Safety Pin Tribalism and Virtue Signalling Nonsense

I was reading a post this morning (honestly, it was almost noon because I’m a lazy ass) about the new safety pin phenomenon. If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, here’s what the creator of the safety pin movement said:

The founder of the campaign, who tweets as @Cheeah, told the BBC ‘This is meant to be more than just a symbolic gesture or a way for like-minded people to pat each other on the back.If people wear the pin and support the campaign they are saying they are prepared to be part of the solution. It could be by confronting racist behaviour, or if that is not possible at least documenting it. More generally it is about reaching out to people and letting them know they are safe and welcome.’ she says.

Anyhow, it was created after the Brexit vote and recently it has been taken up by anti-Trump supporters. Reading the above quote makes it sound harmless, but that’s how most SJW (Social Justice Warrior) nonsense flies under the radar – it seems harmless and appeals to people’s feels.

You might be asking yourself, ‘But GC….what could be so wrong with wearing a safety pin?’

Let me explain.

It can make some people feel less safe

From the article I quoted above:

While I think it’s great – amazing, even – that people are protesting en masse against Brexit racism, and are saying it’s not okay, this isn’t how solidarity works. When I’m sitting on a train and I see your safety pin, I don’t think: “Hurrah, now I feel safe. My default expectation from you as a human being in society is to not be racist or call me a Paki on my morning commute. Wearing a safety pin just reminds me that I’m not safe, and telling me that you’re on ‘my side’ just reinforces the idea of sides.I don’t want sides. I want to go to work, do my job, go to the pub and not have to wear my race on my sleeve while doing it.’

I had a bunch of other issues with this whole campaign, but I have to admit that before reading that quote, I had never thought of it in that way before.

It promotes in-group and out-group dynamics

Basically, it promotes tribalism. You can identify ‘your’ tribe by seeing if they’re wearing a safety pin, and label anyone who refuses to wear the silly pin as a racist or some other ‘ism’.

This is not a healthy way of promoting diversity and acceptance. It’s basically categorizing people into smaller and smaller groups. Not wearing a safety pin doesn’t mean you’re racist or that you hate minority groups.

In fact, most people aren’t racist and the best way of ascertaining whether they are or are not racist is through their actions, and not the wearing of a safety pin.

Anyone can wear a safety pin

Anyone can wear a safety pin. You could be a card carrying member of the KKK and put a safety pin on in the morning.

In other words, the pin proves nothing and could actually be used to lull people into a false sense of security.

Back to the original blog post that sparked this one

In the original blog post I read, she had this to say:

At first, I thought that this was a great way to show solidarity and to let people know that they’re not alone.

However, if you put a safety pin on in the the morning to wear throughout the day and that is ALL you’re doing to “support” underrepresented or minoritized group then no thank you. Your fake support isn’t wanted or needed.

Exactly. The pin doesn’t DO anything. It’s just a cheap way for people to feel good about being in the right tribe without having to lift a finger. It’s called virtue signalling.

Look at my pin! I’m a good person…right?…right?

I’m on your team. Look at me. Look at me.

And shouldn’t you be supporting people, no matter their skin color? I mean, if I see a white woman being raped in a dark alley, shouldn’t I do something about it? What if I see a white man being beaten in the streets?

How about supporting people no matter their skin color.

If you voted for Trump but wear a safety pin and can’t see the irony in that, take it off.

Besides its obvious silliness, why should they take it off? Just because someone voted for Trump doesn’t mean they’re racists. There are a host of reasons why someone might have voted for Trump, including voting against entitled Leftists who think they can tell people what to wear based on which political candidate they voted for.

If you can’t check your own privilege or feel uncomfortable when that word is brought up, then you definitely shouldn’t be wearing one.

Finger. Wag. Wag. You bad, bad people. Listen to me and do what I say. Let me throw (or parrot) this buzzword at you without any sort of argument to back it up. If you disagree, you’re a problem. You must be a racist or something.

Being an ally is more than an identity, it’s an action. And by action, I do not mean wearing a pin. If you really think that that is enough, then that’s a part of the problem. At the end of the day, you wearing a pin means nothing.

Finally we can agree on something. So consider taking the virtue signalling, tribal pin off and just strive to be a good person who believes in equality between people no matter their skin color, sex, sexual orientation or religious affiliation.

 

 

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16 Comments

  1. I can understand your reasoning, even if I dont entirely support it. When 9/11 happened, suddenly everyone and his neighbor started nailing US flags to the barn door, or wrapping them around car antennas, (all of which is not considered the right way to handle the flag, by the way), and got really hostile about it.
    One woman I saw (and she had the face to go with the attitude) had had her pickup truck painted as if it were a giant flag. yikes.

    What I did feel, because it was such an aggressive behavior, that if we had lived on a road where people could actually see our house, someone sooner or later would want to know why we were the only ‘commies” in the neighborhood and refused to fly the flag. it was a bit unsettling.

    I see the similarities to this, but at this point I dont see it as a kind of flag waving aggressive stance, but rather a way of saying, hey, it’s okay here. There are, GC, a LOT of nervous people out there right now. Women of varying colors, people who have recently emigrated here, people who are third generation americans but look like they “might’ be immigrants, aliens, or muslims…this man has shredded gays, blacks, the spanish, muslims, women, kids.
    Right now we have no idea if he is going to back up on it or bear down harder once he’s in office.

    What he has done is made it permissible to haul out the racist and homophobic leanings so many people at this stage are still quietly clinging to. He’s making it okay to hate your neighbor.

    • Thanks for your thoughts Judy! I always love reading them.

      I understand the fear. I think we see it every year. The other side always says things will be horrible and then very little changes.

      However, I do acknowledge that this year seems to be the worst for the ‘climate of fear’ than previous years that I can remember.

      I did watch his 60 minutes interview yesterday and I think he’s backing away from most of his most ridiculous policy suggestions. The wall is now a better fence, for example.

      Regardless, I think this pin thing sends the wrong message, isn’t going to do anything and will just push the population into smaller tribes instead of unify them.

      • thanks,GC/ If you notice, so far it’s been mostly women, as far as I know. Women are much more nervous about this guy because he is such an ass when it comes to women.

        Im hoping you’re right about his backing down (Oh, I love that, “we well build a fence. With maybe a gate?”) but you have to remember if he could say it and reneg he can also unsay it and reneg three days later…

        • … you have to remember if he could say it and reneg he can also unsay it and reneg three days later…

          Boy! Ain’t that the truth!

          BTW, GC, I tend to agree with your thoughts on the safety pin. I think the idea behind it has some merit, but what you say makes sense.

          • “BTW, GC, I tend to agree with your thoughts on the safety pin. I think the idea behind it has some merit, but what you say makes sense.”

            Thanks Nan!

            I don’t think the idea has merit. I think it came from a good place, but can only really be harmful in the long run. I don’t think identity politics works. 🙂

        • ” but you have to remember if he could say it and reneg he can also unsay it and reneg three days later…”

          Haha. True. But sadly that’s the nature of politicians.

          Hillary was totally against gay marriage but during her campaign she was all for it.

          Obama was going to close Gitmo. It’s still up and running.

  2. Okay, appreciate this. I never thought of it like that. Maybe there are some people like me who want to do something but can’t for some reason. What can I do as a pretty much home bound person? Had a chat with my 16 year old grandson about T because he said he would have voted for him. I asked him why and we discussed it a bit. It was interesting to hear from a young voice that I respect. I wish more parents and grandparents took this opportunity to converse with kids. They’ll be voting next time.

  3. I think that’s it. We feel helpless in the face of this onslaught of in-yo-face politics. It undermines, in our view, all the things that so many people worked so hard to establish. I sincerely hope he gets backed into a corner on this stuff.
    But the helpless feeling doesnt go away. if all we have is a safety pin, is that so terrible? My god, man, would you even deprive us of that? (falls to her knees. sobs. crawls away)

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