I started wearing a a safety pin today.
I wear it to demonstrate my commitment to standing in solidarity with those who may be threatened by those who hold power.
It does not represent anger or hate. It expressed my desire to be an ally for women and LGBTQ people and immigrants and non-Christians. It does not mean that I hate people who are not liberals. I haven't met a single person IRL who takes my safety pin as an insult or threat to them and I don't expect that I ever will. It's a small, innocuous and non-threatening statement of intent.
But today, in the online world, social media pictures of safety pins and posts about wearing them are being immediately attacked as being about anger and hate. This struck me as amazingly out of touch. But as I thought about it, and saw the nasty comments on friends' social media posts, it dawned on me.
This is gaslighting, pure and simple.
Yes, there are some people who are angry about the election. And yes, there are some very emotional reactions to Trump. Some - too many - go over the top. And there are some deplorable people who are on the political left. But I've seen so many heartfelt, honest posts by people who are worried and sick at heart be immediately attacked as "hate".
There's also a post going viral from a writer at the Huffington Post that purports to call out white people for wearing their safety pins out of White Guilt. But..I've also been told by people at risk that I know that when someone is willing to use their privilege to stand up and say "I stand with love for people who experience hate", that it means something.
So i'm going to wear my safety pin. I'm also going to start writing again - it's been a while, but I need it.
So expect to hear from me. A lot.