Post US Elections 2016, while half of the media is reminiscing the most memorable moments spent by Barack and Michelle Obama in the White House, the other half is busy in reporting a hike in the hate in the wake of Trump’s victory.
Since November 9th, the number of episodes of hate crimes have been spiking up. These vary from hate speech against ethnic minorities and swastikas being spray-painted on cars and walls to hijabs being grabbed from the heads of Muslim women. This disturbing turn of events has caused fear and insecurity among women, people of color, Muslim community, homosexuals and even people with disabilities living in the US as they feel extremely vulnerable to threats by white supremacists.
To curb this growing insecurity, a safety pin campaign has been launched in the United States to express solidarity with all those who feel threatened by the recent accounts of violence following Trump’s election win. People are donning safety pins to show that they are an ally so that any potential victims of abuse can turn to them for help or support in the street. Many even took to social media to signal their love and support for the exposed communities with the hashtag #SafetyPin.
**PLEASE PARTICIPATE IN THIS TOMORROW!!** I know I haven't been active in the last couple of days; I'm so very sorry. The election has taken me completely be surprise and I'll admit I'm having a very rough time with it. Please keep America in your thoughts. Let's always remember to spread love. ❤️ – – – – – – – – – – – – #booknerd #bibliophile #bookworm #bookaholic #bookstagram #safetypin #hillaryclinton #imwithher #strongertogether #hillyes #bookstagrammer #yalit #shelfie #booksonbooks #booklover
— Patrick Stewart (@SirPatStew) November 11, 2016
— kristine lombardi (@illolombardi) November 12, 2016
The safety pin campaign was initially launched in London earlier this year when a rise in hate crimes was reported in the United Kingdom after that country’s vote in June to leave the European Union. Those who wore the pins did so to show that they are safe allies to turn to.
Since, Trump’s victory is being considered as tragic as Brexit and has had similar fallout for minority communities, the movement is gaining more popularity in America by the day.
However, a recent wave of criticism terms the safety pin campaign useless until and unless substantial steps are taken to fight against the prevailing bigotry. Many people believe that donning a pin is not enough to ensure a safer environment. Instead concrete and decisive actions have to be taken in order to counter this upheaval in the society.
You could quietly voice your support of POC, Muslims & LGBTQ folk with a safety pin, OR YOU COULD YELL IT AT THE TOP OF YOUR LUNGS
— Ijeoma Oluo (@IjeomaOluo) November 12, 2016
In the opinion of this scribe, it is possible to both wear the pin and simultaneously take significant actions to ensure a safer environment for the marginalized communities. Rather than debating the politics behind the pins, it is important to focus on what they symbolize and then build a strong movement around it.