Anti-Racist Bystander Intervention – #againsthate

Racism is a social issue which we ALL need to address. This is a small preliminary collection of online resources gathered by Dr Alison Phipps, myself and others which offers various kinds of advice on what you can do if you are  witness to hate speech, (I am writing this with race hate in mind, but applies also to sexist, gender-based or disablist hate speech). One of the ideas behind bystander intervention is training individuals and communities to know how to act, (and how to act together, collectively, in public spaces – to support each other to act). Often people stay silent when they witness harassment, as they are frightened of intervening. However, for those who are targeted by hate, the silence of witnesses is often experienced as complicity.

WHAT CAN WE DO

Bystander intervention need not always be confrontational and may include:

  • Supporting the person or group that has been targeted
  • Taking note of anything that may later help identify the perpetrator
  • Recording the incident on your phone or other device if you feel safe to do so
  • Calling the behaviour out as racism or discrimination if you feel safe to do so
  • Confronting or disagreeing with the perpetrator if you feel safe to do so
  • Interrupting or distracting the perpetrator
  • Seeking the help of people around you
  • Reporting the incident (see resources below)
  • (Source: http://www.monash.edu/diversity-inclusion/cultural-inclusion/bystander-anti-racism.html)

    Feminist Philosophers Blog suggest the following:”NEVER engage the perpetrator. He is looking for confrontation. Instead speak to the person he is abusing. Say hello. Introduce yourself. Shake his or her hand. And just stand with them. Keep talking. About anything. Weather. Bus schedules. Football. .. Form a group of people with and around them if you can

Suggestions from Shane Boothby, editor of the Leveller:

  • Show solidarity with immigrants, refugees and those in your community who are on the receiving end of abuse.
  • Don’t leave it to those on the receiving end to stand up and criticize xenophobia and racism in the press or in public spaces. Listen and believe that this is happening and do what you can to counter it in the spaces around you, workplaces, family and friends.
    (Source: http://theleveller.org/2016/07/brexit-poison-clean-up/)

See also What is bystander intervention? – an OPENLEARN lecture here on the history of this term from Dr Jovan Byford (Department of Psychology) at the Open University.

Please feel free to contact me with more resources to add: @drimogentyler

LIST OF RESOURCES 

  1. United Against Racism have some guidelines here: “Who Not, it Not You?
    How you can intervene when witnessing racist a
    ssaults” 
  2. At UWE, Dr Rachel Fenton was the Principal Investigator for the Public Health England-funded bystander intervention project. The Intervention Initiative is an educational programme for the prevention of sexual coercion and domestic abuse in university settings, through empowering students to act as prosocial citizens. While the UWE bystander project focuses on sexual and gender-based violence much applies in other situations.
  1. Amnesty International are running an #againsthate campaign targeting Local Councils
  2. Not everybody will want to use or access police support, but if you can/do, you can report hate crimes online : Police advice is to Call 101, contact Crimestoppers or
  3. In London, you can also use the London Met MOPAC Hate Crime app for Android or Apple
  4. You can also use community reporting methods such as Tell MAMA for anti-Muslim incidents @TellMamaUk
  5. also Islamic Human Rights Commission for postbrexit hate crimes
  6. Community reporting antisemitism: Community Security Trust, CST
  7. The Hindu Council have created an online portal to report racism
  8.  Freedom reporting (anarchist solidarity organizing) have some ‘tips for the road’ 
  9. Y-Stop and Search addresses the problems experienced during a police led stop and search. It aims to give you the skills to handle stop and search and your interactions with the police, as well as provide tools for advice, empowerment and reporting police behaviour.
  10. Schools are required to report racist incidents & there are excellent guidelines for teachers online such as this downloadable guide Preventing and dealing with Racists Incidents. A handbook for …also resources from StandUpToBullying 

RESOURCES FROM OUTSIDE UK

  1. Australian bystander anti-racist project This is a great set of resources from Professor Kevin Dunn and  researchers in Sydney with training videos and resources. see a recent article about this project
  2. Another Australian bystander intervention training video 
  3. Australia again – SPEAK UP! handbook on tackling racism in different locations/social interactions
  4. A Call For Bystander Intervention To End Racism’  Eric Grollman from Virginia University 
  5. Bystander Anti-Racism, Monash