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Arn Chorn-Pond Discusses the Role of Bystanders

Arn Chorn-Pond, Cambodian Survivor

But the thing is also a bystander, I want to think. Now again, for the U.N., sometime can be a bystander. They need to be more active, and do it before, do it before the genocide occur, not to be after. And usually they cannot do it before, because the United States said, "Don't go," or Russians say, "Don't go," or the Chinese say, "Don't go." So the U.N. helpless, feel helpless. They do it.

Many of the genocide can be prevented before. It started before, it started small, and you can see the signs. Here, in America, you can see some signs of destruction, some sign of will be a mass killing, some sign, and around the world, like that. But people have to stop it before that, have to intervene before that.

Like, I work with the gang members here. Like, for example, there is a verbal attack on each other, then there will be guns if nobody stop them before the verbal attack. Break them out before the verbal attack; break them, you know. As soon as there is a physical attack, you cannot stop them. They've hit the police back, you know, they go crazy. So genocide is like that, and it starts small.

Each individual of us, whether from the small individual of us to the big body like U.N., have to be independent, good intention, spend money well, and do it before. So that's why the role of bystander is very important right now.