No one ever would have guessed that the resistance found such a strong ally in such a niche online community.
Recently, however, the website made waves all over the internet by banning support for President Trump on their platform. Their reasoning was simple, as they explained in a statement:
"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."
We are banning support of Donald Trump and his administration on Ravelry. We cannot provide a space that is inclusi… https://t.co/dcuBlpCQ0m— Ravelry (@Ravelry)1561291765.0
Many Trump supporters have lashed out at the site, accusing them of discriminating against Trump supporters. Ravelry, however, cited a recent post from RPG.com outlining many (though far from all) of Trump's own instances of discrimination.
In the face of these actions, Ravelry rightly identifies support for Trump tacit support of White supremacy.
🧶 Knitting social network @ravelry has banned all pro-Trump content on its site https://t.co/K0JUoroqvg— TicToc by Bloomberg (@TicToc by Bloomberg)1561471327.0
But Trump supporters claimed Ravelry, claiming the website is the intolerant ones for discriminating against Trump supporters. In a way, this is true, though this entire situation is a prime example of the paradox of tolerance at work.
The paradox of tolerance was first described in in 1945 by Karl Popper, and describes how a tolerant society can only flourish if it is intolerant of intolerance. Otherwise, many philosophers, psychologists, and anthropologists noted, those who were tolerant would be prone to accepting the ideas of people whose goals were to suppress the freedoms of other groups.
As outlined in their statement, Trump has clearly shown to be the suppression of marginalized communities to be among his own goals.
Free speech means you’re immune from governmental persecution - but it does NOT mean you’re exempt from consequence… https://t.co/tYhuPr6Vou— Amanda Jette Knox (@Amanda Jette Knox)1561411256.0
I’m proud to have been a member of Ravelry since 2007, member no. 6377 out of approximately 8,000,000 knitters & c… https://t.co/rYwxBs1LGP— Joyce Alene (@Joyce Alene)1561343532.0
Twitter users rallied behind Ravelry, thanking them for their stance and joking about how the moral strength of the knitting community.
@NPR This yarn leaves me in stitches. It's a real purl.— A Very Concerned Citizen (@A Very Concerned Citizen)1561453722.0
@NPR Yay Ravelry! It's the most useful website with the most amazing people (and some bummer people too)— Madeleine (@Madeleine)1561452130.0
@NPR https://t.co/2eO6Qjo4i9— Jenn Jackson (@Jenn Jackson)1561465383.0
Even Trump's archenemy, iconic actress Bette Midler, sounded off on the issue!
#Ravelry, a knitting website includes the group #WelcomeBlanket. They have a project to knit personal blankets for… https://t.co/Agqn2mVD2f— Bette Midler (@Bette Midler)1561471203.0
For folks asking, Why does it have to be political? The very fact that you can separate knitting from politics is p… https://t.co/ZAv8Z5SEz5— sonya (@sonya)1561418712.0
A ton of Republicans are angry with Ravelry for their decision, though it's worth noting that the website made it clear Trump supporters themselves were still welcome on the platform. Only speech or products in support of the President would be grounds for removal.
@ravelry You are doing what you claim you are protesting, and are acting like fascists. So much for free speech, huh! #Trump2020— Cbru88 (@Cbru88)1561410503.0
@ravelry Are you on crack? You do realize this economy has helped and is helping ALL Americans, right? That's inc… https://t.co/94JDVHaFF0— Joe Pags Pagliarulo (@Joe Pags Pagliarulo)1561407767.0
@ravelry A self proclaimed “inclusive and friendly website” accuses the President of “white supremacy” with absolut… https://t.co/eAwKidjFG8— Mindy Robinson 🇺🇸 (@Mindy Robinson 🇺🇸)1561424633.0
@ravelry A torrent of legal issues are coming your way. More details, see the laws of the state of California.— Carmine Sabia (@Carmine Sabia)1561324178.0
Many other Twitter users, however, were glad to see a large online community stoping hate-speech in its tracks.
#ravelry thank you. https://t.co/3nKXlh84dy— Sarah Morgan (@Sarah Morgan)1561408349.0
I stand with @ravelry. There is no room for hate with my knitting. https://t.co/EQVKdHsvK8— Brenda Larsen (@Brenda Larsen)1561426509.0
It seems knitters are made of stronger stuff than the average social media giant!
Sometimes the right thing to do is not the easy thing to do. But it *is* the right thing to do. I stand with… https://t.co/5BDIoewfY6— Yarns From The Plain (@Yarns From The Plain)1561410795.0
@ravelry I think I need to take up knitting. This is a community I want to be a part of. Thank you for taking a stand.— Madeleine Morris (@Madeleine Morris)1561357538.0
Welcome to the fight against intolerance, knitters/crocheters everywhere!
Welcome to the resistance @ravelry 🐮 https://t.co/hCwcKZCRhR— Devin Nunes’ cow 🐮 (@Devin Nunes’ cow 🐮)1561441764.0
@ravelry Outstanding @ravelry! https://t.co/HTngPAd4ft— Lori (@Lori)1561343441.0