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  #1  
Old 14 November 2016, 05:31 PM
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Default Safety Pin Co-Opted by White Nationalists?

Like many others, my daughter recently posted a #safetypin selfie on her social media accounts as a sign of solidarity with people who feel marginalized or threatened by Trump's recent victory. A friend sent her this link warning her that white supremacists have adopted the symbol as well.
https://mobile.twitter.com/ztsamudzi...94220474880002
Has anyone else heard this rumor? Can it be substantiated?
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  #2  
Old 14 November 2016, 05:41 PM
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Its not a white supremacist thing, but the safety pin was used as identification in the punk community long before its current usage.

I know at least one person in the punk community who refers to the current usage as gentrification of their symbol.
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Old 14 November 2016, 05:56 PM
Dr. Dave Dr. Dave is offline
 
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Not an answer to your question, but I saw "loxism" and was going to joke that is sounded like an argument at a kosher deli: Lox or whitefish?

Then I looked it up, and apparently it is the alleged hatred of white people by Jews . Many of us are white, and a large majority in the U.S. but whatever, I guess that is how they picked the word.

In anycase, the tweet does use a parallel construction to the messages about the pins, so this would be how one would go about attempting to turn an argument to their side I guess.
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  #4  
Old 14 November 2016, 05:59 PM
overyonder overyonder is offline
 
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I told a friend that was wearing one, "that's the symbol that you're a cry-baby?" [And no, I'm not a Trump supporter].

I remember very large safety pins during the punk days.

Quote:
Malcolm McLaren, who became the manager of the sex pistols, actually began as a fashion designer working with Vivienne westwood, who is still a designer. anyway, he went to new york, and the punk music scene was just starting there. One of the musicians he was really impressed by was Richard Hell (later of Television) who wore spiked dog collars, etc, and safety pinned his clothing back together when it fell apart. This was probably because he had no money to replace it, but in any case, McLaren headed back to his shop in London, and began selling ripped, safety pinned up clothes.
OY
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  #5  
Old 14 November 2016, 06:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by overyonder View Post
I told a friend that was wearing one, "that's the symbol that you're a cry-baby?" [And no, I'm not a Trump supporter].
Then I guess I don't get the joke, if that's what it was. Maybe it's one of those "among friends" things you won't get it you're not part of the group.
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  #6  
Old 14 November 2016, 06:39 PM
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Ah yes, I'm old enough to remember the punks with safety pins.

I've not found a great deal to support the Nazi-safety pin link, at least as a pervasive symbol, and I was curious as to how established and well-known this connection is. Regardless, I can't imagine many people being dissuaded from wearing the pin because of such an obscure connection. As I told my daughter, it's not like people are wearing white hoods as a sign of inclusiveness.

Quote:
Originally Posted by overyonder View Post
I told a friend that was wearing one, "that's the symbol that you're a cry-baby?" [And no, I'm not a Trump supporter].
Huh. Well, I guess you're free to judge the motives of those who adopt the symbol. Personally, I'm not wearing the pin for white people--and in fact, I'm specifically not wearing it to my largely white, largely conservative church because my motive is most definitely not to rile up people who don't agree with me politically. But when I wear it to teach my university classes, it is 100% intended as a positive and supportive message to my many black, female, immigrant, and LGBTQ students, as well as to anyone else who may feel marginalized. I hope they interpret my "fashion statement" in the spirit in which it is offered. If I learn that any of the people I serve are offended by my safety pin, I will reevaluate. Again, I'm not out there picking a fight with random white people. I'm done with the negativity. I honestly, sincerely see the pin as a something positive I can do in the light of an outcome I was not happy about.

Last edited by Wet Blanket; 14 November 2016 at 06:47 PM.
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  #7  
Old 14 November 2016, 07:10 PM
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The safety pin thing was a Brexit solidarity symbol; since the election some anti-Trump activists started using it as a similar symbol for acceptance of other cultures and a "safe space" indicator.

However, Trump's propaganda arm is keeping tabs on all types of anti-Trump sentiment on the Internet so as to mock anyone daring to express pro-LGBT, pro-Muslim, pro-feminist, etc. views. Brietbart, in its typical tone, mansplains that safety pins are used for securing diapers. To be clear, this is the news site run by the guy building up Trump's administration.

A number of Trump supporters suggest wearing the pin so that they can fake solidarity and sow mistrust among non-white-supremacists. It's not clear if they're actually doing this or not, but they're at least sending the message that they are actively following ad hoc attempts of "race traitors" and instantly shutting down movements, however small, that might give succor to minorities.
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  #8  
Old 14 November 2016, 07:31 PM
overyonder overyonder is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wet Blanket View Post
But when I wear it to teach my university classes, it is 100% intended as a positive and supportive message to my many black, female, immigrant, and LGBTQ students, as well as to anyone else who may feel marginalized.
Except that it's not what it meant to start with:

Quote:
So while protests rage on across the country, one movement is using a simple yet powerful symbol to show their support for anyone who is fearful of what is to come.
There are very large number of things that non-Trump supporters are worried about. Not just LGBT nor blacks/female/etc.

My understanding from early on is that it's a protest against the current election results:

Quote:
The safety pin movement, which started in the U.S. a few days ago and has grown exponentially in popularity, is actually adapted from a similar protest that followed the Brexit vote in June, when the U.K. decided to leave the European Union. Many began donning safety pins both to protest the vote and to subtly announce themselves as allies to those minorities who felt threatened by the result, especially recent immigrants.
OY
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  #9  
Old 14 November 2016, 07:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by overyonder View Post
Except that it's not what it meant to start with.
At the risk of sounding snarky, so what?

Everything I've read about the use of the safety pin in the US has been entirely about demonstrating that you're an ally. Just because it meant one thing in the UK doesn't mean it has the same significance here. Pink triangles don't mean the same thing now that they meant in Nazi Germany.

ETA: I also don't understand/agree that it makes someone a "crybaby" to protest the election of someone manifestly unfit for office. He won, I get it. I don't have to like it, and although I haven't protested and don't plan to, I see no reason other people shouldn't do so.

Last edited by Lainie; 14 November 2016 at 07:50 PM.
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  #10  
Old 14 November 2016, 07:48 PM
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Both: comprised of two. As in, not one. As in, it can symbolize BOTH one thing, and another, at the same time. And it does BOTH in a subtle way. It isn't screaming either of those things from the rooftops. I don't understand where your confusion is. Your quote certainly does not indicate that it started solely as a protest of the election.
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  #11  
Old 14 November 2016, 08:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lainie View Post
Everything I've read about the use of the safety pin in the US has been entirely about demonstrating that you're an ally. Just because it meant one thing in the UK doesn't mean it has the same significance here. Pink triangles don't mean the same thing now that they meant in Nazi Germany.
This this this. Literally every public #safetypin message I've seen on social media has been not of protest against the election outcome, but of alliance and solidarity in the wake of that outcome.
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  #12  
Old 14 November 2016, 09:11 PM
overyonder overyonder is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wet Blanket View Post
but of alliance and solidarity in the wake of that outcome.
Alliance and solidarity to... to what? Each other that lost in the election? Or to pick-and-choose aspects/topics in the lost election? I find it rather imprecise, that's all.

OY
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Old 14 November 2016, 10:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by overyonder View Post
I find it rather imprecise, that's all.
Symbols are pretty much inherently imprecise. They are short-hand communication devices and can be misinterpreted, co-opted or simply not understood. They can also be re-interpreted in light of changed circumstances.

Never-the-less they are very much useful things since it's pretty hard to write out a full and specific manifesto and stick it on your jumper.

Dropbear
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  #14  
Old 14 November 2016, 10:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by overyonder View Post
Alliance and solidarity to... to what? Each other that lost in the election?

OY
To the people who feel threatened by the fact that Trump is appointing a white supremacist to lead the transition, for one.
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  #15  
Old 15 November 2016, 02:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by overyonder View Post
Alliance and solidarity to... to what?
In my case--as I said previously--"to my many black, female, immigrant, and LGBTQ students, as well as to anyone else who may feel marginalized." You quoted it yourself upthread.
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  #16  
Old 15 November 2016, 12:13 PM
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It's on Snopes now! Here's the thorough, balanced article:
http://www.snopes.com/2016/11/14/safety-pin-solidarity/
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  #17  
Old 16 November 2016, 02:22 AM
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In My Time, I Fought Trump By Criticizing People Wearing Safety Pins

Quote:
I tell ya, I was furious when he was elected. He posed a serious threat to every freedom we held dear. I knew it was going to take everybody in our great country working together to defeat him. So I took to the internet and attacked my fellow liberals for wearing safety pins on their clothes.

You silly little kids are scratching your heads!

See, wearing safety pins was a gesture intended to show support for marginalized groups negatively affected by Donald Trump’s presidency. But I felt it was an empty promise, so I yelled at white liberals for trying to look sympathetic without actually doing anything. Yes, I know I’m white, little Tommy. Don’t interrupt Grandpa, OK?

Publicly humiliating these dum-dums was definitely the best use of my time. And before you could say “SHAME,” people stopped wearing safety pins and your old Pappy made a difference in this world. I remember thinking, “That’ll show Trump!”
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Old 18 November 2016, 03:25 PM
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I didn't do the safety pin thing when it first popped up in this country (although when I found out about it I was coincidentally wearing a t-shirt covered in a safety pin pattern print, which made me smile).

To me, it was a neat idea but relied too much on the people it was supposed to help knowing what it meant. It wasn't as widely publicised the first time around, so it's effectiveness was disarmed.

I think the context of its original intention is important. After Brexit, there was (and still is) an increase in racial abuse and some of the more publicised assaults took place on public transport where there were plenty of other people around. In this context, the pin was similar to the 'Ask for Angela' idea that some clever bar staff employed to help people get out of awkward or threatening date situations. So if you're on a bus and you're sat next to people who are making you uncomfortable, a person in a safety pin is your 'Angela'. Being able to go 'Oh, hello, I didn't see you there! How are you doing?' to a total stranger is a neat way to get out of a particular kind of racism situation. After all, racists tend to be more bold when their target is alone.

But, like I said, the victim has to know the intent of the pin and the attackers have to be ignorant of it. And in most cases it's better for the person who intends to help to step in, rather than relying on this victim to seek out assistance. The 'Angela' type of assistance should only really be in cases where the bystander is not likely to be aware that the victim needs help (because it's a crowded bus or room, say, and the attackers appear to be just other bystanders and can't be heard clearly).

Also, wearing it just to show solidarity without any other intention to step in on your part renders it completely useless too. Solidarity is meaningless without action.

Last edited by Blatherskite; 18 November 2016 at 03:31 PM.
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  #19  
Old 18 November 2016, 11:22 PM
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I don't think it does require bigots to be ignorant. It is a pledge to not stand silently by. If a bigot knows the meaning then it signifies to them that their victim isn't alone, but has a champion nearby to help. Does it matter that the victim and champion do not have a previous relationship? Either way they have support.
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