No-Sign: Bystander Apathy

No-Sign: Bystander Apathy

No-Sign is a regular feature that gives an in depth opinion on whatever deserves a proper verbal thrashing.  Basically, instead of earning a highly esteemed Co-Sign, it’s about to catch fade on a No-Sign.  In this edition, the disgusting act of bystander apathy gets taken to task.

Over a week after Kim Pham was savagely and sadly, fatally, beaten outside of The Crosby in Downtown Santa Ana, questions still remain as to why such a tragedy even happened in the first place.  Suspects and persons of interest still remained at large, motives and reasons as to how it all transpired continue to be muddled within varied accounts, and fingers continue being pointed back and forth between those that stood by and captured the beating on their cell phones and those that witnessed the attack, yet still have not come forward to offer any information leading to the arrest of the miscreants responsible for Pham’s death.

And there lies the major and  sickening problem.

We are living in times where social media and the internet instantaneously turn millions of eyes the whole world over into witnesses, spectators, and disconcertingly, fans, of the next juicy meme to hit the web, at the expense of someone catching a major beatdown.  Where once cries of outrage in protest of a dangerous altercation going down became the automatic reaction, drawn smart phones accompanied by howls of, “Wooorrrrld Starrrrrrr!!!” now take its place.  For every Sharkeisha borne out of such a phenomenon, a dangerous and rail-thin line is blurred separating it from the next Kim Pham.  And I say this with the contrite of one that admits to being guilty of watching and getting a kick out of that now-infamous Sharkeisha video.

No-Sign: Bystander Apathy

As old an adage as it is, it really is all fun and games until someone gets hurt.  I just wish that our consciences can be trained to shift the view of fun and games to what they were originally meant for – actual fun and games.  Recognition of that fact will help me flip that whole notion right side up into an outlook that would stand up to something as heinous as a young woman being stomped to death over an accidental photobomb.

Yes, a photobomb. I’m sitting here talking about the tragic death of someone just because some hot-headed lames caught feelings over someone unintentionally stepping into their photo-op.  The last time I checked, we weren’t out here regularly taking selfies on polaroids ,disposables, and traditional film cameras.  That smart phone that you carry in your pocket does have the digital capability to save everybody a whole night of drama.  Use it.

Downtown Santa Ana is a place I consider a second home, considering how much I frequent the area.  I worked there, have friends who own businesses there, party there, dine there – especially at The Crosby.  This unfortunate incident is not indicative of what The Crosby is about and really is an isolated incident when considering all the positive vibes and energy the spot has contributed to DTSA.   So when something like this goes down, it really does hit home a bit.  Kim Pham might have felt the same way about the area.  Considering how many people she’s touched, it’s easy to assume that the same outstandingly positive light that she shone was a perfect fit for that same energy that DTSA is all about, thus drawing her there on the night of January 18th.

The paramount outlier in this whole misfortune is the failure of human compassion and empathy to kick in.  I just hope that we recognize that a drawn cell phone is as fatal an instrument as any other drawn weapon – the victim can die by your hand through it’s idle state and vigilance over the skewed outlook of viral glory.

Richard "Reach" Guinto

Reach loves the Lakers, breakfast, the sound of a Fender Rhodes, and rapping along word for word to Wu Tang's "Triumph." If you're looking for him, he's probably out getting chicken.

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