Right now is a scary time for many of us. Progressives may feel outnumbered and hopeless. But many of us still possess privilege that will keep us relatively safe from Trump nation hate crimes. Millions of our fellow Americans are not so lucky. So how do you tell those in fear that you’re on their side? Put on a safety pin.
There’s a meme going around right now that speaks to being an ally:
All of this. pic.twitter.com/lA4NIjSBDv— Hayley Thompson (@HayleyBrooklyn) November 10, 2016
It’s powerful. But in case people IRL don’t follow you on Twitter, a safety pin—emphasizing safety—is how you can signal you have their back.
Vox reports the idea began after Brexit. When hate crimes surged in the United Kingdom—as they are in the U.S. right now—allies were in need of a sign of support. And an anonymous Twitter account gave rise to a simple but meaningful symbol.
So I have an idea similar to #ridewithme to help protect those eing abused as result of Brexit referendum - but I need your help.— miss pommery 1926 (@cheeahs) June 26, 2016
The idea being that anyone against the sort of nationalistic, racist violence we've been seeing could identify themselves as a "safe" ally.— miss pommery 1926 (@cheeahs) June 26, 2016
I'd like to come up with something that can be made by anybody anywhere to pin on their jacket or coat to signify that they are an ally.— miss pommery 1926 (@cheeahs) June 26, 2016
A safe person to sit next to on a bus, walk next to on a street, even have a conversation with.— miss pommery 1926 (@cheeahs) June 26, 2016
I quite like the idea of just putting a safety pin, empty of anything else, on your coat. A literal SAFETY pin!— miss pommery 1926 (@cheeahs) June 26, 2016
A safety pin. Something anyone can afford that will show you’re an ally. Stick on a jacket or a bag. It shows that you reject bigotry and violence.
We are down, but not defeated. We are still stronger together. We will still fight for each other’s dignity. Just ask Elizabeth Warren.
Kristy Puchko is working every day to be a better ally. And Trump can’t change that.