Over the last couple of weeks, anti-racism has reached the knitting and crafting communities online in a big way. It’s undoubtedly been incredibly tough for the people of colour who have been doing an awful lot of emotional labour to educate white people (like me) about their experiences of exclusion and racism, and show us that even the (superficially) fluffy knitting world is racist. I’m incredibly grateful and humbled by their hard work and bravery.
It’s brought amazing activists and educators like Rachel Cargle and Layla Saad to the attention of lots of us crafters. I’ve been slowly Doing The Work and considering how much white supremacy really isn’t a thing of the past, or just the purview of a few extremists in white hoods – it’s EVERYWHERE and something that I benefit from. I’ve also been discovering amazing activists challenging gender (and race) issues, like Alok.
When I’ve found the work challenging, I try keep in mind the image of how I would like a man to react to #metoo.
You know how Kavanaugh and Trump made Christine Blasey Ford’s hearing all about men, and how hard it was for the poor men of the world to be attacked in such a way, when SHE was the one who was threatened and terrified…? Yeah, that’s the opposite of what the world needs right now. We white people need to shut up, sit down, listen, shut up some more and not make it about us. And then we need to make some changes to how we behave, so that we challenge exclusion when we see it, and build things from the ground up that are open to everyone.
The gorgeous hashtag on Instaram #diverseknitty has also helped amazing creatives from around the world share their wonderful work with new followers and fans.
There are also, I hope, lots of other makers, podcasters, brands, shows and shops who are considering how they can be more inclusive and reach out to make everyone feel welcome.
I don’t have a physical shop (or really do much out in the real world at all to be honest right now!), but I wanted to draw something to let everyone know that they are welcome in my online spaces.
Whatever your background, or however you identify, you are always welcome here.
And if you’d like to collaborate or if there’s something I can do to help you feel more included or access my work, just give me a shout.