President Donald Trump recently released a second version of the Muslim ban that many are titling as the Muslim Ban 2.0. Since mid-January, the battle between the court and administration has been head on. More than a dozen legal battles have been on-going while the implementation of the Orders themselves have been questioned daily.
As of this past Saturday, Feb. 25, White House officials have shared that a new Executive Order will be released soon that not only challenges the fate of refugee and immigrants but also challenges those who choose to litigate. Many of the people not impacted by Trump’s orders have been left to ask themselves what they can do as many minority groups are faced with such adversity.
One New York City organization built an initiative that helped answer that question. The Accompany Project, an effort started by the Arab American Association of New York, was created in order to tackle the rise in hate crimes against Muslim and other marginalized communities.
They began training thousands of New Yorkers to end all forms of discrimination against Arab, Muslim and undocumented residents while also educating New York City residents on how to organize stronger and safer neighborhoods. They have held about 20 trainings and trained more than 500 New Yorkers. The initiative also addresses attacks on all vulnerable groups, such as the LGBTQIA+, immigrant, and Black communities.
The training educates individuals on how to intervene safely in situations where someone may be harassed. It helps identify the issue and breaks down the various ways someone can intervene.
The training reviews various methods on how to intervene, here are just a few:
1. Broken Record.
A bystander may intervene by repeating the same statement over and over again to the aggressor. The repetition makes it much more unlikely for someone to avoid what you are saying.
2. Name the Behavior
Calling out someone’s behavior without being harsh so that people are willing to be more responsive and less aggressive.
3. “I” Statements
The bystander states how they are feeling to the aggressor to help shift the attention away from the victim.
4. Direct to “We”
Create a “false team” with aggressor to help de-escelate the situation.
Lots of people want to take action and those individuals are in positions where they are trying to learn. The trainings were never meant to train people to become heroes, they were meant to help victims facing harassment. So, if you are on the metro, waiting for a taxi, leaving a building or sitting down for lunch and witness a hate crime you’ll find yourself intervening when it’s necessary and working towards protecting those in the minority. If you reside in the NYC area or want to host a training, make sure to check out the Arab American Association of New York.