Safety Pins Worn to Show Support for Minorities

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Safety Pins Worn to Show Support for Minorities

By Jackie Bajric

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The latest fashion trend packs a big political statement, and has been coming into style after the recent presidential election. People are wearing safety pins on the their shirts in solidarity after the election, and the trend didn’t fail to ascend in popularity.

The point of the pin is to show your support for those who feel vulnerable and unsafe in the post-election world, such as immigrants, refugees, women, people of color, and anyone else who may feel threatened by intolerance.

safety pins

A lot of students feel the safety pin is a nice gesture, but more effective shows of support and action are necessary for any real change to take place, such as through volunteering and donating.

“It can never hurt to show support for people who need it, and for that I support the safety pin,” junior Sean Collins said. “However, the safety pin can never really replace active support, like donating time and money. The safety pin is a great way to tell other people they can trust the good ideals you stand for, but if you really care, there are more effective ways to make a difference.”

The recent breakout of the safety pin trend isn’t the first in history; it was first worn after the outbreak of World War II.

After the German invasion of the neutral Netherlands, Dutch and Norwegian citizens found a way to safely express their solidarity to their nation by wearing the pin underneath their collar. The pin signified their fighting resistance and became a symbol of hope and freedom.

More recently, in June, the safety pin trend experienced a resurgence in the United Kingdom after the Brexit referendum result was in favor of Britain leaving the European Union.

Britain began to experience racially motivated crimes post-Brexit. Similar to the United States issue, the British referendum left racial minorities feeling doubtful. The safety pin was then worn in the UK to protest the vote and show wearers’ support for minorities.

The recent presidential election sparked the revival of the trend. During the campaign, president-elect Donald Trump promised to deport undocumented immigrants, build a wall on the Mexican border, and temporarily ban Muslims from entering the United States, all of which stand beside his indecent words directed towards women and people of color. That being said, Trump naturally leaves millions of Americans terrified for the unanticipated future.

Students praised the “peaceful activism” of the safety pins, the majority preferring it to more direct, and sometimes violent, forms of protests.

“I think these activities that bring a message to the table and support it in a good way are great,” junior Nate Glancy said. “People should try to encourage activism in a peaceful way like this.”

The heart-warming gesture of the pin is a  simple way to show that, above all else, love trumps hate.