The Safety in the Safety Pin

Curtis M. Hendel

We have become a nation of small symbols.  Years ago the Blue Star Banner was put up to show that a loved one from that household was serving overseas.  That became a Gold Star when their loved one was killed in his or her service.  Another similar one was the Yellow Ribbon, symbolizing that loved one overseas with the promise to wait for them to return.

Now there are the small symbols for many causes; Breast Cancer, other illnesses, POW/MIA etc, etc.  Don’t get me wrong; these small symbols can be nice.  Many of the symbols involving the military are deeply felt by those that wear them.  Symbols of illness can show a link to a close loved one that succumbed to that very disease.

In the last month a new symbol has grown in popularity.  It has nothing to do with reality, but with a perceived threat.  Part of our nation is so emotionally damaged by the results of our Presidential Election that they are reaching for anything.  I guess this new trend should not surprise anybody who paid attention to the “Hands up don’t shoot” knee jerk lie from Ferguson.  Even our professional athletes and national legislators jumped on that bandwagon and rode it even after it was proven false.

In the wake of the election of Donald Trump to the Presidency of the United States of America displaced liberals picked the safety pin, that’s right, the safety pin, as a symbol of honor.  They say “In wearing this pin on my coat/shirt I am showing the oppressed that they are safe with me”.

I would love the opportunity to ask one of them what they are doing besides wearing that pin to help the oppressed.  And exactly who are the oppressed.  This year, more than 700 murders have occurred in Chicago alone, many of them in black communities.  So am I to believe that this is going to get worse under Trump?  Or is the incendiary rhetoric from this White House really going to take a turn for the worse?  Race relations, and relations with Law Enforcement, are the worst they have been in decades.  Just how is President Trump going to make this worse?

Even as important as that idea is, will these safety pin warriors take their pins to the inner cities and help to defend the oppressed from danger?  Are they going to patrol problem areas and wait for someone to see their pin and come for help?  And then will they stand in the face of gunfire to protect anybody?  They promised to by putting that pin on, is the promise good?  I am willing to bet that most of them donning the pins have no exposure to the inner cities where their protectants live.  So in wearing these pins they are just jumping on a bandwagon to nowhere.

I liken this to the Kaepernick debacle.  What he started was a worthless trend that will never actually help anybody.  I would have challenged him to take his millions to the inner city and actually help people instead of just live off his wealth and dirty his kneepads.  If someone chooses to wear one of the safety pin symbols I would challenge them to find a way to get involved.  I am a realist; I know that they won’t.

For many, wearing the pin is an empty display of caring for an issue that they don’t understand.  There seems to be a lot of this going around in the last few years.  Ignorance is bliss.