dilemma here. On the one hand there are human rights issues e.g. the right to believe in anything you wish to and freedom of speech. On the other, these people are racists and don't like it to be known that they are. One of them may be teaching your children. One could be holding his hypocritical head up in church on Sunday, telling you to treat all people as equal. And how would you like to be Mr Patel, lying on one side of the ambulance with a white man on the other, while Jerry the paramedic is responsible for saving both your lives. I'm sure you can all imagine hundreds of other possible scenarios.
So now I'm going to hand you the button
What are you going to do?
It's your call