On June 23rd, I logged in to my Ravelry account and as usual, looked at the Ravelry main page to see what amazing patterns or designers were being featured. Instead, there was a posting saying that they would no longer allow support of our President and his administration. Those that supported them would be banned. Instead of a NO POLITICS, there was a NO TRUMP policy. Why? Because according to those that run Ravelry, those that support President Trump and his administration were white supremacists! Then, they stressed the importance of inclusiveness and how everyone should be included. My chin hit the floor.
If I voted for Trump or if I'm a Conservative is no one's business but mine. I have never posted anything political, racist or anything offensive about anyone. I went to Ravelry to gather with like minded fiber artists for education and encouragement - and that sharing ran both ways. I have been on the receiving end of help as well as giving it. Unfortunately, that feeling has gone by the wayside. I am no longer comfortable in what is called an inclusive environment when it is obviously not.
People became labeled as white supremacists because they didn't believe what those that ran Ravelry does. Tell me how this is any different than the bully on the playground telling you that you had to do whatever he said or think the way he thought, or you'd pay one way or another? I remember being a child that befriended someone that my friends didn't like. They told me I had to stop being friends with that girl or they'd stop being my friend. I thought it was absurd and didn't follow their rules. I was mocked, kicked, punched, shoved, etc. every time they went past me to let me know that I was going against their "rules". Yes, we made up and became friends again, even though I never unfriended the girl they wanted me to, but there was a level of distrust from then on. I always wondered what I'd do to make them angry again. Tell me how Ravelry's new policy is any different?
When we allow labels to be put on groups, then we notice a difference and hatred gets a foothold. Don't believe it? Watch a group of young children play together. They don't notice race, religion, IQ scores, or anything like that, until it is pointed out to them. They do see differences, but accepted it like hair and eye color. Discrimination and hatred is learned as soon as it is labeled.
Tell me, why can't we all just be a group of people who love the Fiber Arts? Why does politics, religion and sex have to be allowed when it should be excluded - they are hot topics and have no real place in a group that many of us use to escape from our daily lives. It WAS a safe haven for me. Obviously, it is no longer.