Knitting, Politics

A Letter to the Ravelry Community

Ravelry is an online knitting and crochet community, a tremendous resource of knowledge and expertise, and the go-to place for its millions of members all over the world for both selling and buying, online knitting, and crochet patterns. It probably won’t come as a surprise to you that politics, when they infect the site, list heavily to port.

But Ravelry has just put itself at the very top of my [expletive] list. I know several members here also belong to Ravelry, and I’d like your help in getting the word out (if you agree with me). Members can contact the site here. I’ve also sent an email to info – at – ravelry – dot – com, which is an address I’ve used in the past, although I can’t be sure it’s still live. Given my Ravelry user name (which has been the same for years), I’m not expecting a chummy response. Still, I have shelves full of knitting books, a huge stash of yarn, and lots of other things to do. I expect I’ll survive.

Dear Ravelry:

I have just read the following announcement on the home page of Ravelry:

“We are banning support of Donald Trump and his administration on Ravelry.
This includes support in the form of forum posts, projects, patterns, profiles, and all other content. Note that your project data will never be deleted. We will never delete your Ravelry project data for any reason and if a project needs to be removed from the site, we will make sure that you have access to your data. If you are permanently banned from Ravelry, you will still be able to access any patterns that you purchased. Also, we will make sure that you receive a copy of your data.”

We cannot provide a space that is inclusive of all and also allow support for open white supremacy. Support of the Trump administration is undeniably support for white supremacy.”

This is disgraceful.

Ravelry is perfectly within its rights to require that its members remove overtly political messages from their patterns, comments and projects. To say that NO political messages of any kind, in support of any candidate (Trump, Biden, Weld, Obama, Sanders, Clinton . . . ) are permitted or supported on the site. You could go further, and say that no overt support of any social or political agenda of any kind is permitted. You could say that no patterns, comments or projects projecting any sort of racist or bigoted, or divisive points of view are allowed on the site. And if Ravelry would like to criticize Donald Trump, the politician, as someone it does not care to support, it may do that too. And whether or not I agreed with your stance, I’d respect it.

But Ravelry has crossed the line. To state unambiguously that Donald Trump’s supporters are all white supremacists is a disgusting and libelous falsehood. That is the statement that Ravelry has no business making. My personal political opinions don’t and shouldn’t, matter to you. I don’t put them on Ravelry, and no-one else should either. (I’m not even an American Citizen so I can’t even vote.) But if this policy isn’t reversed, I’ll be cancelling my Ravelry membership. I don’t go to Ravelry for the politics, and I won’t be staying around for the insults.

I’m not going to support or participate in an organization that disrespects and calumniates tens of millions of people, a few of whom are my friends, and who I know perfectly well are not white supremacists, or any sort of bigots, in this way.

Your entirely inappropriate, disgusting, libelous, false statement, needs to be expunged from Ravelry’s site. Immediately if not sooner.

I’m looking forward to your response, which I hope will be that you have re-written your policy in a fair and non-partisan way that doesn’t egregiously insult a considerable proportion of your membership, good people who have done nothing to deserve it, who are not in the least racist, who don’t have a white supremacist bone in their bodies, and who, along with you, condemn bigotry in all its forms, but who nevertheless happen to support a politician you don’t approve of, for reasons you can’t be bothered to understand. You are the bigots here. You are the ones maligning millions of innocents, for the despicable actions of a few. You are the ones who should be ashamed. And yes, I’ll say it, because as a foreigner, perhaps I expect more from the citizens of this great country than they sometimes expect of themselves: You are unAmerican.

Please correct this egregious overreach, and do it swiftly. The personal opinions of your members are none of your business, and you should respect that. I only wish I didn’t know your own opinions now, or the contempt that you have for a large proportion of your membership, and the lengths to which you’re willing to go to make that contempt known publicly.

I hope you can summon the common sense and intestinal fortitude to right this appalling wrong.

You should be ashamed of yourselves.

RightWingKnitJob, TKGA member and Ravelry member (for now)

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