i read this earlier and for most of the day, i’ve contemplated on whether i should respond or not. my responding does not mean that i have the answer. i do not. i don’t want to be the person that says anything someone is trying to do to help isn’t actually helpful. that’s lame. it truly depends on who it’s helpful for. that’s where we are. people are coping.
because i don’t believe in telling anyone what to do, except a few kids i know because we need clean dishes to eat out of from time to time, this is all my opinion. so much of what you have written, i understand. it makes sense to me. and so much of what we choose to do for ourselves is not and should not be debatable. in the big scheme of things, it shouldn’t matter at all to most. but we as people usually tend to care about all the wrong things. it’s a great distraction from dealing with our mess.
this is all per my opinion and it’s probably based entirely on the fact that i’m black, i’m a woman, and i’m a lesbian. it’s biased and there may be some grains of salt needed for it. i don’t deny that. it’s personal for me. with that being said, i may be blunt and personal but it is not meant to be offensive nor is it directed at you personally. it is purely me responding and expressing how i feel as a woman of color.
when the safety pin movement did arise on social media, tears came to my eyes. initially, i thought it was some sort of joke. kind of like when black people say black lives matter and white people say all lives matter. i guess that wouldn’t be a joke.
i don’t think it’s wrong to wear a safety pin for the sake of solidarity. i do think that it has the potential to be a hugely inactive way to show solidarity, support, awareness, love or to provide safety. i do think that it has the potential to keep hate alive. it doesn’t deal with the problem just people’s version of what may be a problem.
again, per my feelings, the safety pin seems a slap in the face to all these movements and to all these marginalized ppl. it is a literal and figurative fuck you to these people and these communities that have established very specific goals and missions on how to be supportive team players in combating racism and fighting for plain ole human rights.
the safety pin, to me, says fuck your breaths. fuck your organizations. fuck your plans. fuck your ideas about what kind of rights you think you deserve. the safety pin says, this is how i think WE should do it. or maybe they are working but i don’t want to be apart of it. i’m going to do it this way. without you. and maybe, let me know if you need me. because now, i’m here. if you want it. not if you need it.
it is offensive. it is perceived entitled. for me, it’s inactive. it’s slapping a new symbol on an old model. silence. hiding behind something. it has the potential to be anything.
if this very recent election proved nothing else it definitely revealed how a massive amount of people that are non-poc are beyond a shadow of a doubt, ill informed about the amount of racism instilled in the roots of the U.S.
safety pin seems very separate but equal to me. it standing out and apart when we should be figuring out how to be human together. how to go forth together. and how to stand up without having to stand out. it does look to me like a tool to separate from trump and his supporters.
a white boy said something to me last week, a day after the election. i won’t repeat it. it took a lot for me get through it and talk myself into places of peace or love. i had to go to the restroom and pull myself together. you know what would have pissed me off in that moment more than what was said to me? somebody wearing a safety pin claiming they support me in any way. i didn’t need anyone to intervene but i wouldn’t have minded if someone did. it was subtle but it always start off subtle.
the safety pin isn’t wrong. it’s small. it’s safe. it’s safe and separate. and in no way possible expresses any kind of love. it can’t.
it isn’t wrong to wear it. there is no wrong or right concerning how people choose to participate.
this week (has it been a week?! feels like longer.) i have ultimately felt like poc are not loved at different points throughout the week. the safety pin looks to me like another act of denial to me. denial of love and worth.
people can hide in a safety pin just like people can hide in silence. it’s not active. people have to do absolutely nothing in reality but stick it in a shirt or lapel of a coat and go on about their day. it can almost be not there.
i’m truly appalled and hurt by the act. i don’t know if it’s embarrassing. i know it’s hurtful for me.
if the safety pins meant, “i stand with them”, (the targeted marginalized people) i could dig it a bit more. maybe. doesn’t seem there’s any love in it. it’s about right and wrong and not human connection. (i could be wrong about this). it’s based on people’s perceived ideas about whether a situation is dangerous enough to intervene or not. the bystander effect is in full effect.
about intervening. i wouldn’t want anyone to intervene for me if it means that we could both end up dead. that’s just wasteful. on another level, it faintly reeks of white savior complex that many poc feel is present in their everyday lives. i wouldn’t want intervening. stand with me. don’t injure yourself and don’t die. life is a gift. keep it if you can. stand with me. there’s power in numbers.
i stood with a girl. a man was asking her something. who knows? who cares? i heard her say no. her body language said no. she was a teenager. she was trying to be nice. not because she wanted to. she was scared of what would happen if she wasn’t. she said no three times. this was at the bus stop. i slid over next to her and put my phone in my pocket. i said nothing. there was nothing to say. i did look at him. he looked at me. he went away, eventually. i don’t believe there is much we can do in many situations because we really don’t know what the hell people are thinking. and who doesn’t want to go home at night? in many of these situations, standing with the ones that are being verbally assaulted and/or threatened could possibly keep it from escalating. possibly.
again, this is all my opinion. i could be way off-line. i’ve gone all over the place in this response. i feel all over the place. i’m open to your thoughts on my response, “we’re all in this together.”
i respect you holding yourself accountable. i don’t believe everyone that will don their safety-pins, will be physically involved with the safety of marginalized people. i don’t get the motivation if it’s not love. seems to be based on if people want to be their version of a hero that day or not. maybe, that’s just what i feel which means absolutely nothing. i could be wrong.