I had never heard of knitting and crocheting website Ravelry prior to seeing their above tweet. It seems to be a fairly popular website if the stats at the bottom of their main page are any indication (over 800,000 users in the past month). But based on the tweet they sent out yesterday morning, at least some of their users are guilty of wrong speak regarding Donald Trump.
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. More details: https://t.co/hEyu9LjqXa— Ravelry (@ravelry) June 23, 2019
Do you think people who write such tweets see the irony of saying “inclusive of all” right after a sentence that bans speech they don’t like? Do they not realize that the act of banning someone or something negates the meaning of the phrase “inclusive of all.”
And notice it’s not just support of Donald Trump the person that has been banned. Support of the Trump administration has also been banned. As Ravelry noted on the policy page for this new rule: “Support of the Trump administration is undeniably support for white supremacy.”
Of course, you’re not allowed to say that you deny that sentence because you’ve already been deemed racist. Never mind the fact that over 61 million people voted for Trump in 2016. All that means to Ravelry is that there are over 61 million white supremacists in the country.
There are more gems on Ravelry’s policy page for this new rule.
You can still participate if you do in fact support the administration, you just can’t talk about it here.
What Ravelry glosses over with this sentence is that Trump supporters cannot fully participate on the website. If a Trump supporter sees someone offering a Trump Sucks pattern, they can’t counter with a Trump Rules pattern. If a Trump supporter sees someone telling a blatant lie about Trump on the forum, they can’t counter with the truth.
We are not endorsing the Democrats nor banning Republicans.
Actually, Ravelry, you are doing both. By banning all support for Trump and his administration, you are tacitly endorsing Democrats. This will be especially true next year leading up to the presidential elections. If you support any Democrat presidential candidate, you are free to say whatever you want. If you support Trump’s presidential run, shut up you white supremacist.
By banning the expression of any kind of support for Trump and his administration, you are tacitly banning Republicans. After all, Republicans will be the ones most likely to voice support for Trump. And the website makes no distinction on whether that support is for Trump as a whole or if you support a law he has signed or policy he has enacted.
Furthermore, this new policy is going to make those same people fearful of expressing support for any Republican office holder. After all, how long before Ravelry decides to ban all support for Mike Pence for homophobia because he supports a Biblical view of marriage?
We are definitely not banning conservative politics.
I can almost see the line of thinking that went into the sentence above. They probably originally wrote “We are not banning conservative politics.” Then a supervisor read it and said, “What if conservatives think that’s exactly what we’re doing?” And so the word “definitely” was added as if that somehow makes Ravelry’s intentions above reproach.
The bigger issue with that sentence is just how little politics can be discussed without referring back to Trump in some way. Both liberal and conservative politics are defined by the highest ranking member of each political persuasion in office. For conservatives, that’s Donald Trump. And since Ravelry has already stated that all support of Trump is the same as supporting white supremacy, what politics, exactly, are conservatives free to talk about?
Do you think the current economic growth is a result of Trump’s policies? If so, you can’t say anything because that would be supporting Trump. Do you approve of how Trump is handling Kim Jong-Un and North Korea? Don’t speak up because that would be supporting Trump. Are you supportive of Trump’s push to decriminalize homosexuality around the world? Well, keep it to yourself because that would be supporting Trump.
Hate groups and intolerance are different from other types of political positions.
I checked Ravelry’s Twitter feed to see if they have ever banned support for noted anti-Semite Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. In addition, I looked to see if they banned support for undeniable black supremacist Louis Farrakhan. I couldn’t find a tweet for either, so I guess you are free to express support for their hateful and intolerant political positions.
It would be bad enough if Ravelry banned all things Trump, good or bad. That wouldn’t favor one group over the other and would put all website participants on equal footing. Like Trump? Shut up. Hate Trump? Shut up. At least everyone would have to stay quiet in that scenario.
Instead, Ravelry is allowing people who don’t support Trump to express their opinions, beliefs, and, yes, hate completely unfettered and uncontested. It opens up those who support Trump to harassment simply for saying they are conservative but then refusing to denounce Trump. It falsely equates support of Trump and his administration as support for white supremacy. And the website does this all while proclaiming that they are tolerant and inclusive to all.
I wonder what Ravelry’s position is on someone who supports Trump when he says or does something right and denounces him when he says or does something wrong. Would they see that as half-white supremacy?