Here’s Why Americans Are Wearing Safety Pins After the Election

Posted: Nov 14, 2016 9:40 PM

If you see someone with a safety pin tacked to their shirt, they aren't making a fashion statement—they're making a political statement. After Donald Trump was elected president, people across the country began wearing safety pins as a symbol of solidarity with people of color, immigrants, the LGBTQ community, religious minorities, and anyone else who has experienced discrimination. 

The trend started in the UK after Britain voted to leave the EU, more commonly known as Brexit.  In the weeks after the vote, the UK saw a spike in the number of hate crimes against immigrants and minorities. Allison, an American living in London at the time, was concerned about the growing number of incidents and tweeted out the idea.

So I have an idea similar to #ridewithme to help protect those being abused as result of Brexit referendum - but I need your help.

I'd like to come up with something that can be made by anybody anywhere to pin on their jacket or coat to signify that they are an ally.

I quite like the idea of just putting a safety pin, empty of anything else, on your coat. A literal SAFETY pin!

Americans adopted and expanded the movement after similar incidents of hate were reported following Trump’s victory. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, over 200 incidents of “hateful harassment and intimidation” have been reported since Election Day; most incidents were labeled anti-Black and anti-immigrant. 

One report sent directly to the Southern Poverty Law Center read: “‘Build a wall’ was chanted in our cafeteria Wed[sic] at lunch. ‘If you aren't born here, pack your bags’ was shouted in my own classroom. ‘Get out sp*c’ was said in our halls.” 

Another read: “‘Death to Diversity’ was written on a banner displayed on our library for people to see, as well as written on posters across campus. As well as white males going up to women saying that it was now ‘legal to grab them by the p***y.’”

The Southern Poverty Law center noted that “every incident could not be immediately independently verified.” 

However, the report didn't appear to include incidents of harassment against Americans who voted for Trump, like the man who was brutally beaten by a group in Chicago shouting, “Don’t vote Trump!”

People donning safety pins are promising to stand up for anyone being treated unfairly. 

They claim everyone can feel safe around them.

Hopefully that includes people with varying political opinions, even those who support Trump.