Today's lesson, Racism. If you see something written here that you’ve said or done, use it as an opportunity. Take it as a wake up call and make the decision to grow, change and be conscious of your own privilege. Remember, I am not a speaker for the entirety of a people. Use this blog as a reference tool, not as the one and only view on the topic.
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When I posted this video, there were a great many people who started to tell their own stories. It was one of those posts that actually made me happy because with every story that people told, anyone could come back later and see that this was not an isolated incident. Someone that maybe had doubts that the video was somehow staged, could see that it was in fact, the norm.
To everyone that added their own personal stories, I thank you.
Now, to the person that decided that they would justify the situation. This is for you. First off, fuck you. Second, go to hell.
Before I go on, I will say that the person in question did end up deleting their comment. I am going to chose to believe that it was because they saw the error of their ways and not because after it was pointed out, people went to their page to call them a douchbag. (Didn’t think I knew about that, didja?) Anyway, since I have no actual proof of the reasoning behind it, I am going to CHOSE to believe that the person had a “See the light” moment and that is why they deleted their comments.
I still want to address said comments because I keep seeing this excuse and it needs to be talked about. I’ve seen it called a few different things but we’ll go with the “Bystander Effect.”
For those that don’t know, the Bystander Effect is when people are all sort of standing around watching a crime being committed and doing/saying nothing to stop it. The idea is that they are afraid of what will happen to them personally, not that they don’t want to help the victim. Also, there is an additional idea attached that they believe “Someone else” will do something.
I have a BIG problem with this.
The above sentence is really an understatement. This “Syndrome” causes me to feel actual rage. In my opinion, more times than not, this is an excuse. Oh I believe whole heartedly that there are times when people actually fear for their own well being. If you see a woman getting raped, especially if you are woman yourself, it is perfectly reasonable for you to be afraid to physically go and try to stop it. For many, that is the end of the story. Except, is your hand broken? You couldn’t call 911? You couldn’t do ANYTHING?
This is where this “Effect” falls short for me. The examples people like to give when talking about this “Effect” is always either murder or rape. At the very least they will bring up something violent. I get that. I am not going to sit here and pretend I would jump into a violent situation to try to stop it. I can (and have gone) go to get others that would though. I can call the police if I see someone get assaulted.
This “Effect” doesn’t fly with me because it assumes that you have to “Physically jump in” which I have to call bullshit on.
Look I make no bones about the fact that I am not a fan of the police. I see no reason that I should be. However, if only for selfish reasons, like my belief in Karma, I am still damn sure going to call them if I think someone is being raped. They might not do anything. They might not get here in time. I STILL HAVE TO TRY. I have to.
Now, let’s talk about this video. Who was going to be physically hurt if they DID step in? Go ahead, I’ll wait…
This is why I hate when people bring up the “Bystander Effect” because it’s an excuse to be a shit human being. Here’s the thing that REALLY upset me about the video. No, it wasn’t the “Black card” guy, it was all who did NOTHING.
You see, many of the people in the video insinuated that they didn’t do anything either because they “Didn’t know her” or because “They didn’t feel like they could have an impact.”
But…they didn’t do ANYTHING?
I think the idea of “Doing something” for people watching this video means “Go up and stop it from happening.” Why is THAT the only thing you think you can do? Okay you didn’t want to walk up and physically stop it, okay. Let’s pretend that this is a reasonable thing to think. It’s not (in this case) but let’s pretend that it is for just a second. You didn’t want to “Get involved” but you COULD have stopped shopping. You COULD have walked out and WHILE walking out you COULD have made a statement saying “I will never shop in a store that employs a racist cashier.” You could have said that loud and clear and walked out. Your voice would have been heard, you would have been on the move while you said it so you would have been in no “Danger” AND you would have taken your money elsewhere making your reasons why clear to the store.
You could have made a statement without “Getting involved.” Did they do that or did they KEEP SHOPPING? Act like nothing was happening all the while watching it happen?
This is why when someone tries to bring up the “Bystander Effect” no matter the situation, I call bullshit.
NO MATTER THE SITUATION. There is ALWAYS something you can do.