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Why I'm going to start wearing that safety pin symbol today

"Either we are all equally American citizens, or any one of us can find ourselves in the excluded category, the unwelcome category, the discriminated against or threatened category."

"Either we are all equally American citizens, or any one of us can find ourselves in the excluded category, the unwelcome category, the discriminated against or threatened category." Wikimedia

Reader Cheryl Tregillis responds to The Trump voter, the small-town Muslim, and the power of Pantsuit Nation:

I hate what this harassment says about some of my fellow Minnesotans.

It's wrong. It's evil. It's hateful. Most of all it is bone ignorant.

This Muslim woman is as American as any of us who are citizens. Either we are all equally American citizens, or any one of us can find ourselves in the excluded category, the unwelcome category, the discriminated against or threatened category. The hate crime victim category.

When you stand for and with this woman, there is an element of altruism in it, sure. But you are also standing up potentially for yourself and others like you who might not be the target of hate at the moment, but you could be at some point.

To borrow a phrase from father Dumas, an dead old white guy who wrote the Three Musketeers, it's "all for one and one for all," or nothing. "E pluribus unum," out of the many, one. With fewer among the many, we are less than we can and should be.

I'm going to start wearing that safety pin symbol, today. It reminds me of the paperclip campaign against the Nazis by the Norewegians in WW II. It stood for unity, and opposition to anti-semitism. The Norwegians mistakenly believed John Vaaler, a Norwegian, was the inventor of the paperclip, it became a symbol of national identity and pride. It was really an American invention. What matters is the statement it made and the inclusion and unity that were encouraged.

The safety pin is also an American invention, by one Walter Hunt, and as worn on clothing it means the same thing as that paper clip, with the expansion to include opposing hatred against Muslims and others not only Jews.

Join me in putting on a safety pin; add a paperclip for good measure to your collar today and every day while the Trump administration lasts.