Feature: Social Goodness

Pardon My Pessimistic Patriotism - Page 2

Author: Alana Garrigues
Published: July 06, 2011 at 6:57 am

My husband was shocked that no one acted. I was too, but my first question was, "Yes, but what did you do?"

He did nothing. He watched in fear and cringed. He told himself that it was not his neighborhood, that he did not know enough about the gangs and the violence and the people to know what to do or how to act or how they could retaliate. He told himself that they might have knives or guns and if he acted they could seriously injure him, a father whose family needs him. 

I asked if anyone called the police, and he said that several people did dial 911. I asked if anyone video-taped the incident on their cell phones to show the police, and he said they did not. They all stood and stared, silent with mouths agape, and watched a young boy narrowly escape murder.

I do not know if all four boys were wearing a particular color clothing. I do not know if words were exchanged. I do not know what may have transpired prior to the beating, what history there may be between them and the victim. I do not know if they were carrying weapons.  I do not know what they looked like or how tall they were or if they have families to go home to.  What I do know is that they were angry and out for blood, four against one.

What disturbs me more than the violence itself is the fact that 100 people witnessed the violence and didn't do anything. I can only presume the reasons. I am sure some were waiting for others to step up. I am sure that many were fearful, fearful that their own families would be targeted next, fearful that if they are undocumented acting would bring the attention of local authorities on themselves and their families, fearful of being hurt, fearful that if they acted no one else would stand up to support them. I hope that it was fear and that it was not apathy or a lack of empathy. If it was fear, our society may still have the strength to move forward, to face the fear and combat it. If it was not, I am sincerely afraid for what the future beholds.

Continued on the next page

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Article Author: Alana Garrigues

Alana Garrigues is a freelance journalist living in the greater Los Angeles area. A travel enthusiast, food lover, Jeopardy addict, bookworm and community volunteer, she is also the mother of identical twins and author of the educational blog writercize …

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