Sometimes, it’s the simplest actions that make the strongest impact.
With everything going on in the world today — the horrific bombings in Aleppo, the ever-growing threat of climate change and global warming, the state of the United States electorate in the wake of the impending reign of President-Elect Trump and his conglomerate of racist demagogues — nothing is more imperative or timely than having a means to stand in solidarity with one another. Thus, the rise of the safety pin movement.
Specifically started in response to the hateful rhetoric of the Trump campaign, allies of those who have been marginalized by Trump have started wearing safety pins to signal that they are safe, non-judgmental allies in the face of the comments made towards, but not limited to Muslims, undocumented immigrants, the disabled, the LGBTQ+ community, women and African Americans.
Using the #safetypin began after the Brexit decision in the U.K. last summer, and has caught like wildfire in the wake of President-Elect Trump becoming a reality.
However, it’s strikingly similar to the early Christians who would use the symbol of the fish to both identify allies and fellow Christians as well as to avoid persecution. This practice was done by both drawing the fish on one’s palm as a means of identifying your faith to other Christians, while the symbol’s ambiguity would not be a tip-off to foes.
Christians would also, if traveling and came upon a stranger, draw half of the fish, or an arc in the sand. If the fellow traveler were also Christian, he or she would draw the other half. If not, the identity of the person’s faith would not put them in danger. I include this historical background not to make religious commentary or necessarily form a religious connection to the safety pin movement, but to demonstrate that #safetypin can be an effective tool in this time of uncertainty, as similar practices have been successful in the past.
Millennials are the ideal group to lead this movement in a new age of uncertainty. They are, in general, frightened and frustrated by the rhetoric and bigoted policy that has been demonstrated, and can use social media to get #safetypin trending.
Wearing the safety pin also means standing up for those who are being marginalized. It is a movement in which you are an active participant. Please, let this be our symbol of hope and solidarity.
Disclaimer: The political views expressed in this article do not necessarily express the views of Not Another Millennial Blog.