Originally posted by turtle17 on September 15, 2021 10:43
After reading both the story of a man hitting a little boy on the 38 bus and how people reacted to a fire in Jamaica Plain, it was interesting to think of how they related to the story watched in class earlier today about David and Jeremy. At first I had no explanation for David's actions, other than complete stupidity, but then something dawned upon me. I don't think it was David believing it wasn't his business, or maybe he did believe that, but I believe the overwhelming fear he felt in the situation clouded his sense of judgement. In no way does this excuse his actions, or lack thereof, but it does make you think. It's also not just an 18 year old boy who did something like this, it was also many adults. In the story of the Nightmare on the 38 bus, you read about what looks like a father abusing his son. A man who was a witness to this accident was interviewed, and helped provide the information for the newspaper story. The interviewee was an adult, along with everyone else on the bus due to the time being 10:30 at night, and every single person witnessed the physical abuse the child endured, but no one said anything. The thing that caught my attention, however, was the man saying how when he stood up to say something, the thought that it wasn't his place, it was family drama and not to interject took over. Again, I was annoyed hearing this. But then I thought what I would do if I was in that situation. At first I immediately decided I would try and help the little boy, but then I thought about my physical safety. The sad thing is, most people will prioritize their own well being over someone else's, the fight or flight reaction, a sad but quite realistic thing people's mind jump to. I then connected this to David's story, where he noted Jeremy giving him a blank stare. Without a doubt, David was experiencing some fear, not knowing what his friend was doing, and later hearing he had just committed murder definitely frightened him. Its possible that David didn't say anything about Jeremy, or tell the police on him, in order to preserve his safety. The second story I read about told how when there was a fire, only one person ran to tell the people inside the house about it to save them, while everyone else including the author took pictures instead. This is similar to the actions of the invisible bystander that watched security cameras during the murder of Sherrice. In both scenarios, people used technology to be a bystander, whether it was a conscious decision or not.
From reading both the stories, and watching the video that really there isn't a genuine obligation to being an upstander or not, just moral ones we are taught our whole lives, We fear getting in trouble for not standing up, due to reactions, but we also fear for our physical safety if we were to stand up for someone.
I agree with what you said about fear initially, and I definitely do agree with you about the story of the child on the bus, how people were afraid for their own physical safety. I do think that people should think about their own safety before doing things, but I actually don't think that David was experiencing fear. From his interview, he took a cold, indifferent approach to what happened, and when he talked about Jeremy raping and killing Sherrice, it's almost like he didn't realize that it was totally wrong. He said some things about how when an 18 year old takes a 7 year old into a bathroom you don't want to be there, so it's my opinion that he wanted to get away because he thought he would get into trouble, not because he was scared.