Don’t wait to fight hate

Tucson does not and will not stand for hate, discrimination, or bullying of any kind.

Since the November 8, 2016 general election, communities across the country have seen a rise in hate crimes and bias incidents directed against people based on their religion, race, national origin, ethnicity, gender, orientation and/or disability. But there are things individuals and groups can do to fight back.Emergency Call 911. We Stand Together. This is a safe place for anyone who needs shelter from harassment. Southern Arizona Hate Crimes Task Force. ywcatucson.org/ReportHate

Call 911 to report hate crimes to law enforcement.

The Tucson Police Department does not ask crime victims or witnesses about their immigration status.

Notify teachers, the principal and the district superintendent when bullying occurs.

No child should have to go to school afraid of bullying and abuse.

Stand together with other Tucsonans.

Proclaim your place of work or worship a safe place for everyone with a We Stand Together sticker from the YWCA of Southern Arizona.

When you see bullying—act, speak up!

The Southern Poverty Law Center publishes a guide, Ten Ways to Fight Hate, which I encourage everyone to read. Their recommendations are:

1. Act

Doing nothing is interpreted as acceptance—decent people must act!

2. Unite

Start with people and groups you know, then work to build a diverse coalition.

3. Support the victims

Reach out to victims with offers of help. Let them know you value them, their safety and well-being.

4. Do your homework

Educate yourself on how hate spreads.

5. Create an alternative

Don’t attend a hate rally. Hold a unity rally or other event to draw media attention away from hate.

6. Speak up

Don’t debate hate-group members. Find other ways to spread the message of unity.

7. Lobby leaders

Contact elected representatives at all levels of government with your concerns.

8. Look long range

Creating and maintaining a tolerant, welcoming community takes time.

9. Teach tolerance

At home and at school, children learn tolerance—or bias—from an early age.

10. Dig deeper

We all have blind spots—that’s why it’s valuable to take time to reflect on our own stereotypes and behavior.

Tucson is and will remain a welcoming community.

We will rise—together—to meet any challenges the future may bring.

Share on FacebookShare on Google+Email this to someoneTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on LinkedIn