I try to keep my postings apolitical, because I respect everyone’s choice. But I’m concerned about the increased incidence of overt bullying, verbal and racist attacks that have been taking place in the U.S. since the beginning of this presidential election cycle.
These issues have been in the shadows (barely) for a long time, but now some people feel encouraged to act out in hateful ways. These problems have always bothered me, and now I see them becoming more common. Unfortunately, there have also been protesters against the election results who have acted in ways similar to the very ideas they stand against.
I believe that now that the bigotry and hate are out in the open, they can be addressed by standing up against them. Only when we stand back and keep silent can they thrive. In the past 50 years, we’ve made great progress against prejudice and bullying. We can continue that progress if we choose to be part of the solution and stand up to the problem. “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”
If you encounter someone being harassed, there’s a great cartoon that explains how to respond. This is one way you can help. The cartoon was designed to assist against Islamaphobic harassment, but it can be used in any situation. It’s based on a psychological technique and is very effective. You can watch a video describing it and showing what to do, and read the original cartoon that inspired the video. Watch A Guide for What to Do When You See Islamophobia.
~ Linda-Ann Stewart