BuzzFeed News

Reporting To You

People Are Wearing Safety Pins In Solidarity After The US Election

The safety pin first became a symbol of support after the Brexit vote in the UK.

Posted on November 11, 2016, at 4:05 p.m. ET

In the aftermath of the US presidential election, people are wearing safety pins as a symbol of solidarity with people of color, immigrants, LGBTQ people, religious minorities, and others facing targeted violence.

@SarahLill9
https://twitter.com/Gaohmee/status/796928855663525889

The movement got it's start after the successful Brexit campaign in the UK, when many immigrants and refugees faced an uptick in racist attacks.

Instagram: @b00kn00k

Allison, the American woman living in London who started it, told BuzzFeed News how the idea came to be.

“I thought about something that would cost nothing and had no political affiliation. Something that says, ‘I am a safe space, you can sit next to me, you can talk to me, you can ask me for a help,'” she said.

Now, thousands of people are wearing safety pins and sharing photos of it on social media.

https://twitter.com/the_beastopher/status/797128511915954176
https://www.instagram.com/p/BMrWepUjwur/

Many are also sharing what the pin symbolizes to them.

My #safetypin means I will stand up for anyone being treated unfairly. I am a safe place.

This is beautiful. Let's all be safe places for people who are anxious and afraid right now. #safetypin

However, many people are saying that wearing a safety pin is an empty gesture if it's not accompanied by action.

You are not a "safe" person just because you wear a #safetypin. This is nothing but a project to alleviate white guilt. Get up and do work.

here's the thing: if someone's going to wear a safety pin as a sign of support i fully expect them to also step in when they see harrassment

If you feel confident enough to wear a #safetypin immediately upon hearing about it you need to step back and do some more listening.

And quite a few are calling it "slacktivism" and "performative."

the safety pin thing is cute but its hard not to read it as just slacktivism.. like u gonna wear that pin forever or just for ur IG selfie?

Remember, the #safetypin should be a pledge to take action against racism, not just an action in itself. No brownie points for slacktivism.

America: don't do that safety pin bullshit. It's performative and only serves to make YOU feel better, not the vulnerable.

Others are noting that it appears that the vast majority of people posting about wearing safety pins are white.

lol are white ppl gonna start patting themselves on the back for wearing safety pins now

The same sentiment sprung up when people began wearing the pins after Brexit as well.

Support our journalism

Help BuzzFeed News reporters expose injustices and keep quality news free.

Contribute
ADVERTISEMENT