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Before You Put on That Safety Pin

Safety Pin

Recently, it has been advocated that  people wear a safety pin to indicate to those subjected to hate and bias that they are in solidarity with them. But think before you put on that pin... 

Is it an empty gesture?

Wearing a safety pin as a label can be just another way of othering people who are different. Putting on the pin can mean you are jumping on a bandwagon so others won't think badly of you or labeling yourself as more important - telling the world: I'm in the majority and I have the privilege and power to protect those less fortunate.

According to Buzzfeed, the American who started the safety pin movement said,

“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.'” 

Are you are "safe space"?

Knowing what to do and doing it are far more important then wearing a safety pin. The following video does an excellent job of presenting active things you can do when you see someone else facing discrimination and hate.

Consider doing the following...

Rather than posting your pic wearing a safety pin on your cool sweater and feeling good about yourself, become an anti-bias activist. Don't be a bystander. Don't be silent.

  1. Stand by the victim. Talk to the victim.
  2. Speak up when you hear hateful comments and let people know you disapprove.
  3. Report the incident. Take video of racist and biased encounters as proof.
  4. Comfort the victim afterward.
  5. Call out bias and racism in public and social media.

Becoming a skilled anti-bias activist...

Please share the following video with your family, your children, and your students. Being an anti-bias activist takes practice. Carry out role plays so you become comfortable taking action when it occurs.

Do you think wearing a safety pin is a good idea? 

We welcome your thoughts and comments

Teach Peace Now
Teach Peace Now
We offer books, activities, lesson plans, and ideas that teachers, parents, and students can use to promote values, attitudes and behaviors which encourage non-violent resolution of conflict, respect for human rights, democracy, intercultural understanding and tolerance.

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