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


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/01/25/six-tips-to-avoid-being-a-byst.html


#2

Do Not Call The Police

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


#3

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


#4

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.


#5

tl;dw…


#6

Is one of the tips to use weapons on the attackers and then flee?

/someone come at me with some rhetoric about nonviolence and I will direct you to the mass graves people who were unarmed and peaceful. That time is clearly coming to an end. Your enemy is armed, violent, and has the support of authority. Peaceful protest only works when those with power are accountable to those with a conscience. Do you think that’s the case now?

Right now your best chance to be left alone is to convince your enemy that you will kill them. Because you’re not facing people with a core of humanity.


#7

In the rest of the western countries cops number 1 job is to deescalate situations, here not so much and I think it will only get worse under the current administration. Sad…
Damned good video, something most people should see.


#8

This makes sense for a verbal attack or imminent physical attack, but I’m having trouble seeing how it is applicable for a ongoing physical attack. Sitting down next to a person who is being physically attacked, and trying to engage him/her in a conversation is just not going to dissuade anyone. We need to understand if there’s anything special we should do in that situation.

Other than that, I think it’s a great video. I’m probably one of the people who would have (at least momentarily) frozen because I’ve never seen a racist attack in person. However, someone I know who had never seen a racist attack either saw his first on November 9th, and, yes, it did include the words “I’m glad that Trump is going to deport you”.

So, we all need to be prepared for something like this.


#9

When it comes to helping a victim, I’d be prepared to spend the night in jail with that approach b/c in from the cop’s perspective you’re eligible for an assault charge.

Satisfying as opening up a can of woopass would be, IMO one has to be stronger and tougher to avoid beating the shit out of an attacker and instead take the smarter path. Especially if it’s being documented, you’re sending a message that the behavior won’t be tolerated, and without promoting violence as a solution.


#10

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.


#11

The Palestinian resistance is entirely dependant on aid from outside Palestine and has no support from the antagonistic military backing the settlers.

The US military is composed of diverse people from all over the nation and cannot be fielded against our own civilians in this sort of action. They just won’t do it. Regular police and civilian militias composed of fascists and racist nationalists are what will be used and their access to weapons is the basically the same as their opposition. If the progressive left had the same number of households with firearms ownership as the regressive Right they wouldn’t consider aggression.

I know the sweet smell that hits your face before you start to gag. Lime does nothing to cover it.


#12

I’m just here to say I loved the narrator’s headscarf.


#13

me too! she’s so beautiful. those cheekbones!


#14

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.


#15

My discharge is a 257A. Mental health related, honorable. Well after training and PP stationing. If you’re hip then you know why people way past training get an FTA discharge. If I’d been smart I would have pushed for an 8, but they convinced me they were doing me a favor.


#16

They have before:


#17

are you arguing that the composition and culture then compares to now?

I was in, I know how average enlisted soldiers feel about their government and how many of them are aware of how they got there and why. The strong tone of conservatism espoused is usually paper thin rationalizations, esprit de corps, and young dudes parroting macho speech.


#18

Identical culture in the military? No. Apart from anything else, no draftees.

Very similar forces in play in the wider culture as were found in the lead up to the Civil War? Yup.

The record of US troops during their history of near-continuous military action over the last century does not lead me to believe that they are notably more ethical than soldiers employed by other nations.

The prevalence of hard-right bastardry in my own nation’s military forces doesn’t fill me with confidence that those standards would preclude action against local civilians. Neither do the reports from organisations such as the MRFF.


#19

Out of state militia and conscripts were literally diverted from a horrible battle to beat the shit out of people whom they had no affinity for. We were hardly a “United States” at that time and active soldiers facing combat automatically resent draft dodgers.

Ethics aren’t a factor, it’s a belief of allegiance. I’m stating, as someone who served active duty in the regular Army, that soldiers mistrust their superiors and their government. Nobody but the most poorly educated soldier is unaware of how often the government has betrayed them and the populace the vast majority enlisted because of economic pressure. They have seen the failures of the government. They have televisions and the internet, they know that the opposition is not stating a desire to kill civilians but a desire to go after the leadership and the elites.

You can’t count on the ethnic divide that’s been used elsewhere, either. 1/4 of the armed forces are non-white. And nearly all enlistees come from similar economic backgrounds.

Many retired high level officers have also come out hard against the current administration. Do you think that those still serving don’t feel the same way and are keeping silent because they are still employed?

The army is far to regionally, socially, and ethnically diverse and the “enemy” is more than Lower Manhattan and has pretty good PR.


#20

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