Thursday, November 17, 2016

Meanwhile on the Left

An ugly fight has broken out over the crucial issue of whether to wear safety pins:
In the wake of Donald Trump’s presidential victory, the safety pin has emerged as a symbol of unity: a way for people — regardless of their politics — to show they are allies and do not stand for the kind of violence and abuse that has emerged and been reported on since Trump was elected last week.

Wearing a safety pin began as a gesture of kindness. But some people also see it as a performative, bullshit type of “slacktivism,” arguing that it allows people to pat themselves on the back without actually trying to fix the problems they say are important.
Like this from the Huffington Post:
No. Just no. Please, take it off. . . . We don’t get to make ourselves feel better by putting on safety pins and self-designating ourselves as allies. And make no mistake, that’s what the safety pins are for. Making White people feel better.
Which incidentally is another article by a white guy headlined "Dear White People."

And there, my friends, is why the Left in America has never amounted to much. So long as leftists spend all their energy fighting among themselves over who is pure enough and who is doing or not doing enough for the cause, nothing will change.


Shadow said...

"They’re most useful when a button pops off your shirt or — according to pop culture imagery — to fasten a baby’s cloth diaper."

Yes, they were used on cloth diapers. I saw them. I guess that puts me in the checkout lane.

PS: I'm saved and still relevant.

G. Verloren said...

Wearing a safety pin is a symbol of your willingness to put yourself in harm's way to protect others from violence. It's a "safety" pin, signifying that the person wearing it will go out of their way and make use of their social privilege to help other less privileged individuals remain safe.

So of course, by all means, if you see someone wearing such a pin who then fails to make good on their promise to protect others, absolutely condemn them for that failure, because they're making false promises on a matter of vital importance.

But condemning people merely for the gesture itself, without any actual evidence that it is insincere, simply out of paranoid suspicion? That I can't abide.

There's a saying: "We suspect of others what we know of ourselves."

For myself, if I see someone wearing a "safety" pin, I will take the gesture at face value and assume they are sincere in their message - because I know that in their place, I myself would be sincere.

At the same time, if you're the sort of person who instantly assumes such people are just opportunistically exploiting the symbol insincerely for their own selfish ends, I think that probably says more about you personally than it does about them.

Shadow said...

Good post, G.