Safety Pins, Pumpkin Spice, and the Novelty of Political Statements

If someone had told me that the 2016 election would have resulted in political discussions of coffee flavorings and clothes pins, I would have told them they were lying. Yet, here we are. And it actually kinda makes sense.

Immediately following the election of Donald J. Trump to the presidency by large swaths of mostly rural and southern White Americans, in a surge of “allyship” artifice on the Internet, the “safety pin” idea was born. It is a passive gesture Huffington Post called “incredible” that is meant to show marginalized groups that those individuals wearing safety pins on their clothing are anti-racism, anti-xenophobia, anti-homophobia, and so on. Around the same time, I saw a clever meme on social media that suggested that sprinkling a little bit of pumpkin spice on racism might attract white women’s attention to it as a salient issue. Other comments suggested that avocados were the way to go or maybe yoga pants.

I will admit that I chuckled when I read about the “political “development of safety pin wearing and the satirical criticism of White women’s lack of excitement around issues that they don’t believe personally affect them.

I laughed at the pumpkin spice and avocado references namely because “pumpkin spice racism” and “racism with a side of guac” both sounded ridiculous and completely plausible at the same time. But, what’s more important, I laughed because it was true. I knew that the passion I had already seen from White women to protect their cherished seasonal orange everythingness was far greater than anything I had seen from them when people of color were systematically and structurally oppressed before their very eyes.

Read the full post at Water Cooler Convos.