Saturday, 13 July 2019

But how is Nathan?

The situation with the aggressive online trolls grew through the night, as the American knitters got involved and started to leap onto what they perceived as a ripe carcass. The thing that suddenly struck me about online bullying is that it’s actually not just about the things people say but the sheer weight of comments you receive when one of these situations erupts. If you respond to just one comment, another fifty people reply to that, and so it goes on, snowballing out of control with everyone assuming you’re reading everything. Within a single thread, rumours start to develop, which become fact the moment someone writes them down. I, personally, was accused of keeping a list of people who could expect my vengeance in a particularly bizarre twist to the story. It really did feel like I’d entered Looking-Glass Land. I felt like Alice talking to the White Queen, with every scrap of logic being twisted, just not in a particularly witty manner: “Jam tomorrow, jam yesterday, but never jam today.”

Someone actually suggested that Nathan should be “cancelled”. Quite a specific comment. For a long time, I debated whether or not this was a death threat and decided it probably wasn’t. I like to see the best in people, even if they are bat-shit crazy.

Nathan disabled comments when the sheer weight of them became too much, but the following morning, his other Instagram posts, and then his Twitter feed had been hijacked by the haters. The taunts continued. He was a white supremacist, a Nazi apologist...

He started obsessively reading the posts but became increasingly worked up, then more and more erratic and then suddenly he snapped, screaming like a terrified animal, smashing boxes and thumping himself. I was forced to wrestle him to the ground and hold onto him for dear life as the waves of pain surged through his body. He made a run for the car keys. He said he wanted to drive at 100 miles per hour until he crashed.

I called our doctor and they could hear him screaming in the background and said I was to immediately take him to A and E, where he was instantly assessed and put on suicide watch pending a decision about whether or not he needed to be, well, I suppose the word is sectioned.

We were there about six hours in total. Nathan went numb, then cried a lot, then laughed a lot, then cried and then went numb again. I got angry and started replying to the cowards on Instagram. I opened a new post on Nathan’s account, explaining that he was now in hospital, that their anger had been registered and that I would appreciate only messages of love for the time being.

And many, many wonderful messages of support and love came through, which, I firmly believe, kept Nathan from entirely tipping over the edge in those dark, dark hours. I am so grateful to the people who messaged me and him. Old friends. New friends. People whose lives he’d touched in his knitting career. The overwhelming message which came through was how many people Nathan had geed up, enthused, made smile. To begin with Nathan was terrified to hear what was being said in case it was barbed or sarcastic. He was scared and I felt utterly helpless to protect him from the mob. Put yourself for a moment in that position. Your husband is potentially going to be sectioned and you can’t stop the people who are putting him in that position from making things worse.

And sure enough, in amongst the outpourings of love and respect, the aggressive trolls popped up, largely taking me on as their new public enemy, but the most despicable were actually trying to suggest that Nathan’s being hospitalised was a publicity stunt and that the “snowflake” privileged white men in us were attempting to turn ourselves into victims to hide our “hatred.” Only the sickest of people would not have backed off in these circumstances.

One woman was talking about the need to collect evidence, another suggest that Nathan disabling comments on his original post had destroyed a lot of the hard “educational” work that the BIPOC community had carried out (like he was burning manuscripts or something), then someone else was demanding Nathan close down comments on the NEW post, because BIPOC people were being attacked by a whole other set of trolls.

See how much it’s like Alice Through the Looking-Glass?! Then they all started to suggest that unless we were prepared to provide them with screen grabs proving that Nathan had been called a white supremacist, it had to be assumed that he was lying.

There are now 3000 messages on the post. I have taken myself entirely off Instagram.

Being brutally and candidly honest I would say that, barring a few notable and vociferous individuals, the absolute majority of trolls “educating” me in BIPOC etiquette were white. And with allies like that, who needs enemies?




I had a spat with one woman who argued that, in some cases (implying Nathan’s) it was okay to accuse someone of Nazi apologising. I responded that 6 million Jewish people hadn’t died at the hands of actual Nazis just so that she could blithely use the term on social media to make her point. Oh she didn’t like that. Another woman said that Nathan had been very good at instructing people about homosexuality and AIDS but it was now his turn to listen. I told her that it wasn’t called AIDS any more, proving that we’re all on a journey to discovery. I could see her lips turning to lemon as she begrudgingly thanked me for educating her.




I screen-grabbed just one vitriolic remark, which came from rfw330. I may frame it one day alongside my shockingly awful Sibelius report from university.




“Stop weaponising every single detail about yourselves. No one who spoke up on Monday directly caused his admission to the hospital. For you to say otherwise is harmful, violent and flat out abhorrent. I hope after a night’s sleep you can realise that you are as complicit in this shitshow as your husband.”




So, in summing up, these people are unstoppable online, and seem to have endless tragic hours to spend whipping each other up into a frenzy. The good people ignore them, but they shout so loudly that they begin to look like they’re the official voice of BIPOC folk - and this is deeply dangerous because it plays into the hands of the far right.




A group of knitters are now setting up a new version of the yarn website, Ravelry which they have very nicely asked Nathan to join. These are the people who have been alienated by Ravelry’s decision to ban any talk of Trump because Trump supports right wing hate speech. But, because Ravelry refuses to ban hate speech from the left, it merely becomes a playground for those who shout loudly in that particular area. And the new site becomes a playground for the right, and no one dares to criticise anything. Polarisation of society complete.




And that’s what frightens me. And in these 100 year cycles that we’re in right now, we have to brace ourselves for anything.




But most importantly how is Nathan three days on? He’s okay. I think. Buoyed up by every message of support. Wiped out. Fragile. Frazzled. He was not sectioned but he has been referred for further investigation. Please continue to send love and warm thoughts.

95 comments:

  1. I didnt know Nathan before all of this, but he sounds like a wonderful person and I'm glad I found him. He's been in my thoughts and prayers.
    Our Unraveled has been an oasis with no politics at all and I know everyone would feel honored to have him.
    Your post is so intelligent and heartfelt. I'm sure your husband is in the best hands having you by his side.

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  2. Sending more love to you both. I’m so sick of all the vitriol, it’s so ugly. Nathan is a beautiful human being and I hope he feels better soon. Xx

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  3. I'm one of those people alienated by the Rav chaos. I'm so sorry that Nathan has been a victim of the mad dog extremism. Please know you and he are in a lot of folks prayers. Bless you bot .

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  4. Love and light to Nathan. This too shall pass. A lot of us can see both sides of things. This will be a memory someday!

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  5. I encourage you and your husband to educate yourself on being misogynistic bullies. You can as white gay males be misogynistic as you downplay the plight of others. "It is a myth that the oppressed cannot be oppressors." (Hale, S et Ojeda, T, 2018) If a woman, a LGBTQ+ woman, or a BIPOC woman replies to your statements, you see us as trouble makers but when a white male, gay or otherwise, speaks his mind, he is seen as a hero. Society places stereotypes on women in patriarchal societies. Men encourage those stereotypes by doing exactly what you are doing here on your blog. You and your husband are playing the women ganged up on me card. No one is doing the ganging up or bullying but you and your husband. Have a read of the followig article I cited, you might realize what your are doing is what is causing the problem.
    https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1350506818764762

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    1. STOP. This is enough. Find something constructive to do in your spare time. Stop beating people up online. It's not Nathan that's the problem. It's you but you're too narcissistic to see it.

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    2. You are part of the problem. Let them see what they are doing to women. Read the article, educate yourself. Nathan and Ben are not the only gay white males that are propagating labels and encouraging other white males to assert their dominance over women. There are many other studies regarding their behavior. It's you who need to stop. Read the research and reflect.

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    3. Oh sweetie. Go have a warm glass of milk. It'll make you feel better.

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    4. You are a disgusting human. Go spew your hatred elsewhere. Leave Nathan alone. You've lost your humanity when you drive a sensitive soul into a nervous breakdown and continue to relentlessly pursue him. Seriously, stop and do some self reflection. You are a monster not a hero.

      Sending much love to you and Nathan. We stand with you.

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    5. The narrow interpretation you have of your own citation is telling.

      You quote ' "It is a myth that the oppressed cannot be oppressors." (Hale, S et Ojeda, T, 2018)' as you cry from the bully-pulpit of the opppressed-oppressor, defending your own position by casting specific assumptions and perceptions on your own view, holding those views as infallible and "given."

      I posit that "any who acts as an oppressor, is an oppressor."

      Your reasoning is flawed; your logical leaps are great in both distance and in number; you assume that parenthetically citing a work adds to your credibility ("appeal to authority"); and you base almost the entirety of your tenuous position on the basis of "original sin/sin of a group" (aka kafkatrapping).

      Before you absorb and assimilate any more group-think from your narcissistic-virtuous peers, learn a little critical thought, logical reasoning, and, for-fuck's-sake, some god damn humanity.

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    6. Anonymous...how cowardly. But I will choose to remain anonymous too, knowing the damage your hate can do to a person. To continue to hammer and hammer, to sling mud and call names. you are not part of the problem, you are the cause of the problem. I'm glad I don't know you, I would be contemplating some roofing nails spilled in a strategic spot. I pity you and your misery, and I pity the people to whom you direct your evil.

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  6. Completely agree with Anonymous 2:27. I knew nothing about this whole incident until a little bit ago and saw a reference on Instagram. Having read your last post - referring to the "harpies" - I was reminded of Josh Bennett who responded to a critical blogger by calling her a "plus sized doughball" and referred to the stereotype of "bitchy spinsters that have no social skills." I get that you think you and your husband are being attacked, but I think your true (misogynist) colors are coming through. Also, who cares who first came up with a hashtag??

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    1. Do you feel better now that you've insulted Nathan and his husband? Does that make you feel smug and superior? Congratulations. You win.

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  7. I also agree with Anonymous 2:27, you are fabricating a story to suit your narrative and trying to create an echo chamber for white supremacy. No one was bullying or hating your husband, he said that he “poked the hive” and that he was a big boy - that he could deal with it. He understood there would be fallout, he knew that he was intentionally hurting marginalised people, if he wasn’t able to cope with the hurt that he caused then he shouldn’t have written that post and he shouldn’t have continuously told the BIPOC community that “he didn’t care” about them. All this because of a hashtag?? There are many screenshots of what you and your husband posted that show you are now creating lies, you’ve written a story here to suit your comfort and to protect you. But weaponising a panic attack and shifting the blame onto people who have tried to educate him does not help your cause, you are only making things worse Benjamin. You urgently need to put your phone down until Nathan has the ability to speak for himself, the damage you have done and the damage you continue to cause is unnecessary and it is harmful. Let Nathan speak for himself when he is able, hopefully he can reverse some of the damage you have done.

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    1. No damage was caused. Stop. He didn't hurt anyone. If YOU choose to misread his words, that's on you, not him. Grow up.

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    2. You sit there and say no damage was caused, he didn't hurt anyone. People misread things and now Nathan is in the hospital. Benjamin wants to blame everyone who commented and twist the events to make them both look innocent. It doesn't take being admitted to the hospital to be hurt or to have their lives damaged.

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    3. Why? Because he chose not to demonize everyone like you do? What part of suffering don't you understand? Your continued attacks on him only prove you are everything you claim to hate.

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    4. Benjamin is correct in blaming everyone that caused this (read: you). How did other people have their lives damaged? Nathan is the only one who came out of this damaged. If you can't see that then YOU are the problem. Stop projecting YOUR shortcomings onto other people.

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  8. Sending best wishes to both yourself and Nathan through this most difficult times.

    As one who left Ravelry, even though we may not always see eye-to-eye, wish you well and hope you'll join us at one of our new homes.

    Hang in there!! ❤❤❤

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  9. My heart just breaks for you and Nathan. It is completely unacceptable for anyone to attack another person period. There is no excuse for those type of people to even have access to the internet if all they do is hate everyone including themselves. People who spat hate constantly are rooted in evil and shouldn't be listened to. My heart breaks for you both and I really hope that he is feeling better soon. No one deserves to be attacked especially someone as caring as Nathan. Here is loving energy! Please feel better soon and know that even though there are horrible people out there, they are a lot of good who care about your welfare and your health.

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  10. You people Anonymous 2:27 and those agreeing with him/her: You are sick, vile, evil people to keep attacking Nathan and Benjamin like you're doing. The only people causing damage are YOU and other sickies like you!!

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    1. It's disgusting and sad isn't it? Unfortunately, these people are too narcissistic to see that they are the problem. They blame other people for their faults. All we can do is just pat them on the head and say "okay, dear" and move on. Actually, that's not a bad idea...That's going to be my response to all these trolls.

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  11. Benjamin, very best wishes to you and Nathan. I add my prayers for his continued healing, and peace and comfort for you both. Ignore the ignorance and hate. Embrace the love. It's all around you. ❤️❤️❤️

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  12. I'm so sorry you are both having to go through this hatred.
    I'm equally sorry having to post anonymous to protect myself as I am one of those accused by the r place as a white supremacist.
    You are both in my prayers.

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  13. Benjamin and Nathan, you have my prayers for healing and peace. Please delete the ugly anonymous posts from the cowards who won't put their names to their ugly deeds. They are toxic, not worth the air they breathe, and they have no place in your lives. Cast them out and move on! As a former Rav user I am also posting anonymously so the trolls don't start coming after me. They don't deserve the satisfaction or the time of day.

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  14. I was one of those that left Ravelry. I’m heartbroken that this has happened to such a lovely, kind person. I wish you both peace of mind and all the very best.

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  15. Nathan and Benjamin, hugs and prayers for health and healing for both of you. Please do not read or respond to any more posts from the attacking trolls. By doing so, you give them power they don't deserve. Ignore them, block them, whatever must be done. They are NOT worthy of attention. Remove their toxin from your lives, and embrace the positive energy of those around you who are extending their support. You ARE worthy!

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  16. Sending my best to the both of you.

    The things I have read over these last 3 weeks are scarring and they haven't been directed to me personally. You are both in my thoughts daily.

    Surround yourselves with your music. When we can speak publicly again, I will introduce myself.

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  17. May you find the comfort you need from the tremendous amount of love from those of us standing by you both. I did not see the original hatred, but I am so sorry such ugliness can come from one human to another. ♡ There is more love than hate, I can assure you of that. Please be well and take care of each other.

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  18. Benjamin, there are a lot of people keeping you both in our prayers. Hang onto that. Sam has my email address, if you'd like to get in touch with me, and my friends. God bless.

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  19. I am so sorry that you and Nathan have to deal with this nonsense. Please delete the hate, and give it no further voice. They all deserve to disappear into deep, dark obscurity. Love to you both.

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  20. I'm a fan of Nathan's work. He has a brilliant mind and a beautiful spirit. That doesn't stop him making a mistake. Mistakes happen, it's what you do next that matters. What you and Nathan did next was awful to witness.
    It is because I care about Nathan that I have to tell you: This post is very damaging to Nathan's brand. Step away from the Internet and take time to review how you're hurting him by stiring this up. You're doing this to serve your own need to feel right.

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  21. Keep yourself healthy, too! Your husband needs you! Sending nothing but the best of my hopes and thoughts.

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  22. In 35 years of activism the only people who have told me to pipe down, sweeten my words or moderate my opposition have been those interested in maintaining the status quo. Certainly, no gay man suggested I be any less engaged when marching against section 28, supporting the equalisation of the age of consent, or campaigning for relationship rights – civil partnerships - equal marriage etc. As a public health professional, no individual patient or patient group has ever suggested I should advocate any less fervently for equality of access to treatment, fair funding allocations or appropriate, inclusive modes of service delivery, including of HIV and Hep C services during the early days of innovation, when these were very real and very loaded debates. I recall very heated and indeed very immoderate argument and on occasion, action, as being the cornerstone of progress in these areas. This is why I found the double standard and tone policing of Nathan’s post so challenging and both of your subsequent behaviour inexcusable. Yes, I am also a knitter, but that certainly does not give you, or anyone, the right to place me, or anyone else, in a box where ‘innocuous’ or ‘purring’ are appropriate adjectives or to patronise us as a group who ‘cook lovely cakes and are a little eccentric but are essentially lovely, harmless people’. Speaking uncomfortable truths is necessary for social change, and yes, now I’m going to patronise you back, now that Nathan is feeling so much better, maybe you should sit and reflect on your discomfort, because frankly you should both know better.

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    1. "Tone policing"? Seriously? That's just an excuse to attack his words. You don't like them, don't read them. Using language like "tone policing" is someone doing exactly what they accuse Nathan of. They are his words, his truth. He spoke a truth that some people didn't like. Unfollow him, then. Online pile-ons are not helpful, they don't change anyone's mind, and they just get worse and worse until serious damage is done to people. We don't accept that kind of behavior from our children, and we shouldn't accept it when it's done by adults, no matter what the reason.

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    2. Directed at Anonymous: Just imagine me patting you on the head and saying "okay, dear". Now go have a glass of warm milk. And yes, I'm infantilizing you because you're acting like a child.

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    3. You are an absolute hypocrite. If you could only stop yourself for a moment to do some self reflection I think you'd be horrified by what you discover. You are not enlightened nor infinitely wise nor of superior moral character. Quite the opposite.

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  23. I hope that A. You keep the instagtam posts up B. That at some time you can revisit that Instagram post yourself because you will see that this has opened a lot of eyes to the hypocrisy of the social justice movement. POC responding "you aren't my voice and you have called me racist when I called you out on it". And their posts then buried with the much louder white voices demanding they are the voice of BIPOC. Through that hospitalization post, I have a glimmer of hope that maybe this will be a turning point. I'm sorry for your husband bc it was pure evil directed at him but people are seeing the light and speaking up on the post much truth about this false advocacy. Let your husband know that positive can and WILL come out of this. He did nothing wrong, all the wrong is in the way of this "movement."

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  24. Hi Ben and Nathan, I’m sending you good wishes and commiserating about the appalling treatment of the keyboard warriors. I think it’s great that you’re carrying on and living life – social media is not life and the more time people spend on it the more skewed their sense of reality becomes. I’ve seen today that you headed for Yarningham but people are already trying to bait you in order to reignite their own victim status. Please don’t rise to it, they’re absolutely not worth it, and this is all about whipping up the drama and making you the villain of the piece, but they can’t achieve it if you don’t engage. Do whatever it takes to keep away from such miserable people, they clearly have their own troubles and they want drama because their lives are otherwise unexciting and empty. If we don’t add oxygen to the fire it will burn out, because in the absence of clear statements and people to pick on they destroy their own instead and that’s been happening a lot in the last few weeks. People are known by their words and actions and the hate-filled aggressive messaging speaks for itself if we just sit back and let it. Keep on being you and living your own life and let these keyboard warriors turn in on themselves, it won’t take long if we leave them to it.

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  25. You’ve fabricated a narrative that allows you to be the victim but that’s not what was happening originally. When you and Nathan were being so awful to everyone online. And talking so horribly to people voicing valid concerns about what was being said. You created the tone and you fostered it and now you’re online dragging it out. Shame on you. The person who most hurt Nathan here was you. And I’m sure you can get any number of people to blindly reply that I’m mean here or whatever whatever but that doesn’t make me wrong. And this comment isn’t mean or nice. It’s just honest. A lot of people watched this unfold and saw what happened.

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    1. Okay, dear. Whatever you need to tell yourself to make you feel superior.

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  26. with all of the pot stirring you did this week you thought it was a good idea to let Nathan go to yarningham. he is quite obviously still unstable, instead of continuing to poke the hive maybe its time to get off of the internet for a while and reflect on the words that people have shared and your own actions.

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    1. Or, you could just focus on your well being and stop getting into their business.

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    2. No. You don't dictate this conversation. Benjamin wants to paint this picture of Nathan being an innocent victim of harassment and bullying. Today he tried to physically attack a BIPOC. I will not tolerate physical attacks and will speak out when someone is trying to manipulate.

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    3. Okay sweetie. Whatever you say.

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    4. To Jesica, she goaded him knowing it would make a scene and wanting to be in the victim frame again getting all the attention. If you know someone has been ill and their private business talked about en Masse then surely you should be mindful of that when they bravely appear in public for the first time. Why on earth would that be the right time and place for more sensitive discussions? If he gets no privacy or compassion then neither does she - you can't have it all going in one direction.

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    5. A woman went rushing up to Sockmatician as he was doing a book signing today and screamed in his face. He asked her to stop, but she carried on. So he called for her to be removed and then one of the organisers of Yarningham came over and started pushing Sockmatician out of the room whilst the first woman screamed at him "why are you walking away? You're a hypocrite, stand here and face up to me like a man." Sockmatician was clearly very distressed. The woman went at him knowing fully well he'd been in hospital. Very unpleasant. Not too impressed by the Yarningham organiser either. She pushed the wrong person out of the room.

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    6. Wow, just wow. This "woke" crowd is totally unhinged. That woman should have been removed and charged with assault. The behavior of these trolls is totally unacceptable! They need to grab their blankies and milk and go hide in their safe places.

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    7. Uh no, she absolutely did not "rush up and scream in his face". Having endured a week of abuse via her social media accounts after Nathan's original post, she wanted to talk with him and explain how the whole shitshow had personally affected her as a WOC. Yes she stood up for herself, but she certainly wasn't the first to scream. I think if he had waved his clenched fists towards me and shouted at me I may well have shouted back as well. Anonymous 00:55, were you there?? Because those of us who were did not see it the way you paint it.

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  27. Wow... this is insane... Well I would love to work with you guys. Please feel free to email me when y'all are ready.

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  28. Sending up prayers for support and encouragement for you both.

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  29. Claiming that these people fabricated Nathan's breakdown is the equivalent of the right claiming Sandy Hook never happened. It's disgusting and am example of how the left fragments itself and why we (left leaning, liberals, however you name them ) are not accomplishing our overarching, unifying goals.

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    1. Absolutely. If anyone else was ill and hospitalised at the beginning of the week and then up and about the following weekend we'd be giving them a hug and saying how pleased we were that they were feeling better. All standards of common decency fly out the window when social justice armchair warriors get going. From the privacy of their homes they say things their families and friends would be appalled by. It's cowardly, it's weak, and says far more about the writer than the intended subject. Look within folks, that's why no real ground has been covered since January. Do you REALLY want change, or just drama and an eternal victim soapbox?

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    2. Sadly it gives them a false sense of self-worth and meaning, but the feeling doesn't last long as it's built on the back of being unkind and spiteful and somewhere deep inside part of them knows that. Because it doesn't last and that inner sense starts gnawing they go again but bigger, each time bigger to get the same buzz - it's a drug, and it's deflecting the emptiness within. It's why no discussion or conversation will ever change their minds - they're not seeking a real answer they're avoiding a different pain. So sad, and so self-defeating, to live a life eaten up by misdirected anger, misery and vitriol - no matter what our circumstances, privileges or non-privileges we can all choose to live with joy rather than hate. Why wouldn't you choose joy?

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  30. I sincerely hope that when all this dies down, you and your husband have the opportunity to look inward and see how much harm you have caused.

    i never heard of you or your husband prior to this event happening. But it caused such drama in the knitting/crafting community, that the ripples of you trying to stifle BIPOC voices reached me.

    And it was enough to get me to seek out your blog, and leave this comment. Have a great day, and speedy recovery to your spouse.

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    1. I'm sorry but this is the worst response I've ever seen. You genuinely sound like you're using the ideology of an abuser; once you've recovered from being so attacked online that you've been driven to hurt yourself, realise that it's your own fault!?! Is that not what you're saying? Remember, if you've never heard of these people and you've received information on it secondhand, you don't know the full story, you don't know the people involved. When you understand and respect that this 'stifling of BIPOC voices' was an attempt at self-preservation and that this is completely justified, I hope you have the opportunity to look in ward and see how much harm you have caused and continue to cause by perpetuating this narrative of good and bad based on misinformation and opinion.
      I think everyone needs to look beyond the screen and think about whether they would say this in real life. The person on the other side of the screen is just as right, just as wrong, just as human as everyone else and you can't hold them accountable for everything you see wrong in the world. Someone is in hospital because this whole narrative, that they never asked to be a part of, has become too much. Think before you try to make them think they deserve it.

      And to Nathan (and Benjamin), I don't know you at all but my mum sung your praises after she went on one of your workshops and I will forever be grateful that you made her smile. People will always be unwittingly cruel, deluded by their own self-righteousness, but you are the hero of your own narrative as much as they are of theirs and you have just as much of a right to be happy- and to live- as they do. Look after yourselves.

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    2. You're completely bonkers! Nathan is a knitwear designer. He's not a politician or a leader of men, he's of no more importance (in political terms) than myself. His views can't cause any more harm than my own. And frankly, why should you even CARE what they are? We engage with him in his field of expertise...crafting. If you disagree on something, scroll past, shrug, say "OK, I don't agree". And move on! We DO (allegedly) have free speech. We SHOULD be able to debate rationally with those we oppose, without resorting to harpie-like ranting....if we're grown-ups! if we actually DO have a valid point! Much love & best wishes to Nathan. Your designs are fabulous!

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    3. Nikerbocker, please give us some concrete examples of the harm Nathan has caused. Concrete, real examples.

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    4. Nickerboker, so you are looking for Nathan to return and give an apology, an apology that has been written for him by the keyboard warriors..... And only then, after a prescribed amount of grovelling, will he be 'forgiven' for the 'harm' he has done. Very 1984......

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  31. Thank you so much for sharing an update. I've been sending much love and light your way since I witnessed the vicious attacks on IG. Nathan is a beautiful artist and a lovely human. My heart hurts for him. I hope he knows that he hasn't done anything to deserve the insanity visited upon him. The knitting community is trapped in a Twilight Zone of rabid group-think. It would be hard to believe if I didnt see it for myself. Take care of yourselves and please know that there are so many of us that are with you and stand by you.

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  32. (1/2) My whole family voted Brexit and I didn't. We discussed our reasons and out of this we found something we agreed on - none of us largely trust politicians, in the UK or elsewhere. All of my workplace eat meat and dairy, I don't, I'm vegan. We discuss our reasons for our choices, we found we agreed we're all against outright animal cruelty. I don't label myself by my choices and I don't do it to others, I recognise myself and all other humans as complex and not fitting in to a neat little box. I find arguing senseless and only puts up barriers between people when they may actually have some root causes in common and thereby a foundation to work from. The 'work' doesn't happen overnight or in a few months, I have been vegan for 15 years and wishing the whole world would do the same overnight, I mean, why would people be so cruel to sentient beings? It seems so clear that everyone should follow my lead, but change doesn't happen that quickly and people are complex and learn and develop in their own time, maybe even generations.. but change doesn't happen by alienating people and I accept any signs of change as hope, even just when one person chooses not to eat meat on Monday, that's a win for me. I have family members that now regret their brexit vote and co-workers who have reduced their meat and dairy intake and considering veganism. I'd like to think my approach supported this. I'm also a nurse, my governing body has a policy of impartiality so we can not publicly share political affiliations but equality and diversity is at the core of nursing practice. 'Do no harm' - I will not, not treat someone because of any way they present even if it may be something I don't agree with. I've looked after people from all backgrounds. I've looked after people who have committed crimes and I've looked after people who have stated ideologies I do not agree with. That is just my role as a nurse. Outside of my job, I find the best approach is dialogue and where there may be disagreements, to consider other views and listen to each other and either agree to disagree or discover a new perspective but never to call names or assign labels. I believe that demanding people change through micro aggression and passive aggression let alone outright aggression only puts barriers up to them listening in future. I appreciate people are hurt on both sides and feel that the time has come to be aggressive in whatever form but this does not have to be the way.

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  33. (2/2) Both Martin Luther King Jr and Mahatma Ghandi did things peacefully and are renowned, they showed that things can be done peacefully. Most of the recent discourse on racism and marginalisation has been unhelpful and counterproductive to any meaningful change in views. I really hope people can step away from social media and just have dialogues in real life where the understanding, the body language and facial cues are all there to not be misinterpreted. Ah, the real world where real things are happening and real racism goes on where people are still being killed for the colour of their skin or their sexuality and not just the misconstrued words in a post. People will say that words lead to bigger things. They don't have to, words can lead to discussions which can lead to understanding which can lead to tolerance. Nathan is not a bad person. He made a mistake, he made a few poor word choices and hopefully he will be mindful of that in future as should the people who used unkind words against Nathan. In the grand scheme of the big bad world there are millions of people and effectively a hundred of them took to expressing their disagreement with Nathan online on a social media platform. There is more to the world than this, there is more to us than this and there is more to Nathan than this. We are not paper cut figurines with one facet. I'm not in any specific agreement or disagreement with you or Nathan or any BIPOC or WW, there are definite acts of discrimination I will never stand for but I did not see that occur in Nathan's post. I just saw Nathan trying to say something that didn't read as well as it probably sounded in his head and showed less of an understanding in to the situation he felt he knew about and in truth it just seemed like an ego massage with the bit about founding a term which backfired and then BIPOC and WWs took this to personal offense instead of a neutral view and appreciating the possible good intent it came with and then everyone got hurt and nobody wins. I'm sure Nathan is aware that the discourse on racism is largely centred around that which is occurring in the USA and is quite different to the UK and when engaging in discussion we could seem disingenuous because we genuinely do not understand what it is like living there. If it were me, I'd reflect on this, apologise if I had upset anyone and agree that it wasn't my place to assert my opinion and then move on and continue to live the life I already was before I thought a social media presence mattered.

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    1. Thank you for saying this. I agree wholeheartedly. When I read his post, while I agreed to some of its intent l, I thought oh my god, what were you thinking? There was no way it was going to end well for him.

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  34. Saw this linked on a US site that has been following the Ravelry issue.
    I am praying for you and your husband, that you come through this well and whole.
    Social media can be a grand connector, but it is also quite a sewer of insanity, on which angry fragile people feed, to everyone's detriment.
    I am so sorry this has happened to you, and sorry in general that you two are not the first nor will you be the last to suffer greatly at the hands of the virtual mob.
    <3

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  35. What Nathan has been through is absolutely horrible. I'm glad to hear you've been invited to some of the new startups, and I understand your reluctance to join because you fear that the "unbridled" right will be as unhinged and vicious as the left. But I don't believe the new startups are playing the "us vs. them" game - I believe all are welcome and they will not be chasing out members for their political views. I started a Facebook group for those who are Walking Away from Ravelry, and we have people from all walks of life there. We believe in freedom of expression and wouldn't dare label an entire group of people as anything hateful like white supremacists - it's that sort of unfairness we are fighting against. My thoughts and prayers go out to you and Nathan and I hope you both can stand strong in the tempest of hatred that has been directed at so many people, including yourselves, who do not deserve that. Cheers...

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  36. NPCs need to get a grip.

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  37. I was there today at Nathan's stall and witnessed what happened - the woman was no victim in all this and she clearly wanted to aggravate the situation, she wasn't looking for peaceful or respectful discussion. I understand from other stallholders that she has a bit of a track record in causing scenes at yarn festivals (she is an exhibitor, but perhaps that should read exhibitionist). It just underlined for me that the original and very valid debates in Jan have been corrupted/taken over by something much more personal and divisive, people seem to want a fight not a resolution.

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    1. What happened to Nathan today?

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    2. I can confirm this having been an exhibitor today and at other festivals that she was at. There have been several incidents previously which on deeper investigation have turned out to be either non-events or misinterpretation - folks see what they want to see, create the story they want to tell, it all boils down to a need for attention and some deep-seated issues which seem to get projected onto strangers.

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    3. I saw on IG that the woman is @witchcraftylady and her posts show a history of conflicts at shows with other vendors for perceived slights.

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  38. Nathan is a kind man and kind soul. He did not deserve this type of treatment. I would not wish it on anyone.

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  39. I hope Nathan and you are able to heal from all of this. I had not known of Nathan before all of this, but I do now and I cann feel the love come through in everything he does. What happened to and around him was unfair and unwarranted.
    I know of four sites/apps that have popped up in place of ravelry. One is focusing strictly on the fiber arts. One has a right leaning bend for sure, the other two are on a mission to be truly open and welcoming. It will be an interesting experiment to witness. I, for one, am simply looking for a new place to manage my projects, stash, queue and library since I was restricted from rav for questioning the fairness of the policy and suggesting they become a politics-free zone altogether. I'm not even a trump supporter!!!

    Anyway, I am sending you lots of love. I've never once picked up my needles in anything but love. Now I'm picking them up in sadness in hopes that they can help stitch my heart back together

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  40. Nathan, I've admired your patterns for a while, and can see you're a talented, intelligent guy. How ANYONE can start screaming abuse at a KNITTING DESIGNER is completely beyond me! Are they all mad, or just seduced with the power of bullying others? I have quit Ravelry, as I'm afraid I was brought up with a passionate belief in free speech. For ALL. Even people I totally disagree with. I'm hoping when they get this alternative site up and running, we can avoid the lunacy and just talk knitting. There are plenty of politics forums if anyone wants to discuss that. Peace and love and do keep designing- you're one of the best there is. xxxxx

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  42. This is a good article
    https://quillette.com/2018/09/21/the-preachers-of-the-great-awokening/?fbclid=IwAR3-LLG1zVcGB1KvV1d8T54Zm_LK8FA5QEeHucOfVNIgDtNMfO2HD6DkzAEicle

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  43. I've seen a number of IG posts being made this evening stating their 'decisions' based on the 'facts' of the last week. The problem is they're not 'facts', they're interpretations of the intent behind written words. Interpretations that have not been corroborated or validated by the writers themselves. In a large number of cases they're also based on the 'extensive research' undertaken by reading soneone else's edited highlights and screenshots of only the bits of the conversation they were interested in. Anyone who's had to write essays or articles using primary source material will know how dangerous it is to build a thorough understanding on half the story (or even less). There have been so few facts or certainties in the debates of the last few months and it's getting worse.

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  44. Hi Benjamin. I'm glad to hear Nathan is on the mend. Please know that the new sites are not becoming right-wing playgrounds and I hope they never do. Plenty of people of all ethnic backgrounds, and LGBT, feel alienated by R.'s decision. Please know that if they had banned all pro-, for argument's sake let's say President Obama, speech, and then continued to allow Obama bashing, many of us would have felt uncomfortable remaining in that atmosphere. *I would have left*. Probably loudly. Because who is left behind then? By definition, haters. And it's un-American. It defies who we are, if we're Americans, that is, and many other countries too. So check out the new sites when you're both feeling better, and see if they are right for you. Another good resource for you might be the #Walkaway Campaign on Facebook. It was started by Brandon Straka a year ago. Many many many many many (but I repeat myself) LGBT and people of color and well, DIVERSITY there, many people who have had experiences like yours, believe me. You might find some comfort reading the testimony there and watching the videos.

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  45. I see a lot of IGers asking evryone to stop tagging Nathan in posts about today and that woman do he won't know what people are saying about him. How is that better fairer behavior , its manipulativ and scheming - not really the upper hand or better way is it?

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    1. I wouldn't worry about that, she's being schooled by someone stirring the pot and she needs to say she's afraid of further violence in order to back up her version of today's events where she innocently went up to someone recovering from a health crisis and prodded the injury, you know, just out of kindness and respect as you do, supposed (and totally made up) fear of recriminations all adds to the drama. But it is all crap, just to be clear.

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  46. Best wishes to you both!! This world has become a septic tank that is fast getting clogged up!! I'm so sorry that all this has happened to you both... Love and Hugs from Texas!!
    :D Carla

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  47. I wish you both well. These last two posts of yours have really resonated with me.
    I have had terrible anxiety lately and much of it is due to the mob mentality on instagram. I find myself afraid to post, fearing that any words will be misconstrued. I have seen good people have extreme accusations thrown at them and then punished for trying to explain themselves. I hope that Nathan recovers quickly and can continue to share his talents with the knitting community. So many of us support you both.

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  48. Ah, I see today is being elevated into yet another 'declare or you're racist' bandwagon day. I'm willing to bet half my yarn stash that as previously has been the case, within a fortnight the clamour will be moving the goalposts again and telling all those who declared that they just did it for their own protection, it wasn't sincere (you know, because strangers on IG are totally pro at determining your specific mindset, life experiences, circumstances and intent just from a few words in a post, or indeed, even more magically, from no posts or words at all) and demanding a new sacrifice. I'm so sorry Nathan that you are today's offering, but this supposedly higher plane of civilisation which is being displayed will pick a new focus soon and I hope you can stay safe and remember that this shit isn't real long enough to come out the other side and realise it's all still intact with a few less idiots hanging around the outer edges of your life.

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    1. It's all a bit sack cloth and ashes to a self-crowned higher power isn't it? 'I have taken too long to speak out', 'I have failed to do my duty, I now kneel before you and lick your boots'. No-one has the right to make you feel that subjugated, I thought this was all originally about lifting more people up in the community, not putting existing ones down, seems to have got lost somewhere along the way...

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  49. What about him getting physical against Almas at Yarningham?
    Yes dude. All the world wild web does know you are both freaking liars, including Instagram.
    No one worry about his health after such a demonstration.

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    1. This is a slanderous and very serious allegation which has already been proven to be false by the who were there. I think the world knows who the liars are - and it's certainly not Benjamin and Nathan.

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    2. Benjamin, stop cowardly hiding you ;) .
      Unfortunately for you and your liar of husband, there are 2 records of the scene.
      Whaaaaat a bad luck dude!
      Everyone is seeing it on IG underground.

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  50. In this day and age where everyone and their cousin has a cell phone equipped with a camera in their hand, why have there been no videos and only one photo purportedly showing this confrontation?

    There have been several posts here and on IG from people stating they were there, and the confrontation was instigated not by Nathan, but by the woman.

    These kinds of allegations are bordering on defamation. I have no idea how the law works in the UK, but here in the US, that kind of thing can result in serious legal issues. See: Oberlin College vs Gibson's Bakery.

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  51. Dear Ben & Nathan, Sending love from Philly. Maybe this will make you smile a bit during this trying time... I have this reoccurring dream of Nathan marrying me at an amusement park!! After the ceremony we take a glorious rollercoaster ride! Yes, I’m a 30-something straight married woman with kiddies, but Ben! He keeps asking and I keep saying YES!! Can you blame me? Hehe
    I’ve been saying little prayers for you all (Sockmasister too!) since the day this all started. Ben, I can’t imagine how heartbreaking it must be to see your spouse in such turmoil. Sending ALL the warm thoughts, love and prayers. xoxo

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  52. Hi Nathan,

    I've been thinking about you for several days now. I'll admit that I'm a conservative Christian living in the U.S., and I probably don't have anything in common other than a love of the fiber arts. But I am very sorry that this bullying and harassment is happening to you. It is absolutely wrong, and vile. I am hoping and praying that you are recovering quickly and will be able to rise above the hate. You don't owe anyone an apology, or an explanation, or even a social media presence. Please focus on your health and your life; that's more important than anything that happens online.

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  53. Wow!! So.this is your own version of Doxing. Putting someone contact details (their Instagram name is enough) and allowing the wolves to he led to her door is your way of justifying you and your husbands lies? Nathan could have cleared this whole situation up by saying two words TWO I'm sorry!! Instead you have both gone on to add yet more fuel to fires on pitchforks. The way Nathan behaves towards a 5ft 1" woman of colour at an event tells me exactly the kind of person he really is. Until all of this happened I looked up to him and I would have very much have liked to have met him. I'm saddened st you lieing about hospital visits and being sectioned etc and it is lies because had Nathan actually been sectioned he would not have been vending at a yarn show 2 days later. I think the best thing you can do Ben.is take my friends name off of your blog post and in doing so showing us all that you and Nathan are capable of compassion. I am @loobielou69 on Instagram btw in case anyone wants to come at me.for.posting my response to this shitshow.of a blog post.

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