I’m in with a pin

Since the EU referendum, hate crime has risen by 57 per cent across the country, according to the National Police Chiefs’ Council.

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We tweet at my workplace and did the #safetypin thing which is the  proposal that people wear an empty safety pin to show that they are “a safe person to sit next to on a bus, walk next to on a street, even have a conversation with”.

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I take gestures like this very seriously, otherwise that’s all they remain.   My pin stays on the top of my jewellery box and I put it on, along with my watch, on the days that I go into town on the bus.

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I’ve been thinking a lot about what I will do when/if I witness a racist incident.  I am a very non confrontational type of person.  I came across this post on Feminist Philosophers and it’s just the ticket.

This is for all my friends in UK who will either be subjected to or witness this more and more. Some tips on dealing with being a spectator. NEVER engage the perpetrator. He (and it is usually he) is looking for confrontation. Instead speak to the person he is abusing. Say hello. Introduce yourself. Shake his or her hand. And just stand with them. Keep talking. About anything. Weather. Bus schedules. Football. This kind of bullying never works against a group of people having a conversation. Usually a single person travelling or a mom with a kid or maximum, two women are targetted. Form a group of people with and around them if you can. Don’t tell them they are not alone. Just don’t let them be alone. I speak from experience. Once, I encountered a young girl wearing a hijab being abused as a terrorist by a drunk man on a train. I just went and sat beside her and started a conversation with her. After a while, the dude lost interest. I had a lovely chat with a young student from Qatar. She wanted to study literature while her dad was only prepared to pay for engineering or commerce as he wanted her to join the family business. It helped her feel safe and it expanded my horizons.

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