Thursday, February 9, 2017

Safety and support

Melissa McEwen of Shakesville, a longtime activist, reminds us, especially the women among us, that when we start resisting straight white male supremacy, we get blowback. And if these women aren’t silenced with a little bit of verbal abuse, a lot more is usually heaped on them. It can get to the point where the blowback can be overwhelming and we can think this isn’t worth it. McEwen highlights a few ways she deals with this abuse so she can keep fighting.

McEwen reported:
Leah McElrath, citing reporting by Rukmini Callimachi, a leading journalistic voice on Islamic extremism, reports that ISIS refers to Trump's Muslim ban as "the Blessed Ban," because "ISIS sees this as *their* doing. They succeeded in scaring the daylight out of America" and believe it's proof "their terror tactic worked. They frightened the most powerful man in the world."

McEwen posted about the video “Don’t Be a Bystander: 6 Tips for Responding to Racist Attacks.” It was put out by Project NIA and the Barnard Center for Research on Women. I’m sure the tips can be used for attacks on women and LGBT people as well. McEwen provides a transcript. I’ll just summarize:

1. Be more than a bystander. An example is to chat with the victim so the verbal tirade loses its target. Also good is just sit with the victim.

2. Document the incident, if it is safe to do so. This keeps track of the rise of such incidents and confirms the victim’s version of events.

3. Support the victim. Stick around, ask how to help with their consent. Help call a friend or help get them to a safe space.

4. Unless the victim asks, don’t call the police. The kinds of people who are usually the victims are frequently seen by police as perpetrators.

5. When not in a crisis talk to your white friends about white supremacy. Confront the culture without putting others in danger of immediate backlash.

6. Protest for justice in any way appropriate for you. This includes giving financial support to the groups who advocate for marginalized people.

The author of the blog Another Angry Woman offers online safety tips for people who oppose fascism.

Don’t sign online petitions because it may be a way for a fascist group to collect your email address. Even our allies tend to be unsecure with your data. Also don’t click “attend” on Facebook events.

When you must sign a petition don’t do it with your main email address. Create an address you only use for petitions.

Check your privacy settings. Alas, Facebook messes with their settings frequently.

Don’t tag yourself in photos and don’t tag your friends. Don’t post photos of your home that include identifying landmarks or street signs.

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