I’ve narrowed down the options I’d like to work with. Please see my next post for my reasoning and to take a poll.
I don’t think I’ve gotten politics in my craftblogging before. (Unless you count the Bread & Roses and Occupy patterns.) On Twitter, yes, on Google+, yes, in some of my comments on Ravelry, yes. But not here. I’ve tried to avoid it. But I’m starting a design project for some political fundraising that requires me starting a discussion and asking questions. This is the best place for it, I think.
I’ve become more and more horrified over the last decade about the state of systemic racism in the United States. (For-profit prisons, voter suppression — not just Voter ID and reduction in earlier voting, but also disenfranchising felons in a country where more people with brown skin are convicted of things that shouldn’t be felonies, or where white people aren’t charged as much as they should be; the school-to-prison pipeline, the difficulty in finding jobs after being convicted as a felon… the list goes on and on and on.) And then of course, Trayvon Martin and in the same year, Marissa Alexander. And the many, many cases of cops shooting unarmed black people and not even being tried for it. These are names I wouldn’t know if their owners hadn’t been killed in this last year: Mike Brown, John Crawford, Eric Garner, Darrien Hunt. And they are just the tip of the iceberg.
I can’t be silent. I can’t pretend that it’s fair that I don’t have to be scared of being pulled over by the cops for a traffic violation – nervous, yes. Worried about fines, yes. But not scared that the police will think I’m pulling a gun when I’m getting out my driver’s license. So that’s part of the reason for this post. There is an unjust situation in this country, and has been since its founding. It needs to be fixed. One of the ways to fix it is to talk about it, but that isn’t enough by itself.
I often find myself at a loss about what I can do as an individual to change things. One thing I can do is to listen and recognize what’s happening. Another thing I can do is to try to raise my child to be aware of injustice and discrimination (pretending to be “color blind” is counterproductive). I can write letters to my politicians and vote. None of those is enough by itself.
What else can I do? I can protest. I would like to donate to organizations that are working for change, but I don’t have a lot of money.
So, what am I able to do? What do I do in my everyday life? I am a knitting designer. I can design a pattern and sell it in exchange for donations. This seems like a very small thing, but I do think that having physical objects that have been made for a purpose can be a reminder of that purpose. People are of course free to make donations without needing to buy anything! But sometimes getting something in return is a help in motivating people.