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Trump’s Victory: Safety Pin as a Symbol of Silent Protest Visible in USA

The safety pins not only supports security and harmony but also authority and freedom

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Safety pin, Pixabay
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November 17, 2016: Many Americans are wearing a safety pin to show their support for people who are victims of harassment. The women who started the movement in London, Allison, said, “I used the safety pin because it costs nothing and has no political affiliation. The safety pin that comes to the rescue in times of sartorial crisis has quickly joined that notion to represent safety, a safe place and ally ship.”

Following the election of Donald Trump as the President of the United States, many incidents of harassment and hate-based intimidation have been reported. This violence is mainly targeted towards people of religious and racial minorities, especially the LGBT community.

[bctt tweet=”The idea of using a safety pin for a social activism is not new. ” username=””]

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“I am so saddened to hear that. And I say, stop it. If it – if it helps, I will say this, and I will say right to the cameras, stop it,” said Trump in an interview with CBS News’ 60 minutes.

Wearing safety-pin is an act of silent activism against Donald Trump. However, some people have mocked the pin and said it was nothing more than a “diaper” pin. In an interview with AP, Johanna Dickson said, “Wearing the pin means nothing if I don’t do everything in my power to make sure the people I’m wearing it for are not harmed or disenfranchised.”

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The idea of using a safety pin for a social activism is not new. Safety pin was hijacked long ago to be used as a political symbol. It is not just used to fasten things together but also binds together attitudes and ideologies.

People used safety pins for holding their torn and shabby clothes together. They didn’t have any money to buy new clothes. But instead of hiding the pins, people decided to go out wearing the pin. They were not ashamed to show others that they were dealing with poverty, thus mocking the system that treated them with disdain.

In India, there has been an increase in the number of targeted attacks on ethnic and religious minorities and immigrants in the past two years. Also, the restrictions on intellectuals and thinkers, clamp down on the progressive organizations and intolerance have suggested that it is high time when India requires a silent communication of solidarity. A professor at DU, Nalini Sundar was accused of the murder of a tribal man. Transgender Tara died under suspicious circumstances.

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Maybe, what we need right now is a silent communication of Unity and Harmony. We need to be there for ourselves and for each other. The safety pins not only supports security and harmony but also authority and freedom. We need to go beyond the wearing. We need to raise our voice against the violence and act against these attacks.

Safety-pin can be the symbol for the silent activism but only an action will help create a better and a safer world.

Prepared by Diksha Arya of NewsGram. Twitter: @diksha_arya53

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Copyright 2016 NewsGram

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Brown: The colour of toil but non-acceptance across the West?

"This is now our destiny as brown people. Our labour is needed, but citizenship is denied."

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Police Chief David Brown. Image Source: Twitter
  • Kamal Al Solaylee’s book Brown highlights the problems of ‘brown’ people in Trump’s rule
  • Donald Trump is often accused of malingering the image of brown people
  • this book cites many examples of discrimination which brown people go through

Title: Brown: What Being Brown in the World Today Means (to Everyone); Author: Kamal Al Solaylee

All our social development and our technological advancements don’t seem enough to eradicate our long-persisting atavistic sense of difference based on appearance, which though long-suppressed is now emerging free from its restraints — as proved by the recent intemperate comments by US President Donald Trump on immigrants from a certain set of countries.

Trump’s thinking, as seen in his off-the-cuff remarks, underscore that the questionable classification of race, expressed by the obviously evident and inescapable feature of a person’s skin, is well alive — and extends beyond the white-black binary. What about the yellow, or rather, the (as necessary for the global economy but far more exploited) brown?

Donald Trump is famous for his rude comments towards brown people. wikimedia commons
Donald Trump is famous for his rude comments towards brown people. wikimedia commons

Trump is only one leading manifestation of the malaise facing brown people — which include West Asians, Latin Americans, North Africans, and South and Southeast Asians — and far beyond the West too or from the “Whites”, says Yemeni-origin, Egypt-bred, Canadian journalist-turned-academician Al Solaylee in this book.

Trump’s victory “largely (but not exclusively)” rode on demonising Mexicans, galvanising sentiment against Muslims and championing white nationalism, the vote for Brexit was mostly pioneered by those with a restrictive view of Englishness, the record of Canada under Stephen Harper’s Conservatives — all these are obscure racial conflicts brewing in the US and Europe for decades now.

Also Read: Mexico can learn about dealing with diaspora from India: Claudia Ruiz-Massieu Salinas

“Examine these tensions closely and you’ll find a strong anti-brown sentiment at the core,” says Al Solaylee as he traces the response to, as well as the experiences of, the residents of Global South, who are forced to migrate to — and much needed in — the Developed North for various reasons, not least of which is the latter’s colonial record.

“Brown as the colour of cheap labour continues on a global scale… brown bodies undertake the work that white and older immigrant Americans refuse to do (and those black slaves were forced to do in previous centuries).

These are low-skill, labour-intensive jobs in unforgiving climates,” he says, but also that these are not limited to the Western nations but also in the more affluent parts of Asia itself too.

“This is now our destiny as brown people. Our labour is needed, but citizenship is denied; our presence as Muslims or religious minorities is offered as an example of the tolerant, diverse societies in which we live, but we continue to be feared,” says Al Solaylee.

And there is no difference whether this is deliberate or mistaken as he goes to cite the cases of the racist slurs on Sikh volunteers feeding the homeless in Manchester in the wake of the May 2017 terror attack, or the fatal shooting of Indian techie Srinivas Kuchibhotla in the US in February 2017 by an American who thought he and his friend were Iranians and screaming at them to “get out of his country”.

Al Solaylee contends we think of brown as a “continuum, a grouping — a metaphor, even — for the millions of darker-skinned people who, in broad historical terms, have missed out on the economic and political gains of the post-mobility, equality and freedom”. They are now living, he says, among former colonial masters where they are “transforming themselves from nameless individuals with swarthy skins into neighbours, co-workers and friends”.

You may also like: List of 50 People who have affected Hinduism in a Negative Manner 

And it is their story he tells — both in their homes from the Philippines to Sri Lanka and workplaces from Hong Kong to the Gulf as well as Western Europe and North America.

Al Solaylee, however, starts with first recounting his own childhood experience on learning he is brown after seeing an English movie featuring a white child and coming to terms with “brownness” in his journeys around the world and interactions with other browns (fairness creams figure largely as well as the concern that he settle down) as well as Brown’s significance in nature and culture.

He then takes up the human obsession with race, despite the concept being debunked, except in politics before his exploration of the experiences and consequences of being brown around the world.

A stirring travelogue, incisive social and political comment and a passionate cry to rise above unavoidable consequences of geography and genes, this invaluable work rises in importance beyond its subject to be a seminal guide to the world today — and what it will soon be — particularly the US. IANS