What in the fresh hell?

This popped up and I have feelings about it. I did say to hold onto your butts.

Tap tap tap, is this thing on?
Some are asking me to contribute to the conversation us Fiber Artists have been having this month. I have hesitated purely out of fear, because I find discussions on difficult subjects to be much more productive in a loving human to human setting, and I have been disappointed with a lot of the negative fruit of this discussion. I have also been checking myself. And as I check, I see that as a white woman of tremendous privilege and many blessings, it has been the absolute joy and meaning of my life these past 2+ years to bring the vast, diverse, beautiful, provocative and inspiring world of knitting to you. Typing that brings a tear because it truly is my honor, privilege and joy.
In my digital and real life knitting community there is room for everyone. Imagine the range of emotions I felt watching this unfold.

In this photo I am wearing a dress I knit with my own two hands. It is designed by a queer black woman named Brandi. I am holding a bag made by a white woman named Karen who represented many of us this week as we learned some hard lessons.

My absolute favorite line from the score of Hamilton is “Forgiveness, can you imagine?” Will you join me in Imagining that right now, and with that cleansing breath, will we, ALL of us, self-check. Let us use knitting as a tool as we rebuild here. It is useful for meditation, unification, empowerment, breaking down barriers, crossing over, and warmth. I have been and will continue to knit through this pain with my fellow fiber artists. I invite you to Level Up. (Thank you Hoda for that wonderful instruction). #knitterslevelup

I wasn’t even going to post about it or say anything. My first reaction was, “Well, she has the right to express how she feels. She’s just trying to get everyone to be civil and nice.” So why do I feel like somebody slapped me and told me to stop hitting myself?

Tap tap tap, is this thing on?
You need a mic? For what?

Some are asking me to contribute to the conversation us Fiber Artists have been having this month.

It’s been a little over a week, but go on.

I have hesitated purely out of fear, because I find discussions on difficult subjects to be much more productive in a loving human to human setting, and I have been disappointed with a lot of the negative fruit of this discussion.
WHOO! Okay. You’re so afraid? Why? Examine those fears on your own time.
Human to human? Are we robots? This phrase coupled with the line about being disappointed with the negative fruit? Am I the screw-up kid of a gaslighting, narcissistic mother who wishes I could have studied just a little harder for that algebra exam, or am I an inhuman beast incapable of having a conversation that just might not center you as the subject? Pick one.

I have also been checking myself.
Not hard enough, boo.

And as I check, I see that as a white woman of tremendous privilege and many blessings, it has been the absolute joy and meaning of my life these past 2+ years to bring the vast, diverse, beautiful, provocative and inspiring world of knitting to you. Typing that brings a tear because it truly is my honor, privilege and joy

In my digital and real life knitting community there is room for everyone. Imagine the range of emotions I felt watching this unfold.
Yes, there IS room for everyone, which is why we’re having this discussion! If you saw into all of this, ALL OF THE HAPPENINGS, and said, “Hey self, I’m not the subject of talk, I don’t know how to handle that, and I don’t know how to talk about the things that are being discussed. I might have more 2nd-person anecdotes than 1st-hand experience. Welp, you know what? Screw it, it’s my show now!” If you read the accounts of nonwhite knitters/crocheters expressing how we’ve been discriminated against overtly & covertly, and missed the entire point, I can’t even say that I feel sorry for you.

In this photo I am wearing a dress I knit with my own two hands.
mmkay…

It is designed by a queer black woman named Brandi.
…you want a cookie? My underwear is from Target. My couch is from IKEA. My ice cream carton says Breyer’s. See? I can list the names associated with my stuff, too.

I am holding a bag made by a white woman named Karen who represented many of us this week as we learned some hard lessons.
So, Karen is a martyr now? A symbol of misunderstood white women everywhere?

Related image

My absolute favorite line from the score of Hamilton is “Forgiveness, can you imagine?” Will you join me in Imagining that right now, and with that cleansing breath, will we, ALL of us, self-check.
NOT ALL OF US. “ALL of us” didn’t deflect and double-down when called out on white supremacy in the knitting community. This is not going to be some quick, flash-in-a-pan happening (remember when Debbie Bliss was suspected to not have cashmere in it?). This is something that is shaking up the unspoken hierarchy & established order in the social world of knitting AND crochet. Do not tone-police those who are speaking up. Don’t tell your followers to “just keep knitting” if they ask about what is happening or the reason for your post. If you can’t clearly explain what’s happening, then you shouldn’t be speaking on it.

Sit down and take notes. You have two ears and one mouth; listen twice as much as you speak.

Let us use knitting as a tool as we rebuild here. It is useful for meditation, unification, empowerment, breaking down barriers, crossing over, and warmth.
And we also break down barriers by having difficult conversations and figuring out what we can do to make our social community accessible and welcoming to everyone who wants to participate.

I have been and will continue to knit through this pain with my fellow fiber artists.
WHAT PAIN?!? Seriously, what pain? Tell me. I’ll wait.

I invite you to Level Up. (Thank you Hoda for that wonderful instruction). #knitterslevelup
You could have just typed “Be Best” and went on your merry way. It’s okay, though. You are a Miss Millie. You think you’re blessing us with some miracle knowledge when you need to learn yourself. You are treating every nonwhite knitter the way Miss Millie treated Sofia in The Color Purple when you dismiss us by saying that we just need to breathe and level up. You disregard our concerns & realities when someone asks what happened, and you tell them to keep knitting. What we experienced this past week isn’t even important enough for you to mention (or you don’t know enough to mention) to your followers. You make Sophia work for you, drive her around, and then expect her to be grateful because you let her see her family for the whole day. THE WHOLE DAY!

Don’t be a Miss Millie, y’all.

12 comments

  1. Wow. This: “Sit down and take notes. You have two ears and one mouth; listen twice as much as you speak.” I would add if you have one brain – turn it the fuck on before you engage your mouth. Your brain might check that shit.

    I am sorry that defensive patting yourself on the back is a thing that we white folk do entirely all too well.

    Like

  2. Thank you so much for tackling that problematic af post with humor and insight. I have been watching fellow BIPOC put in a lot of emotional and intellectual labor into this discussion and I admit I admire it but gave up on it a long time ago. I have ZERO expectations of WW at this point of my life. Her post confirmed my gut reaction when I first met her. SMH.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A friend recently shared a quote with me: “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.

    Thank you for saying what shouldn’t have had to be said.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks for your response, and managing to inject some humor into her tone deaf post. ALL of us self check? Way to wipe away the issue of white supremacy in one fell swoop. I was hoping she’d address some of these concerns, but from today’s post this morning I think she’s feeling peachy about her contribution. Thoughts on the #knitterslevelup hashtag?

    Like

    • Me calling out someone’s covert racism and dismissal of BIPOC’s concerns about being seen as human and equal in their craft community

      is equal to

      that person’s covert racism and dismissal of BIPOC’s concerns about being seen as human and equal in their craft community, and using the current dynamic to capitalize on her own brand and center herself?

      I really do hope you come to understand what we are all saying, and what we have been saying. If you want to see a better dynamic, step back and take a look at the points that are brought forth. DO you want to see a better dynamic? Just something to consider. Have a great day!

      Liked by 2 people

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