Here in the U.S. within days after Donald Trump's election there were already hundreds of episodes of the same kind of marginalization of and hateful behavior towards minorities, and so Americans have joined in the wearing of a safety pin with the same message of rejection of racism and bigotry and as a pledge to be a safe person, an ally, a witness, and, in so far as we are able, a defender.
I'll admit that at first I, too, weighed similar misgivings about wearing a safety pin. Don't actions speak louder than symbols? Couldn't people just stand up for the rights of their fellow human beings without wearing a pin?
Well, yes, but wearing the pin may make it easier to do so.
First of all, the act of attaching the pin and wearing it daily can serve as a reminder, a raising of one's consciousness to the reality of the injustice and abuse that people here in our own country, likely in our own community, are being subjected to. Not that minorities haven't always been subjected to mistreatment, but in this past week it's gotten it's worse, especially among school children.
In truth I am, like many people, pretty conflict-averse.
But then maybe I actually do have it within me to rise to adversity though I may not yet know it. Maybe all good people do have it somewhere within them. Hopefully wearing the pin will help make all of us who wear it braver, less afraid to do the right thing.
A safety pin is not something people have to go to much effort to find. It's not exclusive. It's something most of us already possess. We just need to dig it out of the drawer and pin it on. And then, hopefully, be able to do the same with the courage of our convictions.