After the election: The power of a pin or button

I’m home for the second day in a row feeling nauseated; I really haven’t been able to eat much lately (or really wanted to; nausea will do that to you).  And while I joke that the weight loss is nice (though I know it’s an unhealthy rate), it kind of really sucks.

I’m probably not making it any better by continuing to be engaged with social media. (I know it’s not just stress – my normal stress response is to eat, not stop eating.) I’m going to take some anti-nausea meds and try to ignore it all for a little bit.

Which is a luxury I have that so many others do not.1

As an old friend of mine pointed out yesterday, the things that I see as new and horrible don’t really seem new to him.

I kept sharing articles and reports – from people I know – about the harrassment and worse that they experienced over the last few days. He acknowledged that they were real, yes. But he didn’t have the same sense of urgency that I did.

Not because they weren’t bad things. Not because they weren’t bigotry.

They’re the things that have been happening every day for a long, long time that I got to miss out on because I’m a straight white male.

I hate it when I forget my own privilege.

So I’m going to do whatever I need to in order to recuperate enough today to make it to a local protest this evening.

It’s not because I think it will change the outcome of the election. (While I’d welcome the reverse of 2000, I am definitely not holding my breath.)  I’m not an idiot.

It’s because I am not okay with discrimination and bigotry.

It’s because, even if that discrimination and bigotry isn’t anything new, it should never have been okay in the first place.

Regardless of who you voted for, do you feel that bigotry does not belong in our country? Do want to quietly – but powerfully – communicate that sentiment to those you care about?

There’s at least two options I’m aware of.

The first is the white rose. I’ve been advocating this for a while. A primer as to what it is and why, links to resources for allies, a way to add the rose to your social media avatar, place to get buttons of your own (or plans to get/make them elsewhere) are all at .  I’ve seen other people doing the same thing with other designs; use whatever works well for you.

The second is the Brexit-inspired safety pin. Wear one, carry others. Very simple, ubiquitous, and perhaps less confrontational.  If you are worried about retaliation, dress codes, or for whatever reason can’t or don’t want to wear a button, this is a great option.

Again, this isn’t about who you voted for.

I’m choosing to hope that many of those who voted for Trump are as horrified as I am that the KKK and white supremacists view a Trump win as a mandate for their breed of bigotry and hate.

I’m choosing to hope that many of those who voted for Trump are as horrified as I am about the attacks on my friends who are people of color, Muslims, LGBTQ, or other marginalized groups.

And in the meantime, I will be wearing a button, or safety pin, or at a protest.

Not because it will change the outcome of the election.

But to let the others out there who are scared and frightened know that they are not alone.

1 This applies as well if you read this as having the economic ability to take time off work because I’m sick.