Upstanders: How Samuel Fisher of Neon Moon Media Is Standing Up Against Antisemitism, Racism…

Posted on

Upstanders: How Samuel Fisher of Neon Moon Media Is Standing Up Against Antisemitism, Racism, Bigotry, and Hate

Education can be a powerful tool to dispel ignorance and foster understanding. It should be leveraged to teach empathy and respect for all individuals from a young age.

An upstander is the opposite of a bystander. A bystander is someone who stands by while others are being bullied, maligned, or mistreated. An upstander is someone who stands up to protect and advocate for the victim. We are sadly seeing a surge of hate, both online and in the real world. Many vulnerable minorities feel threatened and under attack. What measures are individuals, communities, and organizations taking to stand up against Antisemitism, Racism, Bigotry, and Hate? In this interview series, we are talking to activists, community leaders, and individuals who are Upstanders against hate, to share what they are doing and to inspire others to do the same. As part of this series, we had the pleasure of interviewing Samuel Fisher.

Samuel Fisher is the founder and driving force behind Neon Moon Media, a platform dedicated to fostering understanding and combating hate in all its forms. Leveraging a background in sociology and community outreach, Samuel has dedicated his life to being an Upstander, using education and dialogue to bridge gaps and foster understanding. Through Neon Moon Media, he has created a haven for those looking to stand against hate and work towards a more inclusive and empathetic society.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dive in, our readers would love to get to know you a bit better. Can you tell us your “Origin Story”? Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?

Growing up in a diverse neighborhood, I was exposed to various cultures and perspectives from a young age. This environment cultivated a deep respect and understanding for the rich tapestry that is the human experience. My journey towards becoming an Upstander began here, as I realized the importance of standing up for others and fostering a community where everyone feels safe and respected.

Can you share a personal story of how you experienced or encountered antisemitism, racism, bigotry, or hate? How did that experience shape your perception and actions moving forward?

In my teenage years, I witnessed a close friend become a victim of racial profiling. This incident was a turning point for me, as it highlighted the deep-seated prejudices present in society. It propelled me to take action, to educate myself and others, and to work tirelessly to eradicate hate from our communities.

Can you describe how you or your organization is helping to stand up against hate? What inspired you to take up this cause?

Neon Moon Media operates on the principle of education as a tool against hate. We organize workshops, seminars, and community outreach programs that focus on fostering understanding and empathy. Our inspiration stems from the belief that knowledge can dispel ignorance, and understanding can overcome prejudice.

Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your work as an Upstander?

Since founding Neon Moon Media, I have had the privilege to witness communities coming together to stand against hate. One particularly memorable moment was seeing a group of teenagers, from diverse backgrounds, collaborating on a project to raise awareness about antisemitism. Their dedication and unity were a testament to the positive change that is possible through education and understanding.

Could you share an inspiring story that demonstrates the impact your efforts have had on an individual or community?

We recently launched an email campaign encouraging individuals to share their personal stories of standing up against hate. One story that stood out was of a young girl who stood up for her classmate who was being bullied due to his race. Her courage not only stopped the bullying but fostered a deep friendship between them, showcasing the power of being an Upstander.

In your opinion, why do you think there has been such a surge of antisemitism, racism, bigotry, & hate, recently?

The surge in hate can be attributed to a myriad of factors including the rise of divisive politics, misinformation spread through social media, and economic instability. It is a complex issue that requires a multifaceted approach to address.

Are there three things the community/society/politicians can do to help you address the root of the problem you are trying to solve?

1. Implement educational programs that foster understanding and empathy from a young age.

2. Encourage open dialogue and community-building initiatives.

3. Create legislation that holds individuals accountable for hate crimes and discrimination.

What are your “5 Things Everyone Can Do To Be An Upstander”? If you can, please share a story or an example for each.

1. Educate oneself about the diverse cultures and communities around them.

2. Speak out against hate when you witness it.

3. Foster safe spaces for open dialogue.

4. Support victims of hate and discrimination.

5. Collaborate with organizations working against hate to amplify their efforts.

How do you handle the emotional toll that comes with being an Upstander?

Being an Upstander indeed comes with an emotional toll. I handle it by leaning on a support system of like-minded individuals and constantly educating myself to navigate the complex landscape of combating hate.

If you were in charge of the major social media companies, what would you do to address the hate on the platforms? Could you share specific strategies or policies that you believe would be effective in addressing hate on social media platforms?

If in charge of major social media companies, I would implement strict policies against hate speech and misinformation. Creating a team of diverse experts to monitor and address hate on the platforms would be a crucial step.

How would you answer someone who says: “Hate speech is permitted under the US Constitution. Why are you so worried about permitted, and legal speech?”

While the US Constitution permits freedom of speech, it is our moral duty to stand against hate speech. It is about fostering a society where everyone feels safe and respected, which goes beyond legal obligations.

Are you optimistic that we can solve this problem in the United States? Can you please explain what you mean?

I am cautiously optimistic. While the road is long and arduous, I believe in the power of community and education to bring about change.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to become an Upstander but doesn’t know where to start?

Start with education. Learn about the issues at hand and engage in conversations with those around you. Small steps can lead to big changes.

In what ways can education be leveraged to combat antisemitism, racism, bigotry, and hate?

Education can be a powerful tool to dispel ignorance and foster understanding. It should be leveraged to teach empathy and respect for all individuals from a young age.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“One’s dignity may be assaulted, vandalized and cruelly mocked, but it can never be taken away unless it is surrendered.” — Michael J. Fox. This quote has guided me in my journey, reminding me to stand tall and maintain my dignity in the face of adversity.

Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would like to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂

I would love to have a meal with Malala Yousafzai. Her courage and dedication to education are truly inspiring.

How can our readers further follow your work online?

Readers can follow our work through our website,, and our social media platforms where we regularly update our initiatives and events.

This was very meaningful, thank you so much. We wish you only continued success in your important work!

Upstanders: How Samuel Fisher of Neon Moon Media Is Standing Up Against Antisemitism, Racism… was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.