Advocacy & News

When Inhumanity Becomes Action

Imagine how it feels to know that your dignity, your wellbeing, your safety, and your body mattered so little to someone that they stripped you of all these things because they only see you as an inconvenience – even in your moment of need.

Lack of empathy or deliberate cruelty or injustice, particularly towards another living being, especially if they are vulnerable, is something I find deeply troubling. It brings to life the question: what new low awaits us? It makes me angry, disgusted and upset as all too often an answer is given.

Video emerged a couple of days ago from Long Beach, California that showed a White man dragging another man (who had a seizure and become unconscious) off the train they were on and leaving his prostrate body on the platform. The White passenger didn’t want the busy train to be delayed. He wanted to go about his business unencumbered by someone in need – by someone he saw as having no value at all, a literal throwaway human being.

His actions showed exactly how little he cared because he only checked on the unconscious man’s wellbeing once he realised the train wasn’t going to be moving from the station anyway.

There is no justification for what this man did. His response when seeing someone else in medical need, unconscious and requiring help, was not only to think of himself and how he would be inconvenienced but also to put his complete lack of empathy into action by physically dragging someone into a more unsafe space just so he could get home on time.

He put this man’s life in danger by disregarding his dignity, disrespecting his body, and neglecting his health. Even if this had nothing to do with race or ethnicity (which I highly doubt) it gives embodiment to the lived experience of people of colour in the United States – it is the lack of care for their lives and needs made flesh and played out in front of our eyes.

Evil doings aren’t just carried out by shadowy figures or easily spotted monsters – the devil doesn’t always come dressed in a red cape and pointy horns, sometimes the devil comes dressed in a suit.

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