We often advise youths how powerful bystanders/witnesses of bullying can be. It has been proven on school playgrounds, in school hallways, if a group of bystanders spoke up about their disapproval of any kind of intimidation or cruel bullying, it usually stops within seconds.
True, many are afraid to get bullied in retaliation if it is only one or two who speak up. I get that. In fact sometimes it is safer to walk away but sometimes even speaking “after” the bullying is helpful too. Telling a person that you feel bad for them or that you understand how difficult this must be. That can go a long way, telling a youth, they were acknowledged.
As adults we are not much different than youths on playgrounds. On the subway, bus or train, what do we do if someone starts making rude, racist comments to someone? Do we look the other way? Do we move to another seat to get away from the person? Anyone who takes public transit, has witnessed this more than once.
Here is a video that restores hope…it shows how much power we can have in situations like this. A group of people who know what it means to “be the change”
Muslim woman tells how Newcastle passengers
ejected racist from train