I am posting this, and I feel so ashamed of my fellow New Yorkers, but unfortunately apathy is such a part of society now, like the atheist said on the other thread, if you don't like it turn off your set.. you should also turn off your humanity!
Video Shows People Passing Dying Man in NYC
Updated: 1 hour 47 minutes ago
(April 26) -- They turn to look, but most do not stop.
Captured on a grainy video, several New Yorkers kept on walking as Hugo Alfredo Tale-Yax, 31, lay dying on a sidewalk in the city's Queens borough.
The homeless man was stabbed on April 18 at about 7:20 a.m. after approaching a man who was threatening a woman with a knife. He stumbled a few paces and collapsed facedown on the sidewalk as the attacker and woman ran off in different directions.
One man took a picture of Tale-Yax, and another lifted him by the shoulder before walking off. Most just gawked without so much as a break in their stride. Tale-Yax lay in a pool of blood, and by the time help arrived more than an hour and 20 minutes after he collapsed, he was dead.
The lack of action recalls other cases around the nation in which a victim lay hurt or dying and no one did anything to help. The most infamous is the 1964 rape and murder of Kitty Genovese in Queens. Dozens of people witnessed parts of the attack and didn't do anything to stop it.
More recently, a 78-year-old man was paralyzed and later died in a 2008 hit-and-run in Hartford, Conn., after which pedestrians looked on but didn't help, although several 911 calls were made. Also that year, a woman at a Brooklyn, N.Y., psychiatric hospital died on a waiting room floor after collapsing and being ignored for an hour. And earlier this year, three Seattle metro security guards were videotaped standing by as a group of teens beat a girl.
The Genovese case led to the 1970s term the "bystander effect" or the "Genovese syndrome" -- the more people who are around when somebody needs help, the less likely any one person will be to help, because everybody assumes somebody else will handle the problem.
"People essentially think that someone else will do it, and they kind of walk by thinking, 'Maybe I should, but no one else is stopping,'" New York psychologist Shara Sand told AOL News. "It's Kitty Genovese all over again."
People are influenced by those around them, she said, adding that if one person had stopped to help Tale-Yax, others would have too.
"Unfortunately, there's this sense that I don't want to get involved and that if no one else is there, then there must not really be something wrong," she said.
Other experts say this latest case is a little different from the 1964 Genovese killing, as several of the passers-by were alone, not in a group. They also note that times have changed and people have much more stressful lives than they did several decades ago. People are so busy and overwhelmed that they might not notice somebody needing help.
"It's a protection," said New York clinical psychologist Bonnie Jacobson. "It's putting a barrier between themselves and the world because they feel overstimulated, overwhelmed. We have such intense lives, especially in New York.
"It's not apathy. It's not being indifferent to helping," she said. "All of us are overwhelmed."
The people who walked by Tale-Yax could have had many things on their minds. "They're worried about their mother, their life, their job," Jacobson said. "They're just so internally stressed out, they're just not seeing the guy lying on the street."
Virginia Tech psychology professor Scott Geller agrees that in an age of e-mail and declining interpersonal communication, people can be unaware of those around them. The New York case may be an updated form of bystander apathy, he says.
"It could be the modern version -- that it doesn't matter if there are people around. We are still not likely to help others because we have other things to do," Geller said. "We're so into our own little networks, with e-mail and voice mail, we've really become oblivious to the other people around us. I'm wondering if some people walked by without even seeing him."
The people walking by also may have become desensitized to the sight of a man lying on a sidewalk and thought perhaps he was simply taking a nap, Geller said. Without recognizing that somebody needs help, people won't act, he said.
And, he added, although calling 911 is easy enough, some people don't help because they don't feel competent to do so.
People must feel prepared to help, Jacobson said. "People will fly to Haiti to help because they're emotionally prepared to do it," she said. "If not, you set up a wall."
Also, a victim might be on the ground dying without anyone helping because, with such busy lives, people don't want the hassle of getting involved and having their lives complicated by dealing with the police or having to testify in court, Geller says. And people are afraid of getting hurt.
"We're more suspicious now than ever before," Geller said. "We are very leery. This guy could be wanting you to come over, and he could jump up and steal something."
Still, Jacobson says New York is a kinder place since 9/11, and she believes people wouldn't have passed by Tale-Yax if they had seen him bleeding.
"If the guy had been lying face up and anyone had seen blood, you would have had action beyond belief," she said. "Nobody's going to pass by a bleeding man."
There have been no arrests in the Tale-Yax case, and the woman and the suspect remain unidentified, police said today.
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