I’ve been following the siege in Mumbia, which finally ended early this morning. Plus, the story of the Walmart employee who was trampled to death. I vaguely remember almost being trampled, although I forget the circumstances. But I remember the sense that the people about to trample me didn’t even see me. That term “blind panic” really does describe it. Something happened to cause the crowd I was in to fear. Fortunately I didn’t panic, quickly spotted where no one else was headed and jumped there. I was mostly lucky though, that there was a spot to jump to. It’s hard to blame people who are terrified and don’t know what they’re doing, but I still remember hating them, just watching in horror and hating them. I guess I was being only human too.
I gotta believe that no one in that Walmart crowd meant for that to happen, and we know from history and countless experiments how something like this can happen, the crowd-mind and lack of individual responsibility, but still. I read that when employees asked the people to leave afterwards, that someone had died as a result of what they had done people continued to shop. That I find harder to understand.
Back to Mumbai, how do people get this damaged? Interview after interview of people who managed to escape almost all use the same word to describe the killers: remorseless. They killed children for God’s sake.
(Picture by David Guttenfelder/Associated Press.)