Chirlane McCray, the wife of radical New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, took to Twitter on Saturday to advise her followers on what to do if they witness a hate crime.
“As attacks on Asian American communities continue, we’re asking New Yorkers to show up for their neighbors and intervene when witnessing hateful violence or harassment,” McCray said to begin her Twitter thread.
She suggested to her followers to follow the so-called “5 D’s.” “D is for Distract, Delegate, Document, Delay, and Direct,” she wrote.
The advice includes, among other strategies, to intervene in the situation first by attempting to distract the victim, arguing that it takes attention away from the perpetrator. It is unclear how distracting the victim would help in a hate crime.
Fear is a normal feeling when stepping into a confrontation, but being prepared can help. I’ll share @iHollaback‘s 5 D’s, which are easy to remember tactics that we can all use to de-escalate a situation.
D is for Distract, Delegate, Document, Delay, and Direct.
— Chirlane McCray (@NYCFirstLady) March 6, 2021
McCray also suggested that a person witnessing the video could, with permission of the victim, record the incident to “document” it.
If all of her recommended strategies fail, McCray suggested that one should take “direct” action, including to “physically intervene,” but “only after assessing the situation.”
“This is risky, but sometimes all we can do is speak up,” she wrote. “If the harasser responds, try your best to focus on assisting the person targeted.”
While at one point, McCray suggested to “find someone in a position of authority, tell them about the situation and ask if they can help,” she did not suggest that her followers call the police in response to such an incident.
Twitter users reacted with shock and mockery to McCray’s advice, particularly in regard to her recommendation to “respond directly” and “physically intervene” in hate crimes.
What about the 6th D??? DIAL THE POLICE!
— HWJ (@UWSangel) March 7, 2021
You forgot the 6th D
Danger. Because that’s what anyone who follows the advice on this ignorant thread will instantly be in
— JQ LLC, Its hard to be a saint in Impunity City (@jqllc) March 7, 2021
I can’t believe you are actually telling people to risk their lives jumping into a dangerous situation. You are beyond reprehensible and webcan’t count down the minutes dmfast enough until you are finally gone. You’ve ruined NYC and now you are ruining people’s safety.
— RomanticPrettyThings (@RomanticPretty) March 7, 2021
There was very little hateful violence or harassment until your husband took office. He emptied the jails and put the criminals on the streets. His city Council has passed unworkable laws. Riots are common. Bail is gone. I can’t wait for him to leave office and go away.
— Paul Wyszinski (@PAULHERE) March 7, 2021
Authorities strongly recommend against directly intervening in ongoing hate crimes.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority, New York City’s public transit system, tells their users to not “try to handle it on your own” if a hate crime is witnessed. “The situation could escalate.”
The NYPD agrees with the assessment. “A person reports a hate crime in the same manner as they would report any other crime. If it is a serious crime in progress, call 911,” the department says on their website.
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