The Bystander Effect – National Poetry Month 2016

bystander-effectWinston Moseley died; He was 81
On March 28th, last week,
after 52 years in incarceration
Who was Winston Moseley?
Moseley was the guy who stabbed to death
28 year old Kitty Genovese

Why is this worth mentioning?
well he did it as they say
when 38 pairs of ears
heard the crime happen
the cries as it runined their sleep
But not a finger raised to stop it
they all thought someone else will raise
And all 38 tongues went back to sleep

Fast Forward to our times and we often read news
‘caught on Camera; Man beaten to death’
‘Guard drowned in pond as hundreds watched’
‘Woman paraded naked in front of crowd’
and on and on and on

How many years of study of a Bystander Effect
will make man not be a bystander anymore
How many more crimes need to be committed in broad daylight
in front of apathetic eyes in pointless bodies
for people to change

There are many today who share the
sad 1993 photo by Kevin Carter
a vulture next to a starving kid in Sudan
those who share the picture and
comment with an abundance of fury
If you don’t know
‘Carter took his life on 27 July 1994’

The year Kitty Genovese was killed was 1964
4 years before Senator Rankin Fite completed
the first 9-1-1 call
But Today we have 911;
In fact many people have it on their fingertips
even in most remote places of the world
sometimes more than one option to press dial
And what do many do?
Some use it for the right purpose
But this poem is not for them

This poem if for those
who take the Phone and press camera,
press record or click motionless pictures
with their emotionless minds;
to upload and share and gain likes
the new way of consideration
the new era of the same Bystander effect, but
wild, cruel, barbarous and profusely Vicious than ever

You might say “it is about making people aware”
Friend, I don’t buy it from all sellers
how many do you think would not be a bystander
if they did not have a mobile phone?
You have your numbers ready and
then we can talk

Categories: National Poetry Month, Poetry


1 reply


  1. MSJ 11203 Communication and Technology: The Neighbor as Bystander – Hello! Welcome to Eeha's Diary

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