The brutal 1964 murder of bartender Kitty Genovese in NYC became the subject of a documentary in 2016.
A total disregard for human life. Many times I’ve blogged about the matter and talked about when I filled in for Mark Belling for about 8 years on Newstalk 1130 WISN.
Genovese’s death was not in vain. Her murder inspired not only the Bystander Effect (‘I don’t want to get involved’) but the 9-1-1 emergency system and the implementation of Good Samaritan laws.
An insightful columnist makes a brilliant analytical comparison between Genovese and the chaos in Ukraine. Here’s an excerpt from a piece by Jack DeVine, a retired nuclear energy executive.
Shortly after midnight on March 13, 1964, on a street corner in Queens, a young woman named Kitty Genovese was brutally attacked and stabbed to death. The New York Times reported that nearby residents heard her cries for help, and some watched in horror from the safety of their apartment widows. But no one came to her aid, and no one called the police.
Their reasons? The savagery they were witnessing, however horrifying, was none of their business. They were not legally required to come to Kitty’s aid. Further provoking her assailant might have had serious consequences. So instead, they watched and listened, no doubt hoping that it would stop, that the victim would recover, and that her bone-chilling screams would someday be forgotten.
Does any of that sound familiar? It should. An assault on a single victim in New York City is hardly comparable to the violent invasion of an entire country. But our rationale (or perhaps excuse) for choosing not to intervene in the senseless slaughter in Ukraine is largely the same.