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    This  page includes resources of research, forums, and events that aim to improve our understanding of community and organizational capacity for bystander action to prevent race-based discrimination and support cultural diversity.

    Bystander anti-racism is action taken by "ordinary" people in response to incidents of interpersonal or systemic racism. 



    Let's Talk About Diversity

    Saturday, December 28, 2019


    What will happen when we talk about diversity and inclusivity in a safe, facilitated space? Will it change how we see ourselves? How we see our city and its people? Will it help create a more hopeful future? Stand together and talk about what makes us different and what makes us the same. Let's celebrate our whole community.

    Ages 6–12 with caregiver, Children's Program Room, first floor, free. 

    Hosted by Monroe County Public Library

    303 E Kirkwood, Bloomington


    How to report a hate incident

    The Bloomington Municipal Code defines a hate incident as including verbal or physical abuse directed at individuals or groups because of their race, sex, color, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, national origin, veteran status or housing status. If you are a victim of a hate incident, or witness one, we encourage you to report it. Doing so can help you get the support you need. You may make a report by doing one or more of the following:

    • If you believe a crime has occurred, call 911 as soon as you can so that law enforcement may take appropriate action.
    • Contact the Bloomington Human Rights Commission by calling 812-349-3429 or e-mailing The BHRC accepts anonymous reports. The BHRC staff will listen to your description of the incident, will try to make appropriate referrals, will help you file a police report if that is your wish and will include a description of the incident in its annual hate incidents report. (No names are included in the annual report.)


    What type of action do people take?

    • Confronting or disagreeing with the perpetrator
    • Calling it "racism" or "discrimination" (if it is safe or productive to do so)
    • Interrupting or distracting perpetrator
    • Comforting the person(s) targeted
    • Expressing upset feelings
    • Seeking assistance from friend, teacher, manager, coach, etc.
    • Reporting the incident to authorities 


    What helps people to intervene when they witness racism?

    • Knowledge of what constitutes racism
    • Awareness of harm caused by racism
    • Perception of responsibility to intervene
    • Perceived ability to intervene
    • Desire to educate a perpetrator
    • Emotional responses to racism: empathy, expressing anger, disapproval, etc.
    • Self-affirmation
    • Anti-racist social norms


    What stops people from intervening when they witness racism?

    "There's two reasons why people don't speak up or speak out. One is afraid of becoming a target themselves the second is because they say they did not know what to say or do…"

    • Seeing the target of racism as belonging to a different group that you are not responsible for (exclusive group identity)
    • Fear of violence or vilification, being targeted by perpetrator
    • Perception that action would be ineffective
    • Lack of knowledge about how to intervene
    • Concern that confrontation would be seen as aggressive or not "feminine" (gender role prescriptions)
    • Impression management
    • A desire to preserve positive interpersonal relations
    • A desire to avoid conflict
    • Freedom of speech/anti-political correctness
    • Social norms that are tolerant of racism


    What can I do?

      If you see racist behavior in public, you could….

      • Say something if it feels safe. It could be as simple as saying “Why don’t you just leave him/her alone?”


      If it doesn’t feel safe to say something, you could….

      • Think about how you can support the target of the abuse. Go and sit or stand next to them and check if they’re ok.

      • Tell someone responsible, such as the driver, if it’s happening on a bus or a security guard if it’s happening at a store or venue.

      • Call the police if you think that you or somebody else may be in danger.


      If you see racist material online, you could….

      • Report it. Most social media platforms (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube) can deal with offensive content.

      • Make a complaint to the City of Bloomington Human Rights Commission or police.

      • Say something. Go to the "Letter to a Hater " section below to check out messages you can post in response to “haters” online.


      If you see racism directed towards a classmate, colleague or teammate, you could….

      • Say something. There are many ways you can respond to prejudice in any situation.

      • Tell them that they can complain. The City of Bloomington Human Rights Commission can investigate and resolve complaints of race discrimination. The complaints process is free and confidential.

      • Suggest they talk to someone. Most schools, workplaces and sports clubs will have a policy for dealing with bullying, and harassment, including racism.


      Letter to a Hater

      Below are four examples of messages you can use to respond to online hate. A friendly request you can cut and paste in response to a hateful blog post or comment on a news story.... If you see hate online, speak up!

      Option 1:

      Shareable Link - Use this link to respond to a hateful post


      Option 2:

      I/We think your comment is hateful and in no way reflects the views of the majority of people on this website/blog. Discriminating against others, whether because of their race, sex, sexuality or background, makes for a society of narrow-minded bigots.

      You’re entitled to your private opinion, however, if you publicly victimize someone, we won’t stand for it.

      If anyone else agrees, REPOST THIS MESSAGE and visit to help us fight racism, sexism, homophobia and all other forms of hate.


      The Anti-Hater


      Option 3:

      Just letting you know your online hate is not acceptable.

      I'm not sure if you think you're just making a joke or you just think because no one can see you or knows your real name that it is OK to say these things. It isn’t. We do not want people with your views on this website or anywhere else.

      Take your hate and go away. Anyone else who wants to see less of this vile racism, homophobia, sexism visit to find new ways to stop hate and haters taking up our time and space.


      The Anti-Hater


      Option 4:

      I want to let you know that the email/letter/post you have sent may be in breach of the law and I am going to report you to the owner of this website and the relevant authorities. Laws protect people from being vilified, bullied and harassed and you may have broken the law.


      The Anti-Hater