Ravelry, a website and forum for the knitting community, announced Sunday that it would no longer allow users to show support for President Trump and his administration, either by speaking in favor of Trump, or by designing Trump-inspired patterns.
"We cannot provide a space that is inclusive of all and also allow support for open white supremacy," wrote Ravelry's site administrators. "Support of the Trump administration is undeniably support for white supremacy."
This is an absurd position to take—no, not everyone who supports Trump is a white supremacist—though the site is free to take it. Ravelry is a privately-owned space, and is within its rights to enforce all kinds of restraints on its users behavior. Anyone who doesn't like this should go find a rival knitting community, or start their own.
Still, it's a sad sign of the these incredibly partisan, increasingly tribal times that Trump supporters and Trump opponents cannot exist side by side, knitting in relative peace.
According to NPR:
Since Trump's election, there has been a scattering of politically based patterns posted to the site — which in turn have sparked impassioned discussions in its forums. Perhaps the most popular of these is the pink "pussyhat" that became ubiquitous at women's marches in 2017 and came to symbolize a feminist rallying cry against Trump for his remarks about women.
In another veer into explicitly partisan territory, one scarf pattern creates an illusion that makes it look like "innocuous stripes from the front, but says F*** TRUMP, when viewed from an angle."
There are also pro-Trump projects. A member called Deplorable Knitter has posted several hat and scarf patterns that echo the Make America Great Again slogan, along with "build the wall" and Trump 2020 images.
Ravelry's new policy claims that conservative members are not prohibited from discussing their political views, but that "hate groups and intolerance are different from other types of political positions." Being pro-Trump apparently falls into the latter category. I would expect that enforcing this ban will prove at least as divisive as the posting of pro-Trump content.
Here's hoping no one tells Sen. Josh Hawley (R–Mo.) about this.