University of California
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Bystanders need to make a change and take action
“You can`t wake person who is pretending to be asleep”-Navajo Proverb People act as if nothing is happening when they do not want to face the reality of the situation by pretending to be unaware or unsure despite being presented with the evidence. Many people now a days, perform actions which may seem like they are participating in an activity but in reality they are just watching. People do not focus on the situation itself, but they focus on their surroundings. They understand that they might be in a difficult position although they try to avoid it. Some situations where humans experience themselves being in one place physically and having themselves in a different spot mentally are when people are being bystanders. Bystanders are people who are present in an event or incident but do not participate or act upon it. Bystanders have always been a part of the world’s natural occurrences. The bystander effect has occurred in history intensively up to this period of time. The bystander effect has been present in the Holocaust, the Partition of India and Pakistan and Barack Obama being appointed as the first African-American president. The bystander effect occurred all the way back to the 1900’s, during the time of World War 2.
There was a destructive event that took place, it was called The Holocaust. The Holocaust was a great devastation sacrifice completed with fire. It was systematic mass slaughter of European Jews by the Nazi government and advocators. During this period of time, 6 million lives were taken. They were at their most efficient from April to November 1942 – 250 days in 2 which they murdered two and a half million Jews (http://www.facinghistory.org).. The governments of the United States, Britain, and the Soviet Union even made a joint statement acknowledging the mass murders for the first time. Yet, they continued to do nothing to stop or prevent more innocent deaths (http://www.facinghistory.org). The allied nations were aware of the deaths of the millions of innocent Jews but being informed about the scenario they continued to avoid the situation. Being people with higher authorities, the allied nations could have prevented or stopped this disaster from taking place. But they did not want to get themselves into a problem and create conflicts for their own countries. They were afraid that if they did not support the bully, they would be the next victim.
As innocent people were getting murdered in Germany, in India near that same period of time innocent people were being raped. In August 1947, the partition of British India took place. This event was life altering for millions of people. After the British parted from India, the creation of two countries raised India and Pakistan. This catastrophe was known for the abduction, rape and abuse towards women. In 1950, Menon and Bhasin wrote, the “official estimate” for numbers of abducted women stood at 50,000 Muslims in India and 33,000 Hindus and Sikhs in Pakistan (http://www.womenundersiegeproject.org). Women of different ethnicities, age and social classes were all victimized, raped and tormented. The men would also publicly molest the women to make them feel traumatized and disgraced, and people would just watch the awful sin like it is casual and not do anything to stop what is happening. The stories of these abductions and rapes caused panic; in many rural areas families reportedly killed their female children to save them from being defiled. Patel recounts numerous incidents of beheading, drowning, burning, and execution by the male head of family in order to “protect his women” from the threat of dishonour
People would just stand around and watch men rape women. But nobody did anything, they just stood and patrolled. They watched and encouraged, because she was the opposite religion, she was the enemy. People were discriminated based on their race, culture and religion and currently are being victimized for the same reason. On November 8, 2008 Barack Hussein Obama was elected the 44th president of the United States. This victory introduced many hardships into Obama`s life in views of him being the first ever African-American president of the United States. Because this was a racial alteration in many people’s lives, he was verbally and emotionally attacked with racial violations. Obama has also dodged numerous racist attacks from conservative protestors and personalities.
Last year, a group sang “Bye Bye Blackbird” and waved signs reading “47 percent Negro” and “Impeach the half-white Muslim” at one of his speaking events (http://www.usnews.com). In this scenario, there was persistent name calling related to colour, ethnicity, culture or faith. There were many points where hurtful behaviours, both physical and psychological, made them feel unwelcome, powerless or worthless because of their colour, ethnicity, culture or faith. There were malicious messages and letters sent to Obama and people just continued and joined the others.
They thought that since he is the first African American president in the United States, he should not deserve the same equality of right as the pervious white presidents. People trended by making fun of him, and no one did anything to stop it and it still continues to present days. There are many occurrences in life, when people just stand around and observe a situation but do not do anything to stop it, they do not act upon it. The human species is aware that if they do not stop such catastrophes; they will give others a chance to have a negative perspective on other cultures, ethnicities, and races. Not making this okay, because it will cause many riots in the future. It is time,that bystanders start to make a change and take action for the right thing.
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