If you see someone wearing a safety pin it means ‘you’re safe with me’
If you see someone wearing a safety pin today it means you are safe with me.
The safety pin is being worn as a symbol of solidarity with those groups of people living in this country right now that may be be fearful and afraid following the election results. The safety pin movement was inspired by tolerant Britons who wore it after the Brexit vote when immigrants and minority groups came under attack. Those who wear it are basically saying they don’t stand for, accept, or ignore xenophobic or discrimination-fueled violence. Several Americans adopted the symbol and are proudly displaying their safety pins on social media.
Look at this powerful Instagram post, it says in part, “…without a word, people may see your safety pin and know that you’re a friendly face, that they are ‘safe’ with you.”
“You are safe with me.”
“If you see anyone being mistreated, either in the streets or online, be there for them.”
If you’ve been watching the news, you know there has been a rash of hate crimes in the immediate hours and days since Donald Trump emerged as victor and president-elect. As CNN reports, racist graffiti that says stuff like ‘Whites Only’ and ‘White America’ has been painted on various doors and buildings around the country. A video of middle school students chanting in a school lunchroom, ‘Build the wall!’ has surfaced and Muslim American women are becoming targets of violence. No matter who you are, it’s unnerving and frankly, really scary. Here’s your wake up call though – it’s downright terrifying for the most vulnerable groups of people like minorities, women, and anyone that is LGBTQ.
The xenophobic, Islamophobic, and racist rhetoric Trump used while campaigning has absolutely emboldened many of his hate-fueled supporters. Racism, sexism, xenophobia and Islamophobia has existed for a long time, even before Trump announced his candidacy. It has become glaringly obvious though, that these divisive feelings have escalated in direct proportion to his rising candidacy and now, presidency.
I, like many Americans, don’t want anyone to think I am apart of anything remotely racist or discriminatory. I don’t want anyone to see my white skin and assume that I would ever blindly or overtly support racism. As I walk down the street, drive my car, or shop at the grocery store in my diverse city of Atlanta, Georgia, I want people to know, unequivocally, that I didn’t do this. That I fought with every resource I had, with all of my time, and my heart to make sure a person that expressed racist views was not elected.
By wearing the safety pin, we can show people that we are here for them. We are not done yet. We may need a moment to heal, but we’re not done standing for equality, for civility, and for love.
The safety pin, a symbol of solidarity, is a simple first step.
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