Safety Pin Pledge May Help Calm Fears in the Wake of Escalating Hate

I am a Jewish lesbian woman who is married to an immigrant woman of Cuban and Chinese decent. The election of the homophobic, racist, xenophobic and misogynist we have in Trump and VP-Elect Pence who advocates conversion therapy for LGBTQ youth, has stuck utter terror into the heart of progressives, people of color and those who love us.

This is not hyperbole, it is very real.

A dear gay friend of mine expressed to me what a Trump presidency looks like to him. A President Trump will have the power to appoint judges with lifetime terms to the Supreme Court that, for generations, will very likely deny hard-fought basic human rights.

“Those that voted for Trump who think their lives will get better. It will not. They have no idea what they voted for and the unspeakable things that are about to be unleashed on our country and the world.”

But we do.

There are the White Nationalists, Nazi’s and the Ku Klux Klan many who prefer the “politically correct” term the “Alt-Right” that had been seething under the surface during the Obama presidency. Ironically, this white nationalist rage was spurred on by our now President-Elect’s constant questioning the legitimacy and citizenship of the first African-American president.

After eighteen months of a steady drumbeat of hate speech during the most egregiously revolting campaign in American history, our nation has done the unthinkable in electing Donald J. Trump president of the Untied States. All the hate groups that latched on to his campaign and hate speech have, with his election, become more embolden.

We have millions and millions of the alt-right out there, my friend said, “The bullies who beat us. The employers who held us back. The assholes who framed us. There are millions of them. And the vast majority of them are armed.”

Here in Idaho there have been many stories shared in just these few days since the election. People have talked about an escalation in racist and homophobic speech and bullying, most concerning is in our schools.

I was at an anti-Trump rally and march at the Idaho Statehouse on Nov 10th. There were so many great voices in the largely millennial and youth crowd of about 300, giving voice to their pain, anger and fears.

The fear is so palpable. Incidents of bullying reported in the halls of our most liberal Boise high school are escalating.

Our Queer youth are especially terrified which breaks my heart. I have been an activist for 40 years and we have done this work over and over and over again. Just as things were starting to look more equitable and safe here we are – entering a new dark age.

A man at the rally spoke to the crowd about the safety pin.

_90159034_safetypinagain1#SafteyPin was an online campaign that started in the UK against the reported rise in racist attacks since after Britain voted to leave the European Union, or Brexit as it is known. The man encouraged us to co-opt that campaign for helping keep each other safe.

I pledge to wear a safety pin on my shirt or jacket to let others who live in fear know they can take comfort in knowing that I am a safe person.

You can help our kids and adults feel safe in these troubling times.

Take the #SafteyPinUSA pledge!

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