Save Your Safety Pins, White Friends. You Could Have Voted Safety.


Save your safety pins.

If you’re a white person and you voted for Donald Trump, it’s a little too late to pretend you’re a safe space for people of color, for Muslims, for the LGBTQ community, for immigrants, for women. You had a chance to be that. You had a chance to make your country that.

Now is not the time to profess concern for the well-being of those in marginalized communities. That was what the election was about. That was your opportunity to speak and you spoke, and regardless of what you say now, your vote was the loudest and most powerful declaration you could have made.

There were no secrets in this campaign. It was all out there for everyone to see. The candidates were household names with track records and well documented resumes and a massive body of work on which to make a decision—and you decided.

And so for whatever reasons you had for choosing the President-Elect, you also chose not to make violence toward minorities a deal breaker. You declared that whatever bigotry and misogyny and anti-Semitism gained traction and legitimacy in our Government with a Trump Administration, all constituted acceptable loses. Whatever your religious convictions or your economic priorities or your stance on the social issues you hold dear (all of which may be valid), you were also willing to live with collateral damage to those who are already the most vulnerable—and you now have to live with that.

As Donald Trump’s cabinet becomes populated by those who occupied the most extreme fringes of the Right, marginalized communities and those who sought to protect them with their votes, are getting more and more confirmation that our fears were well founded. And if you voted for Trump or you abstained from voting, no amount of office supplies will make it okay.

Safety pins aren’t going protect gay people’s right to marry.
Safety pins aren’t going to give the sick and the poor access to 
Safety pins aren’t going to make it easier for sexual assault victims to step forward.
Safety pins aren’t going to fix the way voter i.d. laws are silencing already quieted voices.
Safety pins aren’t going to keep Christian extremists from the Supreme Court.

Safety pins aren’t going to shield those with brown skin and headwraps from profiling and violation.
Safety pins aren’t going to ensure women autonomy regarding their own bodies.
Safety pins aren’t going to elevate balanced voices to the Senate and the House.

Safety pins aren’t going to give young black men confidence in law enforcement.
Safety pins aren’t going to discourage hate crimes in schools and against affirming churches and in the streets.

So while the idea of safety pin feels like a noble gesture, it is ironically a safe one.

It’s a low-cost way for white people who held their noses and consented to an open bigotry from a Presidential campaign, the likes of which we’ve never seen—to now feel better about themselves. It’s a self-administered emotional balm for the guilt they now carry for the blind spot of privilege. Adding a safety pin to their lapels or social media profile becomes a temporary hallucinogen that tells them everything is now balanced and equal, that their vote is less damaging.

Sadly that’s not how this works.

I’m glad that there are expressions of hope and compassion and decency rising up now in a really painful time for our nation, but I suspect that those really burdened with the suffering of marginalized communities were already safe spaces before, and will continue to be in a day or so when the memes disappear and the momentary social media high wears off. People around us already feel seen and heard and loved.

Those of use for whom discrimination and bigotry are deal breakers, will continue to work and speak and minister and live openly for equality. We will be working for legislation that encourages diversity and protects the vulnerable, and when we have the chance to choose elected officials we will speak loudly again. We will continue to create workplaces and churches and schools and streets that are safe for everyone. If you want to be a part of that, then you won’t need to advertise it, you’ll simply do it—and we will welcome you in this work.

And yes, we will post and wear safety pins because we have tried to be safety pins and because people need to know that we are still here. But we also know that these pins are not enough.

But right now, if you’re a white person who voted for Donald Trump, save your safety pins.

You could have made people feel safe right now.

You could have voted their safety.

Make America safe again.


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277 thoughts on “Save Your Safety Pins, White Friends. You Could Have Voted Safety.

    • David, I feel for you. So many of us have been on the receiving end of Joe’s puke. It is quite clear that Joe is not interested in rational or reasonable conversation at all and just wants to blast everyone that disagrees with him. He evidently rejects the portions of the New Testament that talk about the use of the tongue. Which can be applied to what we write.

      He doesn’t merely disagree with people. He castigates and verbally murders those with whom he disagrees.

      He is a troll and he is here in many disguises. Writing to him as you do only feeds his ego and convinces him he is right. I am sorry to say this but that is what all the available evidence points to.

  1. Lol. Have a great day Joe. Again assumptions based on a few words. The manner of my response was sincere. As I said. You don’t know me. Toughen up guy. I guess sometimes we invite our own critique. I’m off of here.

  2. Well, Jon, that makes FOUR white men who have chewed out people for wearing safety pins. And this is what I wrote to one of them:

    Hope I am not divulging secret-society secrets by saying that the newly-emerging practice of wearing a safety pin as a symbol has come under fire as insensitive and shallow in three articles I have seen WRITTEN BY WHITE MEN.
    For the record, it’s not their job to tell me what to wear, what to do, or – certainly! – what I am thinking. All three articles have stated that clearly the wearing of a safety pin is being considered by the wearer as sufficient response to the U.S.’s contemporary issues of racism. These men think that the pin is a fashion statement made by – primarily women – who are silly and useless. This is what I just wrote to Chris Keelty:
    This article is extremely well written, and covers the very subjects I have been advocating for, for years. But I am going to take umbrage at the snide way in which the idea of the safety pin as a symbol is treated in this column and in another column by a white man which was foisted on us by a well-meaning female member of Pantsuit Nation. You both assume that by clipping a safety pin into a garment, a person kids him or herself that he or she is making a difference. And you and the other writer arrogantly assume that this person is doing nothing else to make any difference.
    Like a person who wears a pin saying “Ask me about becoming a Mary Kay representative,” or just “Have a nice day,” the person who has chosen to put on the pin has decided to start possible conversations. I have a pin from the TakeonHate campaign of the National Network of Arab-American Communities. It simply says, in vivid colors, “Take on Hate.” It has started a number of conversations, in a surprising variety of settings and with a surprising variety of people.
    And the act of putting on the safety pin in the morning is a mnemonic device for the person, a tiny “Fired up? Ready to go.” None of us knows what a day will bring — or we might not get out of bed. But the pin takes a moment out of our preparations to remind us to square our shoulders and make a difference to ourselves, and thereby to others.
    I believe with all my heart that every one of us every day decorates the lives of the people we encounter. A small gesture, a tone of voice, a hand to help, patience when we are feeling impatient — these can make a difference in the lives of those people. We can leave their presence with them feeling valued, or leave them feeling despised and worthless. The day we do the latter is the day we need to take off the pin, look at it, and either live up to it or put it in the junk drawer.
    And last, it is not out of the realm of possibility that a vulnerable human being might see our pin and feel better, even safer, even willing to ask for help.
    As a correspondent on Pantsuit Nation wrote:
    “White dude. A Michigan professor who is African American as well as several who are LGBTQ wrote that the pins are reassuring to them.
    Our privilege is advertised by our skin tone.
    Our willingness to stand up to bigotry is not.”

    • Tess, are you aware that the only white people John P is talking to are white people who voted Republican?

      Having said that, I do love your response to the condescending and patronizing white males who wrote the pieces to which you responded as above.

      I recommend all to google the article title I cite. I apologize that I am not providing the URL. When I do it sends my comments to moderated status and since John P neither moderates or reads the comments, I have to ask you to google. My apologies for the inconvenience.

      Please google:
      Report: University of Michigan student told to remove her hijab or be set on fire

  3. For anyone who thinks a vote for Trump and the Republicans was not a vote for evil, here are examples of the evil your vote has caused.

    Please google:
    Rampant Bigotry And Hate Crimes Surge – It Appears The change Trump Promised Has Arrived

      • My name is not Gloria. Please have the courtesy to use my actual name. If it is too labor intensive to type that, please address me by title, Sister.” Thank you.

        Your allegations about Democrats hiring people to disrupt Trump rallies is false. Please check the facts at

  4. Here’s one for the abortion-obsessed among us

    Please goggle:
    Survey Concludes Christian Women Have More Abortions

  5. I apologize for the length of this post in advance.

    I was born, baptized, and raised catholic. I was taught that babies in the womb were sinners who had to be rushed as quickly as possible to a catholic church so they wouldn’t spend eternity in limbo. In my childish mind I envisioned these babies floating about in space forever. Those poor little sinners.

    I was taught that in order to receive communion I needed to go to confession. There is not a catholic child alive who didn’t make up sins to confess. I mean, at age 7? Before you made you first communion? Really.

    At age 14, while confessing my made-up sins, the priest interrupted me and out of nowhere asked me if I had a boyfriend. I answered yes and he asked if I ever jacked him off. I asked him what that meant. I honestly didn’t know but after my five hail marys and five our fathers I sure made it my business to find out. Thanks, father. You educated me at an early age.

    Now, Joe C. I respect everyone’s religion. I don’t even care if someone worships a tree, a totem pole or any deity of their choice. No one likes abortion but as a man you have to step back and give women the respect of their choice. You will never have an abortion so stop condemning and worrying about it.

    I’d love to know how much you would contribute to all the babies born. Your time? Your money? Feed them? House them? Clothe them? Educate them? Please let us know.

    Finally, I know you are a catholic by choice. Why have you not spoken out as passionately against pedophiles and the institution that protected them for so long? Until you can get pregnant, your ranting about our choices is irrelevant. What is a hoot is your vooting for Trump on that one issue and the laughs on you.

    • Lola, I love what you write here. I had the exact same experiences with making up stuff to confess. Although I never had a priest ask me if I jacked off a boyfriend. I hope you told your parents.

      Joe (and a few others) hs an unhealthy obsession with abortion which he drags into every single blog post regardless whether or not it is appropriate.

      Joe (and a few others) are here solely to be trolls and you can recognize them because they begin their comments with a variant of “John P, you are so nasty” except they are never that polite.

      Some of us have learned it is impossible to have a reasonable conversation with them. They offer bait of sounding reasonable and then they smack us upside the head with insults, rants, and screeds.

      I am sorry to have to say it.

    • Joe,
      I am sure I am wasting keystrokes but I will say this to you anyway:
      First, I am not pro-abortion. I am pro-choice and the choice is up to the mother, her doctor and her faith. It is not for me to say unless and until I can also get pregnant. I do not know what I would do in that situation. Period.

      Second, as a biologist AND a follower of Jesus Christ, I also know that until a certain point in development it is impossible to differentiate between a human embryo and any other mammalian embryo and even then you need a microscope. Do I think that what we call a soul is present then? No. The narratives in Scripture are descriptive in letting us know that God has known US all our lives.

      Third, almost all “pro-life” types are really just “pro-birth” because real and true concern ends at the point of birth regardless of the child’s situation. How many offer to adopt the results of unwanted pregnancies? How many are in favor of capital punishment? It’s hypocrisy to claim to be pro-life if that stance ends with birth.

      Your “one note song” doesn’t help your cause, but then that’s not what you want. You just want to interject your one note into EVERY conversation on this list…..and you really do troll for places to do that.

      You lost credibility with me long ago for that very reason…..not that such matters to you anyway.

      • No Joe it is not a theology of convenience, it is a theology involving 4 years of study and daily Bible reading and prayer.

        You conveniently dodged my other questions….death penalty? How many children have you taken an interest in after they were born?

        What do you do to prevent unwanted pregnancies in teens and youth?

        You, like the President Elect, never actually answered any question put to him…..

        • Bruce, you are a good man and a faithful Christian. I formed this opinion on HoB/D.

          Something I’ve learned about Joe Catholic and his many pseudonyms that he uses here, is that he will not answer any direct question.

          It’s very sad, because if he did, it might be possible to have real dialogue but instead his modas operandi is to draw one in deeper and deeper until one reaizes Joe has an unhealthy and unnatural obsession with abortion.

  6. any one who voted republican voted for this evil

    please google
    Hate crimes against Muslims hit highest mark since 2001

  7. Joe…say what? I….? I…? have the wrong concept of what the catholic church teaches about unborn babies? What? Well, I know you weren’t born and raised… WHAT? Are in a position to tell me that I was wrong about what I was taught? Son of a Bitch: 2&2 equals 4 and unborn babies were sinners at conception. Every hear of original sin? Venial sin? Mortal sin? Sacrilege? BTW original sin is the sin that the unborn are labeled with and their only hope to get into heaven is to be baptized catholic.

    This is my last post. To John P: Thank you for your post “It’s Gonna Be OK”. It got me through the death of my husband at about the same time you lost you father. I started every day saying, “It’s gonna be ok” over and over and ya know, it turned out ok. Again, THANK YOU!

  8. Here is some more evil by those who voted Republican

    Please google:
    Restaurant denies free Veterans Day meal to black veteran after man in Trump shirt accuses him of lying

    • Yep. I wrote to Chili’s and told them that my family has placed a one-year moratorium on eating at any Chili’s location. They will not care—not really. Like most businesses, they are more about defending their employees than serving their customers. The manager who went after this guy will get nothing more than a simple reprimand and a promise of retraining. He deserves crucifixion like the two thieves beside Jesus on the cross.

      • Yeah, Republicans claim to respect vets but they stick to them at every turn. This Trump supporter bigot racist wouldn’t even allow the vet the free meal.

        We are going to see a whole lot more evil such as this. I notice no Republican speaking against either. What does that tell you? They love the Trump effect. And Trump won’t say anything because I am certain he is tickled pink that an effect has been named after him.

        • It has been called the Trump effect so what is in the heart is revealed to us, thanks be to God.

          The interesting thing about the Trump effect is that we can see all Trumps faults, lies and intentions. God’s grace is abundant because we are given full access to what is in his heart through Trumps own words and actions.

          Don’t be fooled. The magician puts on the show and everyone loves the magician even thought the magician has tricked us by his illusions.

  9. Thank you, Susan

    Susan Russell
    17 hrs · Altadena ·
    Thinking you can stick a safety pin on your lapel and make liberty and justice for all a done deal is like hanging a cross around your neck and thinking you’ve made the kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven.

    It is just a sign — just a symbol — of the commitment to be part of the solution. rather than the problem. It is an outward and visible sign of the inward and spiritual determination to be the change you want to see. It is an icon of solidarity that transcends all the labels that have been deployed to divide us.

    And this morning … in line at Starbucks when the young woman in the hijab turned from the counter with her Venti something-or-the-other in her hand and looked at me standing there with my big fat safety pin on my shirt and smiled and nodded her head ever-so-slightly … in that moment of recognition I got all I needed to tell me that wearing a safety pin is a baby step in the right direction on the journey to the place we’re headed. Where liberty and justice for all isn’t just a pledge but a reality. So count me in … for the long haul.

  10. I don’t think it’s the Trump supporters displaying the safety pins. I voted third party, but if this election mattered so much for the safety of minorities, maybe they shouldn’t have nominated such a slop bucket. Safety pins aren’t going to fix anything, and neither are whiny blog posts.

  11. Of course, bu voting third party, you are a contributor to the hate and evil to follow after oaths of office are sworn.

  12. Joe Catholic, I have read many, many of your posts through the past month or so. Like many others I agree that while you are entitled to your opinion I have chosen to just scroll by when I see your name.
    It is obvious that you don’t wish to participate in positive, constructive discussion nor listening, really listening to what is happening in others lives.
    I wish you many blessings as I think you need God’s grace and humility . A proud Canadian where we all just get along and just wash our hands like most people after they use the bathroom.

    • Joe, like all agitators all you accomplish is distracting people and raising their pulses which causes people distress. It’s a typical technique used by bullies to throw people off kilter. It’s not about anyone denying your right to speak or have an opinion it’s about your inability to have a dialogue with others. It’s not compelling.

      If you care about the unborn then you should care exponentially more for the living. Jesus once said “let the dead bury the dead” What he meant was not that he lacked empathy for the dead but that they are gone and our focus should be on the people around us who need hope and on following him.

  13. Joe – the fifth prefect of the Roman province of Judaea from AD 26– 36, washed his hands…..some levity…..

    • I think many already do.
      But I also suspect, for some – it really doesn’t matter.
      Of course, if you (such as yourself) are reasonably principled, armed with appropriate facts and context and (most important) can figure out your audience…you can advocate for alternative viewpoints and principles.
      Anything you can do that helps others overcome fear, self doubt and ignorance is accepted as a naturally positive message and essentially – how change begins to resonate.
      Just my two cents 🙂

    • Joe – I was commenting on the video link but if your question was about the fifth prefect….hmm….probably not….

      • Sirius and Joe, now you are talking to yourself.

        I remember Joe (Catholic) when you were Benny and posted as Joe by mistake in answer to someone who was questioning Benny. You did the same thing on this thread and answered as Joe to a question posed to Sirus.

        As I remember it on a previous blog Benny said he had two computers on the go. Are you paid to troll ?

        • I can assure you – I’m not Catholic Joe by any stretch. You may want to consider the obvious differences in tone and language use.
          Regardless, I hope your earlier question will be answered (theological position) by the author of the commentaries. I am interested also. Cheers.

            • Well, for what its worth – I like your cynicism in this matter as I suspect there are dual personalities here as well.
              Yet, there is little I can do to prove my innocence. Funny how the same could be said of you.

              • Sirius you said “I suspect there are dual personalities here as well.”

                This is a kind of passive admission that detectives notice when people are denying something they have done. They admit others do it and they inadvertently include themselves as part of that group. (as well includes you)

                I accept that Joe Catholic says he is not you because it means that neither Sirus or Joe Catholic is your true name

      • No I am not Charles.

        What I see is you and Sirus working people over as a tag team. Those people are grieving and asking questions and you are battering them with your words and shaming them with your videos. I think it shows a lack of compassion for people and certainly does not further your cause or make anyone think your cause reflects the love of Christ.

        • Hey. I am not Anonymous or any other person here—just the same old Charles. I have no need to be anyone else or to make myself look more numerous. My posts have too many typos to be anyone else here.

  14. Pingback: Fight the dystopia - Carol Cassara

  15. Hey Joe Catholic, Anonymous, and Sirus. I am not very familiar with some internal functions on WordPress, particularly the thing called “Ping Backs.” I was wondering if each of you could go to my blog at the following safe link ( send a Ping Back of one of my blog articles (does not matter which ones) to another blog site—if you know how to do it. I would be interested in what happens when that occurs because my articles are never sent to other blogs. Thanks!!!

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