I’ve taken some time to digest things. Yes, this is of course a nod to Thanksgiving dinner, which was delicious and did require some serious napping afterwards to aid digestion. But I’m also referring to the recent election the USA is still reacting from. Regardless of your political leanings, a majority of Americans (77% according to a gallup poll out last week) agree that our nation is more divided than it has been in decades. And that perception affects all of us, regardless of who we are, where we live, or what we believe in. It’s never been more important to come together now as a nation to somehow bridge this divide. And one way Americans are trying to combat discrimination is through the safety pin movement.
So what’s this about? It started in the wake the UK’s exit from the EU, aka Brexit. Individuals began wearing safety pins as a non-verbal way of communicating that they stand against hate and discrimination. In the post-referendum world of Brexit it was used as a way to cheer and bolster a nervous public. And after the surprising results of the US election, Americans too adopted the safety pin for much the same reason.
The movement is of course being met with mixed emotions, but that depends on what you think when you see someone wearing safety pins on their clothing. Some people feel it’s a feeble gesture that isn’t backed up with action. And others are heartened to see both republicans and democrats wearing these pins, as it creates a sense of silent solidarity, and a promise of action should these people see discrimination or hate going on around them.
Whether this movement is just a fad like many before it, or the beginning of a larger social movement towards acceptance and social responsibility, time will tell. But 77% of Americans can’t be entirely wrong, and for that, I hope that the safety pin movement has a positive affect in our post-election world.