In the wake of alleged hate crimes after Donald Trump’s election victory, Twitter activists are fighting the hard battle against racism –- by wearing safety pins.
The campaign asks you to wear a safety pin to show support with “victims” and let everyone know you aren’t a massive bigot and thus ready to protect people of color, LGBTQ, and Muslims.
According to the Huffington Post: “By fastening a safety pin to their clothing, people are declaring themselves allies of groups who have been maligned by Trump, to show that they stand in solidarity with anyone who might be afraid.”
The campaign was first suggested by Slate, borrowing the idea from Britain after the UK voted to leave the European Union. Twitter has since erupted with numerous selfies with safety pins:
— Shannon (@sleamp) November 11, 2016
— Jason Kintanar (@kintanar_jason) November 11, 2016
— Cydney Scott (@CydScottPhoto) November 11, 2016
Even Patrick Stewart has endorsed the message of the pin.
— Patrick Stewart (@SirPatStew) November 11, 2016
Most people in Britain, however, found the safety pin a patronizing attempt to score social brownie points. Back in June, Heat Street spoke with a German immigrant named Maren, who’s been living in the UK over 10 years. She described the campaign as “beyond stupid” and “paternalistic”.
She added: “There is something fundamentally flawed with the campaign. It is based on the assumption that all English people harbor a racist core that is usually hidden but has been emboldened by Brexit.
“And the logic of wearing a safety pin is that by wearing it, you disassociate yourself from those who are racist. Ergo, denouncing all those who do not wear the pin as racist by default. Nobody should have to wear a pin to show that they are not a racist.”
— Newsweek (@Newsweek) June 29, 2016
In the US, however, the reaction has been a bit different. Rather than criticizing the pin campaign for patronizing people, it was slammed as an attempt to conceal “white guilt” and not doing enough to stop “white supremacy.”
You are not a "safe" person just because you wear a #safetypin. This is nothing but a project to alleviate white guilt. Get up and do work.
— Morgan Jerkins (@MorganJerkins) November 11, 2016