Bystanders of Violence

by Doug Zanes | Last Updated: May 14, 2015

Are You Just Going to Stand There?!

A lot of us have watched the famous show “What Would You Do” in which individuals are often placed in very ethically, morally and otherwise tough situations calling for them to “take action” (or not). These individuals are (unbeknownst to them) interacting with professional actors testing their “do good” radar.

Although many of us watch this show and often think “oh my gosh, I cannot believe he/she didn’t say or do anything!” in that given situation. “I would have totally done XYZ…”

Some of us more thoughtful may ponder, “well you know… if I was actually in that situation, I don’t know what my visceral reaction or response would be.” In other words, there is no way of knowing how one’s brain will respond once in a setting of that nature.

These kinds of topics become all the more controversial (and uncomfortable) when violence is involved. In fact, some argue that with our smartphones, we are acting more and more like observers and bystanders, filming or photographing scenes in front of us rather than participating to end the issue/situation at hand.

Even Martin Luther King Jr. declared that:

“Those who do nothing while witnessing injustice and wrong-doing do worse than those who commit acts of injustice. The privileged have a responsibility to do what they know is right.”

What do you think?

Do you believe everyone has a duty to stand up to injustice and get involved?

If not, when is it right to get involved? When is it not?

We would love to hear from you below!

Doug Zanes: Founding Attorney Raised in Douglas, Arizona, and went to college at Arizona State University and graduated from law school at St. Mary’s University School of Law in Texas. Doug began practicing law in Phoenix Arizona in 1997.
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