Prejudice, Bigotry and the Safety Pin

safety-pinWhite 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.

That’s it.

Fixed it.



Posted on 11/15/2016, in civil rights, politics and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 72 Comments.

  1. It might just be a small symbol of solidarity but Symbols are important.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Jim,
      I think symbols are important too, and that is why it’s necessary to remove the exclusivity from the symbol of wearing a safety pin. Everyone who disagrees with hate should wear it.

      Liked by 4 people

      • I believe I will raid my wife’s sewing box. You know where I stand. For me it has nothing to do with guilt, nor do I feel any guilt.

        I have been reading as well. I don’t think I’ve ever been this generally depressed after reading what Herr Donald has done in the past.

        3 buildings in NYC filed petitions to have the name Trump removed……and won. That’s a start.

        Liked by 3 people

  2. Liked by 3 people

    • roderick2012

      Why would it be delayed at all since Paula Jones’ civil sexual harassment suit against Clinton wasn’t delayed because he was a sitting president.

      If Trump is found guilty then I am sure the Republicans will attempt to impeach and remove him from office and replace him with Pence, but I hope they aren’t able to get the 10 Democratic Senators they need to convict Trump and remove him from office.

      Of course this was probably the long game Republicans were thinking when they put up no effort to thwart Trump’s nomination at the convention–either he would be defeated by Hillary or they could use this case to impeach him.

      The next four years is going to be an extended episode of Dynasty.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Roderick

        “Why would it be delayed at all since Paula Jones’ civil sexual harassment suit against Clinton wasn’t delayed because he was a sitting president.”

        Because Trump thinks he’s special?

        Liked by 2 people

        • roderick2012


          Trump has always been able to skate on taking responsibility but I being president will humble him.

          Liked by 3 people

  3. I totally agree “Everyone who disagrees with hate should wear a darn safety pin!” I don’t go out much but I did pin a large baby diaper size pin on my purse last week and my granddaughter who flew out to LA for her 21st birthday now has one as well!

    Liked by 3 people

  4. I think the pin is stupid, but last time I responded to a post on the pin it was removed because I went against the grain. It seems people only want to be applauded for this safety pin. I personally think it’s just another way to be silent about oppression and hatred. Just my thoughts 😊


    • Welcome, Natalie!
      Thanks for your comment.
      In my readings yesterday, I could see some who wanted to be applauded for wearing the safety pin, but it was my impression that they thought it is a good idea to let minorities, Muslims, etc. know that they do not approve of Trump, not the hatred that is being demonstrated since his election. There is also the attitude that they could be the White saviors to those who are demeaned and attacked for being minority, Muslim, etc. The intentions appeared to be good, but the attitude more aligned to White privilege. It actually drove-in the feelings of being excluded for being different.

      That is why if people want to keep the safety pin symbol, it has to expand to others. Maybe those who are White with good intentions and absolutely no thought of excluding others can give a safety pin to those they want to unite with — those who do not look like them. As well, those who are not the marginalized can wear safety pins also.

      Liked by 3 people

      • I believe, upon think for a minute, that us white people will discover where our “friends” lie if we do what you stated to Natalie. Again, you know where I stand. Will minorities look at me with a tilted eye, actually I hope so, as that is what we call “a start”

        I’ll say it again and again, ……..why can’t we all just get along.

        Liked by 2 people

    • yahtzeebutterfly

      Hi mypuzzlepeace,

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

      Yesterday, I thought the safety pin was a great idea until a person pointed out to me that she felt is was very condescending of White safety pin wearing people.

      No matter what my intention or attitude actually was, I need to work on checking in with the community I want to help and see if they want my help and ask THEM for what to do rather than just saying what is a good idea or what should be done. I need to follow the lead of the community I want to help and be sensitive to their feelings.

      I have been working for some time to learn about and check my White privilege “at the door” but I shamefully slipped up and am sorry. I should not have had to be straightened out and reminded.

      I did some extra reading and exploring yesterday and found this article which I posted at this link on the page before this:

      Liked by 2 people

      • yahtzeebutterfly

        an addition for clarity:

        I should not have had to be straightened out and reminded — I already was aware the that commonly made mistake by people and should have known not to do that.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I don’t want to come off like a jerk but why should the opinion of one person make you change your mind about showing a Symbol of Not Hating? It sounds to me like it was their problem, not yours and you have no reason to feel Guilty about anything.

        Liked by 2 people

        • yahtzeebutterfly

          I am so glad you have come here, Jim, and expanded this discussion.

          Maybe a little background about me will help you understand why I was open to the reaction of a person I care about coming at me that strongly.

          Here is a comment I wrote in 2012 and then the response of an African American, fellow Trayvon team-member friend:

          I wrote:

          I remember in college during my teacher training days, when I wanted to help Chicanos so much, that I unknowingly used incorrect language in a college classroom presentation. I had used a word like “disadvantaged” (or something like that) instead of “lower socio-economic standing” (don’t quite recall)…and the Chicano students in my college class really jumped on me after I had finished.

          I returned to my seat with my eyes filling with tears…but, I used that experience as a learning experience. I reflected on what they said and why. I became a better person. I also learned that good intentions were not enough, but that my understanding…really understanding a community and their thoughts…would make me a better contributor to society.

          My team-member friend responded:

          There you go. “Wanting to help” is nothing more than patronizing unless you approach it from the perspective of the person you are trying to help. Otherwise, you come across as having an air of superiority. That air of superiority has its foundation in racist beliefs, and racist beliefs lead to racist actions.

          Whether it is intentional or not, whether you even realize it or not, even if you are trying not to be racist, it can still be racist.

          Jim, yesterday, when the person expressed her feeling and used the word “condescending,” I could appreciate her comment and understand her feeling.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Preach it !!!!!

          Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks for sharing the article, those sentiments are my thoughts. If pin wearers are going to watch someone be assaulted, bullied, harassed and then approach and point to the safety-pin it’s meaningless. The silence is a part of the problem. I’m not saying folk need to put themselves in a line of danger, but for me the pin just doesn’t cut it. We need to stand together as human beings who want to combat oppression, racism, and hatred. When people are boycotting, protesting, signing petitions, being vocal white people need to be right beside them not silent with the discreetly and strategically placed safety pin.

        Liked by 3 people

        • “…..white people need to be right beside them not silent with the discreetly and strategically placed safety pin.”

          Absolutely. I’m a 61 year old white guy and everyone on this blog can tell you where I stand. “White Silence”…..hmmmmm, that might be a good phrase to harp on, is a major part of the problem. Racist white people hate those who don’t hate or express racist tendencies, some minorities have an issue because they think we have an agenda or are apologists.

          Whatever ……. I have an open hand to all. What astounds me is friends or customers of mine who know what is right and what is wrong won’t say anything in public and certainly won’t take a stance like mine, which is how I found Xena………..

          Trayvon Martin was murdered. There is 0 evidence he attacked Fogen (we agreed not to type his name here)

          I chime in on the hate, the murders, discrimination because one by one, we can make a difference.

          Liked by 4 people

          • Yes, thank you, racerrodig, we all have to speak up and speak out. We have to stand together if we want to have a stronger nation. We are so divided as a people.

            Liked by 3 people

            • Divided…..and I’m ticked about it to be honest. For the life of me, I can’t understand why.

              Maybe this is irrelevant, but of all the customers I’ve had since opening my shop, not 1 minority has ever been less than very respectful and appreciate what I do, which is a niche thing anyway, but the only customers who have ever given me grief are white guys.

              Why ??

              Liked by 1 person

          • Racer,

            “There is 0 evidence he attacked Fogen (we agreed not to type his name here)”

            Actually, that was on Leatherman’s blog. If I remember correctly, the person who introduced/suggested that nickname is of Jewish descent and said she is atheist and “fogen” is a short version of a word used by Jews after the Holocaust to denote their enemies whose names they did not want to recognize — non existent to them.

            That subject came up after someone said that people like Zimmerman get-off seeing their name/popularity.

            I disagreed with referring to Zimmerman as “Fogen” because I believe it was a curse against justice. Trayvon’s murderer is not unknown and he had to be named in the documents in order to face the charges. If he’s not named and ceases to exist within the meaning of that nickname, then he cannot be held accountable. That was way I saw it, but others are free to refer to him in whatever manner they want.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Oppppsss….my bad, I humbly stand corrected.

              However !!!! I won’t type his name…..I’m sure you can dig that.

              Liked by 1 person

            • Racer,
              No problem. You and others have posted “fogen” on this blog for years. Everyone is free to refer to him however they want. I just wanted to clear up where and why it began.

              Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t see the type of person who would wear the pin as being the ‘silent type’.

      Liked by 2 people

      • yahtzeebutterfly

        Good morning, Mindy 🙂

        “I don’t see the type of person who would wear the pin as being the ‘silent type’.”

        I hope Mypuzzlepeace will see your question and talk more about her comment referring to “silent type” for us.

        I have thought about your question and maybe this analogy I thought up might be relevant:

        I have to ask myself how I would feel if I lived in an apartment and reported that my water pipes were leaking. If nothing was done about it day after day, month after month, and all I saw was that the landlord, the plumber, my neighbors, the members of the health department and other powers-that-be were wearing buttons that said Water pipes should be in good working order and Don’t allow water damage to occur because it can cause health-threatening black mold and ”I am against broken, damaged pipes , I would think that those people who really could help me were being “silent” through their inaction.

        Meanwhile, they might be smiling and waving good morning to me and saying things like “Have a good day” or “Let’s get together for coffee” or “Let’s have lunch together today” or “I really enjoy our friendship and am glad we are friends.”

        Liked by 2 people

      • If it is just a symbol and no action is being made, it’s silence.

        Liked by 3 people

        • A symbol is the start. To me it doesn’t matter. I’ll play counter point to what you said.

          If none of us get involved, do minorities have the right to be ticked, if people like us decide it’s past “about time” to make a statement, but didn’t ?

          I just posted “White Silence” above and in the last 10 minutes, the more I think about it, that is almost a crime since far to many of us white people have let it slip by. For many years now I’ve been doing what I can to help heal the racial wounds in my sphere. 2 years 3? ago, I passed a group of 3 black kids down the road from where we live. I saw at least 10 cars blow past them and when I got close I could see 1 was injured.

          I turned around, and went over and the fear in their eyes was measurable. They were early teens it seemed. I asked what happened and one of them stated someone knocked the one off his bike and kept going. I got my first aid kit and stopped the bleeding and put a bandage on his arm. They didn’t want me to call the police but later that day his dad stopped by my shop (my business name and # are on my truck) and could not believe a white guy helped them.

          We talked for quite some time that day about just this topic. To me, anyone who says it’s white guilt or whatever they want doesn’t know me.

          I’ll start wearing the safety pin because we all need each other. It’s possible a guy like me might happen onto the scene of a bad car crash and save the life of a relative of yours or someone you know.

          I had to overcome a racist dad and his teachings. I’ll tell you some of it if you want, but not doing anything is not in the best interest of our country AND trying to heal the racial divide on a personal level. What if you ran out of gas or your car broke down in the middle of nowhere and I show up (I have a race care / hot rod shop) wearing the pin. Would you feel better if I didn’t ??

          Just sayin,……

          Liked by 3 people

      • If it’s just a simple where no action is being made, it’s silence. Marginalized people don’t need people standing behind them and supporting them in theory.

        Liked by 3 people

        • Natalie,
          I appreciate your participation in this important discussion. What can people do to be more than a “symbol”? What actions should they take?

          Liked by 3 people

        • I know in addition to what many of us do we have also participated in public shaming of people who express their racism publically. I’m happy to admit I contributed to a few losing their jobs and social standings. I have no problem sending a screen shot of a person’s racist comments to their employer. Even posting the screenshot on the company FB page.


    • roderick2012

      I understand what you’re saying–wearing symbols is easy and effortless but the actual work of tackling systemic and institutional racism is difficult work and it may involve some self-critique and introspection that some of us don’t have the courage to do.

      Liked by 5 people

  5. please consider this, as a Trump supporter would the folks wearing the safety pins be considerate and nice to me? would they welcome a civil discussion with me?


    • No matter who you support, my promise to you

      Liked by 4 people

    • As a Trump supporter, are these people safe with you?

      Liked by 3 people

      • And ‘scuse my French

        Liked by 1 person

      • NO, none of us are “safe”, do you leave your doors unblocked at night and when you leave home? personal safety is up to each individual……..i oppose the militarization of police 100% and Trump also wants bad officers removed and put on trial…….under our constitution we all are supposed to be equal under our laws………BEFORE Trump even ran those same questions you posed could be asked and the answers would be the same…..btw my question wasnt answered???? would those wearing safety pins have a civil discussion with me?

        Liked by 1 person

        • Well Bill, I’ve left my doors unlocked but then, I have a really big dog. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

        • I will……stop on over. The BBQ chicken ‘n ribs invitation is open to all.

          One thing…..and we’re typing so I can’t get a tone of voice assessment from your 1:14 post, but I hear ya… far as Trump………..but I research things and make my decision on what I see and hear.

          From what I’ve seen of your posts here, you seem well adjusted, open minded, educated and non racist. You contribute well and all that.

          Not being safe is sometimes just a feeling pulled from events and the local environment. I have 100,000 worth of tools and usually 100,000 plus in the value of cars in my shop. Most of them are hot rods, muscle cars and race cars. Rarely do i lock my truck, which has remote garage door openers in it. I’ve never had anything missing. Hell……from time to time my son forgot to put one of the doors down overnight.

          To me, escaping that fear is a trust thing, but that’s just me.

          Liked by 2 people

    • Bill,
      Since you do not appear to look like a marginalized person, my guess is that those wearing the safety pin would not pay you any attention. On the other hand, you can wear a safety pin and hope to engage another person wearing a safety pin in conversation. You might have supported Trump, but I don’t get any impression whatsoever that you support the bigotry and hatred being demonstrated by some of his supporters — or they might be opportunist renegades for all we know.

      Personally, I’d be nice to you and anyone for that matter, until and unless they gave me reason to turn around and walk away.

      Liked by 2 people

      • TY for the response…….i have always been “different” never fit in most settings sports being the exception…..i do my own thinking and often arrive at very different conclusions from most…….this forum is an example for me i do seem to fit in here even though i differ greatly on basic politics from most everyone else here…….i suspect “civility” is the main reason i am accepted here and have experienced civility as a result even when other disagree on issues………to me there are no “safe” spaces in the real world so any attempt to create them is doomed to failure because they go anti nature….i doubt there is any poster here that would fear meeting me face to face and discussing any issue?

        Liked by 2 people

        • Bill,
          There is more than one reason you are accepted here. You came here with civility, with motivation, and with concern for equal justice for all. You came here in spite of knowing I’m anti-guns. I respect you for that.

          Many people form their opinions based on personal experience. Experience can change from day to day.

          Take for example a college student. Today, they are concerned with student loans, and worried about their employment future. In 10 years, they might be more concerned with paying less taxes because they excelled in well-paying careers.

          Today, a parent might be concerned with education for their children. In 10 years, they might be more concerned about their own retirement, social security, medicare.

          Because politicians decide or don’t decide these issues, a person’s political stance can change every 4 years.

          Liked by 1 person

          • my entire political stance is shaped by the oath i took in Jan 1972, that i would give my life in defense of our constitution by all enemies both foreign and domestic…….and i consider BOTH partys to be enemies of it at this time…….my support of Trump is only in the “hope” that he wants to get back to liberty for all and governance as written in the constitution…….


            • That’s why some wear pins and buttons. To protect the Constitution from all enemies both foreign and domestic. Trump’s campaign promises involved circumventing the 1st 4th 5th 8th and 14th Amendments. I see President Obama and his policies as having given liberty to all. His policies invited inclusion for ALL Americans.

              Liked by 1 person

            • Hi Bill,

              I took the same oath in the same year, and when people imply my lack of American-ness I often wonder if they ever raised their hand and swore to uphold the Constitution.
              Definitely both of the major political parties are in violation.

              It doesn’t surprise me that people who discuss things here are glad to have you drop in. Over the years I’ve corresponded with and enjoyed reading the works of probably half a dozen writers whose ideas don’t resemble mine but I dig their style. Hell, I don’t even require civility. Jim Goad is a ranting wildman I’d be scared of in real life, who I’m sure would sneer at me in real life, but I always enjoy reading his stuff.

              No, it’s not the same thing, I bet you are a teddy bear in real life. What am I trying to say here? Having all the exact same ideas is not always the most important thing.


      • btw the new avatar is my father at roughly the same age i am now

        Liked by 2 people

    • It depends on how you act because I’ve been seeing a lot of Trump Supporters lately who’ve been going out of their way to show how intolerant they’re going to be, Gloating about being able to take peoples Rights away and I live in a fairly Liberal area where they’re the Minority.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Well…..I personally know not all Trump supporters are what he is. I know people who are as nice as can be to and around me, but outside of my world they are real bastards………figuratively speaking.

      It puts one in a tough spot since they don’t act badly with me, but they do around those they want to intimidate or whatever is going on.

      I can say that most discussion here is respectful……so to answer your ? as far as with me…….no problem. We all have an opinion and that should be respected.

      Liked by 3 people

      • racerrodig I kind of relate. Every now and then I run into somebody who is a darling to me, couldn’t be nicer, yet I know for a fact that if my skin were brown, things would be very different. There is just something yucky about knowing that. It makes me want to do a weird thing, like claim African ancestry, so they will feel embarrassed that they made the mistake of treating me like a white person.
        It’s also super-creepy to have someone try to co-opt me into their racist camp, by making some borderline acceptable remark, or even by taking a certain tone that is an invitation to jump in there and demonstrate my loyalty to the white race by trashing everybody else. I wish they would just STFU

        Liked by 1 person

        • ty for your comments……for full disclosure, my nickname in college(a mixes race team half white and half black) was “whigger” because i could jump over 44 inches into the air…..i also played for months on a USAF team with 15 guys in the traveling unit, 12 players, a coach, manager, and trainer, and i happened to be the ONLY white guy of the 15…….i have never understood racism honestly, because all of my observations in life show me skin color says NOTHING about character or lack thereof…….

          Liked by 1 person

  6. I put safety pins on my outdoor jackets because of the possibility that some mother has told her kid, “If you feel unsafe, look for a grownup with a safety pin on.”

    For me it’s an unusual step. I don’t do bumper stickers, or wear items of clothing that promote any person, ideology, band, or product – from an unwillingness to make my body into an advertising medium.

    I’m okay with the safety pin, and hope it isn’t read by anyone as an insult. It may be a doctrinal error but I await more convincing proof than I’ve seen so far.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. This was a very good blog and dialogue. I know people have different feelings, I’m sharing a link to an article written by a man in regards to the safety pin that I found interesting titled,
    Dear White People, Your Safety Pins Are Embarrassing

    Liked by 4 people

    • I am not feelin what that guy says. I personally don’t experience white guilt. I haven’t been chewed up by a dog at a demonstration, but on the other hand, I’m sure the first entry in my FBI file was made when I was 16 and subscribed to the SNCC newsletter. If people can go around wearing their stupid-looking red hats and waving their confederate flags, surely the world will not begrudge the safety pin on my coat collar.

      People who wear crosses around their necks are very rarely perfect Christians. People who wear those dinky little flag pins in their lapels are hardly ever ideal Americans. I might not be the perfect ally, but I’m wearing the damn safety pin.

      Unless, of course, if Angela Davis or Colin Kaepernick says not to. Or Shaun King.


      • my fbi file was 100% clean and still is… began with the DOD form 303 a request for a background check to get a top secret security clearance……they found nothing and i have had no police contact since.


      • I had an intense conversation with a good friend last night and he voted for Trump. As smart as he is, he knows virtually nothing about his past. His take is ………

        Hillary – got “….all those people killed in Benghazi….”
        She must be worse than Trump

        I asked him how many people she got killed and he said 112. I then told him to google the Benghazi incident and “Hillary Clinton involvement” I asked where did the 112 number come from and he said from a Trump campaign worker. He near passed out when he read “4”

        Blatant lies…….become the norm.

        Now it seems Pence has an e-mail issue he went to court to keep them private.

        I went down a list of Trump frauds with him and most he’d heard of, but “forgot” about

        Trump University
        Trump Mortgage LLC
        The Deutsche Bank fraud
        Contractors being ripped off
        He’s a Defendant in thousands of lawsuits
        Breitbart editor asked to be a senior advisor
        Elimination of the EPA
        Elimination of the CFPB
        Elimination of the Dodd – Frank Act

        and on and on……now my friends stance is he can’t do most of that, but it’s the intent and content of his heart.

        My concern is that what we know as “f’d up” is becoming normal. Is the racial divide going to become what is was 75 years ago. Well, with Bannon on board, there is no doubt.

        Liked by 2 people

        • 75 years ago? It will be more like 150 years ago, and anger will abound because there are too many people who know the constitution and SCOTUS decisions and will insist on their rights under both.


          • I fear hate and bigotry will be the norm soon and back to the stone age we go.

            Soon many people will think the tom foolery is no problem, yet today His Majesty’s campaign manager Conway said that college professors are texting her and saying that the kids don’t have to go to class or take tests. Just go to a protest march and get a credit.

            I tell you no lie. She stated here and Pence call the “idiots” and “snowflakes”

            When will his camp accept what he has said is flat out wrong and far more childish.

            Today, the 2 biggest Trumpeteers stated they may have made a mistake.


            • Racer,
              What’s really scary for me is to know that hateful folks existed before Trump ran for President. Some weren’t interested in politics nor the welfare of this country. They were only interested in having a reason to take out their hate on others who are not like them. I caught a few minutes of CNN tonight. They were having a round-table meeting. What the Whites at that table do not seem to understand when they say “White Supremacist” is the danger directed at each and every American who is not White Anglo-Saxon Protestant, male.


  8. Dear Xena,

    Some smart entrepreneurs are going to be selling some fancy safety pins and I’ll be buying and wearing them. It will be helpful to be able to identify others who are anti-hate.

    Thanks for including these folks as well. “In fact, those who voted for Donald Trump who do not share in the phobias of hate might be safe people”.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Hi Xena…Thanks! Wishing you days of Peace and of Love and of Wonder…Phil


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