Yesterday, as I watched a mother in a hijab pick up her child from school, I wondered – Does she know I’d be a friend? Does she know I’d have her back? Or would she think I was just another white face she couldn’t trust?
I wished there was something I could wear to show I was someone who was on her side, and on the side of my friend who’s wondering if his marriage will become invalid. To teens who feel they might be bullied because they weren’t Donald Trump’s vision of America.
I came home and asked if there was anything like that and heard about how after Brexit, people wore safety pins to show they were “safe”. That they’d help combat the hatred spewed outwards. I thought “Hmm…that’s simple enough…”
As the day went on, many thoughts crashed through my head. One of them was this – I am mad at Donald Trump and the wall he wants to build and the fact that bullies of all ages now seem to feel it’s okay to spray “Make American White Again” on walls. No, really, this is happening. This is happening in MY country. Because you know what? It’s MY country too. It’s my country, my Hispanic neighbor’s country, my African American friends country, my LGBT friends country, my disabled daughter’s country, my kid’s country.
This is our country too dammit.
My daughter told me about the safety pin idea, as she saw it on Instagram. I told her how I knew about it…and then, I had an idea….
Back when I was in 5th grade, we made friendship pins. You’d take a safety pin, and put beads on it, hooking one pin into another, trading them. I had an awesome amount of friendship pins because my mom was an artist and a seamstress – we had all the supplies and funky buttons and beads. I loved my friendship pins.
And I told my daughter – we need some friendship pins.
And she was like – omg. yes.
So we went out, we bought pins and beads and thought about the color scheme. This is what we came up with.
There’s red, white, and blue because this is OUR country too. But after those are orange beads. Because orange is the anti-bullying color. And right now, we need to be aware of bullying, and stand against it. Silver because…well…we needed something neutral on the end.
This is our start. It’s not much, but it’s something. We are making a bunch of these for her to pass out at school, and maybe pass out in the community. More than ever, we need to know that we have friends out there, and we need to let the bullies of all ages know that this is OUR country too.
UPDATE – In searching for what colors mean what…turns out orange? Is also the awareness color for…drumroll please…racial tolerance!
Something some of us could really use right now <side eyes a bunch of voters>
UPDATE AGAIN – a reader asked how to pin it because you’re putting beads on the pin side. And I was like “Oh, duh! Not everyone was a girl in 1985 south side Chicago making chains of frienship pins!”
Simply take a second safety pin and hook them together through the big open part. You can then have a “chain” of pins if you add more.
BUT WAIT – THERE’S MORE!
Another reader sent me a link to how to move the beads to the other side, if you don’t want to double up on pins – http://www.firemountaingems.com/resources/ask-the-experts/9b3j