We would say this is a very common failing, that people will join the pack even when it is attacking someone weaker and helpless who needs the opposite of them. Here again is a coping mechanism where people can get along by blending in with the pack, not making waves, not standing out and being different, and certainly not going against the grain by questioning what a group might be doing and draw attention to themselves as holding different views the others might be highly critical of, and judgmental in the bargain, and turn against the person who is different. So here again there are moral choices, potentially, where people might surrender their sensitivity and concern about someone if others in their group are wanting to single someone out for rebuke. It may be safer to join the attack, if only to the extent of giving tacit permission, than to oppose the pack and have them turn on you and give you the same treatment as the weaker target you are empathetic towards.
The art of living is in finding a way to be oneself and true to oneself while being a part of a group and being productive while doing it, through avoiding friction and finding ways to reach a compromise and an arrangement to be accepted while sticking to one’s principles. This is not always possible, particularly in organizations that are hugely dysfunctional, but many, many times there are people who can rise above the pettiness of a working group and, in the end, gain a measure of respect and be rewarded from taking that stand. This is not always the case. There are backstabbers, saboteurs, evil people who will find ways to sabotage others to gain a personal advantage. While that might not prevail, it can do a lot of damage along the way.
People will encounter such challenges in life, so there is much to be learned in how to navigate and deal with difficult situations. Again, the answer is often to have done enough personal growth and healing for the self so you can stand strong and be yourself, and gain respect and acceptance by demonstrating you are a person of principles and have something of value in having those standards. This is how leaders come to be leaders, they have something others lack, and one by one people will recognize it and give that potential leader their acceptance and loyalty. To be sure, there are always risks in taking a stand and resisting the negativity of others who may be holding sway in the moment. But this inner strength can be cultivated and if one works at this regularly, it will serve them because it will help develop muscles and the capability to be one’s own person. And that will always garner some respect and can help a person stay above the fray in difficult settings, and set them up for success and even growth into a leadership position because someone who is strong, stable, enterprising, and steady in their actions will get noticed and it can work to their advantage in showing they have strengths others lack.