PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A “safety pin movement” post-Brexit offering solidarity to those who fear they’ll be disenfranchised by a Donald Trump presidency is getting jabbed on social media by those who say it’s no substitute for action.
The campaign originally was launched by an American living in London amid reports of hate crimes in the United Kingdom following that country’s vote in June to leave the European Union. The pin was intended to show that the wearer is a safe person to turn to.
Now the pin has gained popularity in the U.S. following Trump’s election, with some people joining in on social media, posting pictures of themselves.
On Instagram on Monday, Johanna Dickson, 33, posted a selfie with a pin on her shirt. “I chose to be an ally and not be silent,” she wrote.
But she also reminded people that wearing a pin isn’t enough, and she said she plans to make monthly donations to groups such as Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union.
“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,” Dickson said.
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Philadelphia resident Courtney Wilburn, 36, went a bit further in a weekend blog post titled “Why I Don’t Care About Your Safety Pins.” Wilburn described the campaign as “mainly self-serving and useless.”
“It’s for white people who didn’t vote for Trump to identify each other,” she told the AP.
Wilburn, who’s black, said the pin is mainly a “fashion accessory” and “in and of itself cannot help.”
Christopher Keelty, 37, a blogger from New York, echoed her sentiments and encouraged people to get involved instead of wearing a pin.
“I think we all need to take concrete, decisive action. And I would recommend we follow the leadership of minority movements, like Black Lives Matter, that have been trying for a long time to tell the country how to fix things,” he wrote in a Twitter exchange Monday.
This story has been corrected to show the Brexit vote was in June, not July.