So, if you've been paying even the slightest bit of attention to world news in the last week or so, you'll know that Britain is on fire. Not literally on fire, mind you (but, it might as well be).
Without delving too deeply into the minutiae of European geo-political relations, Britain voted to leave the economic safety net that is the European Union. That's a huge story, but what's even more worrying than total economic collapse, is the alarming rise of racist and xenophobic attacks taking place across Britain since the vote.
Anti racism campaigners, Far Right Watch, have reported a staggering 90 incidents of racially motivated attacks since the vote took place. Sky News are also reporting that hate crimes are up 57% in Britain since Brexit.
Understandably, people are a bit mortified at the whole thing.
A racist attack on anyone from anywhere on British soil is an attack on all of us, our values, and is against all that makes Britain great!— Mark Pritchard (@MPritchardMP) June 27, 2016
Angry about a brick being lobbed through the front window of a house in my street last night, frightening a young family #racistattack— Marverine Cole (@TVMarv) June 27, 2016
Forced myself to look at #PostRefRacism and mate. My heart goes out to all of you. Be safe. Above all else be safe.— Nikesh Shukla (@nikeshshukla) June 27, 2016
That's why some clever soul came up with the #safetypin twitter trend.
The idea behind #safetypin is simple. Many are wearing safety pins in a show of solidarity. The idea is that, these attacks are allowed to happen because bystanders either don't make a move to help or don't know how to help. The pins are meant to assure immigrants out and about that they are supported by the wearer and, should anything pop off, they're here for them.
The trend hasn't been met with all cheery responses though.
Some people are having a tough time understanding why the #safetypin trend is even necessary.
I'm not wearing a #safetypin to prove that I'm not a halfwit.— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) June 29, 2016
I mean, okay. Thanks for the wonderful insight, Piers.
I don't love #safetypin. Show you are an ally in yr community by being an ally. If it's hard, try harder.— princess of farts (@Becca_DP) June 28, 2016
This #safetypin thing is just another reason for a load of bellends to post selfies on the Internet and make it all about them.— Conor (@Conjob123) June 29, 2016
Why do u need a #safetypin to show you're not racist? Surely u should just not be racist as a default setting, maybe?— EmilyBaah (@EmilyBaah) June 29, 2016
I think we can all agree that a safety pin isn't going to save anyone's life and wearing one doesn't make you a better person than a non-pin wearer. The point is that people who would like to express solidarity with a recently traumatized group of people are totally entitled to do that any way they see fit.
Life is too short to get mad at people for showing they care about others.
In the face of what is likely Britain's hardest week in recent memory (I mean, seriously? Knocked out in the Euros by Iceland?!) it's heartwarming that the British public is standing up to racially motivated attacks and adding their voices to the chorus of people saying, "not in my name".