Standing Up Against Hate
How and when should bystanders intervene when attacks occur around them?
According to NBC News, new data has revealed over the past year, the number of anti-Asian hate incidents — which can include shunning, slurs and physical attacks — is greater than previously reported. And a disproportionate number of attacks have been directed at women. Recently, an attack on an elderly Asian woman in New York left many to question how such an attack can happen with no bystander intervention.
Connection to the Re-Imagining Migration Learning Arc:
- What messages about migration are people hearing through the media and thought leaders?
Turning To Action:
- How might we use our voice and spheres of influence to create and sustain inclusive and welcoming communities?
- What can we learn from individuals and groups who have addressed migration in the past?
– Have students read the article by NPR about labeling an attack on an elderly Asian woman as a hate crime. Allow students to discuss the following questions using Project Zero’s Circle of Viewpoints:
- Define what you believe is considered a hate crime.
- How are hate crimes similar and different to other crimes?
- Research hate crimes laws around the country or in your community and consider, should cities/states institute stronger or more inclusive hate crime laws? Why or why not?
- Who is responsible for labeling a certain crime a hate crime or not? What should be used to determine the legitimacy of such a crime?
-In partners or small groups, allow students time to read the article the New York Times article on bystander intervention and answer the questions at the end of the article. Facilitate a whole group discussion reflecting students answers and discussions from their small group. The questions are:
- What did you find surprising, interesting, or troubling in the article?
- Do you think bystanders have a responsibility to intervene when they witness wrongdoing? Are they at fault if they don’t intervene? Why?
- The NY Times article describes two incidents in which bystanders intervened and became targets of violence. What are the risks of standing up to hate? How should understanding the risks shape your response? If direct intervention is too dangerous, what are other ways you might help?
- Have you ever been a bystander when somebody has gotten hurt, either physically or verbally? What did you do? Why did you make that decision? As you look back, what might you have done differently?
- How do you know when you should get involved, offer to help or speak out — and when you shouldn’t?
-Provide the definition for the term bystander effect. Ask students to work as a group to create a social media campaign that educates the community on the improvement of preventing hate crimes and to intervene when they occur. Allow students to use some ideas and methods from Not In Our Town.
–Conclude the discussion by using Project Zero’s Three Why’s Thinking Routine to allow students to take a deeper dive into the topic of how to prevent hate crimes, the importance of labeling crimes as acts of hate and how to avoid bystander effect.