Voice of the Forum: There’s Safety in Safety Pins

Mr. Fript Forum Faculty Advisor There will be a box of safety pins sitting on Mr. Fript’s desk tomorrow. They are there to say to the rest of the community that the wearer is an ally of racial minorities, refugees, and gay people. While they have become symbols of rejection of the Trump campaign and presidency, that is not the reason for their being here. As it says in an article in the Daily Mail from November 11th, “The idea takes inspiration from a British movement in the aftermath of the Brexit vote when British citizens voted to exit the European Union. After the historic vote, some people started wearing safety pins in a show of solidarity with refugees, immigrants and people of color who found themselves subject to hate speech and racist attacks.” It does not matter whether you supported Mr. Trump or Ms. Clinton. The question is how do we say to those members of our community that we share some of their concerns. There are students and adults in this building who are afraid that people they know, and even some that they might love, could be deported. Regardless of the way you feel about politics, I do not think that the majority of us want people in our community to be living in fear. There are those of us who watched individuals “Sieg Heil” during Trump rallies; consequently, there are Jews and others who are afraid of the anti-Semitic undertones of some of those around the new president. That does not mean that we are suggesting that our fellow students and adults at Latin who are supporting the Trump campaign are anti-Semitic, but according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the amount of anti-Semitic graffiti (including swastikas and lines such as “Heil Trump”) have spiked exponentially. We need to say to those members of our community, parents as well as teachers and students, that they will be supported. If you do not care about the feelings of others, do not take and wear a pin. More importantly, if you do not mean it, do not wear it. Having read Nick Schuler’s article in the Forum, we should acknowledge that there are good people in our community who supported Mr. Trump for thoroughly respectable reasons.  These pins should not be considered an attack on them, or anyone else for that matter; they represent a way to reach out and comfort those among us who are existentially afraid. I have heard many times that some kids are directing jokes about building walls or deporting people who go to this school, people who should be our friends or at least colleagues. I think that those jokesters think that they were simply being funny. They need to think again. If you take this pin, it means you will stop being a smart aleck. But if you truly believe that Muslims need to be deported because they are all terrorists, or that the rights of racial and sexuality minorities are lesser-than, just don’t take a pin.   Mr. Fript Danielle Martin Madeline Cohen Johnny Gross Lauren Salzman Iz Gius El Buchanan   Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3928788/Americans-wear-safety-pins-solidarity-violence-erupts-wake-Trump-s-election.html#ixzz4Q0ER3Jub]]>