We’ve been together a long time. In fact, when I first joined you, you were so small that there was a waiting list to get an account. I remember how excited I was when I finally got the email that there was room for me.
There were a lot of good times, and I made a lot of good friends – many of whom I’ve had an opportunity to meet “in real life” and many of whom I’ve encountered on other platforms. But, over the years, I’ve noticed far more drama and far more extremists on your site than I had expected out of a bunch of knitters and crocheters. I think my personal turning point was last fall when someone out of the blue informed me that she equated wages in the United States as a whole with “slave labor”. I hadn’t even asked her opinion, and I’m not sure why the statement was directed at me. But I decided then that perhaps Ravelry wasn’t the best place for me anymore. Oh yeah… I still went there to look up patterns and yarns and such, but my interaction with other people ceased.
As of today, you, Ravelry, have made it clear that your policy of “inclusion” doesn’t include me. The owners posted the following on the front page of the site:
“New policy, effective immediately
We are banning support of Donald Trump and his administration on Ravelry. We cannot provide a space that is inclusive of all and also allow support for open white supremacy. Support of the Trump administration is unambiguously support for white supremacy.”
I understand that there was a problem with someone posting an offensive pattern (UPDATE: the pattern in question was a pro-Trump pattern and that’s what was “offensive” about it… never mind that all the patterns that said F**K Trump were allowed to remain); the pattern was removed, and then some unhinged lunatic posted a death threat. I do not condone such behavior in any form. And that person should have rightly been removed from the community. However, you didn’t stop there.
Here’s the problem: You’ve painted one side of the political spectrum (the side that you’ve indicated repeatedly that you did not agree with) with a very broad brush — something that your supporters have repeatedly lambasted people for doing. And as a child of the segregated South, I take high offense to being called a “white supremacist” in any form or having it suggested that I agree with any such philosophy.
Ravelry, you’ve overreacted — and you’ve violated your own dictate that everyone “be excellent to each other”. And I’m very sad, but I can no longer support you with pattern purchases or support your advertisers. I realize my money is a drop in the bucket, but ever since my beginnings with you (and I was one of those people who “donated” to you when you were asking for money to keep afloat when you started), I’ve purchased my fair amount of patterns and such. I’ll now make those purchases where I can be assured that you won’t see a dime of profit from them.
I won’t delete my account for now – I still have a series of patterns coming in – but I won’t be visiting your site. I surmise that it won’t be a problem for you as you don’t want “my kind” there anymore.
This attitude is the problem we have in our country right now. We can’t work together. If you don’t agree with me, you must hate me. Nothing could be further from the truth. I have friends from all walks of life who have very different political opinions, and we have peaceful, rational discussions. We’re missing a common civility. I wish I knew what the answer was.
Ravelry, my faith teaches me to forgive… so I forgive your intolerant attitude, and I hope one day we can be friends again. Right now, it’s best that we go our separate ways. I hope you can learn from this process – it’s not good to live in an echo chamber where everyone parrots the same philosophy back at you all the time. And measured steps are often the best.