This OTYCD entry originally posted in July 2017.
Learn or refresh yourself on strategies for how to diffuse hateful situations as a bystander.
The racist terrorist attack on public transit in Portland, Oregon in May that left two men dead and a third wounded raised awareness about bystander training. The passengers who became victims confronted the ranting man directly when he accosted two young women who appeared to be Muslim, and continued to do so after he made death threats against those who tried to de-escalate the situation.
Those who offer bystander training have said that the Portland men didn’t do anything wrong. It would be a shame if the incident scared people off from confronting people who spew hate in public spaces.
Here are a bundle of resources that will help you learn how to intervene when you witness hateful situations.
Start with Maeril’s now-classic cartoon on what to do if you witness Islamophobic harassment.
Hollaback, a movement devoted to stopping street harassment, offers digital bystander intervention training for a modest fee:
Read the text of a speech on Bystander Intervention Training given by folks at the Montgomery County Civil Rights Coalition of Maryland:
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See if Collective Action for Safe Spaces is doing a bystander intervention workshop near you, or request one:
For background, read a local news account of the Portland attack:
And read a Slate article about bystander training in the wake of the attack: