PSA: A RECENT INCREASE IN HATE CRIMES HAS MADE PUBLIC SPACES A MUCH SCARIER PLACE TO TRAVERSE FOR A GREAT MANY PEOPLE. :[
Wearing a simple safety pin on the left side of your chest or on your collar has become a silent symbol of unity, used to inform members of ethnic and social minority groups (who may be concerned about being targeted by offenders) that you will stand up for them should they need you to.
Along the same thinking, Kieran created this hashtag to:
a) help spread a message that hate or abuse of any kind directed toward any group of people is not only unjustified and unwelcome, but goes against the exact same sense of “greatness” many of us are striving for these days: After all, how will spewing out and basking in senseless hate make ANYTHING “great” again?
b) help create an online network of support for people who genuinely feel like you have no one on your side right now. A number of people have criticized Kieran for how vocal he has been about the US election, but regardless of distance, he believes a sense of unity, comfort, understanding and support can effectively bridge any number of miles.
Through the #HATEISNTGREAT message, Kieran hopes to spread a method of thinking where both allies and would-be allies are encouraged to stand up and intervene *peacefully* on behalf of the victim when they see others being bullied, harassed, or abused in public or online, and hateful speak is not only discouraged, but is addressed when it occurs with civility, kindness, pity, even a sense of understanding, but never with rage or hate in return. We aim to create a sense of community and a feeling of unity within a very, very disenfranchised and disenchanted world.
So feel free to use the hashtag on social media to meet others, as well as take this message out into the world. And remember…
>>> STAY SAFE. Always keep personal safety and the safety of others as your top priority.
>>> STAY STRONG. Always keep your head up, never let the bastards grind you down.
>>> RISE ABOVE. Don’t return their hate and ignorance with hate and ignorance of your own.
If you see someone harassing another person, the most effective way you can both be an ally to the victim and diffuse the situation is the peacefully make your presence known. Sit down with the victim and engage them in pleasant, polite conversation, calmly ignoring and not engaging the harasser at all. Remember: your solidarity is the most powerful thing you can offer!
While I recommend everyone wear a simple safety pin, as it’s the cheapest option and everyone usually has one lying around, I do also have some cute safety pin inspired buttons for sale. I’ve thrown a couple on my jackets and toques along with my safety pins. If I end up making more than $50 in profit off of these though, I’m going to look into donating a good portion of the proceeds to a charity that seems to fit the theme. Thanks!