On Friday, May 30, 78-year-old Angel Torres tried to make his way across a busy street in Hartford, Connecticut. A surveillance tape shows two cars crossing a double line. The first appears to graze Mr. Torres. The second hits him straight-on; Mr. Torres bounces up onto and off the top of the car and then down to the street, as if in a Hollywood movie. And both cars keep moving. As do the other cars on the street. As do several pedestrians. One person walks to the edge of the sidewalk, as if to get a better look at Mr. Torres lying in the street, and then turns and walks away. A few people did call 9-1-1, and Mr. Torres was soon taken to a hospital. He is now paralyzed.
This is just the latest outrage of our increasingly coarsened culture. David Sharp struggles with his oxygen tank on Mount Everest, and his fellow climbers pass him by. Renald Charles drowns rescuing his sons from a riptide, and tourists videotape his desperate efforts. LaShanda Calloway lies bleeding on a convenience store floor, and her fellow shoppers step over her to reach the sales counter.
All around us, in the city, on the ocean, atop a mountain, selfishness reigns, as people regard another’s suffering and death as an inconvenience, a curiosity, or nothing of consequence at all.