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6 Tips on Bystander Intervention When You Witness a Racist Attack or Potential Hate Crime

The whole idea of bystander intervention sounds difficult and scary. It’s easy to come up with reasons why we shouldn’t have to do it, why someone else should step up. But if no one else can, then we might have to be the heroes that we long to see. When a bigoted attack is unfolding, everyone watching may be thinking, “Someone should do something.” You could be that someone.

This video explains several different ways that you can help out if you see a racist attack or any other form of bigoted attack unfolding in a public place. There are big ways and small ways to help, of varying levels of risk for you. The video was put together by BCRW and members of Project NIA, and it’s hosted by Aaryn Lang, and directed and produced by Lewis Wallace and Hope Dector.

The video also sources Maeril’s excellent guide on combatting Islamophobia, which can rightfully serve as a template for combatting and counteracting many other types of bigoted attacks. But that’s far from the only tip in the video! There are lots of other important pieces of information here, particularly with regard to the police and when to contact them… and when not to contact them.

Take note, friends, and stay strong out there! It’s important to look out for one another.

(via Boing Boing, image via screencap)

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Maddy Myers, journalist and arts critic, has written for the Boston Phoenix, Paste Magazine, MIT Technology Review, and tons more. She is a host on a videogame podcast called Isometric (, and she plays the keytar in a band called the Robot Knights (