"Active Bystander" exercise, DBT, politics 

I went through "active bystander training" meant to stop you from freezing up in a crisis so you can take action to help others. The idea is to counter the "bystander effect" where you freeze up assuming someone else is going to help.

There's an exercise in it where you imagine you first think of a scenario where you would need to take action, think of what that action would be, then imagine you are in that scenario & picture yourself taking action

"Active Bystander" exercise, DBT, politics 

In DBT we call this same exercise "Coping ahead." While in DBT it's applied for "what will I do if I have a panic attack on the train" in Active Bystander training it's used for "What will I do if I see someone else having a panic attack on the train" or "What will I do if I see someone being harassed on the train"

There is a learned helplessness in our society; we are all watching ICE, fascism, ethnic cleansing, environmental disaster, and we are docile bystanders

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"Active Bystander" exercise, DBT, politics 

Everyone is exhausted by the alarmism going on right now but honestly it's deserved. We ARE in an emergency situation and our inaction will be looked back upon as shameful by the people of the future, if any are still around.

So let's apply this exercise

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"Active Bystander" exercise, DBT, politics 

If you're white, I want you to imagine that you are seeing ICE asking someone for documents. I want you to imagine yourself getting in the way. See yourself getting in that officer's face and telling him off. Use your "I want to talk to your manager" voice. Tell him he has no right. Interrogate him on who he thinks he is. Make it impossible for him to do his job,

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"Active Bystander" exercise, DBT, politics 

If you're white, I want you to imagine you are seeing someone be taken by ICE. I want you to see yourself getting in the way. Physically stopping ICE from doing this. Blockading the truck. Standing there. Tackling the officer. Would you stand by and watch SS take someone in germany? NO! Could you live with yourself if you did nothing? Will there be consequences to you for doing this? Yes. Do those consequences outweigh the life of this person if you do nothing? No

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"Active Bystander" exercise, DBT, politics 

@shel I always feel kind of weird when I see stuff like this. I'm definitely not white, but I'm also not one of the ethnicity classes white government considers criminal. If anything, I'm *both* of the classes they feel threatened by, that they think those might be better than them in some ways. What am I meant to do?

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"Active Bystander" exercise, DBT, politics 

@CoronaCoreanici I mean; you know better yourself how police tend to treat you than I do. If you think police treat you pretty well / you aren't at the heightened risk other people of color face; then you can definitely throw yourself in the way.

The only reason I specified white is cuz I think it's incredibly not my place as someone who is white to tell people who aren't to stop being selfish bystanders and put themselves in danger.

"Active Bystander" exercise, DBT, politics 

@CoronaCoreanici it's not that it has to be white people doing it it's just that white people tend to be the most trained to NOT do anything and have the least consequences they'll face relative to others.

"Active Bystander" exercise, DBT, politics 

@shel Oh, so they're maximum effect per effort. Makes sense.

"Active Bystander" exercise, DBT, politics 

@CoronaCoreanici Yeah, maybe? It's more just, I can urge other white people to take risks cuz I know from personal experience how cops treat us and feel safe in saying a lot of white people can take these greater risks and not be risking their lives

I just don't personally know if that's the case for korean-americans or any other specific groups; though i do know the darker your skin the more dangerous it gets.

"Active Bystander" exercise, DBT, politics 

@shel That's fair! I don't think I've ever even encountered the police in that context, except arguably at airports. So I don't really know.

"Active Bystander" exercise, DBT, politics 

@CoronaCoreanici You could always ask other people what their experiences have been? This is just way outside my realm of knowledge ^^;; I don't know what it's like being asian-american and can't comment on it. I'm ""asiatic"" and only the most racists care about that and it's not rly visible on my face

"Active Bystander" exercise, DBT, politics 

@shel I mean, as you'ev sen from my stream, I am very obviously some kind of NE asian, and can probably even tell that I'm Korean. Jewish is less visible. Bi/pan and mental health issues less so, poly even less so, technically slightly nb and gray-A are basically invisible.

"Active Bystander" exercise, DBT, politics 

@CoronaCoreanici I've also met you in person so yes I have a pretty good idea what you look and act like :V

"Active Bystander" exercise, DBT, politics 

@shel This is a thing! The fact that I can pretty easily give off upper-middle class class signals is also a thing. So maybe? I feel like it'd still be riskier than most white people.

"Active Bystander" exercise, DBT, politics 

@CoronaCoreanici Yeah it's just a matter of if it's a risk you're willing to take. You'll be treated probably a bit worse than me but you won't be treated as poorly as a black person, I'm Guessing; though being like literally of a royal lineage and Ivy Educated and not having an accent I'm guessing makes a major difference to what degree that's the case

People for whom it's riskier than you take that risk all the time.

"Active Bystander" exercise, DBT, politics 

@shel This is a good point. I'm going to think more on this.

"Active Bystander" exercise, DBT, politics 

@CoronaCoreanici what I will say os:

1. The cops don't care that you're polyamorous
2. The cops don't care about your internal gender feelings if you're dressed in a gender conforming way
3. The cops don't care where you fall on the ace spectrum
4. The cops will use mental illness to justify putting you in a "high observation cell" which is kinda like solitary and they watch you pee but it's not total soundproofed solitary
5. The cops don't know you're bi or jewish

"Active Bystander" exercise, DBT, politics 

@shel all of this sounds about right

"Active Bystander" exercise, DBT, politics 

@shel the mental illness part probably isn't even visible almost ever except if they have access to medical records which they probably do, but I don't think I'd actually care much about solitary if I had a stack of paper and a crayon because MATH

"Active Bystander" exercise, DBT, politics 

@CoronaCoreanici they won't give you a stack of papers or crayons

"Active Bystander" exercise, DBT, politics 

@shel OK. I guess I'm probably still fine? I can walk through any number of old proofs and refine them in my head. I don't even know how long that would take. Long, definitely.

"Active Bystander" exercise, DBT, politics 

@CoronaCoreanici yeah no when you're in jail/a holding cell you have literally no stimulus. you're just in a small room with a toilet (no soap, technically a sink, you have to ask a guard for toilet paper) and there's like a raised slab to sit/lay on and you get little slippers made of paper towels to keep your feet "warm". They take everything but your lowest layer of clothing (shirt, pants) including glasses.

"Active Bystander" exercise, DBT, politics 

@CoronaCoreanici the cells these days are usually made of plexiglass so it's semi-soundproof; not entirely like you can shout real loud to other ppl in jail but it's difficult.

if they're busy that day you might have a cellmate but if it's a slow day you'll probably be alone

"Active Bystander" exercise, DBT, politics, suicide 

@CoronaCoreanici when they're doing intake they ask you if you've ever been in inpatient care, if you're ever attempted suicide, if you have any diagnosed mental illness; and if you lie it's perjury and if you refuse to answer they assume the answer is "yes" and will put a big "suicide risk" stamp on your file

"Active Bystander" exercise, DBT, politics, suicide 

@shel The answers to those'd be no, no, and yes, in that order

"Active Bystander" exercise, DBT, politics, suicide 

@CoronaCoreanici yeah so they'll know you have a mental illness was my point

"Active Bystander" exercise, DBT, politics 

@shel and I mean, I want to believe that I could get away with that because we Count As White in the Grand Racial Hierarchy Brought to you By General Dynamics, but then I'll read about hate crimes against, like Chinese-Americans on trains where no one stepped in until he maybe was going to hit back

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