It looks like we have a fun new trend here in the United States, wherein people feel safe and secure in their prejudice such that they proudly spew it whenever they can. Last month, a woman celebrating her 24th birthday was randomly harassed by a drunken racist in Chicago. View CBS Miami’s story about the incident here:
Then, there was this.
Racist white woman harrasses Muslim woman on NYC bus, shouting anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim hate, including “ICE is here for you!”
Xenophobia. Islamophobia. Racism.
Hate is real, racialized, intersectional, and pervasive. pic.twitter.com/MWJBtbxW0G
— Simran Jeet Singh (@SikhProf) July 12, 2018
In both these instances, not only was a racist allowed to verbally harass someone in public, but nobody stepped in to help the victims. In the first story, it was a police officer who did nothing about the harassment. I was a little ticked off on Twitter about the bus full of people:
If the abuser wasn’t white, she would have been arrested. If the victim wasn’t wearing a headscarf, people would have defended her in 2 seconds instead of “minding their own business” letting this woman be harassed for simply existing in public.
— Finest Nerd Czarina (@apostrophe_t) July 12, 2018
If you see someone being harassed like this, and you are a decent person, please step in and support the victim. You don’t have to fight back against the attacker, but at least be an ally to the person being attacked. Distracting them with friendly small talk might make all the difference for that person. Walking them to a safer place doesn’t take that much of your time.
And if, for whatever reason, you find that you’re on the other side of the fence, wanting to shout at a random person for looking different or speaking with an accent that’s different than yours – don’t. There is no reason for that. If you’re scared of someone who is different than you, if just looking at them makes you angry, if you start formulating opinions about them based on the 0.000001 seconds of interaction you had with them, then you need to unpack those feelings and work on bettering yourself as a human being. You can do it later; it doesn’t have to be right this second. But the moment you open your mouth to spew hatred, you’ve become a puppet in this circus. You’re mad at the wrong people. And I am mad at you. This is the Finest Nerd Czarina, and I hate the news.