drwex (drwex) wrote,

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To pin or not to pin

(Brief aside: your word for today is "kakistocracy")

Today I'm wearing a safety pin to work. I've been debating about whether I should do so - whether I have the right, whether doing so will help or hurt. Last night over dinner I discussed with silentq and she suggested I should do it. Further input is sought.

Here's a bit of my thought process...

For comparison, I'm both happy and proud to wear a Backup Project ribbon at Arisia. When I'm there I feel I'm part of an organization that is taking active steps to create and promote an inclusive, harassment-free, diverse event and environment. I wear a Staff ribbon as part of the group that organizes and puts on the con and I think it's important to pair those two things. I want myself and other Staff to be examples of the best our community can be.

Now step outside the bubble of Arisia and into late-2016 America. The safety pin is intended as a symbol of personal promise to stand up against similar things - harassment, hatred, phobias and *isms like isolationism, racism, and sexism. It's a statement against hate, and particularly the hate that Trump gave voice to that came from the basket of deplorables within his supporters. [1]

The problem is that basket of deplorables, that core of hate, is me/us. It's white guys. Trumpism is a white guy problem - we made him and it's on us to fix this. When a person of color, or a woman, wears a pin they are making a statement of peer support. As a cis, able, white guy with a good job I'm in a position of great privilege and also likely to avoid direct ill effects of Trumpism. That my friends and people I care about will be hurt is virtually certain but you can't know that from looking at me.

[1] I still think it's important to identify distinctions between "Trump voter" and the core racists, anti-Semites, sexists, and bigots within that group. It's mostly aside from this post, though.

So, friends, what do you think when you see a white guy wearing a pin? What if you saw me wearing one? Am I helping, or possibly making things worse?
Tags: politics, thinky stuff
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