The Importance of the Safety Pin Campaign

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In the wake of the recent election results, many groups in the U.S., including African Americans, Muslims, women and LGBTQ people, are feeling scared and uneasy.

We now have a President who has said he would ban all Muslims from entering the U.S., made sexist and insulting comments about women and racist comments about people of color in America.  It is a frightening prospect for many Americans,  many of whom believe he is unfit for office.

So while protests rage on across the country, one movement is using a simple yet powerful symbol to show their support for anyone who is fearful of what is to come.

A simple safety pin.

By fastening a safety pin to their clothing, people are declaring themselves allies to groups who have been maligned and to show that they stand in solidarity with anyone who might feel threatened or afraid.

In the days following the election, it appears that there are reasons to fear. People across the country have shared stories on social media of violence and hate speech directed at them in the wake of Trump’s victory. Racist graffiti has been spotted in several areas around the country and minorities reported experiencing harassment.

These frightening instances illustrate why the #safetypin idea ― which was inspired by a movement following Brexit in the United Kingdom ― is so timely. It’s a tiny gesture, but it speaks volumes by assuring people that they are not alone.

We here at the Academy fully support the Safety Pin Campaign and will provide a place for anyone to go to be free of harrassment, judgement and hate.  Know that we will stand with you, both figuratively and literally, in the face of those that would try to make you thier victim.  You are not alone.

Sadly this campaign is only valuable if a member of these targeted communities happens to be around someone that is willing to intercede, and only then if someone is inclined to harass the targeted person at that time.   This only becomes likely if a critical mass is achieved, with those who have privilege and who are willing to get involved being nearly ubiquitous.  We are far from this ideal.

It has been said that this is little more than a way for straight, white people, especially cis-males, to feel better about themselves; allowing them to show alliance in some small way without having to take actual action for the most part.  As a part of that demographic I can not disagree, but it is a start.  Albeit a very small start.

Lets build on this campaign to make safety a reality in spite of the hate that seems everywhere at this point.  Its only the first brick in our own wall against those that would come for us in the night.

What is the next step?  Comment below with your ideas.

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