Why Are People Wearing Safety Pins? It's A Small Step Toward Solidarity
It's time to put on our big girl pants, guys. Yes, the election didn't go the way some of us might have wanted. Some of us might have looked forward to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton becoming the first woman president ever. It would have been super chill, maybe. Or maybe not, But the time for being fragile and wounded is over. We all need to start liking each other again, in real life and even on social media, because we're all we've got. So here's a small step towards solidarity; everybody should start wearing safety pins. Hear me out.
Since Donald Trump shocked the entire world (except maybe himself) on Tuesday by becoming the president-elect, people have been going bananas. Clinton supporters were crying foul, crying sexism, just plain crying. And that's ok, because crying is good. Crying works. As does wine and vodka but let's not head down that path. Trump supporters were irritated by all the crying. And getting more defensive by the second. They had gotten the result they wanted, America had spoken; what was the problem? America is going to be great again, so that's awesome. Except for some, it wasn't so awesome. It felt like a step in the wrong direction. And nobody was ready to stop arguing for even a second. Just taking a cursory glance at any social media felt like being throat punched by your best friend. So enough is enough. Time for some safety pins to bind us all back together again.
The notion of simply wearing a safety pin on your shit, devoid of anything but maybe a little hope, came about in Britain after Brexit happened. After the people of Britain voted in a referendum to leave the European Union earlier this year, there was a massive spike of attacks against immigrants and other Brits; according to the National Police Chiefs' Council, these incidences went up by 57 percent in June. An American woman living in England realized that what people really wanted was a way to show solidarity, to offer safety, to offer a way of knowing each other and reconnecting without saying a single word.
Enter the safety pin.
I'd like to come up with something that can be made by anybody anywhere to pin on their jacket or coat to signify that they are an ally.— miss pommery 1926 (@cheeahs) June 26, 2016
I quite like the idea of just putting a safety pin, empty of anything else, on your coat. A literal SAFETY pin!— miss pommery 1926 (@cheeahs) June 26, 2016
The idea caught on, and #safetypins started trending with selfies of Brits wearing their safety pins.
Now it's our turn. As reports of post-election violence abound, with riots breaking out across the country and racial slurs being spray painted on the sides of buildings, a simple safety pin can say everything we would like to say to each other. That there is still so much good, that we believe in the inherent rightness of Americans, and that love and acceptance are the best weapons we have in our arsenal.
Love, and safety pins. It's all going to be alright.