I'll fly to London again for work, and I look Asian. The Coronavirus is making racists target Asians in London - reported in Sky, Guardian. See my other question.

  1. It's better not to make eye contact, or reply to any racist taunts or remarks. Right?

  2. Note well the Bystander Apathy Effect. Even if I yell for help, people may not assist especially if they're racists too!

    Postulate that

  3. I keep walking, but these racists follow me. I'm 51 and can't out-run these chavs for long.

  4. I'm too far from a police or fire station.

    Then what do I do? Even if I find a fire extinguisher, spraying it at them won't cripple them.

  • 1
    In short, no weapons are allowed.
    – Willeke
    Mar 4 '20 at 9:04
  • 6
    Perhaps coughing might be a deterrent.
    – Alchimista
    Mar 4 '20 at 10:14
  • 6
    Without downplaying such attacks, despite the sensationalism in the press UK society as a whole has not become racist. Some studies have even found Britain is one of the least racist countries dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6746615/… We are however living in turbulent times when stupid people do stupid things, and yobs/those with criminal intent take advantage of the situation. Your first tactic is the best approach, along with other behaviour such as taking care where you go late at night, not having valuables on display etc.
    – Traveller
    Mar 4 '20 at 10:21
  • 2
    If you know you will not be able to defeat your attackers then your remaining choice is strategic: don't put yourself in a position where you are vulnerable, and do not make yourself the easiest target. Mar 4 '20 at 10:58
  • 5
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it does not appear to be about traveling within the scope defined in the help center.
    – choster
    Mar 5 '20 at 16:26

First of all, let's emphasise that this remains the actions of a very small minority of people. The media have a general tendency to amplify things. If you look at reporting of events in many places, you sometimes have the impression there's a widespread civil war going on when there are actually only small isolated incidents.

Then, you need to distinguish the type of abuse. The first situation is verbal abuse. It is of course not something you want to deal with, but at least there's no physical harm. I'd say you should not confront the authors of that abuse (to avoid getting into the physical harm part below). Walk away and report it to the police.

If it comes to threats of physical harm, again, try to de-escalate the situation, then report it to the police. You could tell your aggressors that if they touch you they incur the risk of catching said virus (even though it's most probably completely false, but those people are stupid enough), so they should refrain from doing so.

The emergency number is 999 or 112 from a mobile. If you need help, call them. If you need help from bystanders, be direct. Don't say "someone please help", designate someone and instruct them to call 999.

  • 2
    Designating someone to call 999 is important. If you just say "someone please help/phone 999" chances are no one will do it Either because they don't want to get involved or because they assume someone else will do it.
    – zeocrash
    Mar 4 '20 at 11:49

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