There has been a lot of talk about the ramifications of the George Zimmerman trial and what it all means. But over at The Week, I proposed a theory that has mostly (and understandably) been overlooked.
The theory is this: Neighbors will now think twice before trying to help police their community. This might not even be a conscious decision, just an unspoken understanding that life is much easier when you mind your own business. Frankly, this is pretty much how I operate. But at the macro level, a nation of people minding their own business isn’t necessarily a good thing. Here’s an excerpt from the column:
“Zimmerman’s neighborhood had experienced a rash of burglaries and break-ins. He chose to head up a neighborhood watch group. I would probably have gotten a better security system. Or moved. But that sort of voting with your feet is cowardly and escapist.”
“… the fear is that it leads to an institutional “Genovese syndrome” where we become a nation of individualist bystanders, bemoaning the problems, but knowing all too well that it’s much smarter to pull the blinds, flip on The Big Bang Theory, and mind our own damn business.”
Read the whole thing here.