So You Want to Wear a Safety Pin — What a Witch

Great. This is a necessary behavior in the face of the election of the most overtly racist, sexist, xenophobic, anti- gender and sexual minority candidate in the history of the modern United States. You know the rhetoric of his campaign was wrong. It was the very worst thing about America and you want to do […]

via So You Want to Wear a Safety Pin — What a Witch

I agree with this author that wearing a safety pin has to be more than a visual statement and that as a wearer of a safety pin, I must be willing to step into a potentially dangerous situation.

I tend to disagree with the naysayers who say that white people who wear the pin are just trying to feel better about themselves though. I do not discount that some are just jumping on a bandwagon, but probably not most. A majority of people in this country did NOT vote for the hateful rhetoric of the president-elect. And that majority is deeply invested in progress on social justice. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. often repeated the sentiment of abolitionist Theodore Parker when he said that

“The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.”

Dr. King also instructed us to not acquiesce and not rise to violence, but to engage in nonviolent resistance, so long ago I ingrained his philosophy into my own core values. I have learned, over the past decade particularly, that solidarity and strength in numbers can create a safety in and of itself. When we are together, we are stronger than when we are isolated. Eventually, we become the majority rather than the minority. I may not know what it feels like to be of a different race, but I do know what it feels like to be marginalized and torn down. I know what struggle looks and feels like though my struggles may look and feel different from that of a person of color or of a different religion. At the end of the day, I do have empathy and I wish to show to world that I will stand with people of ANY walk of life who is being taken advantaged of, bullied, traumatized, victimized, assaulted–verbally or physically.

The author of this piece is correct in that most people are not taught mediating skills or how to de-escalate a volatile situation (click on hyperlink to access some tips), but the commentators on the piece that say that one cannot be of help or service because they have underdeveloped or no de-escalation skills is to isolate the very communities that wearing a pin is intended to help.  I do agree with the author though that we must be willing to step up if we pin that pledge to our shirts and step out in public. Wearing the safety pin is choosing to take on a responsibility. But it proves HRC’s point that we are #strongertogether.

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