I’ve added a new accessory to all my clothes these days — a safety pin. It seems innocuous to those who haven’t heard about how this simple “fashion statement” has been used in Great Britain since the vote to leave the EU elevated anti-immigrant vitriol to new heights.
Thanks to social media, this symbol of safety has become a way to say, “I am a safe person. I will stand with you if someone bullies you. I will not remain a bystander when mean-spirited words are spoke or actions are taken.” It is my quiet commitment to be not just a witness but an ally to those who are feeling the most vulnerable in this time of seemingly unlimited celebration of misogyny, racism, xenophobia and homophobia.
It is my way of saying, “Not on my watch.” It requires of me a vigilance to remember that wherever I go, I am accountable to my brothers and sisters of whatever backgrounds to be available if they need me. I know that some may not ask or even notice that I am wearing my pin. But I know. And I will do my best to live up to my promise.
We are one human family and I am determined to be a compassionate presence no matter the circumstances. I hope you will join me.
The Rev. Kristi Denham
The letter writer is the pastor of the Congregational Church of Belmont.