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  • ivanildotrindade 10:45 pm on May 8, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: child run over by car, China, Chinese people, good samaritan laws, good work, helping strangers, loving your neighbor, Mozer Oliveira, Parable of the Good Samaritan   

    A Brazilian Hero? 

    I came across this story today even though it happened last fall. It is a story that will rock your faith in humans. I didn’t have the guts to watch the video because it would have been too much, but I will post the summary of the story here:

    “October 13th afternoon around 5:30, a car accident occurred at the Guangfo Hardware Market in Huangqi of Foshan. A van hit a 2-year-old little girl and then fled. No passersby reached out to help and then another car ran over her. Over the span of 7 minutes, a total of 17 people passing by failed to extend a hand or call the police, up until the 19th person, a garbage scavenger ayi [older woman], who lifted her up after discovering her but the little girl in her arms was like a noodle, immediately collapsing back onto the ground. The trash scavenger ayi called for help, and the little girl’s mother, who was in the vicinity, immediately rushed over and rushed her to the hospital.”

    Tragically, the child didn’t  survive. And China’s leaders went scrambling everywhere trying to figure out what’s wrong with their people. They started a national campaign to encourage people to care more about each other. And out of nowhere comes an unlikely hero, a Brazilian national living in China who has become a sort of hero in his town for one reason and one reason only — he risked his life defending a lady who was being robbed, risking his own life in the process.

    The story is in from a Brazilian newspaper and it is in Portuguese, but here is the synopsis:

    Last Friday, 27-year-old Brazilian Mozer Rhian Oliveira, came to the aid of a woman who was being robbed while 50 people simply stood around and did nothing to help him. The young man was walking on the sidewalk when he saw a thief with his hand inside the woman’s purse. Oliveira hit the man with his closed umbrella. Soon, two other man joined the thief and hit him with a belt. He ran to the lobby of the apartment building where he lives and when he lowered himself to try to grab a metal sign to protect himself, he was attacked by the three assailants who hit him on the head with a metal bar. People who knew him and other passersby simply ignored the scene.

    Oliveira received 15 stitches on his forehead but he had some small consolation — yesterday he was visited by 20 local and provincial authorities, who gave him a check for about $7,000.00 and was presented with a plaque thanking him for setting an example for all the Chinese to follow. His action is only the latest in a series of incidents in which westerners have been the only people willing to help people in dire need.

    These incidents have forced Chinese people to look inside their own souls. Like Americans living in states with no “Good Samaritan” laws, they point to cases where people were sued by relatives of those they tried to help. Some specialists point out the fact that the Chinese people have been programmed to only help those who are part of their circles — close friends, relatives, etc. Some point out the logic of a judge who found a man guilty of causing the injuries of the lady he helped bringing to the hospital when he found her lying on the street. The judge said, “He has to be guilty; otherwise, why would he help her?”

    As for Oliveira, when asked by the authorities why he decided to ask, his answer was, “I am a Christian and I believe in loving your neighbor; furthermore, if my mom or my sister were in that situation, I wish someone would help them.”

    Whether you are a Christian or not, I would hope you would agree with me that there are things in this world that are as black and white — helping a child in distress is one of them. Hope you don’t have to wait for a crisis to act.  Start today, right where you are.

    Ivanildo C. Trindade
    PS: My sincere thanks to my friend Helena Koyama for sending me the link to Mozer’s story.

    • Julie 7:28 am on May 9, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Wonderful on the part of the Good Samaritan and what a great ambassador for Brazil he has been. This post was a wake-up call. I have heard that China will be our next world power. Eek! I do like that officials are responding with concern. We went to the article in Portuguese and Carlao read it out loud. Has me getting closer to the idea of making my blog bilingual. Thank you for this beauty, Ivanildo.

      • ivanildotrindade 12:15 pm on May 9, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        yes, what a guy. i had a long discussion with my staff today about what we would each do. thankfully, we all agreed we would act. how could we not? i am glad u were able to read the original story in portuguese. take care!

  • ivanildotrindade 9:27 pm on March 28, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: BBC, Capital punishment, China, Ding Yu, Interview Before Execution, Lethal injection, violent crimes   

    Interview before the execution 

    If you ever commit a violent crime, pray you are not living in China. So many of the laws there are still archaic and inhuman. There is no presumption of innocence, confessions are often taken before a person is able to talk to a lawyer and if you are sentenced to die, you could die within seven days. And the method used is either a single shot to the head or lethal injection inside a boxed truck. In some places, even though it is officially illegal now, the condemned is taken to the place of punishment with a placard around her/his neck detailing the nature of the crime.

    So it is no surprise that a T.V. program entitled “Interview Before the Execution,” started in 2006, was a huge success until recently when it was taken off the air. Every Saturday evening, millions of viewers would sit in front of the small screen and watch interviews with female reporter Ding Yu, who would talk to people convicted of violent crimes just before they face their executioners.

    In spite of the objectionable nature of the program, it has served one purpose — highlight the state of the judicial system in China, which often offers no recourse and targets people who are perceived to be a threat to the regime. The fact that the government shut down the program as soon as the pressure overseas began to mount should tell us something.

    I used to be in favor of the death penalty in the U.S., but after evidence began to pile up that many people have been sent to the death row by mistake, I began to have second thoughts. Now I have completely switched my view, not because I don’t think the penalty itself should never apply but because I can’t trust the system and the human elements running the  system. So in the absence of a guarantee that the system is flawless, I choose to err on the side of preserving life.

    China has been changing by leaps and bounds but it still has a lot to learn in this area. And I think U.S. governments have been too tolerant toward some of these barbaric practices. I wish we could take a strong stance but I guess if we continue to continue to send people to the death row who shouldn’t be there, we lose the moral high ground when it comes to this practice. If you want to read a story about this in Spanish, go here.

    BBC is going to air a documentary on “Interview Before the Execution.” If you can help it, don’t watch it.

    Ivanildo C. Trindade

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