Prejudice, Bigotry and the Safety Pin
White people wearing a safety pin has become a symbol of being a safe person against racist, sexist, xenophobic, Islamophobic, and other hateful ideologies. An idea behind the pin is that it’s a public pledge that the wearer will help de-escalate situations where the marginalized are under attack, whether verbally or physically.
Because of its controversy, yesterday I read as much as I could about the symbol of wearing a safety pin. Christopher Keelty, a White bisexual man, wrote for the Huffington Post that the safety pin is an embarrassment for White people.
The general criticism is that it’s more of a sign of White-guilt. There are articles which in summary, say how dare White people think that they can say what solidarity with minorities, immigrants and others should be; should look like.
Yes, I read allot yesterday and I also talked with others. Nothing satisfied me one way or the other. Then a light-bulb moment happened.
What is it that I believe? I believe in equality for all. On that foundation, I asked why Blacks, Muslims, LGBT, immigrants, Brown, Yellow and Red people cannot be safe for others who are subject to cruelty since the election of Donald Trump? In fact, those who voted for Donald Trump who do not share in the phobias of hate might be safe people.
This is my conclusion. Everyone who disagrees with hate should wear a darn safety pin! Remove the meaning that it means a person is safe, and replace it with the meaning that the person is against hate. Wear it on lapels, earrings. Connect a string of them together and wear it as a necklace.
No matter the color of your skin, sexual preference or religion, if you are against hate, just wear the darn thing if you want to.
While doing so, when you see another person who doesn’t look like you wearing one, say hello. Maybe have a cup of coffee or tea with them. Talk. Talk with them. If that happens, maybe we won’t need discussions like this in the future.