Signs of Solidarity: What You Can Wear to Show Your Alliance

It is no secret that the recent election has conjured up hateful rhetoric throughout the country. Many people who are allies or identify with these attacked groups are responding to the hateful addresses in many forms. One way to show your support for these groups is through what you wear. Here are some approaches to displaying  solidarity with the minority groups that have been targeted.

One of the largest groups that has been under attack represents half the U.S.  population — women. Many rights that have been given to women and establishments that were created for the health and betterment of women have been questioned in current politics. Because the women’s suffrage movement of the early 1900s adopted white (for purity), purple (for dignity), and green (for hope) as its unifying colors, wearing white has become a feminist symbol. To show support, wearing white has been a large part of demonstrating the fight for equality.  

The fight for LGBTQ+ rights has formulated the rainbow flag as the symbol of the movement. The rainbow flag was first seen and designed by San Francisco artist Gilbert Baker in 1978. GLAAD (The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) has also asked people to show their support by wearing purple which is the color that represents “spirit” on the flag.

The Black Lives Matter movement is infinitely influential in the battle for justice and equality for Black people around the country. Getting shirts, hoodies, pins, etc. that display #blacklivesmatter or that simply advocate for the betterment of black lives is important for spreading the word about the marginalization of black people in America.

In the backing of environmental issues, stand with Standing Rock. This protest is going on throughout the country against the creation of the Dakota Pipeline that will destroy land and violate the homes of the Sioux peoples in the North Dakota area. Bethany Yellowtail who is from the Crow Reservation has created shirts or “Protector Gear” to raise awareness against the manipulation of this land.

Many people of Latino descent have faced the most offensive rhetoric in during this election season. The movement of wearing brown ribbons was started by Eva Longoria at the 2016 Oscars ceremony. She urged actors and actresses to show their solidarity in the advancement of Latinos in the film industry as well as in America itself. This became known as The Brown Ribbon Campaign.

For the blatant ignorant speech against people who practice Islam, wearing a safety pin displays a sign of support. The movement was inspired by protesters of the Brexit results, who took to wearing safety pins to show support of the minorities being targeted. Previously, in 2014 in Sydney, Australia the #illridewithyou movement against Islamophobia used safety pins as a symbol of solidarity. The safety pin movement in America has now taken form into representing all peoples who are discriminated against.

It’s important to note that wearing shirts, pins or accessories that support these minority groups under attack is extremely important towards change; however, it is not the change itself. In assisting with altering the ignorant mindset established towards these groups, action is not only required, but essential for the advancement of this society and country we call home.  

Brina Jeffries is a staff writer. Email her at violetvision@nyunews.com.

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