Following the wake of Donald Trump’s election and his win that has now prompted him President Elect, many minorities in the United States are feeling threatened, unsafe, and uneasy.
Mr. Trump, who has notoriously proclaimed to build a wall of separation along the Mexican-U.S. border and ban Muslims from the United States, has made several racist and sexist comments against people of color and women in the U.S. Mr. Trump’s comments have incited people of color and women in the country to continually believe that he is unfit for president as well as ignite fear and hopelessness in their lives.
While fiery protests and anger has raged across the country since the results of the election came out, several movements and ways to cope with the isolation and sadness have started to aid people of color and marginalized people through the aftermath of the election. One particular movement is using a simple yet powerful method to unite and comfort people of color and support those who are fearful for what is to come after this election.
The idea started with a safety pin. By fastening a safety pin to clothing, people are declaring themselves friends and allies to those marginalized and bullied by Mr. Trump’s words. The notion behind the safety pin is to show that anyone who wears one is showing solidarity and is standing united with those who are feeling fearful and uneasy as a result of this election.
As the world has seen following the already few days after the results of the election, minorities have already begun to suffer at the hands of racism, hatred, and discrimination that plagues America. Hate crimes range between obscene drawings on walls, people’s cars, and doors to a Muslim woman getting her hijab yanked off of her head. People across the country have shared stories of violence and hate speech directed at minorities in the wake of Mr. Trump’s victory. In addition to hate crimes, racist graffiti and harassment have also been reported as forms of violence following the days of Trump’s election.
All of these frightening and unsettling stories of violence and hatred directed at marginalized people inspired the timely birth of the safety pin idea- an idea that was started as a result of the Brexit decision that occurred earlier this year. In the same way that the Brexit decision prompted refugees, immigrants, and other people of color to feel isolated and left out of the English circle of life, English people used the safety pin to show solidarity with minorities and help them feel included and at ease in their new homes.
Although the gesture is small and simple, it speaks volumes for those who experience isolation, fear, and uneasiness in their homelands and it assures people that they are not alone.
While the safety pin is a powerful gesture for solidarity with people of color, others are finding safety and peace through self-care methods. Black people are in a constant state of trauma that is felt by other people of color. They face hatred and racism in the name of a “white America” and in a place that constantly screams at them to “go back home.”
In the face of despair and anger, black people and other people of color are finding ways to cope with the raging racism and hatred that is committed against them through several methods of mental health care which include mindful isolation, community support , and asking for help. Disconnecting from situations and people who may trigger interactions that illicit fear is an effective means of self-care. Connecting with people who are also feeling marginalized and angry is also a powerful way to seek empathetic support with others who can directly understand you.
Finally, seeking help in your community to find ways to cope with the fear and violence that erupts in the country is an effective way to find solidarity among others like yourself.