I read a scathing argument against white people wearing a safety pin after this election. The post gave me pause to reflect, but the pin remains. No, it’s not a symbol, it’s a commitment.
Christopher Keelty’s blog post focused on the fact that Donald Trump was elected by a voting block primarily composed of white people and the results cannot be undone. That’s true and pretending a trivial symbol will absolve ourselves from the likely consequences of a Trump presidency is foolish. Sure, I want others to know that I’m not a follower of Donald Trump – never was and have seen nothing since the election to dissuade me. I am confident in the reports that a Trump administration will lead this country into economic chaos, diminish our standing in the world, ignore environmental reality, and do nothing to improve the well-being of the American people. The fact is I wear a safety pin out of a sense of responsibility towards those made more vulnerable by the election of Donald Trump.
Since the election I’ve heard far too many reports of people being bullied, threatened and disrespected for not being heterosexual white males. These reports have come from across the nation as well as from first-person reports people have share directly with my wife and myself.
So, what’s the commitment that comes with wearing a safety pin for others to see?
- It means I don’t believe Donald Trump’s election entitles anyone to feel superior to anyone else.
- If I witness bullying, I will walk towards the site of the situation rather than away.
- I will stand next to the person who is being bullied, regardless of their color, race, religion, sexual orientation, or political affiliation.
- If someone approaches me and recognizes that I am wearing a safety pin, I will invite them to join me without question.
- If I am called on to stand with another, I will stay with them until we both agree they are safe and no threat exists.
- I have no expectation of anything in return for my service to a fellow traveler.
Here’s the background on wearing a safety pin in solidarity with others: http://nymag.com/thecut/2016/11/people-are-wearing-safety-pins-as-a-show-of-solidarity.html
Here is a link to the blog post that prompted this article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/dear-white-people-your-safety-pins-are-embarassing_us_58278b9de4b02b1f5257a36a