This Week in Black Twitter: Safety pin solidarity backlash; remembering journalist Gwen Ifill

Welcome back to This Week in Black Twitter, your weekly digest of the happenings on Black Twitter and cultural conversations on the web. Topics will span the gamut — pop culture, politics, sports, lifestyles and everything in between. This week: Backlash from safety pin solidarity, remembering veteran journalist Gwen Ifill and charges filed in Philando Castile's killing.

1. With the rise of racial harassment, some have begun to feel unsafe in the country that voted for President-elect Donald Trump.

After Brexit, in which the United Kingdom passed a referendum to exit from the European Union amid the refugee crisis, there was an uptick in attacks toward immigrants. Some Brits decided to wear a safety pin, signaling that they wouldn't tolerate the violence, Michelle Goldberg explains on Slate.


Now post-election, Americans are wearing safety pins out of solidarity with minorities.

"As I walk around in this unfamiliar new country, I see people of color and wonder if they think I'm one of the 53 percent of white women who voted for Trump. I see white men and wonder if they're one of the 63 percent who did. We need an outward sign of sympathy, a way for the majority of us who voted against fascism to recognize one another," Goldberg wrote.

However, some are calling out the campaign for being more about the pin wearers than those in need of a "safe space."

As The Root's Demetria Lucas D'Oyley wrote: "These pins — not the wearing of them or the pictures posted of folks wearing them — are not about safe spaces. They're about not wanting to be perceived as a racist. Like, 'I might be white, but I'm not like them, over there. I'm enlightened.'

"You want to help? You want your little pin to matter like black lives? Actually create a safe space instead of cheaply designating yourself one because you fastened a piece of malleable metal to your sweater."


One Etsy user is selling safety pin necklaces for $335. Not to mention that a Vogue slideshow includes diamond and gold pin earrings for $1,065.

2. Gwen Ifill, a veteran journalist and host of "PBS NewsHour," died Monday of cancer.

Ifil, who worked at The Evening Sun from 1981 to 1984, broke barriers as an African-American woman in broadcast journalism and was an inspiration.

"When I was a little girl watching programs like this ... I would look up and not see anyone who looked like me in any way. No women. No people of color," Ifill told The New York Times in 2013. "I'm very keen about the fact that a little girl now, watching the news, when they see me and Judy [Woodruff] sitting side by side, it will occur to them that that's perfectly normal — that it won't seem like any big breakthrough at all."

On Twitter, everyone from journalists to politicians and President Barack Obama reacted to the news of Ifill's death.

3. The police officer who shot and killed Philando Castile in July during a traffic stop is being charged with second-degree manslaughter.

According to the Star Tribune, Jeronimo Yanez is "the first Minnesota officer charged in an on-duty killing in modern memory."

Castile's girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, took video on Facebook Live, calmly dictating the aftermath of the shooting. In the video, Yanez can be heard saying "I told him not to reach for it" and cursing.

"No reasonable officer ... would have used deadly force under these circumstances," the county attorney said via the Star Tribune.

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