Ever since Donald Trump won the election to become America’s 45th president, people have been wearing safety pins on their shirt. The movement started not to repair wardrobe malfunctions but to fix societal malfunctions. Students have reported incidents of intimidation and bullying, and in one middle school, students chanted “build that wall” during their lunch period. Not only that, a swastika appeared on a storefront in South Philadelphia, showing just how insane things are in the US. Now, Americans have turned to safety pins, wearing them on their outfit as a symbol of solidarity with victims of racism, homophobia and religious discrimination. People have spoken out on Twitter to say that their safety pins show that they are an ally to marginalised groups.
— Bex Taylor-Klaus (@IBexWeBex) November 11, 2016
“My #SafetyPin shows I will protect those who feel in danger bc of gender, sexuality, race, disability, religion, etc. You are safe with me,” actor Bex Taylor-Klaus tweeted.
— Lara Arikan (@lararikan) November 11, 2016
The trend actually began in the UK, where people started wearing safety pins after the country’s vote to leave the European Union in June. Some Brexit supporters favoured the move in hopes it would stem the flow of migrants to the UK. After the referendum passed, the country saw a spike in xenophobic attacks.
The sad truth is that Americans are starting to report a similar rise in hostilities, with the Southern Poverty Law Center recording more than 200 incidents of “election-related harassment and intimidation” as of Friday evening.