Six tips to avoid being a bystander when witnessing a racist attack

With racist and discriminatory acts on the rise since Donald Trump’s election, Barnard Center For Research On Women and members of Project NIA created a video that offers six simple tips for what to do if you witness a verbal or physical assault. Having concrete steps in mind will hopefully stop you from just being a bystander. One important thing to remember is that the police can often escalate situations involving people of color and trans folks. The video advises that unless you’ve been specifically asked to do so by the victim, avoid calling the police.

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  1. Do Not Call The Police

    Especially in San Diego / Southern California. Witnessed that turn on the victim many times.

  2. Not tat it is any consolation, but happens in parts of London too :weary:

  3. Franko says:

    the tip about NOT calling the police unless the victim wants you to is a tip that wouldn't come to mind to me -- which pointed out my own personal blind spot. thanks for this.

  4. This is verifiably wrong, and the ONLY internal resistance that worked against the Nazis was peaceful. C.f. Rosenstaße Protests and the entire country of Bulgaria. Unless you think that a foreign army is going to save you, it is your best bet. I will say this as many times as necessary for people to understand it: Civil resistance does not rely on the conscience of those in power. Not even in theory does it rely on this.

    Read this book, look at the data. It doesn't lie.

    Signed,

    A Palestinian Who Has Seen What Violent Resistance Buys You.

    P.S. Do not confuse the moral right to take a course of action with a good or effective action. And unless the first words out of a person's mouth before advocating violent resistance are, "Revolution is a sixteen year old soldier crying for his mother while dying in a ditch to be forgotten by history," I cannot take them seriously. Either you understand war and are clear about the sacrifices you're selling, or you have no business banging the drums.

  5. This is par for the course for anti-state resistance. Unless... you think we're exceptional.

    They can and they will in the case of rebellion or insurrection. That's 100% within the purview of the oath they took. Armed individuals reacting to a Trump policy is precisely that, right or wrong. The theory of an American deep-state, to the extent that it exists, has never really been tested, and if recent events have been any guide, it's unclear that it's going to be on our side.

    In other countries (here I make the daring assumption that we are not a special unique snowflake of a country,) how a military fractures depends on commanders, who are less diverse and tilt right, and chancing that it will work out in your favor isn't a strategy, it's a leaping-and-then-looking proposition. For a successful rebellion? You need a strategy. That goes for peaceful resistance as well, contrary to what appears to be popular belief that simply knitting some pink hats is even so much as the beginning. Sacrifices will have to be made. Non-violent resistance is more resilient to such sacrifices.

    In any war, the more material you have and can concentrate, the less sacrifices you have to make. As a for instance, it's war, so those huge crowds in D.C.? Cut them in half. Patriarchy, sexism, cultural indoctrination--call it whatever you want, women tend not to fight and I'm assuming more than half were women, and I'm assuming some significant proportion will fight. Then remove most of the people over the age of thirty five from that group, and anyone under the age of fifteen or sixteen- depending on how you feel about that. Any one disabled, including bad eyesight or being too overweight to run a mile without stopping is eliminated. Next weed out the flakes and losers how can't follow directions or be on time if their life depends on it, because it will. Then get rid of all the people who don't feel Trump's rise warrants violence. Finally pluck out all the individuals who can't stomach the idea of killing someone else. That's the realistic worst-case scenario for the army you have for the assault on D.C. Good luck! And if you're not starting with the assumption of a worst-case scenario, you can't make the right kinds of estimations.

    On the other hand, if your resistance is non-violent and uses tactics of non-compliance, obstruction, and leverage, you get to keep most of that crowd, and then it becomes more realistic to expect the military to be beholden to rules that forbid its deployment within the country. Police go home to the communities they police, instead of being shipped in from a base somewhere else. It's harder to deal with that kind of coordinated resistance. You don't need to spend a lot of time and money training people, and moral qualms about taking a life aren't an obstacle. The realistic worst case scenario is people get cracked heads and many of them die during peaceful protest. Some particularly horrifically. That was how the fight for civil rights went: lots of fire hoses, attack dogs, lynchings, and batons. I'm not going to sugarcoat it: Resistance requires sacrifice. But you still have more more warm bodies than if you take up arms.

    This is a brief explanation of the critical concept of participation in asymmetric warfare. There are other considerations beyond this one factor that makes civil resistance work better. If you are determined that I, or really the people who study this whose ideas I've stolen, am/are wrong about this, at least promise me you'll attach your trigger finger to your brain instead of your heartstrings, for your sake.

    There are enough veterans of keyboard warfare around talking a big game that it's usually a safe assumption that someone calling for violence is one. If you know better, though, then as I said, you're obligated to make the sacrifices very clear. I'll happily talk all day about how people who really want to stop Trump are going to have to risk their liberty, jobs, money, bodies, and lives if they want success--Civil disobedience is watching someone next to you have half their skull caved in with a baton and refusing to move.

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