What to put in my apartment window to show solidarity and support?
November 10, 2016 10:43 AM   Subscribe

How can we best show our neighbors and passerbys that we welcome all and that we are a safe space? What signs would best get this message across?

I'd like to display something in my apartment window to show support for various minority groups and to know that people around them support them. Ideally these won't cover the whole window (but they're french doors with a Juliet balcony, do we have some space). We are are the second floor of the building so these can easy been seen from the street. So far we have a "black lives matter" sign and Gay pride flag that I printed off at work. I'm open to ideas to show support For most any group (but I'd like to avoid direct religious symbols such as crosses, stars of David, etc). I work for PP and do not want to display anything from work because I need that separation in my life. We live in a larger city in NC.

I'm a straight white woman, as is my roommate. She's totally on board to display anything.
posted by raccoon409 to Human Relations (30 answers total) 27 users marked this as a favorite
I'm all ears because I have spent a lot of time thinking about what he symbol of the anti-hate movement will/needs to be.

I'm concerned in general with the idea that any one symbol becomes known to represent the cause and can then be coopted so that the asshole trump supporters running around abusing gay and muslim americans (and visitors) will thrown on some dove lapel pins or whatever and you'll never see them coming/run to them assuming they will help when they are really happy to see your pain.
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 10:58 AM on November 10, 2016 [1 favorite]

What about one of those coexist signs that has all the religious symbols?
posted by J. Wilson at 10:58 AM on November 10, 2016 [2 favorites]

Oh, my sister. I almost came to ask pretty much the same thing just now.

We talked about some ideas last night, and we're currently thinking a Black Lives Matter and a Mexican flag in front of our house, with POSSIBLY an American flag in between them. I haven't decided whether that's articulate enough yet to convey "No, fellow white people, you don't own this country."
posted by ernielundquist at 11:00 AM on November 10, 2016 [3 favorites]

Many years ago, George McGovern spoke of how the right had managed to take the cross and the flag as "their" symbols. I understand not wanting to use religious symbols, but I really like ernielundquist's idea of incorporating the American flag. One of the lies of the right is that progressives don't really love this country, and using the flag among other symbols could help to show that you can love this country and want to improve it.

Muslims for Peace uses a dove holding an olive branch, but that could be interpreted as a Christian symbol as well. They also have hands holding a peace sign, which you can see at the top of this page. I'm not sure if peace signs are viewed differently among younger people now than the way they were in the 60s, but even then, I remember some pastor saying that it was really an upside-down, broken cross, so weird interpretations are always possible.
posted by FencingGal at 11:30 AM on November 10, 2016

A peace sign? Or just something that says plainly "Hate free home," maybe in English, Spanish, and Arabic?
posted by stillmoving at 11:31 AM on November 10, 2016 [1 favorite]

I saw this : safety pins to denote safety.
posted by slipthought at 11:35 AM on November 10, 2016 [14 favorites]

GLSEN is generally focused on student, but check this out. It looks like you can't buy it on their website, but I suspect you could have one printed from this image.
posted by janey47 at 11:37 AM on November 10, 2016 [4 favorites]

An American flag. A nice one, made from cloth, with embroidered stars.
posted by fixedgear at 11:45 AM on November 10, 2016 [1 favorite]

I like the "Migration is beautiful" posters and stickers with the monarch butterfly. It's subtly thoughtful and particularly friendly if you're in an area with many first/second generation immigrants.
posted by pickingupsticks at 11:48 AM on November 10, 2016 [2 favorites]

The only American flag I see that I never think is coded as support for conservatives and white supremacy are the Pride flags with the blue star field. I also have been interested in the safety pin symbol as something that can be displayed on my person as well as in other ways. Maybe multi-colored raised fists? I'm looking forward to reading the other suggestions.
posted by quince at 12:38 PM on November 10, 2016 [8 favorites]

I love the flag idea—in theory—but I'm afraid the message has been compromised by the likes of people who think that Trump can "make America great again". So, certainly display it, among all the other signs that make your view clear.

I'm getting a Clinton Kaine yard sign to display in my window that I hope sends the message that my home is "safe". I'm in a blue state and never in a million years thought we would see this outcome. Didn't feel a need to display the sign before (I was lukewarm re Clinton, anyway). But it will be in my window until Trump is no longer a threat.
posted by she's not there at 12:43 PM on November 10, 2016 [1 favorite]

Re the signs with all the religious symbols: I understand the intent. However, I'm an atheist and the implication that any/all religions are just all right skeeves me out a bit.
posted by she's not there at 12:50 PM on November 10, 2016 [5 favorites]

This home welcomes everyone — from Open For Service, and organization which started out encouraging welcoming businesses in Indiana to self-identify in wake of the 2015 RFRA law, but has now expanded significantly beyond Indiana.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 12:54 PM on November 10, 2016 [5 favorites]

combine the safety pin and flag suggestions into a red-white-and-blue safety pin?
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 1:04 PM on November 10, 2016 [1 favorite]

The problem with crosses and American flags is that the whole point is to communicate a message. The message has to actually be received, and as a secular leftist, I have to say that I would assume a displayed American flag or Christian cross was a signal of intimidation or jingoism, almost the opposite of what you're trying to say. So I agree, nice sentiment, terrible actual communication.

What about punk anti-fascist signs and symbols? A google image search for "antifa" produces a ton of great imagery, from logos for the Antifa International to slogans like "Good Night White Pride" and images of people smashing swastikas and other symbols of oppression. (There are also some pro white supremacist and fascist logos in there, but I trust you can suss them out and not use them.)
posted by Sara C. at 1:07 PM on November 10, 2016 [2 favorites]

I'm on your side, but some of the proposed symbols may not mean anything to those not in your immediate demographic and/or movement.

For example, it's not exactly clear to me what "safety" and "safe space" has to do with a message of inclusiveness. Does it mean you're literally offering your home as a sanctuary? Without Googling, the safety pin symbol displayed on a house would mean nothing to me.
posted by JimN2TAW at 1:14 PM on November 10, 2016 [2 favorites]

Refugees Are Welcome Here
posted by griphus at 1:28 PM on November 10, 2016 [3 favorites]

This safety pin image appeared in the Pantsuit Nation Facebook group -- includes the caption "You are safe with me. I stand beside you." Feel free to adapt as you wish.
posted by argonauta at 1:40 PM on November 10, 2016 [3 favorites]

Maybe a simply designed poster with the messages you'd see on a peace pole?
posted by thirdletter at 1:42 PM on November 10, 2016

I love the flag idea—in theory—but I'm afraid the message has been compromised by the likes of people who think that Trump can "make America great again".

I do like the idea mentioned above of an American flags with flags of other countries. I'm looking into getting flags representing my Greek, Norwegian, German, and Mexican heritage.

The melting pot of America has resulted in me being a pasty white guy, but the discrimination my Mexican ancestors faced 3 or 4 generations ago is the exact reason why my family is in the Midwest. Maybe I can honor their memory and in doing so help the world feel a little more friendlier.
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 2:06 PM on November 10, 2016

How about an American flag with stars you've colored in rainbow?
posted by danceswithlight at 2:17 PM on November 10, 2016 [3 favorites]

Any symbol is probably fine (assuming it won't be misinterpreted like a traditional american flag). I bought a $5 LGBT flag because that is a group I have identified with for a long time and feel closest to. I would feel weird displaying a black lives matter sign when I am most definitely not a part of that movement in any meaningful way. I don't know if that is the right way to go about it, but maybe expressing solidarity with the group you are most a part of is enough to signal solidarity with other activists and opposition to the common modes of oppression.
posted by mammal at 3:00 PM on November 10, 2016

Best answer: What about Lady Liberty?

I've never wanted a tattoo (too much commitment) but I've been thinking about a statue of liberty tattoo.
posted by The Shoodoonoof at 3:48 PM on November 10, 2016 [5 favorites]

Best answer: I like the Statue of Liberty suggestion, especially if you include the inscription.

Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me. I lift my lamp beside the golden door.

(Memorized in grade school. Still brings tears to my eyes more than 50 years later—more so today than ever.)
posted by she's not there at 5:50 PM on November 10, 2016 [11 favorites]

I like the "Love trumps hate" slogan from the campaign, and I hope it continues to be used. It looks like you can still buy stickers from the campaign, and people on Etsy and elsewhere are making other versions (one example). Or you could print out your own, maybe with a rainbow heart in place of the O in love.
posted by rafaella gabriela sarsaparilla at 6:22 PM on November 10, 2016 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: Thank you all for your wonderful suggestions. Some of you hit upon points that I was having trouble grousing myself such as the use of religious symbols (I'm atheist myself) and symbols and signs of movements in not a part of.

I'm from NJ and lady liberty is probably my favorite national landmark so thank you for the great reminder (and more importantly in the poem beneath).

I'm also considering putting up an "evil eye" or hand of Fatima to show show support to the Muslim community. If you have any specific suggestions and you're a member of the Muslim community, I'd love to hear your point of view.

Thank you for all your suggestions.
posted by raccoon409 at 10:32 PM on November 10, 2016

Lady liberty is a great idea.

I logged in to suggest the Democrat logo of a blue d in a blue circle. Assuming of course you agree with their policies for the most part. One thing I've noticed since moving to the US is that republicans don't shy away from telling you their party affiliations loud and proud. Where as I didn't realise just how many other democrats were in the area until the day after, when we all recognized each other by our long faces. More democrats voted than republicans too, and we need to keep reminding those in charge soon they don't have he support of the majority of Americans.

But the statute of liberty is a great idea even as a foreigner I know immediately what she stands for.
posted by wwax at 5:12 AM on November 11, 2016

I imagine leaving your Vote Hilary posters up would get the message across.
posted by tinkletown at 4:05 PM on November 11, 2016 [1 favorite]

This lady liberty flag is kinda neat
posted by brilliantine at 6:02 PM on November 11, 2016 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Black Lives Matter, or some kind of "Muslims welcome" or "refugees welcome" sign would signal the most to me (I'm a North American born queer person of colour). The rest feel just hippie and disconnected (peace sign) or jingoistic and threatening (flag or landmark built during the good old days, when people like me would have had police dogs set on us for using a public water fountain; I cannot stress enough that literally nothing traditional feels safe to me). But I am aware that vocally supporting Black, Muslim, or refugee people has actual social cost to white people and that means, to me, that it signifies the most true, sincere good intent at allyship.
posted by pseudostrabismus at 8:44 AM on November 12, 2016 [1 favorite]

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