Yes, Even Bystanders Are Responsible

By Michael | Canada


You wake up with a start, not sure what you are hearing. In a nervous daze, you throw off your covers and run to the window to look for what the noise was. 20 yards out, you see two men, throwing eggs at your neighbor’s house. To their left,  another person is spray painting racial slurs onto your neighbor’s car.  

The thought crosses your mind to call the police,  but you figure that you don’t want any trouble, and so you simply crawl back into bed.

You should be prosecuted for bystanding.

According to the foreign affairs magazine,  ?  of foiled terrorist attacks are foiled by tip-offs by non-involved members of the attackers’ community. Can you imagine a world in which everyone would take action against crimes and other evil?

When Simon Wiesenthal said “All it takes for evil to flourish is for good men and women to do nothing.” he was talking in reference to the Holocaust and other hate crimes.  In today’s world, however,  we mustn’t be fooled by the notion that Jews are safe. In Canada, the most common hate crimes are still against Jews. And Jews are not the only victims of hate crimes, especially now with the rise of xenophobia, nationalism, and intolerance. It is more important now than ever, to deter, prosecute and eliminate hate crimes, in order to make Canada a safer place.

Canada was shocked when 6 Muslims were shot dead while peacefully praying in a mosque. In St. Louis, citizens united to repair the damages caused by the desecration of the Jewish cemetery. Perhaps this could have been avoided if people close to the perpetrators had tipped off police.

That isn’t to say that this is a stand-alone solution. By all means, I think that it’s incredibly important to educate, integrate communities, and to teach through love, not hate.

Now,  don’t get me wrong, I’m not advocating for everyone to be rushing into fights to avoid prosecution.  I’m just saying that if someone sees a hate crime occur,  they are obligated to at least call the police.

If everyone feels the need to speak out, not only does the world become safer because people are willing to help each other,  but it also serves to deter hate crimes due to the high probability that someone will see and call the police.

This especially applies to the officer who stood by and watched during the Parkland massacre.

As Dante once said “The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who do nothing in the face of moral crisis”

If doing nothing allows evil to flourish, then the world should know, that you cannot be a good man or woman if you do nothing, and one must know, that not only is it immoral, but it also is criminal.