Is wearing a safety pin a silly way to show solidarity? | The Tylt

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Is wearing a safety pin a silly way to show solidarity?
#SafetyPinAllies
#SafetyPinStupid
#SafetyPinAllies

The safety pin idea began as a response to Brexit. Similarly to the U.S., hate crimes against minorities dramatically skyrocketed after an extremely divisive vote. Sir Patrick Stewart immediately posted a photo of himself wearing a safety pin to demonstrate he's an ally of marginalized groups. Other Britons soon followed suit.

#SafetyPinStupid

But some people think it's a meaningless gesture. It's something designed to make white people feel like they are part of the struggle without really getting in the fight.

#SafetyPinStupid

Many argue there are better ways to show your support for marginalized groups—or better yet, being public about the fact that if you see racially motivated abuse, you are going to get involved to defend the victim.

#SafetyPinAllies

Some safety pin wearers really do want to signal to the world that they will get involved and act against any harassment. They want people to know they are genuine allies and oppose bigotry.

#SafetyPinStupid

But many critics don't feel so reassured about the pin's solidarity. To them, being an ally means listening, learning and following the leadership of marginalized communities who are in the fight. To be an ally means being willing to do the work—not simply when it's convenient for those who are privileged or have a savior complex.

#SafetyPinStupid

And even if people's intentions in wearing the pins are good, in many instances the optics are just terrible.

#SafetyPinStupid

Writer Christopher Keelty wrote "Dear White People, Your Safety Pins Are Embarrassing."

His words:

Let me explain something, white people: We just fucked up. Bad. We elected a racist demagogue who has promised to do serious harm to almost every person who isn’t a straight white male, and whose rhetoric has already stirred up hate crimes nationwide. White people were 70% of the voters in the 2016 election, and we’re the only demographic Trump won. It doesn’t matter why. What matters is there’s a white nationalist moving into the Oval Office, and white people — only white people — put him there.
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Is wearing a safety pin a silly way to show solidarity?
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