Now that we’ve established that something as bad as Brexit could happen here, Americans are adopting strategies learned from their British peers in coping with its aftermath.
As stories of post-election violence and hate speech circulate online, some people have begun wearing safety pins to identify themselves as allies in the fight against intolerance, and to show solidarity with women, LGBT people, immigrants, and people of color feeling frightened by Trump’s presidency and the vitriol that some of his supporters display. The safety pin was adopted in England after the Brexit vote, as immigrants and people of color found themselves increasingly subject to racist attacks, serving as a visual symbol indicating that the wearer supports tolerance and stands in solidarity with marginalized groups.
In the words of @cheeahs, the Twitter user who launched the trend, the idea was “that anyone against the sort of nationalistic, racist violence we’ve been seeing could identify themselves as a ‘safe ally.’”
A small but potent gesture as we suit up for the hard work to come.