Today I decided to wear a safety pin, visible to all, every day. I will hand out safety pins to trusted friends, students, and colleagues for them to wear. The safety pin signals to all that I will not tolerate bigotry, misogyny, xenophobia, racism. If I see it directed toward any individual, I will aid. If I cannot aid, I will summon aid.
Wearing a safety pin is not the only resistance I am taking in the face of the Trump era. Before today I have begun to help organize the Women’s March on Washington, I have donated to extra-governmental organizations with experience and focus on protecting civil liberties and subordinated groups, I have been publicizing the boycott retailers selling Trump brands.
But today is different. Today is the day that the President-Elect of the United States of America announced that when he takes office his Chief Strategist will be a man who is a publicly avowed white nationalist, an active advocate of misogyny and anti-Semitism, a promoter of the “alt-right” world view. In other words, today the Republican President-Elect elevated and institutionalized modern-day American Nazism.
Today is the day that I realized that people need to put on safety pins before they are forced to wear other, sinister badges. People need to put on safety pins because people of color, women of conscience, brown and black people, Jews and Muslims, LGBT folks are now overtly under threat from the highest executive office in the United States. Already, alt-right violence targeting us is ratcheting up. We need to know who is prepared to stand against this violence, who is ready to act in its face. Wearing a safety pin is a simple visible way to communicate your readiness, your resistance.
Others are wearing safety pins for similar reasons. On Twitter you can check the hashtags #SafetyPin and #SafetyPinNation.