Why People Are Wearing Safety Pins After Last Week’s Election
A look behind the #safetypinUSA trend.
In today’s tense political climate, many Americans are saying that they feel frightened for their safety.
There are reports coming in from around the country of people suffering abuse due to their gender, sexual orientation or ethnicity:
Not even 24 hours yet. My friend's sister, who is Muslim, had a knife pulled on her by a Trump supporter while on the bus by UIUC campus.
— sarah⚡️ (@amyharvard_) November 9, 2016
Someone on the streets of LA just yelled at one of my girl's Latina coworkers to "go back where you came from." #TrumpsAmerica
— Alex Gale (@AlexGale) November 9, 2016
Sadly, even schoolchildren are being threatened:
Principal in Pennsylvania admits white students were chanting:
Cotton Picker, You're a Nigger, Heil Hitler. https://t.co/Z9v2PgmTca
— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) November 10, 2016
People are taking extra precautions to ensure their safety:
My mom literally just texted me "don't wear the Hijab please" and she's the most religious person in our family….
— ㅤ (@harryonmen) November 9, 2016
3 of my muslims friends, whom i've never seen without a hijab before, came to school without them today, because they were afraid.
— claude (@claudiafavelaa) November 9, 2016
The good news is that even in the face of fear and hatred, Americans are coming together. Regardless of their political and personal beliefs, many people are taking steps to ensure that everyone around them is being treated with dignity.
One way that people are doing so is with a simple yet powerful accessory: a safety pin. The safety pin was first used in the U.K. by those who didn’t support the Brexit (the vote for the country to leave the European Union). It was meant to be a silent but important message of hope and togetherness.
Now, the safety pin is holding the same power here in America. People are wearing the pins to let those around them know that they are allies, and that they can be relied upon for support, unity and safety during this difficult time.
I am an ally! Starting tomorrow I will be carrying around safety pins if you would like one! ❤️ #safetypinusa
— hannaH (@HannahLynDerby) November 11, 2016
Going out to find safety pins for church tomorrow #safetypinusa
— Rev.Debra Haffner (@RevDebra) November 12, 2016
— Brian McKinney® (@BrianIsSyncing) November 11, 2016
— Anne Wilkinson (@runnergirlakw) November 10, 2016
While some have reported that the safety pin is a symbol of the anti-Trump movement, others are quick to assert that wearing the pin is about standing up to hate.
— Lara Arikan (@lararikan) November 11, 2016
Star Wars against hate. Spread it. pic.twitter.com/Dtf5uqpxba
— Chris Weitz (@chrisweitz) November 11, 2016
Whatever our political leanings, standing up to violence and bigotry is no doubt something we call can get behind.