Suppose the following scenario. A person is in line at a store. Let's call them "subject 1." In front of them in line is another person. Let's call them "subject 2." Along comes a third person who approaches subject 2. We'll call them "subject 3." Subject 3 starts calling subject 2 a number of racial pejoratives, then tells subject 2 to "move" and cuts in front of subject 2 in line. Subject 1 meanwhile does nothing and thinks to himself/herself "not my problem."

Subject 2 is a victim of racism. Subject 3 is a racist. But, what is subject 1? They are not a racist by definition. They aren't refusing to stick up for subject 2 out of fear. Subject 1 just doesn't care either way. I'm looking for the right word to describe the implicit lack of empathy for subject 2.

  • This question seems similiar, and was closed for lack of research. Dec 31, 2016 at 20:17
  • subject 1 is apathetic. But is also too timid to complain that subject 3 has cut in front of him.
    – Jim
    Dec 31, 2016 at 20:32
  • On a lighter note, subject 1 was an english usage enthusiast who was preoccupied with framing a question in this forum, to find out a word which describes him best.
    – Monzoor
    Jan 1, 2017 at 10:01

1 Answer 1


Yes, apathetic... or indifferent, unmoved, unsympathetic, callous, possibly even lackadaisical, self absorbed,self centered, remote, unconcerned.

Depending how the sentence (s) are structured, these are a variety of options!

Hope this helped! :)

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