I have been shocked, appalled and dismayed by the recent actions of a well-known knitting ‘celebrity’. I will not give his name space here. Prior to these recent events, I was ignorant of the goings on and not even aware of the man, let alone a follower; so a lot of my thoughts and feelings have been shaped by others.

As such I want to loudly denounce the actions of this person and his spouse. Violence in any form is never the answer. And for those of you who would like to defend him because of his mental illness, understand this: people who suffer from mental illness are much more likely to be VICTIMS of violence, whether by their own hands or others’, than perpetrators of violence. And as a sufferer, I am in NO WAY belittling his mental breakdown as I have experienced this and it is awful, but I’d like to commend the tireless work of the BIPOC community who deal with hate and micro and macro aggressions on a daily basis and maintain their strength and tenacity without breaking down.

I know I am often silent on these matters but that is simply because of my own coping with mental illness (depression, anxiety, mild agoraphobia); not silent agreement with the hateful. I spend very little time on social media due to my anxiety so I am not always on top of things. A quote I enjoyed from @mattzhaig this morning: “Never dismiss someone for being quiet. Not everyone can put themselves out on the surface. A person can sit and be still and awkward and be burning with life and love. Sometimes they are quiet BECAUSE of that intensity. Because there is a world inside them they must attend to”. And please know, I AM aware that I am able to be this way due to my white privilege. But on the other hand, I am a deeply empathic person and I often feel sick to my stomach and driven to tears by the stories I have read. So I do what I can when I can. More so in real life than online. I have long called out people for racist/homophobic/offensive behaviour, and this will continue.

I have had many knitting ‘idols’ fall in my eyes due to all the discussions we’ve had recently; whether due to outright defending the behaviour of the hateful, or hiding within their white privilege using platitudes such as “I believe everyone is equal and should have equal opportunities”. That’s all well and good and a lovely goal to have but it’s not the world we live in. That’s rose coloured glasses stuff. And if you’re a business owner (as the in the quote above), you need to put your money where your mouth is. I am small fry in comparison, with very little influence but I am still putting my meagre livelihood on the line by speaking out. And I appreciate BIPOC people are putting their businesses, their mental health and their LIVES on the line to call out the racism in our community, and that is far more important than a little white girl from Adelaide. This is my call to others to do so as well.

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