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There's a new trend starting in the wake of the EU referendum result. You may notice that more and more people around you are wearing safety pins. But what has this got to do with anything?

Well, it all began with Twitter user @cheeahs. In light of the spate of racist attacks that have skyrocketed since Brexit won the referendum, she wrote: "I'd like to come up with something that can be made by anybody anywhere to pin on their jacket or coat to signify that they are an ally.

"A safe person to sit next to on a bus, walk next to on a street, even have a conversation with.

"I quite like the idea of just putting a safety pin, empty of anything else, on your coat. A literal SAFETY pin!"

Now, this is a sweet idea. However, something deep down inside me feels that this is wrong. I get that it comes from a good place but the fact that people think that this is necessary in the first place is quite worrying.

I realise that xenophobic attacks have risen, but rather than putting a bit of metal on ourselves and uploading pictures to social media to show that we're decent people - why not just act like a good person? If you see someone being racist or spouting bile about others, stop them. Call them out. We are the United Kingdom, so let's fucking act like it.

If someone is being racially abused, I don't think they're going to look round at everyone checking to see if someone's got a fucking safety pin on. They're going to look for the person who has the balls to stand up and tell racists that they're not fucking welcome here.

Historian, Victoria Stiles, spoke for many of us when she tweeted this:

Whether you voted Leave or Remain, it doesn't matter anymore. The referendum has happened and the result is out. What matters now is stopping anyone from thinking that it's acceptable in any form to be a dick to someone else because they weren't born here. Or that their parents weren't born here. Or their grandparents.

Just don't be a dick.

Words by Mel Ramsay

Featured image credit: Twitter/Ronnie Wishart

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