Days after Donald Trump was named president-elect, Americans are co-opting and spreading a message of unity with a simple symbol: a silver safety pin. For those who lived in the United Kingdom during Brexit, it’s a sight they’re very much used to. While some celebrated the UK’s narrow decision in June to exit the European Union, others were left shocked and afraid the break would cause a divide. In the aftermath, Britain saw a surge in xenophobia expressed in taunts, threats and worse. Social media users reported verbal harassment on buses, city streets and in cafes. That’s when the safety pin movement began. Americans understand safety pins won’t solely be the item to bring people together after a heated election, but “it’s a start.”
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