One Nation Indifferent

There are a lot of atrocities that are happening in the world, wars between nations and states, civil unrests, and even genocide. Whatever the technically or politically correct term may be to describe what’s going in other parts of the world, I can’t even begin to describe or comprehend the horrific event that occurred right here at home, in New York City.

On Monday, December 3, 58-year-old man named Ki-Suck Han was pushed into the path of an oncoming subway train. The assailant, Naeem Davis, a 30-year-old man, described by some news agencies as being a homeless drifter was captured yesterday.

Although we have yet to find out the details of this horrific event, or what had motivated Davis to commit such malicious act, what we know for sure is that after being shoved in front of an oncoming train, Mr. Han was left there to die while people merely stood by and watched him … and even took pictures of the last moment of his life.

One of these photos appeared on the front page of New York Post with a lurid headline that said “this man is about to die … DOOMED”. With it is a photo of Mr. Han standing under the platform with his arms reaching out to the onlookers on the top, as he looks over at the oncoming train. It’s a photo of a man, a human being at his most desperate moment.

This picture of a man alone on a track in one of the most crowded cities in the world is a reminder that when bad things happen, we are often very much alone. What is even more appalling is that there was enough time to take photos of this horrific event, and yet everyone on that platform chose to do NOTHING to help Mr. Han. And that indifference to the misery of others is not restricted to that platform or NYC. It is widespread and endemic, an ugly fact about much of this country that is no different from what’s going on in the rest of the world.

I’ve seen a lot of tragic media coverages and photos from all over the world; however, this is one of the most horrific pictures I’ve ever seen. It represents humanity at its worst, and evil that we, as human beings, fear and yet suspect is inside all of us. Although we, Americans like to think of our country as being the moral beacon of the world, this tragic events should serve as a testament and a cautionary tale of America becoming a country of gated communities with INDIFFERENT citizens.

Therefore, the dialogue that we should be having isn’t about how to survive or outrun an oncoming train, if/when someone is pushed onto a subway track, but it should be about the diminishing ethical values and humanity in our society, which binds us as a nation.


About S. In

a cultural critic, an avid traveler and a purveyor of social justice and education equity View all posts by S. In

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