Tell MAMA is an organisation which supports victims of Islamaphobia and runs campaigns and events to equip people with the knowledge and tools to know what to do if they witness or are subjected to Islam-related hate crime. Unfortunately there has been a recent spike in race-related hate crimes in the local area and we'd like to make sure our students feel able to stand up and say that there's #NoExcuse for this behaviour.
We were lucky to be invited to a talk from Tell MAMA at the local Sixth Form College.
What do we know about hate crime?
Hate crimes tend to happen due to ignorance and a lack of understanding of communities which are different to the individual who commits it. When hate crimes occur, it's good to combat them - particularly on social media - by sharing positive messages about the groups under attack. Drown out the negativity!
How has social media influenced the prevalence of hate crime?
It's a lot easier to spread misinformation. It's also taken a long time for social media platforms to catch up, make sure their users are safe and that hate speech is reported and handled quickly and appropriately. There's also a lot of public disagreements about the line between free speech and preventing harm.
The best thing you can do is think critically about what you share before you share it!
What should I do if I witness a hate crime?
Do not put yourself in danger. Once it's safe, make sure to check on the victim. Take down the details and report to organisations like Tell MAMA and pass on the details to the victim. Often they provide ongoing support, including counselling services.
One thing that victims often say is that they’re hurt more by the people standing by doing nothing than the actual abuse itself. Don't become a bystander to hate #UPSTANDERnotbystander
Remember also that individuals have various characteristics that might influence how they have experienced hate crime - think about this when providing support.
What's happening at Staffs?
This year we've introduced a brand new Game Changer called #NoExcuse, tackling discrimination in all forms - from Sexual Violence to Mental Health and much more. With #NoExcuse we raise awareness through our Myth Busters and go out and about talking to students with a focus on particular issues
Local MP for Stoke Central, Gareth Snell says, “It’s more important than ever that our children and young people know that there in no place for hate in our society, whether that is online, at school or on the street. I’m grateful that TellMAMA joined some of our schools today to discuss that the challenges we are facing and how we stand up to discrimination, racism and islamaphobia, and how to report it. There is no excuse for this sort of abuse, and I am glad to see key stakeholders such as education organisations and students unions taking positive action and giving their pupils and members the tools to stand up to hate, wherever they may come across it in their lives.”
What would you like to see?? Tell us using the Big Ideas tool!