is wearing a safety pin going to help combat post-brexit racism?

Kickstarted on Twitter, a new campaign is encouraging people to wear a #safetypin to show solidarity with immigrants in the UK. But is the gesture really enough to tackle the onslaught of racist behaviour?

by Lula Ososki
29 June 2016, 4:18pm

According to the National Police Chiefs' Council, hate crimes have risen by 57% in the UK following last week's disappointing Brexit vote. In response to the videos and accounts of abuse that have been flooding social media, Twitter user @cheeahs has started a new campaign, fighting racism and violence with safety pins. Through a series of tweets, Allison asked the UK to join her in wearing a safety pin to show solidarity with both immigrants in the UK and EU citizens, signifying that they are "A safe person to sit next to on a bus, walk next to on a street, even have a conversation with." The campaign quickly spread across social media on Tuesday night, with #safetypin subsequently trending in the UK.

Despite the positive incentive, there has been a backlash of criticism highlighting some valid points against the campaign. Yes a safety pin is a nice gesture, but many have questioned the subtlety of the campaign, suggesting that it is both passive and self-justifying rather than an act of positive change. One Twitter user shared "The safety pin is literally the visual symbol of "not all white people" alongside Broadly's UK editor, Zing Tsjeng who tweeted "It makes me feel sad that people need to resort to meaningless sartorial tricks to feel good, rather than being brave enough to INTERVENE."


Text Lula Ososki
Image via Wikipedia

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