Letter to the Editor: Good people who do nothing are bad people too, should be blamed


Courtesy of Michael Rowley

A crowd gathers around a fallen light post on the corner of Welch Avenue and Chamberlain Street as a large crowd gathered in Campustown on April 8.

A lot has been said about what happened the night of April 8. One common grumble is how the bad actions of a few people ruined Veishea for the rest of us. However, it wasn’t just a few people on Welch Avenue on April 8 — it was hundreds, maybe even a thousand. Sure, only a handful of people actively vandalized: removing signs, tipping cars and destroying light poles. However, hundreds more people cheered on those active few and emboldened them to cause damage. The blame for what happened April 8 lies on all who were present on Welch that night. 

The saying “all that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing” rings especially true. I’d like to think that there weren’t any good people in the crowd on Tuesday night. However, that’s probably not the case. There likely were good people there, but they did nothing. I heard that there was a group of people on Welch that night that formed a protective barrier around the injured student until paramedics could arrive. I’m so happy to hear that. However, where were they before the light fell, before the cars were flipped and before the other damage occurred? It’s a shame that it took a student getting seriously injured before any good people in the crowd came to their senses and decided to take a stand.

I’m proud to say that I go to Iowa State, and there are a lot of good people who go here as well. However, it would be naive of me to place blame for what happened April 8 on a select few. What happened was committed directly by a few people but instigated and encouraged by the rest — hundreds of people. For that, everyone present shares the blame.