How Be a Friend

Tips for non-confrontational intervention of hate.


It’s International Holocaust Remembrance Day. And so, of course, Putin’s President, with the irony born of someone without a soul or a keen eye for history, chose today of all days to ban Muslims from entering the U.S.

Naturally, that means anybody who “looks” Muslim will become even more of a target than they have been since Trump took us all down the gold escalator into hell.  It is now open season on “others” here in our nation of immigrants.

So what can we do about it?

I will admit that the safety pin movement left me feeling decidedly unhelpful.  It’s a nice thought, but it never made me feel like I was actually standing up for anyone.  Or like I was doing something to help people being targeted.

But a while back I saw this article that offered some practical suggestions that have some meat on the bones.  Really! …

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5 thoughts on “How Be a Friend

  1. Quilt Musings

    That is a great article, especially the Vox article it links to. I especially like the ‘fake friend’ strategy. There is a quote I like, “When a thought of war comes, oppose it by a stronger thought of peace. A thought of hatred must be destroyed by a more powerful thought of love.” It is difficult in these times not to respond to prejudice and injustice in ways that just reinforces patterns of conflict. We need to find ways to help people respond to their higher nature and aspirations and not reinforce prejudices. Challenging times!

    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      Very challenging. I am trying to learn better ways to listen, question, and respond. When I fail I always hope the next time I’ll do better. Sometimes I do, and sometimes not. Maybe over time it will become habit. In the meantime, having some strategies (fake friend, for example) can only help. Thanks for reading.

  2. melissabluefineart

    I love this. “Putin’s President” ! LOL. I do wear my pin, and was taken aback by a woman who may have been from an Arab country. She was almost reverent and declared me a “safe person”. Humbling. In my little town I keep an eye out and I am happy to report that the hijab and sari wearing women, the black, the brown, all seem to intermingle in peace. But now I know what to do if I do see bullying. Thank you!


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