posts 46 - 48 of 48
the negotiator
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 13

Originally posted by Fidget on September 27, 2020 14:02

It is very obvious that Jeremy Strohmeyer is to blame for the murder and assault of 7 year old Sherrice Iverson, however David Cash does not deserve to walk free for this crime. Cash’s actions were completely and totally wrong, holding his friendship with Strohmeyer over the justice and life of Iverson, was completely irresponsible and childish. In my opinion, silence is violence. Not reporting Iverson’s murder, even though he blatantly knew that Strohmeyer spent a prolonged period of time in the restroom with her, and also confessed to murdering her, was simply not enough to push Cash to report him. What is worse, is that they went about their night as if this had never happened, visiting another casino and later the Amusement park. As Brian McGrory writes in his article, called the Nightmare on the 36 bus, where a little boy is attacked in the middle of the bus yet no one steps in, humans have a tendency to just, “mind their own business” in a way, where they’d rather not get involved. That is despicable. That story, not so much different to our own Iverson case, except there were multiple David Cash’s , and it takes place in a more public area. Furthermore, the people on the bus we bystanders, maybe less of a bad Samaritan, but still bystanders as this little boy was beaten by a drunk man he likely was not related to. They are all David Cash’s in a way, because their silence allowed for this man to physically assault that poor 8 year old boy.

Even though in the state of Nevada, there was no Good Samaritan law, it is just morally incorrect to not report this tragic occurrence. Cash further condemns himself by adding, “I do not know this little girl… I’m not going to lose sleep over someone else’s problem.” The idea that someone can think of a murder that they witness and play a key role in, is borderline sociopathic. The lack of empathy Cash displays is worrying, as never once does he verbally tell Strohmeyer to stop and leave the girl alone, he simply decides that he doesn't want to witness what will happen in this event and exits the scene without telling anyone. Had he been in Sherrice’s point of view, locked in a restroom at 3 am with a strange man, grabbing and muffling your screams, while another man watches, at only 7 years old, unaware and confused by the situation, he would have hoped the other man would say something, and help him. However Cash does not display this level of empathy. He does not feel obligated to speak out, to condemn his best friend.

Not taking accountability in this case, in order to save yourself is disgusting, cruel and selfish. In my opinion, you should always act. This is something that the article, “The Trick to Acting Heroically” written by Erez Yoeli and David Ran, supports. In this article, the key to acting heroically is to not stop and think, to act instinctively no matter the cost. David Cash was expected to put away the cost of telling people what Jeremy Strohmeyer had done, and personally, I expected for him to try to intervene, to hop over that stall divide and rip Strohmeyer off of Iverson. By not acting, by thinking that he does not know that girl, that he knows his friend, and thinking what would happen to him or Strohmeyer if he had intervened is heartbreaking. It is difficult to to look at someone, lacking so much empathetic, not even attempting to intervene, as if I were David Cash, I would be over that divider the second I saw Strohmeyer holding that little girl that way. Maybe it’s because I am an empath, maybe it’s because I feel like I have some human decency. I do not think I could live with myself after I realized I had let that little girl be tortured and murdered. However David Cash lives, and is still going about his life as if nothing had happened. By not telling anyone, his father, security, anyone, he allowed Sherrice to be murdered and to suffer for 22 long minutes, until Strohmeyer finally exited the restroom. While Strohmeyer may have committed the murder, but Cash is guilty of a crime he will escape from, allowing for the murder and assault of seven year old Sherrice Iverson.

First of all I whole heartedly agree with the title of your submission. Silence very much is violence in that being a bystander can many times be just as bad as the person committing the crime. For this they should be jailed as well. I completely agree with your point about Cash having no empathy. He thinks that because he doesn't know the person, it is not his problem, even though he witnessed the beginning of an assault and murder. He would rather leave the bathroom and not see the events than actually step in and stop them from occurring. In order for this to happen one must have no moral compass whatsoever. Anyone with an ounce of human decency would immediately get involved and stop the events from occurring. Great submission, and I could not agree more with everything that you said.

Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 10

Selfishness and Privilege in Bystander Behavior

Before I get into what should have governed David Cash’s actions, allow me to start off with the things that did. Because Cash openly admitted that he knew that Strohmeyer was in the wrong (3:35), I can only assume that his lack of incentive to take action was deeply rooted in his innate privilege. What type of person can simply pay no mind to the death of a 7-year-old girl? What type of person can continue to ride roller coasters and play slot machines with a murderer, knowing that a child’s lifeless body was left in the stall of a women’s bathroom? Lastly, what type of gall does this man have to make the situation about himself—complaining about “the names that people call him”—when the whole world is just trying to let him know that his silence cost a child her life? He felt no remorse, and he felt no pity for anybody but himself. After all, he did lose his best friend/AP English classmate, right? Oh, to be so privileged!

According to @mdooley2, “[David’s] actions should have been governed by empathy, morality, or any type of common sense, but instead they were governed by selfishness, laziness, and stupidity.” Although I don’t exactly disagree with this user, I can’t help but think of the variations between everybody’s individual definitions of empathy, morality, and common sense. Because Cash felt so compelled to avoid conflict and carry on with his life, does that mean that he lacks empathy, morality, or common sense? Or does it hint that he expresses his empathy, morality, and common sense in an unconventional way (i.e. deciding to let Strohmeyer off the hook). Reaching back to my last paragraph, I must disagree with @mdooley2 that Cash lacks a moral compass/common sense. I agree that he lacks a traditional rendition of those things, but I don’t think that he’s completely devoid of them. Rather, his moral compass and common sense are built upon his privilege that has allowed him the peace of mind to saunter through life without thinking of anybody besides himself. Instead of questioning the subjectivity amongst the individuality of a moral compass/common sense, I would rather say that having a broader worldly perspective would be the first thing that should have governed Cash’s actions. The way he carries himself in the video and feebly defends himself against the interviewer’s questions clearly lets me know that Cash only cares about things that affect him/the people he knows. This can be heard when David confidently proclaims, “I do not know starving children in Panama. I do not know people that die of disease in Egypt. The only person I knew in this event was Jeremy Strohmeyer, and I know as his best friend that he had potential.” If this doesn’t epitomize what it means to be self-involved and close minded, I don’t know what else will. Thus, the only thing I could effectively see governing Cash’s mindset in an impartial manner, such that he would have taken action during the murder, is a step outside of his world of privilege, and a deeper look into the struggles that billions of people face internationally.

When it comes to the average person witnessing wrongdoing, I think there is always an obligation to act, but it truly depends on the severity. For example, @madagascar says, “littering... is clearly not on the same level as witnessing a murder,” and that I agree with. The severity of littering is minute compared to murder, as someone else could simply pick up the trash. If I were to witness someone littering (which I have), I would call them out for doing so and then throw their trash away (which I did). That was the end of it. However, when it comes to more grave experiences such as a murder, I can understand Cash’s stance that he didn’t want to waste days, weeks, or months on a case that would inevitably put a halt on his life, but ultimately when it comes to saving a human life, there is always an obligation to act farther than using your body language to say “that’s wrong” (3:45). Just because David didn’t know Sherrice doesn’t mean he had the greenlight to let the event pass his mind. We see later in the video that Sherrice’s mother garnered 20,000 signatures against Cash’s name, and sometimes signing petitions is all you can really do to work toward effective change. However, the magnitude of this murder shows that everyone should feel obligated to work toward getting justice and saving lives—even if it means writing down your name.

When juxtaposed with “Nightmare on the 36 bus,” and “The Bystander Effect in the Cellphone Age,” I am able to see a recurring theme of selfishness, an effect of privilege, within this bystander mentality. McGregory’s article details the dilemma that Auclair faced when he was on that bus. Looking back at said dilemma (standing up for the child vs. seeming out of place), it is obvious that Auclair was too self-involved to speak up. He tried to justify his actions by convincing himself it was simply a “family matter,” but clearly, it was not. Secondly, within Harris’ article, the line, “My husband was incredulous that no one else thought to try to warn the residents, but instead were documenting the events for social media,” proved to me that the bystander mentality is truly solidified when faced with the selfish fear of being judged by others. Between all 3 of these sources, Cash acted upon his selfishness by blatantly stating that he would rather focus on his own life rather than other people’s problems, Auclair acted selfishly by holding back in fear of seeming “out of place,” and the cellphone user acted in their own self-interest by taking advantage of a potentially-fatal event for internet clout. I understand that within every human, there exists a sense of egoism that drives one to pursue their own interests. However, for the sake of saving human lives and avoiding any detrimental effects on society, it is imperative that everyone takes action when they see any type of wrongdoing, as they see fit.

West Roxbury, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 12

Bad Decision Making

David Cash clearly was a coward when he realized his best friend from his childhood, Jeremy Strohmeyer, raped a young girl named Sherrice Iverson and later killed her in a casino in Vegas. jeremy did this when Sherrice's father wandered away from her going into the woman's restroom. No matter the situation however, there should be no reason why David Cash didn't help young Sherrice escape from the monster in Jeremy because as a bystander witnessing wrong, it's an incredibly obvious obligation to forcefully stop the crime. But looking at what happened, David also happened to be a monster when he cowardly stepped away from the scene. What likely governed his actions was that he didn't want to be involved. But looking from David's view, since he was already in the bathroom, there was obviously camera footage of David walking into the women's restroom looking for Jeremy. Even though he would likely hurt his friendship with Jeremy by stopping him, realistically he would be seen as a hero by everyone else had he stopped Jeremy, but because he wasn't willing to lose his friendship, he kept a small personal thing he cherished instead of taking the humanitarian path. There is no excuse for this cowardly behavior anywhere!

Moving on from Sherrice's death, after reading The Bystander Effect in the Cellphone Age and The Trick to Acting Heroically, I learned that for many people acting heroically is an instinct versus a choice. In The Bystander Effect, when the parents realized that there was a fire down the street because the catcher pointed it out, the father's instinct was to run down to the neighborhood and warn the neighbors. Due to this, the neighbors in the area evacuated and minimal people were hurt in escaping the fire. In The Trick to Acting, the British men and woman caused the gunman on the French passenger train to cease fire. In the first paragraph, the people were interviewed after and said, actions. “It was just gut instinct" and also said, "It wasn’t really a conscious decision.” To cap off, these heroes made their decisions off of what felt right and not off of selfish conscious decisions like of David Cash. If David had listened more to his gut, then Sherrice likely could be alive today.

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