Outside of a larger obsession that evil people are destroying the world, I cannot think of a single example of myself speaking-up for another person. I can’t even put together a moment where I saw an injustice taking place, let alone an injustice where I even briefly considered standing up for the person(s) being abused. I can’t rule out, either, an intentional forgetting of idleness in the face of injustice. It may be that I’ve silently stood by several times as people were treated like shit, and have subconsciously erased these moments from my mind to protect a self-image that values its virtuous masculinity.
I can at the least say I’ve stood by while kids were picked-on by my friends, who usually even picked-on one another, but I was a quiet, unassuming kid. I still maintain aversions to confrontation, just out of cowardice towards personal trauma, though I do believe I’ve lost some this to nihilism – there’s no real detriment to anyone or anything if you get your skull bruised.
A few years back at a volunteer fire station, a friend called the younger black volunteer a nigger. The young black man was over 6″ and at least 250lbs of bulk, and could have easily stood up for himself – that, plus not knowing what the usual dynamic between them was, gave me enough justification to ignore the affront. I sometimes think about this in tandem with another incident involving the same individual. We were on the same school bus, and after he’d gotten off, someone else had spit out the bus window at him, saying a similar racial slur.
For your general offenses against society, such as destruction of property, antagonizing authorities, property theft – for these injustices, I’m easily coaxed to participate.