Good citizenship is too hard to find

Emily Collins, Staff Writer

Many people choose to look the other way when they see a physical altercation in public, not wanting to get involved, even when it is a man assaulting a woman.

One such event took place on Sept. 7 in Lakewood, Calif. when a customer was attempting to purchase a Swisher Sweets cigar, which cost $1.41 but only had a dollar, according to CBS news.

He became belligerent when the clerk told him that he didn’t have enough money, ultimately punching the female clerk in the face and walking out of the store. At least three men are seen in the video standing in line and did nothing about it.

They could easily have followed the man outside to get a license plate number, or at least the direction he headed when he left the store, without putting themselves in immediate danger.

This is unacceptable. As citizens, neighbors and human beings, we should be standing up for those that need help, not idly standing by and watching the event unfold.

Is it because of women’s equality that people no longer feel it is necessary to intervene on behalf of women?

This is no excuse. It shouldn’t matter if it is a man assaulting a woman, a man assaulting a man or even a woman assaulting a man. When someone is being attacked in public, the right thing to do is to try to help.

Are people just too scared to get involved, not knowing how far the aggressor will go and are worried about their own safety or concerned they might face a lawsuit if they intercede?

California, and many other states, have laws known as “Good Samaritan Laws” which protect people from being sued when they help someone in an emergency situation.

No matter how you look at it, violence is not something that should be overlooked. In a situation where someone is getting assaulted, physically or verbally, someone should step in.

At least one man recently did stand up for someone being harassed in public.

On Sept. 17 in Broward County, Fla., a woman on a bus was being harassed by a male passenger. When she got up and sat near Jimmy Singleton, who told the aggressor to stop, he became violent, punching Singleton in the face and knocking him to the ground, according to Fox News.

Singleton ended up in the hospital for eight days after the assault, suffering from three broken ribs and a partially collapsed lung, but still says he would do it again if put in that situation.

This is how we, as Americans and as human beings, should react. We are not known, as a country, for looking the other way in times of crisis or wrongdoing.

We wouldn’t have so many people bullying their way through life, behaving as they please, if they knew that someone nearby just might step in and try to put a stop to it.