Why Yusuf Hizel is like Kitty Genovese

by zsiskos on May 2, 2010 · 0 comments

Before I explain why Yusuf is like Kitty, let me explain who these people are first. They are not the people in the above photos.

Kitty Genovese is one of the most famous murder victims in history. She’s in mentioned in every psychology book since her murder in 1964 and even in recent books about economics. Why? Because when her murder first hit the news The New York Times wrote that while she was getting stabbed to death in the middle of the courtyard of her apartment complex, there were 38 witnesses who did nothing about it (even when her murderer left and came back to finish her off). This ended up being called the “bystander effect” by experts and many books discussed the psychology behind why (and how) people can stand there and do nothing to help someone out.

However, years later, researchers have come out to say that these recorded details are not accurate. That people actually DID try to stop the attack by calling the police. And that they’re weren’t even 38 witnesses. It’s an interesting story on human behaviour.

So how is Yusef like Kitty?

Well, Yusef was also attacked, in public, with many witnesses who did nothing to help him. However, there are two major differences. One, he wasn’t murdered (thankfully) and two, the detailing of the number of witnesses that saw the attack and did nothing is TRUE.

Yusuf, a 79 year old Toronto man, was on the subway at 8:30pm on a Saturday night. Two men (suspects are in the above photo) approached him and asked him for change. When he refused, they bullied him, held him down and took his wallet. Yes, he tried to use the emergency assist button but the muggers held him down. Yes, he called for help and approximately 24 people did nothing.

This disgusts me. And it scares me.

The smallest gesture that anyone had to do was to press the little yellow strip that calls for help. TTC (Toronto Transit Commission) records indicate that no one pressed the alarm at that time. That’s it. No one even had to get involved, which they still should have, but still, there is absolutely no excuse not to push that little yellow strip.

It doesn’t even have to be out of the goodness of your heart. It can be for extremely selfish reasons of self-preservation.

Every single thief, mugger, bully and robber, now has more confidence that they can commit a crime and no one will do anything about it.

I hope that someone comes forth about this crime. I hope that when these assholes get caught it hits the front page and they are adequately punished. I hope that we learn to protect each other, not only for the goodness in our hearts but to ensure that we can live in peace and safety. I hope that one day stories like this are just in psychology and economic books.

Mostly, I hope that no one has ever experiences anything like this.

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