Monday, November 14, 2016

MacGyver Can Save the World With a Safety Pin. Will You?

Last Wednesday morning, millions of young people arose from bed in a new America that targets them for harm. In New America, they will be subjected to increased overt ridicule and violence because of their color, or their parentage, or their gender, or how they worship, or who they love. Emboldened by the overt racism and sexism expressed by the leader of New America, the worst forms of schoolyard bullying have been implicitly encouraged. Formal government policy will soon threaten the very hearths and homes of families who do not match the narrow white, rural, christian mold of New America.

For those young people who are our students in colleges across New America, their concerns about whether they will be able to turn in a quality term paper by the due date must now give way to present and tangible fears that their parents will be deported, their scholarships will be revoked, they will be sexually assaulted with impunity or they will be physically beaten because of who they are.

College educators across New America have begun to make conspicuous pronouncements that the values of diversity and inclusiveness will not be compromised in their domains.  Hopefully, college and university administrators will soon follow suit. But each of us must not hesitate to act individually to maintain a culture of safety and inclusion for the emotional and educational well-being of the young people who look to us for guidance.

The Brexit vote in Great Britain created similar dangers for immigrants in the UK. To send a message of support for those who had been suddenly further marginalized, some Britons took to wearing safety pins to express their support.  The pin says to those who now must fear attack from all quarters, “You are safe with me.  I will support you.” The movement has begun here as well.

Wearing the pin is not about making ourselves feel better. It is integral to the fulfillment of our obligation as educators and nurturers. We must allay the anxieties of our students who are fearful and threatened and wondering if they will ever again be safe.

Wearing a pin is no substitute for the advocacy, vigilance, awareness, agitation, and determination that must support any social movement.  It is a gesture of trifling effort providing potentially life-saving comfort to those whose lives have been thrust into turmoil. Wear your pin with commitment to the values of equality and inclusion that were among Old America’s greatest aspirations . . . and share this with a friend.

Mark DeAngelis
Asst. Prof. in Residence, BLAW
Immigrant's Son


Add a Star Wars Rebel Alliance logo to your pin for additional symbolism:
Image result for star wars rebel logo with safety pin

Click here for source of image.

And it begins: Click here to see confederate flags at a California Veteran's day parade.  And here to read about the overt incidents of hate, racism and intolerance spreading across the nation like blood draining from its veins. 

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