Originally posted by Thomas Aquinas on September 14, 2018 01:24
In David Cash’s situation it can be assumed that many factors found by 20/20 ABC News most likely played a major role in his decision making. For example, in witnessing Jeremy’s interaction with Sherrice, race, age, human connection, and crowd all became important influences on his reaction and choices. In Cash’s mind, the choice came down to taking a side in the conflict between his best friend Jeremy (also white and with an established relationship) and Sherrice ( a young black girl with no connection at all to Cash). In addition, because they were in a bathroom by themselves, David would have had to confront Jeremy by himself. For David it was a simple choice, leave before his guilt forced him to act and pretend ignorance of the event. Consequently, if we are to view the experimental results from the 20/20 story on ABC News as accurately revealing, then we are able to conclude that race, gender, and human connection were all main factors in David Cash’s decision. Of course, every one of us would immediately say that we would, without a doubt, intervene and report Jeremy or stop him instantly with our own force. As a result when Cash attempts to explain his actions, we view his excuses as pathetic, insufficient, and purely despicable. Unfortunately, with the 20/20 experimental results in mind, these excuses of being detached from Sherrice’s suffering and others in Panama or Egypt have been validated as feelings of commonplace among average Americans. To state that you would intervene and become a good samaritan and to actually do so when the opportunity arises were shown to be drastically different in their study. With the perspective in mind that nearly all of us are hesitant and failing to act unless we have a connection with that person, or the same skin color, we are able to analyze David Cash’s actions through a new lens. These actions and explanations of Cash are completely contemptible, but to say that we would definitely do something different in his situation with our own best friend would most certainly contradict the findings made by all three articles and stories of the 36 bus incident, teenage drinking accident, and 20/20 experiment. Perhaps, another true reason for disgust and outrage we feel at the blunt honesty behind Cash’s vile excuse is simply that his acceptance of his own evil and indifference without any ounce of regret reveals to us that there is a possibility and a capacity for this cruelty in every human being, including us. Regardless of this possibility I believe that each one of us has the responsibility to act and intervene whenever possible. This responsibility is based on the ideal that all it takes is one question or word to spark a wave of influence and momentum with others’ help in order to inhibit any harmful actions observed. All it needs is for one person to take the bold step forward and become an upstander. One perfect scenario is if someone had called 911 for Kitty Genovese instead of assuming that this responsibility was left for a more involved observer. If that emergency contact had been made then she might have possibly been alive. Consequently, we have an obligation to always act because it is impossible to shrug off this responsibility to another and not share in the blame and guilt for what occurs when no action is taken. Legally, as well, we are obligated to report any crime witnessed and provide all details available without deception or falsehood.
You mention that David left to assume the role of an ignorant person, and not allow his guilt to make him interfere. However, I believe that David is simply unable to feel empathy, and accordingly, didn't act out of a simple indifference. The way he carried about his night after the event, not at all disturbed, is evidence of his lack of humanity, and ability to feel for others.