On November 9th I desperately wished there were something that I could wear to tell people I would stand by them, that I would stand up to protect them.
Now there is something I can do. The #SafetyPin movement, originally seen around Brexit, is taking hold in america. This is a basic thing that you can do – wearing a safety-pin visibly on your clothing – to signal to people that you are a safe place, that you will stand by them.
This is a basic thing that you can do, but don’t make the mistake of confusing it with an easy one. This is a commitment to stand up against wrongs, to be there to help those in dangerous situations. It will not always be a simple thing to do.
This is a commitment to really stand by the principle of love, to extend yourself to be there for a person in need.
If you’re ready to take that commitment, to really stand up for others, be sure to educate yourself as to how. There are effective ways to handle harassment that you encounter, good ways to stand up to hatred.
I’ve gathered a small list of resources (and will be continuing to gather resources) for how you might be able to stand up. Please, help in contributing to this list of resources.
This is a particularly good illustrated guide, with a focus on Islamophobic harassment, it is applicable to many situations.
The basics of stepping in when someone is being harassed are this: You ignore the abuser, but rather concentrate on the one who is being harassed or intimidated. You engage with them, talk to them, and create a safe space by being there for them.
You need to also make sure that you are watching out for your own safety. Don’t be afraid to call 911 if the situation warrants.
Stand up against Hate. Don’t simply stand by and watch it happen, don’t turn your head and pretend to not see. Intervene. Stay safe, be smart, and be there.