Category Archives: Social Justice Warriors

Ravelry, a fiber arts social network, silences Trump supporters as “white supremacists”

Ravelry, one of the biggest fiber art social media networks, identifies Trump supporters as “white supremacists” and asks its community to help police them.

If you do any type of fiber crafts — knitting, quilting, crocheting, etc. — you’re familiar with Ravelry. It’s a very well-organized social network dedicated to allowing fiber crafters meet in cyberspace, whether to teach or learn, talk about projects, find patterns, etc.

Ravelry is also a marketplace allowing for individual crafters to sell instructions and patterns. Only recently, I bought two excellent PDF project instructions from a gal whom I later discovered, looking at my credit card statement, markets through Ravelry. The site also gets a small percentage of these PDF sales. It also makes money selling logo wear.

Ravelry is very popular. While it’s unlikely that all its members, or even most of its members, are active on the site at any given time, and many sign up never to return, as of February 2019, 8,000,000 people had signed up for Ravelry.

Unfortunately, Ravelry has decided to wade into politics and to do so in the most ugly way possible. In an announcement today to its membership, one with a Pride flag proudly displayed in the upper left hand corner, Ravelry said that from now on Trump supporters will be silenced.

Please note that the site is not silencing all political discussions on the ground that they are disruptive to a site dedicated to fiber hand crafts. No, no. It is only silencing Trump supporters because they are “white supremacists” — and it’s asking its other members to go full Stasi and police the site for any incipient Trumpista break-outs.

The following is the full text of the Ravelry announcement (bold-italicized emphasis mine):

Ravelry bans Trump

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.

Policy notes:

  • You can still participate if you do in fact support the administration, you just can’t talk about it here.
  • We are not endorsing the Democrats nor banning Republicans.
  • We are definitely not banning conservative politics. Hate groups and intolerance are different from other types of political positions.
  • We are not banning people for past support.
  • Do not try to weaponize this policy by entrapping people who do support the Trump administration into voicing their support.
  • Similarly, antagonizing conservative members for their unstated positions is not acceptable.

You can help by flagging any of the following items if they constitute support for Trump or his administration:

  • Projects: Unacceptable projects will be provided to the member or made invisible to others.
  • Patterns: Unacceptable patterns will be returned to drafts.
  • Forum posts: right now, only posts written after Sunday, June 23rd at 8 AM Eastern
  • Profiles: Please do not flag profiles yet if the only banned content is an avatar or avatars. There is not yet a flagging system for those.

Much of this policy was first written by a roleplaying game site, not unlike Ravelry but for RPGs, named RPG.net. We thank them for their thoughtful work. For citations/references, see this post on RPG.net: https://forum.rpg.net/index.php?threads/new-ban-do-not-po…


Update history

  • Sunday, June 23rd @ 8:00 AM Eastern: First version
  • Sunday, June 23rd @ 8:12 AM Eastern: Clarify that if you are permanently banned from Ravelry you will receive a copy of your data including any purchased patterns.

Meanwhile, even as Trump supporters are banned as “white supremacists” because they support legal, rather than mass illegal, immigration, Ravelry is all in for the LGBTQ++++ spectrum. Indeed, just as silencing Trump supporters merited an announcement, so did Pride Month:

Ravelry on Pride month

Casey it should be noted, is one of the site’s founders. He also proudly boasts on the “about” page that his pronouns are “he/him” and that he’s married with children. Oh, and he’s white (seen in his photo). In other words, He’s a heteronormative, cisgendered, toxic, white male who’s reinforcing the patriarchy and damaging the environment by being a breeder. Ick.

(By the way, I don’t give a flying whatsit about an individual’s sexuality. I give a lot of flying whatsits about the gay mafia — or, as I call it — the QueerBorg attempting to use sexuality to impose a hard Left social and political agenda on America.)

Significantly, Revelry got its inspiration for silencing Trump supporters from the gamer community. You may remember GamerGate, which occurred when the gamer community was suddenly taken over by Social Justice Warriors as anxious as the Ravelry people are to silence any non-woke, hard-Left social justice voices.

Sadly, while Ravelry is the most dramatic outbreak of social justice warrior-ism turning a non-political activity into a toxic soup, this trend has been breaking out for some months in the knitting world. Just three months ago, Vox ran a story entitled “The knitting community is reckoning with racism : Fiber artists of color are taking to Instagram stories to call out instances of prejudice — and to try to shape a more inclusive future.

The article opens with the author and others taking offense that a knitter was exited about a trip to India. I’m going to have to quote the first few paragraphs so that (a) you can see how little it takes to offend people nowadays and (b) you can see how aggressive the social justice workers are when it comes to imposing their views on others and demanding full submission:

Karen Templer’s Fringe Association Co. is kind of like Goop for knitting. There are tips and how-tos for navigating knitting’s trickier maneuvers. There are knit-alongs for chunky cowls and cute fingerless gloves. There’s an online store that sells the Fringe bag, which has come to be known in some circles as the Birkin of knitting bags. And there’s the blog where Templer puts her personal thoughts.

On January 7, she blogged excitedly about her upcoming trip to India. She wrote that 2019 would be her “year of color.” She said that as a child, India had fascinated her, and that when an Indian friend’s parents offered to take her with them on a trip, it was “like being offered a seat on a flight to Mars.” She spoke of her trip as if it were the biggest hurdle anyone could jump: “If I can go to India, I can do anything — I’m pretty sure.” Templer, it should be noted, is white.

As someone who is mixed-race Indian, to me, her post (though seemingly well-meaning) was like bingo for every conversation a white person has ever had with me about their “fascination” with my dad’s home country; it was just so colorful and complex and inspiring. It’s not that they were wrong, per se, just that the tone felt like they thought India only existed to be all those things for them.

The initial comments on Templer’s blog post were supportive, but quickly, knitters and fans began to criticize her tone. “Karen, I’d ask you to re-read what you wrote and think about how your words feed into a colonial/imperialist mindset toward India and other non-Western countries,” wrote commenter Alex. “Multiple times you compare the idea of going to India to the idea of going to another planet — how do you think a person from India would feel to hear that?”

Templer, rather than giving these Social Justice Warriors a polite or impolite “eff you,” instead apologized:

Templer has since apologized for her post, writing, “It took women of color pointing this out for me to see it … which is not their responsibility, and I am thankful to them for taking the time,” and that she’d be continuing to raise visibility of people of color (and specifically black/indigenous POC) knitters and their work. (Templer declined to comment for this piece.) But her post triggered a wave of conversations about racism and prejudice in the fiber arts world, which thus far shows no signs of slowing down.

You can imagine how the rest of the article goes. That article was my first indication that the SJWs are trying to destroy fiber crafts. Just a couple of weeks ago, in something that relates to Ravelry’s revelry about LGBTQBYOB, the New York Times ran an exultant article about gay men knitting: “Trading the Noisy Gay Bar Scene for the Knitting Circle : Many gay men in New York are looking for alternative ways to socialize. A look at the surprising revival of the knitting circle.” Could there be anything more woke?

(I wonder if any of those gay knitting warriors know that they’re not breaking any ground here. In medieval Europe, knitting craft guilds belonged exclusively to men. Just as women traditionally cooked in the home, while male chefs cooked in the professional world, women might knit the socks at home, but the big time, big money knitting was a male preserve.)

To any of my readers, or anyone else who sees this, I urge you to resist this effort to politicize the craft world. GamerGate came to an ignominious end because the male Gamers fought back against the effort to silence them. I’m worried that knitters, who tend to be female, may yield to this crude political censorship in order to be nice and polite.

If a craft site wants to ban politics entirely, fine. It’s great to focus on the crafts without distractions. But for a social media site openly to silence half of the American public on the ground that they’re “white supremacists” because they support a president who believes that open borders will destroy America goes beyond the pale. This kind of thing needs to be squashed instantly.

I’ve signed out of Ravelry for good and I urge you to do the same.

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America’s Fabian revolution: Prelude to a Second American Revolution

We are in the 7th decade of a slo-mo socialist revolution in America, but there are signs it will be followed by a successful Second American Revolution.

One of my favorite books is Daddy-Long-Legs, an epistolary novel that Jean Webster wrote in 1912. The letter writer is Judy Abbott, a young woman who was raised in an orphanage but who ends up at a college much like Vassar (Webster’s own alma mater) thanks to an anonymous benefactor. The benefactor has only one request for Judy in exchange for her four years at an elite women’s college: She must send him letters describing her college experience. It’s a sweet book and stands the test of time very well.

Jean Webster herself was a very Progressive woman in the Woodrow Wilson mode. Indeed, true to the whole Wilson/Margaret Sanger political and social ethos in which she lived, her sequel to Daddy-Long-Legs, another epistolary novel called Dear Enemy, Webster argues strongly in favor of eugenics. The book never mentions abortion, but it makes a vigorous case that “defectives” — alcoholics and people with family histories of insanity or just not being very bright — should not be allowed to breed. Poor Webster might have done better herself had she chosen not to breed, for she died in 1916 from childbirth fever.

But back to Daddy Long Legs…. At one point in the novel, Webster has her heroine announce that she is a revolutionary, but not the nasty violent kind. Instead, she is a nice revolutionary:

Dear Comrade,

Hooray! I’m a Fabian.

That’s a Socialist who’s willing to wait. We don’t want the social revolution to come to-morrow morning; it would be too upsetting. We want it to come very gradually in the distant future, when we shall all be prepared and able to sustain the shock. In the meantime we must be getting ready, by instituting industrial, educational and orphan asylum reforms.

Webster’s was a pithy and accurate definition of Fabian socialism.

Thinking about it, a Fabian revolution is precisely what we’ve seen taking place in America since the years after World War II. Other countries’ revolutions — or even America’s own 18th century revolution — have been violent, abrupt upheavals. Societal institutions resisted the revolutionary ideas until guns and blood effected a change.

In America, the middle class sought freedom from overweening government power and corruption. In France, the intellectual class sought to switch to itself the power that the monarch had long held. The same was true with the Russian revolution. In China, rather unusually, it was the workers and the students who overthrew, not just the corrupt government, but the intellectual class as well, a model Pol Pot followed in Cambodia. You can mentally page through other revolutions around the world and see that they’re bloody affairs.

To date, though, our second American revolution has not been an abrupt, bloody, convulsion. Instead, it has been exactly what Judy Abbott envisioned: a revolution that came “very gradually,” with Leftists slowly but steadily working their way through every American institution. Sure, there’s been a bit of violence in the streets, both during the Vietnam and Iraq Wars and during the first two years of the Trump presidency, but it’s been street theater rather than the mass bloodshed and formal armed warfare that has attended past revolutions at home and abroad.

The real changes in America have been in colleges, in news media, in the entertainment world, in the publishing world, in high schools and elementary schools, and even in libraries, where men dressed up as women read to toddlers who, judging by pictures, appear both fascinated and horrified by the bizarre spectacles before them. Oh, and of course our corporations have also been moved to the Left by the Fabian revolution as college grads have successfully moved into mid- and upper-level managerial positions that were once held by people who weren’t educated in the Fabian socialist tradition. The social media and other tech giants are populated entirely by college grads or people like Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg who were in college long enough to absorb its hard Left ethos.

I happen not to like this socialist revolution, soft though it’s been. My preferred theory is “that government is best which governs least.” As I tried to demonstrate in this old post supporting the Second Amendment, there is no killer in the world more cruel and efficient than government. No individual or corporation comes even close.

As the increased rationing of care in Britain shows, government does not love its citizens. Cradle to grave care works only as long as there’s some residual money left over from the free market system. Once that money’s gone, government almost gleefully decides who lives and who dies. Your family, meanwhile, is very likely to impoverish itself to keep you alive.

Government is also a miserable money manager — and you need look no further than Venezuela to see what I mean. Within less than twenty years, it went from one of the richest (the richest?) countries in Latin America to being a complete economic basket case, with people dying in barren hospitals and starving on the streets. That is, they’re starving and dying of disease when they’re not being gunned done by their own government.

I could go on but I think most people already have their minds made up about whether they want to live in a country defined by individual liberty or a country that’s a dystopian cross between the world’s worst Department of Motor Vehicles and an abattoir. I mentioned a few paragraphs ago that I want the world of individual liberty and have seen enough of world history, along with current news, to know that nothing worse can happen to a country’s citizens than to fall prey to socialism.

My understanding of socialism based on two centuries of real world examples is why I don’t think Bernie is a sweet, but gaga old man; I think he’s a genuinely evil tyrant wanna be. I have a few essays on the subject that I wrote in 2016, which you can find here. Given that Bernie is currently having a hard time staying to the left of the other whacked out Democrat Party clown-show candidates, I may have to update and revamp that blog to accommodate all the new, evil craziness coming down the pike.

Since I dread socialism, I look for hope. Today, I’ve seen one sparkling sign of hope and had one hopeful thought.

The sparkling sign of hope is the Oberlin verdict. It was wonderful when the jury awarded Gibson Bakery $11,000,000 in its lawsuit against Oberlin based upon Oberlin’s deliberate effort to destroy the fifth generation family bakery because the bakery dared to call out a student shoplifter (who then joined with two others to commit assault). Things went from wonderful to glorious when, today, the jury piled on another $22,000,000 in punitive damages.

My joy doesn’t arise merely because Oberlin deserves to be destroyed, which it does because it’s one of the most pernicious influencers in the Fabian revolution that surrounds us. It also comes from the fact that the verdict proves that there are still Americans who believe in the American way and who will take a stand against the Social Justice Warriors who are at the forefront of America’s Fabian revolution.

Speaking of the “forefront of America’s Fabian revolution,” that forefront, the Ground Zero of the revolution, is America’s colleges and universities or, as I call them, Americans institutions of higher indoctrination. It is these institutions that seed everything. If Fabian Socialism is an infected boil, spreading its toxins through every American institution, the colleges and universities are the pus lying at the center of that boil. Lance the boil and expel the pus . . . and you might have a chance to help the rest of the body recover. One way to lance the boil is to withhold every penny of federal funds, whether in the form of grants or student loans or anything else, from all colleges and universities. If they can’t survive in the free market, they deserve to go down.

But as so often, I digress. I wanted to get back to happy thoughts. The Oberlin verdict led me to another nice thought, the hopeful one I mentioned. You see, sooner or later, no matter how gradual and Fabian a revolution, revolutions will turn violent. Most revolutions are violent in the initial phases and, with the exception of the American revolution, they remain violent for decades and generations after. As Jesus presciently and wisely said, “all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.” There are purges and overthrows and more purges and mini-revolutions that are squashed and praetorian guards and it just goes from ugly to really ugly, with death always attendant on the revolutionaries and their progeny.

But slow-moving revolutions can turn violent too. Take the Muslim revolution in Europe. For several decades, Muslims have slowly been moving onto the Western European continent, whether as Turks in Germany, Algerians in France, or Pakistanis in England. Most were peaceful enough, although many were addicted to welfare. Now, though, they’ve reached critical mass in those countries, with help from the recent flood that Obama trigger and Merkel welcomed. This critical mass has seen violence become endemic in Europe and I predict that it will soon become epidemic. Then — poof! — no more Christian, Enlightenment Europe, and no more post-Enlightenment socialist-bureaucracy EU. Instead, it’s the Islamic Continent of Europe.

Slow, Fabian-style revolutions can also turn violent, not because of critical mass, but because the revolutionaries fear that victory is being snatched from their grasp. The perfect example is the mass hysteria following Trump’s election. For the Fabians, Bush was tolerable, although just barely. When Trump came along, Bush Derangement Syndrome looked like the common cold compared to the Black Death that is Trump Derangement Syndrome. Antifa went mad. Others went mad. Violence happened.

But here’s where the hope comes in: The socialist leaders in their incubators in America’s colleges and universities were so invested in the success of their Praetorian revolution than they never even considered that they might need a military branch. They haven’t trained fighters; they’ve trained snowflakes. The snowflakes periodically get screechy and vicious, and some will gather in dangerous mobs, as happened at Berkeley both when Milo and Ben Shapiro came to speak, but they’re not warriors. The vast majority have been trained for decades to fear guns and to run for help to the academic mentors when the going gets tough.

It’s the real Americans — the ones who believe in the Constitution, including the Second Amendment, and who believe in individual rights and self-reliance — who still know how to fight. I devoutly hope that the true Second American Revolution, the one that is a push-back against the socialist Fabian revolution that slowly occurred right before our un-heeding eyes, never needs to go outside the voting booths and courtrooms. However, if the Social Justice Warriors decide to continue their revolution on the streets, I’m pretty sure they’re going to lose quickly and efficiently.

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[AUDIO] A dramatic reading of a rebuttal to Lionel Shriver’s plea to end “cultural appropriation” totalitarianism

A new thing called cultural appropriation is suddenly in the news lately. Just yesterday, designer Marc Jacobs was in the news because the Social Justice Warriors were appalled that his runway models — mostly white — wore fake, multi-colored dreadlocks.  (SJWs have a real problem with white people wearing dreads.) That they said, speaking in English, which is probably not a “heritage tongue” for many of them, was impermissible cultural appropriation. To his credit, Jacobs had a great bitchy comeback and refused to apologize. Jacobs is not the only cultural icon pushing back against the totalitarian impulse behind the SJW’s attacks on so-called “cultural appropriation.”

Lionel Shriver, a well-known American novelist, got invited to give the keynote speech at the Brisbane [Australia] Writer’s Festival. Her speech was entitled “Fiction and Identity Politics.” However, she had a surprise for an audience expecting her to tell them that the only person who can write about American Blacks is an American Black, the only person who can write about gay men is a gay man, etc.  Instead, she launched a polite and comprehensive attack against the stifling effect on fiction when an author stands accused of cultural appropriation. For those of us who value free speech, and who fear the totalitarian instincts behind the social justice warrior’s attacks on free speech through the vehicle of identity politics, it was a call to arms:

I hate to disappoint you folks, but unless we stretch the topic to breaking point this address will not be about “community and belonging.” In fact, you have to hand it to this festival’s organisers: inviting a renowned iconoclast to speak about “community and belonging” is like expecting a great white shark to balance a beach ball on its nose.

The topic I had submitted instead was “fiction and identity politics,” which may sound on its face equally dreary.

But I’m afraid the bramble of thorny issues that cluster around “identity politics” has got all too interesting, particularly for people pursuing the occupation I share with many gathered in this hall: fiction writing. Taken to their logical conclusion, ideologies recently come into vogue challenge our right to write fiction at all. Meanwhile, the kind of fiction we are “allowed” to write is in danger of becoming so hedged, so circumscribed, so tippy-toe, that we’d indeed be better off not writing the anodyne drivel to begin with.

A good start to a speech, right? It got better from there. Shriver’s factual starting point was an incident at Bowdoin College, a small, prestigious liberal arts college way up in Maine (annual tuition around $45,000). Bowdoin’s grammatically creative “purpose” statement promises that it offers incoming students an “intellectual challenge and personal growth in the context of an active and engaged learning community closely linked to the social and natural worlds”:

A liberal education cultivates the mind and the imagination; encourages seeking after truth, meaning, and beauty; awakens an appreciation of past traditions and present challenges; fosters joy in learning and sharing that learning with others; supports taking the intellectual risks required to explore the unknown, test new ideas and enter into constructive debate; and builds the foundation for making principled judgments. It hones the capacity for critical and open intellectual inquiry – the interest in asking questions, challenging assumptions, seeking answers, and reaching conclusions supported by logic and evidence. A liberal education rests fundamentally on the free exchange of ideas – on conversation and questioning – that thrives in classrooms, lecture halls, laboratories, studios, dining halls, playing fields, and dormitory rooms.Ultimately, a liberal education promotes independent thinking, individual action,and social responsibility.  (Emphasis mine.)

Think of this self-praise when you think of the incident Shriver talks about:  Two well-respected Bowdoin students threw a tequila party for a friend and, in keeping with the theme, gave guests little miniature sombreros:

To read more (and hear the audio), please go here.