Solidarity and Safety

Solidarity and Safety

Solidarity and Safety

Like many, I’ve been stunned by the outcome of the presidential election in my country. The pundits may speculate endlessly about how this happened, but it happened. There is no coming together, no healing a nation so divided by a presidential campaign based on racism and misogyny. The president the majority of us chose didn’t win, which points to an electoral system in dire need of reform. In the meantime, hate crimes are occurring increasingly all over the country. Citizens have taken to the streets from coast to coast to protest. And people like myself are trying to process deep grief and depression, let alone a sense of profound embarrassment on the international stage, in the wake of electing the most unqualified individual to the highest office of our nation.

I currently live in a very culturally diverse area of my country. On any given day, I can hear five or more differently languages spoken around me, smell the aromas of many, mouth-watering cuisines in the air, and see people of all hues, my neighbors, peacefully going about their daily lives. This is what I love about living where I do after having grown up in a very xenophobic, small, mainly white town in the northeast. And now, my neighbors live in fear that they will be targeted by the kind of racism and hate this recent presidential campaign seeks to normalize or even encourage. Indeed, some HAVE been targeted, which our news has reported. I will not stand for it. Not now. Not ever.

When hate crimes increased in the wake of Britain’s Brexit, an American woman living in London suggested wearing a simple symbol that would signify solidarity with those being targeted…..a safety pin. Now, I see people on social media suggesting we adopt this same symbol in the U.S. to show our solidarity, our willingness to stand up and support anyone we see targeted by hate. For myself, I dug out every safety pin I shoved into a drawer over the years and linked them into a bracelet, which I wear.

My country has come too far to surrender the better angels of our nature to racism, misogyny, and xenophobia. We can’t. We won’t.

One thought on “Solidarity and Safety

  1. A sad day for our nation. Thank you, Kristina for expressing your view so eloquently. Yes, there are political actions necessary to take now, and maintaining vigilant oversight of our elected officials in order now. But, what are these Trump voters really trying to tell us? What can we learn from this outburst of fear and hatred embodied in “our” President-elect? Is it time for a more serious, compassionate dialog of our original sin – slavery? One of the problems addressing our multi-layered national divide is the fact that sexism, racism, religious intolerance, nativism and other fears are so deep in one’s psyche that they rest in a comfortable place of denial. And, how can we discuss topics that are not recognized by half the population? I don’t have answers, I’m just glad my friends and family members are talking about this now – showing real care and concern for a place we think is already great. As opposed to a place that has to go backwards in time in order to be “great again”.

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