Interdependent Web: Unitarian Universalists talk about elections and safety pins

Interdependent Web: Unitarian Universalists talk about elections and safety pins

A weekly roundup of blogs and other user-generated web content about Unitarian Universalism.

Dawn Skjei Cooley


[While the Rev. Heather Christensen, the Interdependent Web’s resident curator, is on maternity leave, the Interdependent Web will feature a variety of guest bloggers. We are grateful to the Rev. Dawn Skjei Cooley for filling in this week with a survey of responses to the U.S. presidential election. The Interdependent Web will be recovering from Thanksgiving next Friday, and Heather will return on December 2. —Editors]

One week after the election and UUs are continuing to reflect on what it will mean and how to respond. Some of us wrote about our fears.

Justin Almeida shared his pain and anger with family and friends who supported Trump:

“I am here asking you, pleading with you, “Do you love me?” As a person of color. As a Mexican American. As a nephew. As a cousin. As a friend. As a fellow citizen. Because I love you; and I will not give up on you. Please reach out to me; talk to me. Help me understand.”

Some of us resorted to poetry to respond.

Patrick Murfin, at Heretic, Rebel, a Thing to Flout, wrote “How to Survive, Post Election 2016 .”

Head down, eyes locked forward,
ears plugged, nose pinched,
one foot put down before the other
along the painted line.

Cancel the newspaper, avoid the news,
purge the Facebook and Twitter,
block the malcontents.

Hum quietly to yourself
but be careful of the tune,
speak only of the weather, sports, and sitcoms.

Go to work, go shopping, go to the game,
go about your life,
mind your business
as if nothing had happened.

Ignore the strange smoke
from that chimney over there.

Be a Good American.

And R. Elena Tabachnick, at Wandering Monk, Reluctant Gyrovague, was inspired by the words of Martin Niemöller, when she wrote “Speak Before It’s Too Late”:

First they came for Muslims, and I didn't speak because I wasn't Muslim.
Then they came for Blacks and Latinx, and I didn't speak because I wasn't Black or Latina.
Then they came for LBGTQ, and I didn't speak because I wasn't LBGTQ.
Then they came for PWD, and I didn't speak because I wasn't disabled.
Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak for me.

And we spent a lot of time arguing about safety pins.

Yvonne Aburrow at Nature's Path, writes about the history of the safety pin movement and shares that it comes with a pledge:

The Promise
If you wear a hijab, I’ll sit with you on the train.
If you’re trans, I’ll go to the bathroom with you.
If you’re a person of color, I’ll stand with you if the cops stop you and/or whenever you need me.
If you’re a person with disabilities, I’ll hand you my megaphone.
If you’re LGBTQ, I won’t let anybody tell you you’re broken.
If you’re a woman, I’ll fight by your side for all your rights.
If you’re an immigrant, I’ll help you find resources.
If you’re a survivor, I’ll believe you.
If you’re a Native American, I’ll stand with you to protect our water, your burial grounds, and your people.
If you’re a refugee, I’ll make sure you’re welcome.
If you’re a union member, fighting for one, or fighting for $15/hour, I’ll be there.
If you’re a veteran, a college student, a member of the working or middle class, I’ll fight against austerity measures and for more publically funded assistance for all.
If you’re sick or just human, I’ll take up the fight for universal healthcare.
If you’re tired, me too.
If you need a hug, I’ve got an infinite supply.
If you need me, I’ll be with you. All I ask is that you be with me too.

Writing on Facebook, Rev. Andy Burnette draws on his own background to declare that even imperfect attempts can be worthwhile:

I was raised in an authoritarian faith tradition, and I just want to note a similarity I am seeing in the liberal community: The pursuit of purity. I know the safety pin isn't a perfect symbol, but we don't have to reject everything that has a flaw. We can wear it humbly, noting its limits and adhering to its virtues. If you refuse to wear it, or if you wear it, I know you are also committed to taking other action. Thanks for all you are doing to shed light!

And artist and minister Jill Terwilliger designed a “Love and Protect” screen printed shirt, with safety pins and the words “We will love and protect each other” in multiple languages.