Originally posted by GullAlight on September 15, 2021 20:35
Although I agree that Cash definitely should have stepped up and prevented his best friend from at the very least, restraining a young girl, it is highly likely that in the moment, he wasn't able to recognise the inherent humanity of Sherrice as strongly as that of his best friend. Should he have intervened? Definitely. However, I think it's possible to understand his mentality, and even though morally, it was certainly not the right thing to do, it is possible to see that he maybe thought Jeremy wouldn't do anything more. It is rather unlikely, but understanding the inherent humanity of victims, bystanders, and perpetrators is still necessary. Disregarding actions we consider to be immoral or evil is deliberately ignoring how even acts like genocide are committed by normal people, and there are many bystanders and accomplices who probably thought they would never have participated if asked before.
In an ideal scenario, a person who witnesses a wrong has the responsibility to step up and either prevent it or report it to someone who can. However, real life is different, and relationships as well as personal biases complicate this. What if it is likely you get hurt if you try to prevent the crime? I think that if the crime has a victim, or if that major damage will be done if the crime proceeds, the crime should be reported. Especially if the victim is unable to defend themselves, like in the case of Nightmare on the 36 Bus, we should step in. However, I can challenge my own idea with an imaginary scenario: Imagine you and your friend go to a grocery store. You know that your friend's parents didn't give them money for food. They then take some food and put it in their bag. (In this scenario, for the sake of preserving the moral dilemma, you don't have money at this time either.) Do you stop your friend or do you ignore it? you know the cashier/whoever works in the store will be punished for your friend's crime, but they also don't have food. What do you do?
Therefore, I think there are rules, but it's a very blurry line, and we can only do what we determine best instinctually, as explained in the article "The Trick to Acting Heroically." It is more important to make the daily decisions to be an upstander, and as such prevent overthinking when the moment comes.
I completely agree with the fact that one's biases may stop them from reporting, and that it is so much more complicated than just "you must always stand up".