Dana’s Edit: See Me—Not Just What I Knit

June 5, 2020

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780 Comments
  • I see you, I hear you, I support you. Thank you for this column. Stay safe and be well.

    • Dear Dana, ❤️ I’ll carry this definition forward:
      “ White supremacy is the difference between peaceful protestors being met with rubber bullets and tear gas versus protestors openly carrying guns demanding that cities open in a pandemic and being met with silence and no response from police.”

    • Dana-May you know I will stand beside you, behind you, or in front of you, whichever you want or need ANYTIME, ANYWHERE you are my sister on this planet. I will fight for you, I will catch you, I will see YOU, and I will listen.

      • Dana,

        I see you.

        Yes, your verve, happiness, and love of colour in knitting, and, of course Jellybean, were first what attracted me to you. I started to follow your blog, and started to see more than just the knitter. A woman juggling many roles: family, school, work, knitting, pet owning and more.

        But more recently, like me, needing soothing knitting.

        But more recently, not like me, worried for my family simply because of their skin colour.

        I see you now even more, and you have opened my eyes more and I will keep listening, and working to and for change.

        Hoping you can find some hope and peace.

      • Dear Dana,

        Thank you for writing these words. As a white woman, please know how sorry I am for these racist, violent events occurring once again. I profoundly apologize for not seeing, not saying, not doing enough to help raise consciousness and help heal what needs healing in my life experience. These cruel events, once again, manifest white privilege in every societal institution—and continue to cause such sadness and pain.

        Yes—you are seen, and heard. Deeply so. My heart breaks as I watch the news videos showing brutal police force used against innocent men and peaceful protestors. Am hoping these horrific events are bringing still concealed areas of racism to the surface of everyone’s consciousness, once again, so they can be seen and peacefully reconciled. I was present in the 1960’s and have seen such great change take place over the decades; however, much more remains to be done. The core belief in equality for all is still very alive!
        I believe real change is taking place in a way not seen before.

        You are not alone.

        ✨✨

  • Thank you…

    • So well said. Thank you.

      • I see you, Dana. Thank you for your honesty.

  • Beautifully written … I’m in tears.

  • Thank you.

    • From Australia, may we (white people) stop talking, listen and learn. Thank you.

    • From England, I see you Dana and I’ll take your beautiful and moving message forward.
      Julia x

  • I see you, Dana.

  • We can do better to recognize the insidious conditioning we have been subject too—recognize it, acknowledge it, call it out in ourselves and not pass it on to the next generation. It is our responsibility to be courageous and continue our pursuit of the happiness and justice promised by our Constituion.

    • So well said. Thank you.

    • I love “call it out in ourselves and not pass it in to the next generation”.

      • Amen

  • Thank you for writing this.

    • Thank you for sharing! You said it better than me because I get agitated when I think about the way we as a race are ‘held back’ because of institutional racism. We will get our knitting mojo back in due time. I’m still grieving!

      • ((( hugs ))))

    • I see all people of all color who are mistreated and abused by police officers. Even during simple peaceful protesting, its happening over and over again and again. When will it stop? Maybe never. We can only hope.

      • Black people are overwhelmingly killed by police officers in numbers that far outweigh their numbers of the population. When you say “I see people of all color(s)”, you’re diminishing the importance in this moment of the violence that has been visited upon Black people by White supremacy. White people aren’t being killed in their beds, or while out jogging. Hope is important, but action is far more so.

  • Dana, well said, and my heart hurts with you. Alas, I believe the depth and toxicity of America’s “slavery” mentality will take a very long time to root out. As with women and equal rights, the fight must continue every day until change has been made and the new behavior becomes the norm. We have a long way to go.

    • I see you, Dana. And I see women like Atatiana Jefferson who lived less than 20 miles from me here in Fort Worth who was only looking out her window when she was shot by police. I still cannot fathom it. Our the black woman who was sentenced to 5 years in prison for lying about the school district she lived in so Her daughter could go to a good school and have a better education and life. This contrasts with the wealthy white celebrities sentenced to a few weeks or months for paying thousands of dollars and falsified their children’s abilities so they could go to an elite college, which won’t change their lives in the slightest. I want to understand in my heart and souls all the ways in which my whiteness privileges me and end it. I want to end the man-made concept of race. Thank you for being you in this world and sharing this post.

      • Thank you Dana for being willing and brave in sharing your perspective and feelings. It Will make a difference in many lives. I’m also seconding Partricia’s wanting the end of the “man-made” concept of race. I have been saddened for many years at how, when we fill out almost any form, we have to check a box for the color of our skin. I understand the thinking behind it, that it may help in equalizing things, but just hate that it is necessary.

  • I see you, Dana. I’m listening.

  • Thank you.

  • Dana, thank you.

    • I see you & I am listening. Thank you for speaking out. ❤️

  • ❤️

  • Thank you for writing this. I see you. Be well.

  • I see you, Dana. Thank you for communicating your pain, fears, and perspective. Thank you for reminding us that this dialogue needs to be present and ongoing in each and every community we are a part of, even online knitting ones!

  • I see you, Dana, and hear you. You and your words matter. As white, elder woman, my life started with segregation the norm. I can’t know what it is like to be a black American. Thus, I must listen to those who do, ask questions, reflect on my ongoing learning, and change me accordingly.
    But not stop there. Then act in my community to foment change here.
    Thank you…and MDK for being wise Guides in this horrifying time. I can barely knit either…

  • I see you. I hear you. I am white and had similar feelings about the MDK name when I first saw it (sorry MDK). There is so much in our country that needs to change and #1 is the color divide. It’s needs to stop. It’s an absolute outrage that it’s still happening 250 years later. Fuck that shit.

    • You read my mind. Well intentioned cuteness can still really hurt. It all has to be acknowledged and then stopped.

  • Hi Dana,

    Thank you for putting into words something that I think a lot of black knitters have been struggling with recently. I too was suffering from an apathy towards knitting, and I could not pinpoint why until I saw your column. I might be safely sheltering in place in my flat in London, but I have family in the states who are judged every day for the color of their skin not the content of their character. That is a scary reality for people of color and we can’t just knit and hope that it gets better. Hopefully this latest wave of the civil rights movement brings about change so that living while black is no longer a liability if you come across the wrong person.

    I also was put off by the name of the blog, and it took you appearing on the blog with your column for me to feel comfortable exploring the website and seeing that despite the name the website is very welcoming and a good resource for knitters.

    Thank you for being a reminder that not all knitters are 85 year old white grandmothers, and that there are a lot of talented black women who knit and love to talk about knitting among all of the things in their busy lives. I am normally the only black knitter or crocheter if I go to a crafting group, and its nice to know that I am not alone.

    ~Amy

    • Thank you. I see you & I want to see you. I hear you & I want to hear you. ❤️

    • Thank you. You just voiced my sentiments as well as a black woman (born in Ghana), I have felt “very alone” when I have walked into LYS and even craft shows. Who is cutting onions over here?

    • I had the same thoughts about the name but read regularly now because of you!!! Thank you so much for your thoughtful post.

    • Thank you Amy, and Dana as well, for what you are saying and expressing. I am glad you feel safe in London, but I am a big fan of Ben Aaronovitch’s “Rivers of London“ books, and I remember the main character Peter Grant, a young black detective, saying that even if another man was uncomfortable around him, if he was willing to shake hands, then things would probably be ok.
      That struck me. Discomfort can be got over, with togetherness. And Dana’s fear for her husband is so real, and the danger is as well. Thank you both for saying these things.
      And thanks also to several of the black men in my life who have made a difference. Willie Lennear, class of ‘72, a star football player who was willing to help this sophomore with her math struggles in study hall. Carl Jackson, a fellow designer at Fluor Corp in Irvine ‘81-‘83, one of the biggest Star Trek fans ever. And Larry Johnson, ‘82-‘84, one of the better housemates I’ve ever had, who “woke” me to the issues facing young black men, even if they were well-educated, liked jazz and tennis and bicycle racing and wanted a career in foreign relations. Including being arrested for walking on the street with a friend’s loaner tv in his arms. Thanks to Steve for getting him freed.
      My thanks and my sympathies.

      • I see you. Thank you.

  • Thank you for writing through your pain. Thank you for sharing with us. I see you. And I pledge to do whatever I can to help facilitate the change. As a white woman in my late 60’s I have been struck again and again by the failure of our generation to accomplish what we set out to do in the 60’s. I hope that Sweet Gianna’s words- “My Daddy changed the world” are prophetic.

    • There are MANY of us white women in this age group who feel the same. Our role in this fight is clear. We have to continue the work. I love this: “I can’t believe I’m still protesting this shit.” Yeah, we are. We need to get busy.
      Thank you for your words that surly resonate with many.

      • Exactly.

    • If you design an anti-racism sweater I will knit again. And I will wear it with pride. ❤️

    • Well said, thank you.

  • I am still knitting but I am mostly unable to read anything. But when I saw your name and your picture here this morning I decided to read what you have to say. I’m glad I did. Thank you for writing.

    • Hi Dana,
      Thank you so much for your heartfelt words. I too had a negative reaction to the Mason Dixon name, but now it is my favorite knit spot. I am listening. I am studying. I am feeling. Know that you are loved not just because of the color of your skin but also the content of your character. I will keep fighting so that one day (I pray) your fear will ebb.

  • Thank you.

    • Thank you, Dana – beautifully said. And I’m glad you mentioned feeling put off by the Mason-Dixon name; I had a similar reaction to it (although I love the blog, and that’s where I first read about you). I do indeed see you, and appreciate you more than I can say. I’m a bit of a pessimist, and reading your blog and watching your videos invariably brighten my life.

  • Thank you for sharing so personally during this incredibly important time. Maybe part of your answer is in your art. Design a sweater, throw, scarf or ??? that is definitive of this agony. Maybe we will find some answers also in your passion. You have so many gifts.

  • Thank you. You are an important voice.

    • Thank you, Dana.

  • Thank you Dana. I see you. I’m here for you.

    • Thank you, Dana. We learn when we stop and listen. On the radio this morning I heard from a 15 year old who was sharing her protesting experience. She shared that the system is broken. It was built this way. Together, we need to build a better system where everyone is at the table. Your voice, your story urges us to be a part of making a better world. I’m listening. Thank you for being you.

  • Thank you for being you and for what you do x

  • Beautiful article. Thank you!

  • Thank you. Don’t stop Dana, and don’t stop MDK. I’m going back to do my study. No excuses about how I can’t focus. Thanks for all the signposts on resources too.

  • Thank you, from the U.K.

  • “White supremacy is the difference between peaceful protestors being met with rubber bullets and tear gas versus protestors openly carrying guns demanding that cities open in a pandemic and being met with silence and no response from police.”

    Thank you, Dana.

    • This quote encapsulated so much for me as well. It will be another tool in my arsenal when I talk to fellow white people who want to argue with the fact that we live in a white supremacist society.

      Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  • Thank you.

  • I see you. I hear you. IT IS TIME for mankind to step up and say ENOUGH!!!!! Thank you for your words from your heart.

  • I see you. And I will keep you in my heart and keep learning.

  • I see you through my tears.

  • Thank you for sharing.

  • Taking a seat to listen. Thank you.

  • Thank you, Dana, for putting another face, adding another story, to this ugly reality of racism. I see you and appreciate that you took the time and expended the energy to share this. You must be exhausted. Thank you again. ❤️

  • Thank you Dana. I see you and appreciate you sharing your feelings.

  • I see you, and I love to see you! Thank you for your post, it goes straight to my heart. I understand your feelings, and I have thought a lot about what happend in your country during the last days. First time I saw you on this site in your awesome sweaters, I felt relief and happiness because I had this unease for years that all knitting women online and the models in my knitting magazines looked like me – white. That does not reflect what I see around me – in work, and sports, I am surrounded by people from all over the world and with every shade of pink or brown skin, and that is a real treasure. Keep on posting and hopefully get back to knitting soon! Love and hugs from Germany – Kirsten

  • Wow, Dana. Thanks for pointing out to me something my ingrained white privilege never even allowed me to put together: how a group of peaceful ARMED white men can hold a protest without being tear-gassed or fired on, but a group of peaceful UNARMED black people, including women and children are met with police in riot gear, beaten, tear-gassed and fired on with rubber bullets. The dichotomy is glaring, and shameful. Obviously, the concept of innocent until proven guilty depends on the color of one’s skin.

  • This is beautifully written and captures our national crisis in a way that puts real faces on real people. Dana has moved me to tears which I will use to do what I can to show that I see Dana.

  • Blackout Tuesday Knit Out?
    I drove by a protest by a crowd of white teenagers yesterday in a very white area. They had the right idea, they were standing up against their parents status quo, hold onto your white privilege mantra. We all need to stand up.

  • Thank you

  • May I share this on another FB page that might benefit fro my our words?

  • Thank you, Dana. I see you and I hear your fear and despair. I live in New Hampshire. My local yarn shop is doing curb side pickup and mail orders only with daily emails offering a pattern and a select yarn. A few days ago she said all that day’s profits would go to the Legal Defense Fund of the NAACP. She is white as, I suspect, are most of her customers. She sold out all the yarn and sent $700, a supportive response and a large sum for a small shop trying to stay open. We are out here. We are horrified by the racism, the police brutality towards black men — and women too. MDK gave us many good suggestions on what to do. Do you have any more for us?

  • Thank you. I see you and I’m listening to you and others. My reading list is overwhelming, but necessary.
    (I, too, was put off by the name, MDK, and found a welcome surprise when I started reading the non-knitting articles.)

  • Seeing you. Well said.

  • I See you Dana!
    I am a Finnish woman born in Sweden and I see you , I see all of you. Please continue to knit, don´t let anyone take away your joy. Be strong, the world needs people like you. Me and my friends are knitting babyhats for the Panzi hospital in Kongo , Dr Mukweges hospital.
    Be safe.

  • Hey Dana. This was a really insightful post and I’m so glad you took the time to write it. Thank you for extending to the knitting community the gift of your time. It’s a precious thing that we all have and how we choose to use our moments will impact ourselves and many others, for eternity. I share your struggle but in a different way: my late dad was a Black American and my mom is White (capital or no?). As a child in the 1980’s, sometimes Black women would tell me, “you could pass”, as white. But that always confused me a little. Why would I want to pass? What is wrong with looking Black, or mixed race? Well I have part of that answer in my middle age of life; I could be offered different, better opportunities because my skin color is lighter. I could be treated with more respect. I could be accepted as “one of them”. That is utterly heartbreaking because I want to be seen for who I am. I think I see you Dana, I think I see a tiny bit of what you have to walk through every minute of every day. Our moments are precious and again, thank you for sharing yours.

  • Thank you for this message Dana .

  • I see you and hear you Dana. I share your pain, and thank you for sharing your feelings with us!
    I am from Europe, and I know there is racism there too, but the levels of racism and brutality I have seen here make my heart shrink. When I arrived to this country 15 years ago, i was asked about my race for the first time in my life (mid 30s back then)
    I was very naive back then, and I didn’t see many things, but over the years I have learned that the US has written in its Constitution something that doesn’t correspond with its reality. We need justice, as promised.
    We all are equal. We all matter. We all have ( should have/ must have) the same respect/rights from our fellow human beings.
    I see you…..

  • Thank you, Dana, for having the courage to write this post. When I first saw the name Mason-Dixon it was very off-putting to me too because of the images It conjures up – and I am white. A southern white so I come with a lot of family baggage. Change is long overdue and it will only fully come about by our actions. Let’s pledge to each help make change happen, okay knitters?

  • Thank you, Dana.

    • Thank you for sharing your feelings. They truly hit home in a powerful way. I see you…a beautiful woman wearing beautiful knitting in bright colors that reflect a beautiful soul. I cannot express in words how much recent events have affected me, esp as someone who lives in the Twin Cities. I may be old and white, but I know what’s right.

  • Thank you for this. I see you, and hear you, with appreciation and gratitude.

  • I see a beautiful and brave lady who inspires me daily in knitting and life in general. Your honesty and insight reaches me. Please know you make a difference in all our worlds.

  • Your words make me weep and want to do something that can make a difference. Where to start?

  • I see you I hear your pain. I can’t begin to understand the horror that continues, the need for some to show dominance and inflict pain and death on another human. It has been said that those who do not remember the past are doomed to repeat it and here we still are. I pray for you and all of us that we will become better, kinder, gentler people who accept all races, religions, and creeds. People who embrace our similarities and differences. Thank you for your message, it has resonated with me and God Bless you

  • I see you, i am sorry for your pain and fear. I will do better, listen, read, talk and act.

  • Thank you, Dana, for your kindness, generosity, bravery, patience. I never even considered the hidden offensiveness of the name of this blog (much as I love and appreciate it, and Ann and Kay as well) which puts the issue in a nutshell for me, a privileged white 63 year old woman. This simple, difficult letter you wrote is one I will remember.

  • Thank you for your vulnerability and sharing of yourself. Thank you. I hear your words, my heart aches. I will keep listening and supporting the POC around me.

  • Thank you Dana,for sharing your pain.
    I cannot know that pain,I can only hold you and many others in my heart and hope that love comes shining thru.
    Please let your light shine on thru your pain, talents and gifts of creativity are a reckoning force in a world of violence and hate.

  • Thank you, Dana, for sharing your feelings and your story. I, too, was apprehensive about Ann and Kay and the name of their site, Mason-Dixon. And like you, I got to know them and the site. I felt better. I don’t feel better now – I cannot make up for all the injustices, criminality, and sorrows laid on people of color. But I can be anti-racist, anti-colonialist and anti-fascist. My love to you and hope you will knit again.

  • Thank you for your frankness. As a very privileged white woman, I appreciate learning. I am reading, studying and trying to learn what I can do personally to be part of the solution. Thank you.

  • Thank you. I see you. I hear you. I will listen and learn and I will do better. We all have to.

  • I see you Dana. I do demand justice for you. I hope our support will buoy you up as we all work for this change.

  • I see you.

  • I see you and I hear you, I will continue to see and to listen carefully. Sending love to you ve to you.

  • Dana, thank you for your candid and poignant letter. Our hearts are breaking with yours and we would do anything to comfort you and make this less painful. As a white woman, I cannot pretend to understand what it feels like to face the inequities that you experience. But, I want you to know that I stand with you and I am working to make a change – not just today and these few weeks where this is in the forefront of our news – but permanently. We love you!

  • Thank you. I know you might not be able to hear this now but please don’t stop knitting! We need you. I need you. You inspire me.

  • Thank you.

  • Thank you for sharing. I feel your pain. I see you. I hear you. ❤

  • When I see your posts, I see a beautiful smile, a happy wife, and a wall full of pictures of joyful people. That there is so much pain and fear behind those smiles is a national disgrace. I am so happy that you have a voice here on MDK, a means to represent Black makers, and a space to share your creativity (and your Bean!) with all of us.

    • I see you Dana. (I also was put off by the name Mason-Dixon, but happy to find this place.)
      I post the following not to toot my own horn, or to sound self-righteous, but to offer a suggestion.
      I hate the business of politics. I never wanted to be involved with it. We had an awful US congressman. Two years ago, I worked on the campaign for his opponent. I had a postcard party, I canvassed for him (with my adult sons, which was very cool.) this was something I never thought I’d do. It was my son’s idea and I went along with it. It was uncomfortable at times, but remains a fond memory.
      The race was a toss up, but he won! He’s been a great congressman. Wrote this piece in the Washington Post this week.
      https://delgado.house.gov/media/press-releases/delgado-op-ed-i-know-how-painful-racism-we-can-t-give-voting
      This week his campaign called to see if I was interested in phone banking. I do not like getting phone calls about politics. I’m not fond of talking on the phone with people I don’t know. But I thought of the mess our country is in and decided I once again needed to step outside of my comfort zone to help make a difference. So I signed up.
      There are so many ways we can make a difference and many of them are uncomfortable. This is the time to stretch ourselves. We need to see people and we need to listen. We also need to act. All of us, in any way we can. Some of those ways may (and probably should!) take us out of our comfort zone. Start small if you have to.
      So look at the list of resources. Look around in your town, county, state. Find a way to help move this country forward. You can do it! WE can do it.

  • That must have been very tough to write. Thank you for writing it. For what it’s worth you have been one of my knitting inspirations.
    You deserve better. It’s on us to make sure that happens. We hear you.

    • I see you, Dana. I love you❤️

  • Thank you and I see you

  • Powerful statement. I have shared this with my church knitting group and will share with my senior center group. We are in learn, pray, act mode and this is just the right message for us.

  • Thank you Dana for your beautiful and strong words. Thank you for being who you are. The fear, pain and sadness cuts to my core. I’ve found some reading and website recommendations to help me better understand; perhaps others can be shared here. Not only are we a community of knitters, but one of learners as well.

  • So good. So raw. We have to do the work of dismantling white supremacy. If we don’t seek justice for those oppressed we will never be the country we know that we can be

    • What a beautiful statement, Ashley.
      Thank you, all of the voices.
      Heartfelt appreciation to you, Dana, for your forthrightness and decision to share fear and pain. You are appreciated for all the work you put into inspiring the newly renamed MDK group. As one of many who look forward to seeing your work pop up, in both word and images, thank you again.

  • Thank you.

  • ❤️❤️ Your posts are one of my favorite things about this community. I see you. Please knit again soon. It’s healing.

  • Thank you. I see you, and I hear you, and I appreciate your taking thetime to share. I live not far from the place where George Floyd was killed, and looking away, not seeing, is impossible now. Thank you for taking time to share, and to demand that we see.

  • I see you. I have taken the rug of my heart, picked it up, took it outside for a good cleaning. I understand that racism is so systematic that it requires each of us to clean the rugs of our heart. Grace and peace.

  • Thank you for being, for giving all of us your heart. I’ve tears (liquid) and tears (ripped apart) in my heart and soul. Growing up in So. Cal during the Watts Riots influenced my life. Watching with horror the struggles, and struggle with inequality that has been inflicted on all Black people. I see you, with my heart, with my eyes. Please, don’t let any of us fail you again.

  • Yes.

  • thank you for sharing your thoughts with the rest of us. It is important for all of us to have voice, and acceptance – we must learn to accept each other’s diversity as that is what makes the human race a wonderful addition to the world. We can’t continue to see thru the lens of colour, religion, sex and nationality we need and must start to see thru the lens of one people sharing this vast planet with other living beings for this is what makes us stronger to weather the storms sent us by Mother Nature.

  • From my heart to your heart, may together we change hearts. Thank you for your words of truth.

  • I see you, and am listening to you. Thank you for taking the time to write this insightful article. Stay safe and well.

  • I am listening and listening king for you

    • And looking for you.

  • Thank you for sharing. I’m here, listening and standing beside you.

  • Promising to learn, listen to and SEE you.

    • ❤ My heart aches. I promise I will always listen, learn, and reach out to try hard to make a difference.

  • I see you, hear you and hurt with you. I am reading, listening and confronting that which is in me that propagates conscious and unconscious racism. It’s hard work and painful but worth it. You are and have been an inspiration to many of us. Your knitting mojo will return but until then take strength from your knitting tribe. Your voice matters.

  • ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

  • Thank you, Dana.

  • I have tears flooding my eyes right now. That a person with a soul as beautiful as yours should be as hurt and sorrow-filled as you are is unconscionable. Please know that there are people who do care and do want to understand how to help make a difference. I can assure you that there was something far more fundamentally wrong with that woman freaking out over a simple request to leash a dog. I can also assure you that I for one would have been more inclined to ask him about the birds he was watching. I am not as assertive a person as I would like to be but I hope and pray that I would have the courage to speak up if I was witness to an episode of injustice. My heart is reaching out to you asking for your forgiveness and asking you to help us learn how to heal this rift.

    • Although I believe that you (and many other people posting) have the best intentions when you ask Dana for help, it just puts more stress and strain on her, as a Black person, to do “emotional labor.” Dana’s writing of this piece for MDK was already a huge gift to all of us with white privilege who are committed to learning and seeing how structural racism and brutality are experienced personally. I just googled “anti racism resources” and came up with this…
      https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/antiracist_resources_from_greater_good
      ❤️

      • So true. Thanks for the resources.

  • Yes and good morning my dear,
    I am crying tears of exhaustion as I write…
    I was befuddled by the Mason-Dixon moniker, too.

    Then I explored it and the women who created it and exhaled, because the information I hold in my black body said, “Now, hold on a minute.”

    When the discussion broke open about race and knitters some months ago – I was not surprised (nor disappointed) at the sarcasm and plain nastiness that arose. I saw it as a reality check: I don’t ever need to caught off guard (anymore) by yet another white woman’s fear, ignorance, or straight up racism regardless of her ability to render yarn into masterpieces.

    I’m not explaining myself or this country or Colin Kapernick to my white friends or colleagues ANYMORE: Read a book, go watch or read about Angela Davis, Nina Simone, the Dred Scott Decision, lynching in America and yes, Martin AND Malcolm X. Jesus, what is it going to take!

    I decided to just ignore any staring/bewildered acting white knitters completely in retail spaces or my yoga studio: it’s TOO MUCH WORK AND I JUST WANT TO KNIT and BE HUMAN.
    The irony of this pandemic “recess” was that it gave me a MUCH needed break from the SEVERAL (!!!) Amy Coopers in the elementary school where I work. – it’s amazing I still have a job, because of their self-perceived right – and attempts (I don’t EVER let them succeed) – to speak past me, over me, louder than me, when I’m engaging my students in the school which is 99% black and brown little beautiful babies.

    I’m done.
    I love myself too much to keep track, monitor, and explain this mess that happens on a daily basis:
    I’m going to BREATHE and liberate my spirit even more in the names of Breonna, George, Trayyvon and my own life.

    ENOUGH.
    peace and love to you Dana
    Peace period

    • …and the irony of “Mason-Dixon Knitting” is that by its digital and literary existence re-codes and daily works to dismantle the very elements that created the term Mason-Dixon.

    • Thank you very much for your comment and Dana’s clear and direct message. Words keep failing me this week, tears are flowing. Too many of us who were active in the 60s were not committed enough and settled into our lives thinking progress was being made. Now you are so right–what is it going to take!

  • Wonderfully said. Thank you for sharing.

  • Thank you, Dana. I see you and I hear you, and I am checking my white privilege at the door. I have two mixed-race grandsons, and am in fear for their lives and future. At this moment, in which I see a country continuing to support white supremacy, just as you said, I don’t have any words of hope. Agree with your take on “mason-dixon” as a term, too–I’m a New Englander living in the South, and lemme tell you, it was not an easy transition. Thank you again. I vow to get, and stay, in the solution.

  • Thank you Dana. Thank you for being you, for sharing your pain, for standing up for the much needed change. I see you. I support you.

  • Thank you for sharing your words and your spirit. I see you and I hear you.

  • I am having a terrible time writing this comment and writing is usually like breathing to me. Today I am taking my daughter to attend the Requiem for Black Children of God that my church is putting on with another family, who happen to be Latino. The African American owner of my daughter’s ballet studio might attend as well. Tomorrow my daughter is going to her studio’s outdoor (we are still in phase 1 here) ballet for peace class with the proceeds to benefit the Equal Justice Initiative. I want her to see and fight the injustice; I want her to still be able to believe that most people are good. It is something; it is not nearly enough. We live in a protected bubble by virtue of our race and that is, unfortunately, unlikely to change.
    We have been invited to have a seat at the table in the African American community in so many wonderful ways – I live in NOLA where we do not generally live in single race silos – but know that this warm, welcoming community is so often shut out of the white community (my husband and I have ridden with Zulu but there are non-parading krewes here that are still White only). I delivered meals every day during the stay at home orders and the poverty experienced by many of my African American recipients was appalling as is the disproportionate number of African American death from the virus.
    One thing I can suggest to readers who are white and do not see the effects of racism on a daily basis is to read what African American writers have to say. Men We Reaped might be an excellent place to start since Ward’s writing is powerful and accessible. I also hear good things about How to be an Antiracist but it seems to be on backorder everywhere. All Our Kin: Strategies for Survival in a Black Community is a classic and allows you to push back on the argument that Whites will sometimes make about “poor decision making” in less affluent Black communities.
    Dana, please know that many of us care. I cannot pretend to imagine what it is like for my African American friends to send their husbands and sons out into the world every day but I know that the pain and frustration must be unbearable at times. I hear your cry even if my attempts to fix things are pathetic and often misguided. Thank you for letting us into your heart during such a painful time.

  • Thank you for sharing your very personal thoughts. I’ve despaired about racism along with climate change, abused children, our harmful food system…the list goes on. But now I finally see that if we would make eliminating racism our priority, other issues would fall into place.

    • Possibly other issues would not necessarily fall into place, but if we confront and deal with this huge elephant in the living room, racism, our minds would be oriented toward other justice issues: Climate, food security, clean air, etc.

  • Dana, I am committed to seeing, listening and learning.

  • Thank you! Beautifully said.

  • Hello dear Dana,
    I am bi-racial, an avid knitter, and I cried when I read your words. It has always bothered me that in order to benefit from so much information that is beneficial to me as a knitter, that I have to “get past and get over” the name of the Mason Dixon website. That in and of itself might seem a small thing in the light of all the terrible things that have happened to so many people, but THE SMALL THINGS ADD UP. Over a lifetime, the pain of having to accept living with them in order to do what you need and want to do to try to just be yourself! is soul trying. Debilitating. Exhausting. Know that your brave words and efforts are lauded and admired and inspirational. Peaceful knitting to you, dear friend!

  • Thank you.❤️

  • Thank you for writing this. It must not have been easy.

    I believe the more people of color write about their experience the more we learn and are able to help heal this country. There is so much to do!

    I listening and trying to my part. I hear you Dana.

  • Thank you Dana.

  • And I want to add that one of the best men I have ever met in my life was a Ugandan gentleman who went back to Kampala because he wanted to make a difference there. I have kept his memory close all these years because he was undoubtedly one of life’s gifts to me and to humanity.

  • I see you. You matter, and your husband matters. Thank you.

  • Dana,

    Yes, that MDK held me off for years. It was only two years ago when I became brave enough to even look inside one of their books. Isn’t it amazing what history and perceptions can do to us?

    I’m an avid reader of history and started another book yesterday. This one, a compilation of essays written by those affected by the KKK and survived and those who knew victims. I haven’t gotten too far into it yet and did read the warnings that it would be terribly graphic. We have to know the past no matter how ugly so that we can realize that the Now needs to be fixed immediately.

    My own daughters were the subject of a heated conversation during one Sunday dinner at my former mother-in-law’s. My ex is 100% Polish, I’m a mix of who knows what. Our oldest daughter was born with dark hair, brown eyes and darker skin. Our youngest is, as she describes herself – so pale she’s like paper, blond, blue-eyed. I was told that day by my MIL that she didn’t like my older daughter’s skin tone. It was too dark. She also said the same about two other of her granddaughters who also had dark hair, dark skin and brown eyes. She looked at me as if it was my fault. Excuse me? These are your grandchildren and each of your own children had a part in the darker skinned children. Her two blond, blue-eyed daughters and her blue-eyed son were parents of the kids. After that conversation I could never look at her the same. How do you divide your own grandchildren like that? On top of that, she never mentioned the dark skinned, brown-eyed grandson. Why not?

    Susan aka MiYarnStalker
    who cringes every time I have to check a box denoting my race. Why can’t we just have the checkbox that says “Human”?

  • Wow! Your example of BLM protests being met with tear gas and rubber bullets and protesters openly carrying guns demanding business be opened being met with silence really put it all in perspective for me. Thank you

  • Thank you beautiful lady. I see you. I hear you. I love you. I want to hug you.

  • Wouldn’t it be wonderful if skin color were like yarn colors? All sharing space (on a shelf) until woven together to form garment full of love. I cringe when I think of times when I, unknowingly, said or did something that continues the divide. I have lived in ignorance, thinking things were better than 30 years ago, but missing the remaining awful negative undercurrent of assumptions that perpetuate this racial injustice. I can only change me. I see you. I pray I am a catalyst for change in those around me.

  • I see you Dana. I hear you.
    I thought I did before, too, but I was fooling myself. I have been watching, listening, and finally HEARING, and now I know better.
    Thank you.

    • Excellent piece, very helpful and wise. Thank you. I will keep your words in my heart and hope they will continually continue to shape my own words and actions. I see and hear you,and thank you.

  • Ya know the first time I saw Mason Dixon I felt like you did..hmm…what does this mean. Off putting…of course it’s pretty wonderful. Anyway I see you and stand with you. I’m listening

  • Thank you. I live in Richmond VA. A city that has celebrated the “Lost Cause” in their monuments to the Confederacy, and in many of their historic teaching in schools and way of life. Yesterday our governor announced that all these monuments be removed, and we all embrace what I pray will be a better future for every soul living in the USA.

    I see you, and stand with you. I pray for your peace of mind and look forward to true equality for knitters and everyone who hungers for expression of their God given talents.

  • Dana, I also see you, hear you and would hug you if I was nearer.

  • I see you, I hear you, and I grieve with you, Dear Dana ❤️

  • I did not understand what was going on, but I wanted to educate myself. Last night I watched 13, on Netflix and I was educated and saddened to learn of the systematic racism that exists in this country. I am 55 and have lived through a lot of what has happened but now I get it. I even knew that the media was training me to look at black males differently and I didn’t like it and didn’t know how to stop it. Now I know I was right.

  • Thank you, Dana. There is no excuse for what has happened. My heart aches for you, and I am ashamed for what our country does and does not do.

  • Thank you for taking the time and energy when those must be in limited supply to share this. I see you. And I was so happy to find your blog when Ravelry did a feature on you and your knitting. I, too, was hesitant to follow a link to a site called Mason Dixon. I still am. It feels like, well, all the things you said here. I see you, and I’m doing the work to reject everything the South taught me and to teach my children the truth about America. Their first impulse will not be one of racism. They will not call the police as a threat (okay, neither would I…). They will not lock their doors or clutch their purses. They will remember the pictures of your beautiful family and all those bright sweaters and see their neighbors and treat them with care and respect. They already do. Thank you again for all you do. It’s so much more than knitting.

  • Please know that many of us are praying for peace – please (when you are ready) pick up those needles.

  • Dana, honestly I cannot relate. I will read your posts and provide a minute or two of thought. However it is not me or mine who would be able to help you.

    I definitely promise to see you behind your knitting as the person you lay claim to.

    God Bless.

    • Are you a human living on planet earth? If the answer is yes, then it is up to you and yours to help. You would benefit from spending more than a minute or two of thinking about the article and doing some serious introspection.

    • I don’t know if you’ll get this reply to your comment – I think it is ALL of ours to help.

      Women wouldn’t have the vote if men didn’t vote to give it to them.

      I can’t imagine how you can promise to see Dana if you can only be bothered to spend “a minute or two” thinking about this.

  • I see and hear you loud & clear. Thank you for sharing. I couldn’t agree more with your perspective and even though I’m not black nor American, please know there are people everywhere who SEE and HEAR you. BUT, it’s not enough to get it: we must all break the silences that make us complicit in atrocity. That was supposed to be the lesson of the 20th century: the Nuremberg Principles. I have never understood how the man who could write something as beautiful as the Declaration of Independence could own slaves. That very contradiction seems to me the heart of our human problems…Much love to you. May we knit a better paradigm for all out of this tragic time.

  • Thank you Dana for sharing your pain with us. These words will stay with me.

  • I see you, Dana. Thank you for sharing this.

  • I hope you get your knitting mojo back! I love your enthusiasm, energy and ingenuity. Thank you!

  • I see you. I hear you. I support you.

  • Thank you again.

  • I see you, Dana, and I am so very sorry for your pain. Thank you for writing this and please keep sharing your story. It’s a small thing, but my teenaged daughter just asked me to proofread a letter she is sending to the AG of KY demanding justice for Breonna Taylor. As a parent, it is critical for me to raise my white child with an awareness of our privilege and our responsibility to work toward change. Thinking of you and your family in this difficult time.

  • Thank you Dana. I hear you and I want to keep hearing you. And thank you MDK for opening this space for this critical issue.

  • Thank you. I pray that all this horror will be a catalyst for real change. Where we can finally see people as people and love each other because we get to know one another and become true friends.

    I can’t remember how I came across your knitting site, but I stayed not just because of what knit. I’m inspired by your posts and they have cheered my heart.
    My love is with you. Please take care of yourself. ❤️

  • Dana, I see you and hear you and honor you. Thank you.

  • Well said. Thank you

  • I see you, I don’t think any of us white Knitters can fathom what it is like growing up and living black. We need to learn, listen and understand and then not stay silent, I think the silence of us who are , for a lack of a better term, white but on your side is what let’s white supremacy fester and grow. It is up to us who let a system of oppression continue for decades after the civil rights movement, to rapidly change the status quo… so silence no more and not just words but actions from all of us white people. We cannot un-do what has been done but we must change the system together now.

  • The email said “would you demand justice for me?” And I teared up. I hadn’t realized that I don’t think of you as black, I think of you as a knitter. Thank you Dana, I hear you. I see you. Keep safe.

  • I see you and I hear you, Dana. I’ve followed you on Instagram for a while now but never commented until I read your column on this site. As a white woman, I may not understand your exact experiences but I will stand with you. I am beyond ashamed to see the state of our nation and our society as whole. I grew up in a pretty racist family, so I acknowledge that I have absorbed these ideas but I am fighting to further educate and fight these ideas within myself. One of the hardest fights of my life was to convince my parents to meet my boyfriend and the love of my life who happens to be Black. It took over a year from the point I told them about him to the day they met him. Meanwhile, in the past they would meet a guy I was dating that was white in a heartbeat even if the guy was a jerk (as much of them were). I realized recently the fight to rid myself of these ingrained ideas is going to be even harder. But, I’m going to do it because it needs to be done.

    I will stand with you, Dana. I see your pain and I hear your voice. Keep speaking the truth because it needs to be said until things change for the better!

  • Thank you for writing today, even though it was very difficult.

  • thank you for sharing this. I appreciate your heartfelt perspective.

  • So eloquently stated. Since I was a teenager many years ago, I first heard MLK’s “I Have A Dream” speech in total, one sentence that resonated and has remained with me is to not judge people by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. I utilize that practice every single day of my life, not only with African-American people, but everyone I meet. It applies to all races, and no one is exempt from this standard. You are a very lovely woman and I am sorry that you have to go through this. I stand with you and wish you peace and well-being.

  • Thank you for this, Dana. I see you and hold you with love.

  • It must be extra tough being in or near to DC at this time. And I never gave much thought to the title “Mason-Dixon” until your post today.

  • Sending you love and support from Wisconsin.

  • I am a middle aged white woman – I had the same reaction to the MDK name. I first saw it on their book of patterns so many years ago. I loved the book but could not buy it. Like you, I am now an avid follower. My spirit is low and heavy but when I see the young people,YES, even in my small mid-west town, taking ACTION I see hope. We hold our power in our vote. I am a retired teacher and have worked for racial justice my entire working life. I’m hoping for a future where we can all breathe. Free.
    I thank you for your your enlightening writing – a strong step in the journey.

  • I see you, I hear you and I support you and all of my black and brown bothers and sisters. Thank you for this [email protected]

  • I may be white on the outside, but I have children and friends of color. We are all of us the same color on the inside. We are all people. I hear you, and I share your pain. I worry about all of us, and how we will make a better world for us all. The many voices that I hear give me hope and strength.

  • Thank you, Dana!
    I see you and I hear you!

  • Thank you, sis. Be safe and well.

  • I see you.

  • Thank you.

  • I see you. I don’t knit, but I love fiber. And I love pugs. I found you through your connection with The Crafty Hong Sisters. I saw your glorious love of color, texture, and your skill at combining color. And obviously, your love of Jelly Bean. I felt an affinity with you and Jelly Bean and started following you.
    Thank you for all you have shared.

  • I see you. I hear you. Thank you,

  • I see you. I hear you. Thank you.

  • Thank you for sharing this Dana. All I can do is knit. I am so grieved by all of this that I can’t concentrate on anything else. I don’t want to talk or share. Just sit and knit or when I can’t stand it I go to my garden and find solace there. Are we at a time now when we can do something to end this? Your letter to all of us…………please keep them coming. We all need to hear this over and over. We need to know that there are people who are fearful and sad and in pain because of what we call the status quo. Laws need to change, people need to change. If we let this go away and fall back into the status quo we have lost again. We need to keep this up until the letters stop and we see smiles and love. It will be hard but we just can’t stop and see more lives being ended so needlessly. I hope I have said this all in a respectful manner. My heart is aching for you. Please keep helping us all to help you,

  • I send you love. I stand beside and want to know my heart is hurting with you. Stay safe and know you are not alone. ❤

  • Dana, I’m listening. Thank you so much for writing and sharing this post. I recognize I have privilege that others do not. I want to be an ally and am reading, viewing, and listening all that I can. I hope you do get to a place where knitting brings you joy again. You have so many gifts.

    [Like others here, I was initially put off by the MDK name and it still gives me pause]

  • Sadly beautiful. Thank you for helping me learn

  • Dana and all people of color…I see you, I will listen to you, I cry for you, and I hope that we can see some systemic change in this broken world…Leah from Minneapolis. Peace to you! Thank you for writing this.

  • Love your dog’s name, Jellybean. And your picture. I wish I could spend a Sunday afternoon with you knitting and talking.

  • Thank you so much for taking the time to write this, even in the midst of all that you are going through. Your words are so powerful and move me, and hopefully many other white people, to do all we can to change so that you and your family can be safe in our country.

  • My heart goes out to you. I live in a town in Colorado where I am unlikely to see an African American. That really bothers me now. Frankly I am ashamed of that. We must do better. I see you and hear you and you matter!

    • Hi. I lived in Colorado for eight years. My husband is an engineer. We moved to Denver because of his job. We were often the only people of color where we lived, shopped, dined out. Our daughter was the only African American in her class. My daughter and I lived on Lookout Mountain after my divorce. The sheriff followed me for weeks until white friends intervened. Blacks lived in a separate area of Denver.

      I learned a lot more about racism in Colorado than I did in the deep south. We were discriminated against when it came to housing and employment. I was a student at the Art Institute (CIA). Students from across America were my classmates. It was a haven. I was accepted. A classmate bought a copy of The Star Bellies Sneetches for my daughter. One of her classmates called her the “n” word. These children were six. Who taught that word to a first grader? We were “starving” art students so the gift was especially dear. Thank you, Ramona. My daughter still has that book. May every parent give a copy to at least one child they know. Each one teach one.

      How such ugliness could ever exist in a beautiful place like Colorado stumped me. More people were kind than not. People like you make it a a more beautiful place. Don’t change.

      Be well.

  • I see you. Thank you for being an important part of this community.

  • I see you, I support you.

  • Yes I would.

  • As a new knitter, I remember finding the Mason-Dixon book in my local used book store and I had the same reaction to the name and put it back on the shelf. Curiosity got the best of me and I pulled it back off, opened it, and decided to purchase it, which was a good decision. But yeah, that name…

    I see you, Dana.

  • I see you Dana. I feel your broken heart. Thank you for adding your voice to this important conversation.

  • I see you and send love to you.

  • Thank you, Dana, for letting us read a bit about you. I hear you. I see you. I am learning every day and literally standing with those in my community who are at higher risk for harm than I and am using my white privilege constructively. I will never be silent. Thank you for all you do.

  • I see you and I stand behind you. Thank you for speaking out. I am sorry you had to.

  • Thank you for this. I have had the same reaction to the name Mason Dixon and have taken several tries to follow regularly and learn that Ann and Kay support equity, creativity and originality. The recent posts are a tribute to their earnestness. Thank you.

  • I see you, and appreciate what you’ve written here.

    Be well. Stay safe. Take care.

  • Reading this with love. I have been reading everything I can find on racism these past few days because I have been unaware and privileged most of my life. Thanks.

  • Thank you Dana, I see you!. I will be 70 this year as another decade goes by. I have never let the color of one make a difference, but the love in their heart. A passion that everyone has. I feel your pain and I support you. We must work together to achieve this goal.

  • Your voice was just what I needed to hear. So many sites are recommending reading, but I don’t want to be intellectual right now. I want to hear with my heart. Thank you for sharing yours.

  • Yes, Dana! Thank you for speaking at the difficult time. I SEE you, and I’m continuing to do the work on myself and in my community.

  • Dana, I don’t know what I can say as an Internet stranger making a comment on a blog that will make you feel better, but I’m going to try anyway. I see you and other people of color. I respect your perspectives, I believe your experiences and your feelings. I support your desire for an equal, fair country and world for people of color who have been suppressed and denied fairness and equality for so long. I know that I have much to learn and I am actively seeking to learn. Thank you for your post, for sharing your feelings and fears. I acknowledge your pain, I value you as a person, and as a fellow knitter. My heart is with you.

  • Thank you Dana. I am sad about the lack of progress in our country 60 years later. I was not comfortable with Mason-dixon name either. I only started exploring the site after I discovered your “edit”. Thanks for your truth. Thanks for being you. We need unity for the U.S. to progress. We need to vote in November.

  • I see you. I hear you. And I WILL demand justice for you. Black lives matter!

  • Thank you, Dana. I am white and I am ashamed. I know it is difficult but each of us must do what we can to care for ourselves and to make our tiny piece of the world peaceful. I have been plunging into despair but I bring myself back up to look for the good and to BE the good. Knitting helps pull me back up. I hope it will for you, too. Because we cannot let the evil push us down; that gives evil too much power. Thank you for posting and sharing.

  • Thank you. I see you, Dana.

  • Beautifully written…Well said.

  • Dana – as a White woman I cannot ever understand your pain. I do pray for you to find peace and a time when all of us can view each other as knitters – nothing more or less- wouldn’t that be best?

  • I see you, Dana. ❤

  • You are very brave to tell us about your fear and frustration. And your work — your art, really — is brave, too. I see you. I see how you couldn’t be knitting now, and I see I have a lot to learn. And I love you! Thank you, dear Dana.

  • I am a white woman from Germany, living in the USA. As I am learning more about this beautiful country with its terrible foundation, I know I need to learn more, do more, listen more and see more. I see you, I vow to educate myself to be able to check myself.

  • Dana,

    Thank you for your honesty. I didn’t think I was part of the problem, but I’m realizing that I am. I will try to do better; most especially, I will make a point of seeing people and speaking up.

    Linda

  • Beautiful written. As a white women from California I to have the same feeling about the name Masson Dixon. l would have never looked at the site except for a post from quarantine knitting on Facebook. Keep sharing your joy of knitting!

  • Thank you for your sincere sharing. Sending my best wishes for the healing you need, and for a return to creativity.

  • From one Dana to another- this is some powerful writing.
    This has been a hard 3.5 years. For black folks though, it’s been a hard 3.5+ centuries.
    You are seen, and everyone who has time to leave a comment here has time to vote in November, or escort friends/family to the polls.

  • My beloved sister, Thank you for sharing you! Your words are my words. I too am a black woman in pain. I am familiar with “your calm” and for you to at this time not to find that calm in knitting the beautiful works that you do, I feel for you. We are at a point in time of change and it is my hope for the better. Black lives Matter. Be well my sister.

  • Working for justice everyday. I would scream and get in some faces if you were murdered like Breonna Taylor. Your words are true and you are seen and loved here.

  • I am listening. I see you, Dana. Since I started to follow your blog, I have admired you for your ability not only to knit but also for you as a well educated and eloquent woman. I will continue to listen, to see, to act on behalf of you and all black lives.

  • May you be seen and heard and loved. You are by me. Thank you for your words.

  • Dana. I am an eighty- year old white woman from Flint,Michigan and if
    something happened to you or to your husband I would seek justice for you in a heartbeat.

  • Thank you for helping us to see a better way. Nan

  • Your honest words and experience in your skin touched my heart. I appreciate you taking the risk of sharing. My eyes have been opened; I SEE you and I am pledging to educate myself and be a part of the dialogue to support you. I know how much knitting means to me. May this be a first step in your creative healing so that you will pick up your needles sooner rather than later. Keep teaching us not only about knitting, but about humanity!

  • I see you. I hear you. Taking action to change inside and out. I’m with you, Dana.

  • Eloquently said. I see you.

  • It is Gods wish that black people stand in equality to all people. So this will come to pass though it is frustrating to think we may not live to see it. That is the power we, as whites, are obligated to. To do our piece to see that it happens. Regardless of who our are friends are or aren’t, who we now see in our neighborhoods or not, there must be justice for all.
    Thanks for writing this Dana. I like that your standing in your spot even when you are discouraged.

  • Thank you for sharing. Thank you . . .

  • My heart is heavy too. How unbearable this all is, and I’m a white senior woman. Can’t begin to imagine what it would be like to be inside black skin, ever, but especially now. And your husband, oh my God. I see little black boys and nearly panic about what they may be facing. I think you are wonderful, and a wonderful knitter, and wish you well.
    Big virtual hug,
    Carole

  • Thank you so very much for sharing your voice. We all needed to hear your words. May this difficult time demand pf each of us the change we need so badly in our country and in the world.

  • ❤️

  • Thank you, Dana, for opening your heart in this space.

    As a black knitter, I have continuing issues with the Mason-Dixon reference. I’m on the MDK mailing list, so I read MDK articles when prompted by an email, and I’ve even bought patterns but I never think “Let me go see what’s going on over at MDK.” My lizard brain just won’t allow me to be comfortable in a place with such a name. I’ve never been put off by anything I’ve read there but there’s an uneasy feeling that comes over me every time I see the name.

    As a pastor in a mainline Christian denomination (translation: mostly white), I have found knitting, crocheting and other types of crafting to be pathways to racial reconciliation. The common ground of making beautiful and useful things by hand has forged unexpected, precious connections between me and many white women, some of whom live in areas of this country where I would hesitate to go (Idaho, Wyoming, Oregon). I coordinated a project where I invited women of my denomination from all of the western states to make prayer squares (a/k/a pocket prayer shawls) and bring or send them to a weekend conference. I was pleasantly surprised at the enthusiasm and the level of participation that resulted. Another result was that now I am known by a lot of white women as the black lady pastor who knits.

    Still, I have the same question: if I or a member of my family were killed by the police—God forbid—or accused by a white person of doing anything while black, would any of these women see and talk about the injustice of it? Or would they retreat to the privileged camp of “there must be more to the story” and “they must have been doing something wrong”?

    • “The privileged camp of ‘there must be more to the story’ and ‘they must have been doing something wrong’ ” – you’ve summed up the reaction I hear too often (when just once would be too often) from white people who wouldn’t consider themselves racist. Thanks for putting it so concisely.

  • Thank you for your thoughtful, timely column. I appreciate your comments about the phrase “Mason-Dixon”. Although I’m not a woman of color, I am a feminist liberal from New Jersey who finds joy and relaxation as a maker. I have always enjoyed the diversity that comes with mixing in circles where the members value contributions, intelligence, creativity, and character. I value your creative contributions, your knowledge, your leadership, and your character. I value your words for opening our eyes to the bigger issues and the relevance to our everyday lives. Let’s hope other circles are having these conversations. Change won’t happen without this dialogue. And yes, I’d demand justice for you.

  • I see you and I thank you for writing this, as it must have been difficult. God Bless You, and may God Bless Us All during this very sad time in our country’s history. I hope that this time we will learn to truly love one another.

  • My love to you, dear one.

  • Dana, thank you for your words and your honesty. Getting to know people, and really seeing them, changes our perception of “the other”. I appreciate you sharing your feelings and hurts so that we can put a personal face to the effects of this tragedy. Hopefully, this moment in our history will be the one that makes us take off our blinders and see what racism has done to our sisters and brothers. And see what we must do to move forward. I hope you can take some comfort snuggling up with Jellybean and knowing people hear you and care. And maybe we can change things enough so that when people see MDK, it doesn’t remind them of a dividing line, but of Many Diverse Knitters! Blessings and love to you.

    • I was trying to think of something else MDK could stand for–thank you! you fixed it.

  • Beautifully written, obviously painfully and tragically experienced. I will say more when I can stop the tears. So much love to you and our millions of diverse race, ethnicity, religion, etc. with the self expectation to work to change the systems that result in such immoral and despicable normalized bias.

  • I see you. Thank you.

  • Dana thank you for your reflections. I am white but as a New Englander I had my own reaction to the name Mason-Dixon as a “northerner” and Yankee. Moving to Maryland, “the south”, was a huge adjustment. But have come to embrace the ease of interactions here. You can chat with anyone, especially in lines, and people always excuse themselves when cutting in front of you. And I want to be clear – I moved here from Boston, a very, very racist city. I started working in the public schools when desegregation began. My son is biracial – half Dominican- and I was criticized by white parents – friends and friends of friends- for not using my white privilege to get my son into the most “desirable” public schools in the city. My response to them was – but my son isn’t white like your children. I was one of three teachers out of 75 in my school who actualy lived in the city. But through all that, I have always had my white skin privilege to protect me. I wasn’t aware you’re a professor at Howard, sister institution to Gallauet where I was on the faculty for 27 years until I retired last year. Sisterly hugs to you, Barbara

  • Thank you for this, Dana. My heart breaks for you & all of us who are not white. Renee at Miss Celie’s Pants also wrote a powerful blog post that resonated with me – https://missceliespants.com/2020/06/03/your-black-friend/

  • Thank you, Dana. I see you. I hear you. As a fellow POC knitter, I stand with you.

  • Bless you Dana

  • This is so incredibly powerful. Thank you for making the problem so visual and concrete. My heart is breaking. I will do everything I can to demand justice. I see you. I hear you.

  • I don’t want to repeat what 213 readers have written.

    People on Ravelry and Instagram have talked about ways to make knitting more welcoming over the past months… and I just discovered that Dana is on Twitter, and we can subscribe. I see lots of references there to what we can read to understand what’s happening now.

    Like so many others, the name, Mason Dixon Knitting, made me shy away. I couldn’t imagine the term used in a good way, and yet the site, the books, the people are the opposite of all those associations. Perhaps that’s why MDK?

  • my heart aches

  • Thank you for being so open and honest and sharing your deepest feelings. I pray we all find a place of peace soon.

  • Thank you Dana. I see you. I hear you, I will keep listening and doing what I can do to be better and to demand better out of the people around me and the systems i encounter.

  • Thank you. When I knit or crochet, I will pray that you will, once again, find peace in knitting.

  • Thank you for helping me to begin to truly see how it is for you. I recommend the Office of Health Equity at Vanderbilt University Medical Center for helpful resources for others in their search for understanding.

  • I do see you, a beautiful human being, whose face I am so happy to see in these pages! Justice is not justice unless it applies to everyone. I would be happy to see you and or your husband anywhere and have a conversation with you about anything. I have grown up working towards a world that understands that humanity is one family with all the diversity and we are all brothers and sisters. I weep for the loss to the world of everyone who loses their life as a result of ignorance and prejudice and mean spirit, and I pray that hearts and attitudes and institutions will be changed so that it doesn’t happen any more.

  • I see you. I hear you. Thank you for your words.

  • Thank you for this. I hear you AND I see you. You are saying things that all of us need to hear.

    Your knitting is beautiful but hearing you taught at Howard really made the biggest impression on me.
    I remember how welcome I felt when I took a teachers’ exam once at Howard. As a new teacher in DC, I felt such deep respect for Howard and how it leads and contributes to DC’s culture. Thank you for raising your voice and offering us this.

  • Dana, thank you for the most honest, thought provoking contribution that I have read lately. I am heartbroken, but I won’t be igorant and I won’t be silent. Please, please know that you are seen. And heard. And know that you are appreciated, admired and loved.

  • Very thoughtfully written
    Will follow you happily!

  • I see you. And I thank you.

  • Thank you for this, I need to hear you.

  • Thank you for writing this. It brought me to tears.

  • Dana, I see you and hear what you’re saying. Keep doing it — we need you!

  • I have so much to say, i wish we could sit down together and talk. I felt the same way about the name “Mason Dixon” even tho I’m white. My father was from the deep south and a racist, we argued about it many many times. My life experiences allow me to feel ‘some’ of what you feel but not all of course. Please just know that as others here have said, I see you, I hear you and I support you. Hopefully this latest incidence will lead to REAL change. Please know that many of us are holding you in our hearts.

  • Dana, the way for you to battle racism is just to be YOU………….a wonderful YOU. I hope you find your “Yards of Happiness” again very soon.

  • Thank you for sharing your feelings. During these times sharing your feelings is better than sharing knitting patterns. You truly are more than your knits. I stand by you and others like you.

  • Beautifully said. Don’t give up. We are with you.

  • I see you and think you are beautiful for your honesty.

  • Thank you

  • As a fellow knitter – the first thing I see is a beautiful knitted item on a person
    I consider this a compliment to the knitter
    I will then look at their face, smile and tell them how wonderful their item is and how good it looks on them
    I don’t intend to offend anyone because of their race

  • Please do not think all white people are bad. We don’t have your first hand experience but most of us know the difference between right and wrong. When we see a wrong we need to speak up and bring it to everyone’s attention. We are all created equal and should be treated as such.

  • I stand with you

  • Dana, I see you. I hear you. Thank you for your eloquent words.

  • Thank you, Dana, for your honesty. I see you in every way. Your eloquent words struck me silent. I only can say Thank you.

  • Thank you for this essay. I’m so impressed that you’ve said this on a knitting site. We see and hear you.

  • Dana, I see you. I am educating myself and I am thankful to those of my friend who take the time to help me get that education. I’m not expecting to be educated by my friends who are people of color, I am very thankful when they do take the time. Thank you for your words, thank you for your posts.

  • Beautifully written…your heartfelt words will stay with me. Thank you, Dana.

  • I see you. I send you love, and I keep making a conscious effort to see every person I come into contact with.

  • Dana, Thank you for this. I also saw your insta post where you shared in such a honest way. I was deeply moved. I see you. I see your husband. My heart is broken. Honestly, I have lived in VA for the last 7 years due to my husband’s job and it has been an emotionally disturbing time for me. I see racism, homophobia, sexism and misogyny all day long. The policy in this town is say nothing no matter how horrible are the things you hear said and see done or not done. I have read many books including How to be an Anti-Racist and Colson Whitehead and Ta-Nahisi Coates and more and more and more. I have taken diversity training and become a Buddhist chaplain so I can walk alongside those in need. Still the need is so profound and I feel helpless. Your talk and your blog piece today help. And I agree that Mason Dixon is not a good name, it is triggering for so many. I am grateful to you for your clear, and honest offering.

  • Dana – I too have been unable to knit. Not a single stitch. I am heartbroken over the events of the last 2 weeks. The country feels like it is coming apart at the seams and I am so sorry. Sorry that this is happening and sorry for your pain. I am listening, and I hear you. I believe that sharing your fears and emotions in this courageous essay contributes to the wave which I hope will bring long overdue change.

  • I see you. I yearn and act for justice and change. I hope my eyes always stay open and see a better country come out of this.

  • Dana, I see you, hear you, and support you. Thank you for sharing your feelings with us. I’m angry and sad for all the pain created by the many injustices experienced by Black Americans. There must be reform!
    Know that you matter to me.

  • Bless you. And thank you.

  • Thank you for sharing your life with us! I stand with you!

  • A thousand heart emojis for you. I’m so sorry that the murders of Breonna Taylor, Ahmad Arbery, George Floyd and so many others and the protests that have followed are making you feel sad and disinterested in, among other things, a hobby you usually take joy in. I hope there are enough positive outcomes from these protests that you will find your joy again. I hope this revolution creates real change and isn’t just another crises in a long history of racism and white supremacy. It feels more impactful but it will take time to know if it really is. Here’s to a better future for Black people everywhere.

  • Thank you, Dana.

  • I see you. I’m listening. I’m learning. Thank you.

  • Dana,
    I see you, I hear you, I think you are terrific.
    And yes, I hope I would not allow anyone to hurt you.
    I am a white, older, woman, who is completely horrified by what is still happening in America.
    I am scared. For all of us.
    I have been to protests starting at Woolworths lunch counters in 1960, when I was 15. I’m tired.
    Yet here I am, still marching in the streets. My grandchildren are now marching in the streets.
    I cannot knit, either. I seem to be walking , walking, walking. So I don’t explode.
    My heart hurts.
    Know you are seen, heard , and loved. Like every other human on this planet.

  • Thank you! ❤️

  • Thank you for your thoughtful words and insight. May we always seek to truly see each other and not to fear our differences. I often think that people in general don’t see beyond the knitting needles when they encounter a person who loves to use their hands to make things. I always think of Agatha Christy’s Miss Marple and the quote “don’t let the knitting needles fool you.” We have brains (else how could we excel at this craft) and may God give us the sense and courage to use them for the good of us all.

  • Thank you for the emotional labor of this post. I remember the first time I saw Mason Dixon Knitting and I also wondered what they stood for due to the name. I only really joined the site after I read their mission and values page. I wanted you to know you were not alone in that feeling. I hope you’re getting the care and support you need during these (re)traumatizing few weeks.

  • Dana, I hear you. My husband and I taught our children well and we continue to see it today in their lives and now the grandkids. When my oldest was 5, her best friend was Black. She had no idea there was a difference between them. One day my daughter said, Mom. Did you know April is black? I said yes, but what difference did that make? I asked her how did she know her friend’s skin color was different. She told me another boy (white) told her so and shouldn’t play with her. It broke my heart to tell her some parents don’t like people of different colors. I reminded her the we are all brothers and sisters of a Heavenly Father who loves all of us, no matter what their skin color. We have changed our little generation. I see you, Dana. Love you my sister

  • Thank you for sharing. I am listening

  • Thank you for your post. I wish that I could express my thoughts as powerfully and clearly as you did.

  • No justice no peace. I pray and work for that day of justice.Thank you for sharing your thoughts, your skills and your humanity.

  • I am looking at you and listening to you with respect and an open heart.
    Wendy H

    • Thank you Dana. We can all get back to knitting later. It’s mucb more important to focus on this issue now. And thank you to Ann and Kay for using your platform for good.

  • I see you Dana, and I hear you, thank you for your honest and challenging (in a good way) words. On this side of the pond we have much to repent of too.

  • I see you and continue to want to see more! You are such an inspiration in so many ways. Thank you for writing this. It is so important for us to hear it. Sending love from NY.

  • Dana, I DO see you. I am sickened by what is going on in this country, and by what has gone on in this country since your people were abducted from your countries of origin. I am also sickened by what is happening to this country politically. Seeing George Floyd murdered before my eyes sickened me. Enough is enough. We, ALL the people of this country who care about human rights, can’t take it anymore. Because our nation is in such a sorry state on so many levels, I hope change will finally come. We are on the precipice, and we have to quickly back away. People of good will are SICK of it.

  • I see YOU, Dana. I write this with tears in my eyes and know that I have to help bring about the change that’s needed. Since my marriage to a Black man and the birth of my biracial son, I’ve learned to view our country in a different way and have worked to see it through your eyes rather then mine. Its been an eye opening journey which won’t end until all people see that the measure of a person is not through the color of their skin but rather through the goodness in their heart.

  • Wonderfully said, Dana! Many leaders are saying this requires a heart change: let it begin in me! Knit on!

  • Hello, Dana. I see you and I am listening. Thank you for writing this and for sharing your feelings, especially when you don’t really feel like it. I’m so sorry for your pain and worry. I vow to do better.

  • Tears shed. Lessons and battles to be joined hoping that in my lifetime social injustice will finally be giving it’s due.
    Loving that gorgeous smile on your Mama’s beautiful face. Also wondering if you can direct me to the vest pattern you made for her. You and Jellybean are quite the fashion icons.

  • Thank you.

  • I see you. I am moved by your words. I am outraged by the injustices in this country. I want change. Now.Thank you for your honesty and vulnerability.

  • Thank you for these words, Dana. I see you, I support you, and I’m listening. Please do what you need to take care of yourself.

  • Dana, this was so beautifully written and I feel every word. I crochet through my pain and fear and anxiety, even if it isn’t necessarily calming anymore.

    Someone else said it, if you make a revolution or protest sweater or other pattern, I will make it (as best I can, not being a knitter and all) and wear it proudly.

    I hope you are inspired and buoyed by the love and support you have here and get your mojo back.

  • Thank you dear Dana for taking time to share so candidly and lovingly. Sitting here and staring at my keyboard, I’ve tried to write a reply to your message; but each one seems feeble and trite. I see you, but to honor the point of your message, even though I try to see you, I am sure I fail. I am so sorry.

  • Thank you for sharing your pain and frustration. I am listening and getting involved in my community.

  • Thank you for writing this, for sharing your emotional energy with the community here.

  • I’m a 67 year old white woman, an RN and grew up going to naturally integrated schools. My heart is broken by the state of our Country

  • I see you. I seek out women of color to follow and read and learn from, so my subscribing was not about those adorable sweaters (that now I really need to go find on line) it was because of who you are.

    I hear you and will always receive what you say with openness, the same way I would hope to be received if I were speaking from my heart about things that are precious to me.

    Please know that your worth will never be tied to those who hate and fear, it will always be the intrinsic beauty that is your core. Please stay safe and healthy through all of this, I truly believe we’re going to come out the other side in a better place.

  • Thank you.

  • I see you and I love you …. I love your dogs, your husband, your yarn, your glasses, your relatives in your sweaters … all of it.

  • I see you and I love You!

  • This is such an important message. I understand not being able to knit – being completely overwhelmed by what’s happening in our country – what’s been happening and happening and happening again. My deepest hope is that this time there will be change. Stay safe and stay well. And Thank You for sharing this!

  • I hear you, I see you and my heart bleeds for you. I am a white older woman living in Canada and I really can’t imagine what you are going through. I am scared for the people of all races who have to deal with discrimination in this day and age. I know right now that for people who are Americans and have been Americans all their lives, but are of black decent that life in the United States has not been of equality and by no choice of your ancestors, who were taken from their home land and forced to live under standards that no person or persons should have been forced too, that you still have to deal with those people that have passed their ideas on too generations of their ancestors the same narrow mindedness of that they are better than everyone else. It makes me so angry and helpless at the same time, that I just want to grab all of them and say what the hell *…* is wrong with you. Theses people are no different than you and me and they only want a chance in life to be able to live like everyone else and have the same opportunities as everyone else. Sorry for the rant, but I definitely see you and hear you and hope and pray for you that you will one day feel safe and happy again.

  • I see you, Dana. I see your husband. And to all of you commenting, please see my 16 year old biracial son who looks and identifies as black. See him as more than an athlete or a threat.

  • Thank you Dana! I see you!

  • Thank you Dana!

  • I am first generation off the reservation native American. I grew up and still live in a white world. I grew up angry. It was hard to let go of all that anger, I found out I was only hurting myself. Knitting has been my saving grace, it has brought calm, introspection and a better world view. It keeps me praying. I will keep you in my prayers. Thank you so much for your posts.

  • I see you. Thank you for taking the time and energy to write. Thank you for sharing pieces of your life and passion. I have greatly enjoyed the pictures of you and your loved ones in your amazing projects. I have always felt a deep connection to you though i am less educated scholastically, a less proficient knitter and the race box i check is white. I hope this revolution continues energizing the people of the world to clean out our mental attics of old broken thought patterns. Future generations are counting on us to look inside and do the work and be worthy ancestors. Looking inside and seeing ones self and actions in a new way is emotionally draining. Thank you for providing more fuel to continue the hard work. Thank you. I see you Dana. Thank you for being you.
    I appologize for any typos but between the tears, glasses and smudged cell phone… i tried to catch as many as i could see.

    • Thank you, Dana. I was waiting for your perspective at this time. I see you and I hear you. I have started the work of educating my white privileged self about my race and racism and am trying to be better, and to help my community to learn and be better. If we white folk don’t change, conditions won’t change. My hope is that there will soon be a critical mass of people doing this work, so that you will see the positive results. I wish you comfort, and a return to the solace of knitting.

  • I hear you. I do see. I notice everything. I speak up when i see somethong not rigjt. You are awesome and strong. We’ll get through this together.

  • i see you. i hear you. my legs feel weak hearing and feeling and seeing you and what you are sharing here. i am on this journey of learning the history of our country and how ugly and ugly and ugly its foundations are in relation to race. your comparison of the peaceful protestors protesting racial injustice and those gun carrying protestors protesting keeping our country safe from the covid 19 virus was spot on. oh, my hope is great that this time of seeing will bring real change, deep change in all the ways people of color have had to live in fear. it is not rose colored glasses hope, it is a deep trust in our shared goodness as human beings. i see you.

  • Until recently, I have been so unaware of the white privilege I receive, and the daily fear and struggle of our black communities. I am embarrassed for the white race, but also privileged that we get to live in a time where we have a the opportunity to stand with our black and brown neighbours and make lasting changes.

  • Thank you Dana Williams-Johnson for bringing forward these important, heartfelt comments to your column.

  • Thank you for sharing your heart. It helps to open up other hearts, including mine, that have been ignorant far too long due to unrealized privilege. Thank you. I see you, and you are a beauty to behold!

  • Words matter. Thank you for posting what I have been thinking for some time, and I have struggled to reconcile Mason-Dixon Knitting’s postings and musings, especially recent ones, under the banner of their chosen logo to represent their business. I wrote to Mason-Dixon about the continued use of this log, but, to this day, I have not received any kind of response. As a black woman, it is and has been hard to navigate in this world, including the knitting world, when my outer shell is viewed as a target.

  • I am so sad for you, I am white and I am ashamed of myself, and all others who are white. I am ashamed of my ignorance, is there any way I can be different, do different. My thoughts and prayers are for you, I will be praying daily for you (and for me) to be reconciled. I will also be praying for justice .

  • Dana Thank You!!! It’s one thing to say we are open to listening I think we as a knitting community need to take it a set further. We need to highlight, uplift, recognize, support and demand representation for our fellow knitters who are people of color. I will commit to seeking out and recognizing knitters of color and their work as well as bringing them to the attention of my knitting community (shops, knitting groups, social media, etc.). We practice a creative art that only flourishes when diversity of ideas and creativity are introduced. We need to make sure that the source of the idea is not lost, hidden or downplayed because it is a person of color. I stand with you, I will fight for you, I will not avoid the hard conversations, and I will teach my children and my community to do the same. I will not be perfect but I will try everyday to be better.

  • Wonderfully sais however in my mind you are not a black woman who knits, you are a beautiful woman who knits and who just happens to be black.

    The colour of your skin isn’t what is important, your inner light shining out is.

    Bless You, I pray your knitting love returns xxx

  • Thank you, Dana. I’m listening. Be well.

  • Dana, thank you for this very eloquent post. My heart hurts that all this nastiness continues.

  • Dana, I see you. Your writing always brightens my day. I am so sorry for your pain.

  • Thank you, Dana, for your honesty and your decision to write your column this month. I will stand up for you.

  • I see you, and I see what I have and have not done for you, and I see where I can change so that others will hopefully see you too.

    What is happening now has opened my eyes to so much more that I did not see before. Before, I knew there was a problem but I didn’t see it as my problem. The most meaningful lesson I have learned is the “death by 1000 cuts”. This is where the problem is mine. Unintentionally, I have been a part of this problem by my inaction and honestly some of my actions as well. No more though. Now I see you and will change so that I always see you.

    Thank you for sharing.

  • Ma’am, you are so right, and it doesn’t matter how many well meaning white people say they wouldn’t be terrible… There are far too many who would do vile and evil things.

    I’m a chaplain by training. This isn’t about me and should never be about me. If you need somewhere safe and confidential to vent, rage, cry… I’m here. Racism is pure evil and you have to live this hell every day. Everything you are feeling is important and deserves care and listening. You are important. You are worthy of love and care if you never knit again. You matter.

  • Everything you said is so absolutely accurate. Thank you so much for saying it.

  • I see you. Thank you for this column. I am trying hard to educate myself. I hope you can find some strengthen your knitting once again.

  • I see you and have always seen you and other POC. But I was lucky enough to be brought up by parents who were liberal and cosmopolitan and who lived the tenets of their faith. Most of my school friends in my tiny Mediterranean island weren’t, and were aghast at seeing Arabs, Blacks, and assorted other obvious foreigners regularly coming to our house. In the 60s and 70s…… Most of these ex school “friends “ are now shouting loudly that there is no space here for the migrants that are crossing seas in search of a better life from war torn Libya. Syrians, Africans…. left to drown out at sea. It’s one of the reasons I left FB, my little, mostly fervently Catholic island disgusts me. But I still try to explain to people how harmful their stupid racist comments are, and to point out when they are being unconsciously racist. Sometimes they even listen. We all have to keep trying, and education is a huge part of that. It’s easy to look the other way and pretend nothing is happening.

    About the name, as a European I actually thought it was a symbol of reaching across a divide. I love this place. And I am so pleased to see such a real effort from Ann and Kay to continue using their site as a means for change, I’ve unsubscribed from so many American knitting, sewing and other sites’ emails over the last week, because I was disgusted by their marketing newsletters that didn’t even make a nod to what is going on in the States. I shall boycott them and any others who don’t show some form of support for anti racism. Look at your banks, ladies. Look at your favorite shops and websites, and stop using them, if they don’t support change. Hit them where it hurts.

  • I see you and I hear you. I am sending you love.

  • I see you, I hear you, I respect you, I thank you.

  • I don’t usually comment on blogs but I wanted you to know that I’d read your article to the end and knitting or not I see you ♥️

  • We have a long way to go, but every time we read something so heartfelt, we can take another step closer to the goal.

  • Lots of people expressing their support for you, as am I. We’ll see how far they’re willing to go after this round. Bless you for being who you are and for trying to shed some perspective on this. And I also had trouble with the name Mason Dixon Knitting when I first joined.

  • Dana I actually never heard of you before today. Your words touched me. The respect of every human life has to triumph. We all must do our part

  • I see you. I hear you. ❤️

  • Thank you so much for that. I know that my imagining what your fear and frustration feels like, is just a pale (in more ways than one) in comparison to your experience.

  • Dana, This really moved me. I see you and others, and I am listening.

  • Thank you Dana. I cried.
    Remembering that golden oldie, “The personal is political”. Still true.
    ❤️

  • Dana, I see you as a beautiful, creative, loving, intelligent and generous woman. I appreciate everything you contribute to this fiber community, especially this piece which must have been so painful to write as you grieve, yet again, another brutal senseless death. You are NOT alone, and you are loved.
    To my fellow whites, please #DoTheWork. It’s painful but so liberating. Read and journal through White Supremacy and Me by Layla F. Saad. It will open your eyes and your heart.

  • Well said Dana I also was initially concerned about the MDK site name. I am so glad to be reassured.

  • Dear Dana, thank you! Thanks for your honesty and your vulnerability. I’d never thought about how you would hear the term “Mason-Dixon.” And, I’ve never heard anyone so eloquently express the fear that African American moms and wives and aunties struggle with. So, thank you. Please keep speaking. Remember that no one can understand another point of view unless that person shares their experience. Now is the time. Folks are listening. I see you as an incredibly talented artist. A productive, and excellent knitter. But today, I see your pain and I understand your point of view in a better way. We will move forward, we will experience change. This ol’ lady, white knitter is listening!

  • i see you through tears today, dana. i want to believe that i would see your husband and stand up for him in any unjust situation. i want to see real change and work from the ground up to create real equality, nothing superficial or pacifying.

  • Thank you

  • Thank you, Dana.

  • Thank you. Please keep talking. I’m listening. Please keep writing. I’m reading. I’m forwarding your words and thoughts to library knitting groups and guilds here in Georgia. Diann Arivett [email protected]

  • I see you, and appreciate you taking the time to share your story. Thank you for your bravery, courage, and persistence. You are an inspiration!

  • Thank you so much for this. I’m doing my best to educate myself on ways to be an ally with the oppressed and ways to be a better person.

  • Dana, I see you. Thank you for sharing your pain. I support you.

  • Thank you for sharing so much of yourself and your heart with us. Your knitting is beautiful, and I treasure your words too. I’ve been learning and doing more to be a better anti-racist ally. May we all be knit together!

  • Dana – thank you so much for your words. They mean so much to me. I am very glad to see your words on this site.

  • Thank you.

  • Thank you so much for sharing.

  • I see you. I am you. Knitting since elementary school. Just now have time to pick it up again. Keep on keeping on

  • I’m currently knitting to The Warmth of Other Suns on Audible. Lots of history to catch up on.

  • Thanks, I know(being white) I cannot know the depths of your pain, but I still weep.

  • Thank you for being so honest. As a member of a long persecuted faith we are separated by color but not by experience and have a similar historic memory. I have always had minimal trust in the police and always believed that it was only a matter of time before the rest of the public was treated the same way. May these seismic events make us all mindful and lead to a better society.

  • I see you and I love you. And I will do better to learn and listen.

  • Thank you for speaking out

  • Hello,

    As I read your article the tears filled my eyes once again and I know the fear that we have been forced to deal with. I love to crochet but since 2020’s turmoil, I find it so hard to crochet. I pray for a healing of our heart, mind and soul as mentally I am broken and hide my hurt and pain from my family. I feel as if I am being pulled into a very dark place… I pray and look forward to deliverance❤️

  • Thank you, Dana. I came to MDK because of you. And I still haven’t ventured beyond your column. The name is that unpleasant to me. I hope the editors are reading the many comments here and doing some soul searching. I am certainly doing my own hard work of self-evaluation these days. Wishing you moments of peace and respite in the midst of all the stress.

  • Dana, thank you.

    To my fellow white women knitters: I have been listening to podcasts in quarantine, and looking especially for those by Black journalists and commentators. I’m not going to list them, because I don’t know how to link, but the WNYC website has a number of the ones I’m following.

    The book which opened my eyes and heart to the reality and toll of micro aggression, as well as the overt actions of white supremacy: “Citizen: An American Lyric,” by poet and professor Claudia Rankine.

  • Thank you for taking the time and making the effort to share.

  • I see you. Thank you.

  • Thank you, Dana.

  • I first encountered your patterns on Mason Dixon. I grew up within miles of the MasonDixon line in Missouri. I made it a point to read your blog after hearing how invisible you felt at times. As a large woman, I can relate, but I also know I have led a life of privilege and live in a small town with almost no black population. I am more aware than many of my friends and I try to take any chance I see to verbalize the disparities I see. I now read your blog because I really appreciate your sense of color and style. I love to hear about your journey. I hope you continue to share to help me understand better. I am listening. I am open.

  • Dana, we need to hear you, as well as see you. I am willing and determined to be the change. Thank you for sharing on this heartfelt level.

  • Dear Dana,
    This is the first time I have read anything about you. I am moved to tears reading your blog. As a Jew, I am reminded of hatred and racism my family and ancestors endured. I denounce the systemic racism in the police and justice systems that were meant to “keep people of color in their place”. Our president is nothing but a mobster and a thug. He wants division in our country. I believe that if we can acknowledge that we are a world of many colors, maybe we can judge a person by their heart rather than any other bias. Wishing you healing and health. [email protected]

  • I see you and I hear you. I hope this year creates lasting change, and we emerge better together. ♥️

  • With tears in my eyes, I see you and I hear you, Dana. Thank you for writing about your pain and in a way that made it real to me.

  • Thank you for making the time and energy to write this.

  • Thank you Dana. I see you and feel the pain clearly after reading this.

  • Thank you for your words. I see you and hear you. I don’t understand how any white person can live in this country and not see your pain.

  • Come for the dog sweaters, stay for the honesty. Sending love and a hope for better, kinder days ahead.

  • I see a beautiful face, a lovely smile and a huge heart. I also see a natural born teacher who contributes joy to the world.

  • I send hugs. I live just a few miles from Brunswick GA, and daily I’m sick. To the point that maybe we need to find a way to leave this horrible state. Thank you for sharing, thanks for being real.

    I see you.Be well. Knitting will come when you’re ready, until then— just try to breathe and make space.

    HUGS,
    Tina

  • I see you and support you Dana. If you are ever in Portland, I would be honoured to have you in my home. I think you would be a great friend.

  • I’ve always thought I was pretty liberal and anti-racist, but the comments on this blog have brought me up short. Here’s how clueless I was: I never gave a thought to the name of this blog. I just thought “Well, Kay lives in New York and Ann lives in Nashville, so of course, Mason-Dixon is just the right name.” Duh. Thank you for enlightening me about still another way that I am a clueless white person.

  • The Mason-Dixon Line is a reminder that compromising hasn’t worked in the past and it won’t work now. We have to stand up for what is right, even when it leads to conflict. We are stronger when we reach across those artificial lines, lines that have been designed to divide us.

  • Thank you for expressing your feelings. I do hear and see you and do understand about your not knitting right now. Our creative selves are intimately tied to our emotions.

  • I love & echo what Collette said: I see you, I hear you, I support you. Your beautiful words brought tears to my eyes. Bless you a thousand times over for helping us expand our understanding through your sharing. I also avoided MDK for years over the name and very recently followed a thread that reluctantly led me here. As I read your words this morning, I now see my avoidance as another example of how I should have, as you did, checked it out and valued it [or not] for what I found. [I hope I am not overstating or taking away from your powerful thoughts in my interpretation.] Hugs

  • I stand with you. I see you. I am listening and trying to learn. Thank you.

  • Thank you, Dana.

  • ❤️. May God have mercy on us all.

  • Thank you for your comments today. Like you, I was put off by the name, Mason Dixon Knitting, and almost didn’t enter the site because of it. I have grown to love the information, but not the name (and I really wish some consideration would be given to changing it). Here I have found beautiful yarns and patterns, joyful knitters engaging in knit-a-longs, and creative artists such as yourself to provide the inspiration a “follow the pattern” knitter like me needs. In this time of upheaval, with all of the hidden sins against people of color at long last being exposed to the world, it is the time to question where we stand in the pursuit of justice and liberty for all. If we cannot make this commitment, me for you, and you for me, then we are doomed as a country. The possibility that we might fail is enough to make one feel incapacitated, but we must hold to the thread of hope that we can stand together, one for the other, and maybe that thread is all we will need to get going once more on projects and designs that will be completed in a future that is more just and free than the one we are, and have been, living through for centuries. Godspeed.

  • Thank you, Dana. I see you.

  • Thank you so much for sharing. Your eloquence is moving.

  • I so appreciate your comment about the name, Mason Dixon. It reminded me of comments people shared in a volunteer health initiative in which I was involved 20 years ago when I first moved to New Orleans. I’m white and grew up in a pretty lily white environment in the Midwest. New Orleans was, and I believe still is, a majority African American. Nevertheless, the African American volunteers would often talk about their perceptions of every day things they faced. Things, I would never have given a second thought about. It truly began to open my eyes. I think opening our eyes and being receptive to how others see things, is just the very beginning of our journey. But, it must be the place to start.

  • The name “Mason Dixon” put me off too. I ignored this great resource for a long time because I felt like with that nomenclature, the people behind it would not be able to reach me. I only changed my impression when you teamed with them. I know little about you beyond your knitting, doglove, and the people in your IG feed. I do see a woman who has a great professional career, above-average grace, a sweet disposition, discipline and artistic eye, and someone it would be nice to know. I inly got in to IG as a refuge and a place to get lost in yarny goodness. IG has changed and even though it isnt always a peaceful place, I’m grateful to have expanded my own mind and to have deeper understanding. It puts me in the vanguard of a new wavd of the Civil Rights Movement. So much work is there to do!

  • I see you. And I’m listening to you. Thank you for sharing your story – not just your knitting story – but a bigger piece of your soul story.

  • Dana – it is my intent to use the correct words here – nothing I write is with malice. I am 67 y.o – lived in PG County until I was 23 – I will openly admit that I was taught prejudice. It was something that was passed down. With time and education I have learned how wrong that was – I remember in the late 60’s and early 70’s being troubled by it all – saying to my mother “I wish we could all just blend – mix the black and white skins and become gray or whatever the appropriate term would be, so that we could all be one people”. I have continued to learn about and still continue to learn about atrocities against black people and all people of color. In fact, I just learned about “workhouses” in London from the early 1900’s..All of this breaks my heart, and I am not sure how people survived it.I condone none of it. I have worked with many black people – and was happy to be their coworker – have black friends – but again, I will be honest – I do not have any idea of how it feels as a mother who has to worry when her son goes out and has to be afraid for his safety. I would like nothing more for us to live in a perfect world (not possible), but I do pray daily that everyone of us learn to love each other no matter what the color of our skin is – that we will be kind to each other – that we help each other and I also pray that we could get some politicians that thought that same way – that we could have leadership that wasn’t greedy and concerned with their own interests – leaders on down to the smallest job to live and make policy and enforce policy that is the best for every person on this planet.

    Dana – I see you as a black woman – an educated black woman – successful woman – someday I would hope that all of us could delete the term black as a descriptive factor – if I was your coworker or if I was in your knitting group, I would call you my friend. I actually enjoy reading your column and seeing your work. I am not thinking of your color – I am looking at your interesting work – I remember you posting a picture outside your home – at least I think you did – because I remember looking at the picture, thinking about where it was located – going down memory lane – when I traveled in or near that area (oh how it has changed and grown). I enjoyed the memories.

    Thank you Dana for your post.

  • Thank you Dana for writing this and at the same time I wish you didn’t have to, because the system has failed. We were placated with the idea of the country as a melting pot, but the American experiment was lopsidedly tilted to benefit a select few. All the rest of us need to recognize this and work to enact change.

  • I see you. Thank you for sharing your feelings.

  • I hear you. XOX

  • I see you and I hear you. Thank you for this column.

  • Thank you for sharing. I don’t know how to respond. I hear your fear and concern. I hear your pain about our society and how you are treated. I will try to make our society a better place before I leave this earth. Thank you for sharing your knitting, creativity and imagination. I have been so pleased to see you on Ravelry and Mason-Dixon Knitting. I worry that the public face of knitting is white. I have had an elementary school knitting club for three years in which the participants are of all races and genders. I hope that some of these kids continue to knit or find knitting again when they are adults.

  • I don’t know how you can even function right now. I’m doing everything I can to educate myself to be a true ally. You’re in my thoughts.

  • I see you. And you’re beautiful. I feel your pain and frustration. And I honestly don’t know how you can even bear all this pain- so thank you for sharing it with me. I’ll carry it now too. I pledge to you, as a white woman who’s heart is the exact same color as yours, that I will do all I can to ‘stand in the gap’ so this shit can quit happening, or so at least you don’t feel so alone when it dies. I won’t forget- I promise you this. With love to you…

  • God bless you Ms Williams-Johnson. Very well said and thought provoking. I surely hear you and see you. Again I say, God bless you!!

  • Thank you Dana. Ann and Kay please change the name of your business.

  • I see you and am holding your hand.

  • I see what you are saying.
    Take care

  • I see you. I am listening.

  • Thank you for your words. I have many (jumbled) emotions reading your post, and no way to adequately express them. Blessings to you.

  • Thank you for this thoughtful post. I see you. And you have always been more than fabulous knits – you are also fabulous voice!

  • I see you and hear you, I love that you shared this and I hope finally we will see such needed change in the country and world wide. Thank you!

  • I see you, I hear you and I respect you.

  • Thank you. Your post expresses much of what I’ve feeling.

  • Hello Dana, thank you for sharing your time and energy here– I am so sorry for the pain you are living through each and every day and the heaviness of having to show up in a world founded upon white supremacy. I see you. I hear you. I am committed to being part of the change that dismantles white supremacy once and for all— today, and every day remaining to me. I am honored to meet you. I hope that your love of knitting and the comfort it brings to you will return, until then, may your spirit know ease and nurturance from other sources. I am listening deeply to what you have written here.

  • I see you, I see your pain, and I grieve and rage with you. I am learning more about the oppression crushing your people and I am fighting for justice with you. I am sorry I didn’t do more earlier. Thank you for sharing with us. You are a cherished member of this community and your humanity, not just your knitting, is valued.

  • Dana, I hope this outpouring of comments reaches you, and maybe reassures that so so so many of your fans, myself included, love to see your knitting — and see you. Thank you for writing this important piece, and for all your other joyful, loving posts about knitting.

  • Dana- I see you. I hear you. Thank you for writing this.

    • I see you; I have seen you, and I can do more. And I will.

  • Thank you, Dana

  • Dear Dana,

    I’m a white woman. When I started following you – on Instagram, on Ravelry, subscribing to your emailings, watching Youtube, and here on MD (I don’t have a dog at this time and only recently knit a couple sweaters, but I’ve been following you for a while) – it was because I was drawn to your strength, your directness, your ability to be joyful and loving and your willingness to share that – and, of course, your love of dogs. I so look forward to your postings – all that knitting, and going to graduate school, and teaching, and never failing to keep up the sharing, and welcoming so many into your warm, inviting, home and life. Calling your postings “Yards of Happiness” said it all – what you looked for in life and what you offered others. It was inspiring and nuturing and fun – something to look forward to on a regular basis. I wasn’t colorblind – I always saw you were a Black Woman, well deserving of capitalizing the phrase, and I knew it made the beauty of your person and your actions even greater gifts to a world that has done little to deserve them. You have given so much to so many, I want to offer something back. This is inadequate but I hope it brings to you a fraction of the warmth and happiness you have given me. Thank you.

  • I see you, and hear you, Dana. Thank you for writing at this time of unbearable grief. You are not alone.

  • Thank you, Dana. Sending you love and support.

  • THANK YOU, DANA. <3

  • Keep speaking out Dana. I’m a black female knitter too. And I was drawn to this site because of your beautiful BLACK face on Ravelry. I had never seen another black knitter before. I’ve always knit in the midst of white people and I thought that’s what Ravelry was; A place where white women shared knitting community. I just wanted to knit so I participated anonymously.
    You are a breath of fresh air. Thank you for speaking out. I have a black husband and black sons and daughters and too many times our struggle has been glossed over. The truth is we are dying and not by our own hands. I see you Dana❤️

  • Thank you for these raw, emotional columns. I need them. I need to be challenged.

  • Thank you for the bravery it took to write this. I see you. I’m fighting.

  • I see you. I really do. I hear you. I am grateful to you for writing your heart and your truth. This week I learned that I have a lot of work to do, and in the midst of all the pain I am committed to being part of the change.

  • Thank you

  • I had the same reaction when I first saw the name of the site, but seeing you on it is what initially helped me relax and join in. Thanks for being you.

  • I see you. I am angry, sad, distrustful, and everything else at the treatment of “others”. I had a good friend who was black. When we hung out together the difference in our treatments was astounding. Since then I want to “see” everyone. I come from a religiously blended family. Again bias was always around us, even though my parents were the best, especially in treating most people fairly. I wish that more and more people “see” each other as people and not by their skin tone, religion, gender and sexual identity. I hope that all people learn to be kind and caring of each other.

  • I see you.

    I had the same reaction to the site name and YOU actually were part of why I am here. That you had a voice and a presence here made me give the site a space in my life.

    Thank you for all that you do… and take care of yourself.

    • ‘I see you.

      I had the same reaction to the site name and YOU actually were part of why I am here. That you had a voice and a presence here made me give the site a space in my life.

      Thank you for all that you do… and take care of yourself.’

      Same here!!! The first time I found this site, the name made me really nervous. But I follow Yards of Happiness, and it linked me back here again, so I gave it another chance.

  • I wish everyone would realize whether you are black,white Mexican or Indian or whatever race you are you matter no matter what everybody matters.

  • Thank you very much for sharing your thoughts. Your pain is vivid, so is your joy (in knitting, your husband and your dogs). I hope the pain lessens by this country grasping the inequalities still too prevalent after so many years. I hope for profound changes to come out of this current episode. I promise you I will get a broader view of history and read about race. I must know more so I can do something effective. I can’t believe these issues continue. I cried when I was a little girl for the brave little children who were led into segregated schools so many years ago. Today, I see your picture here with that same face. Brave and scared. It is real. It is palpable. It is crushing. Hope and prayers.

  • Dana, I see you. I see a beautiful, powerful, well-educated, well-spoken, talented and multi-faceted Black Woman. You are amazing and inspirational to me and I celebrate all you are. Sometimes I am timid around my black sisters, afraid to offend, terrified I’ll unconsciously hurt or assert my unacknowledged white privilege. I always try to treat all humans humanely and with compassion, but am trying harder to be really aware. Thank you for your post and for opening our eyes to what we have overlooked.

  • I feel your pain and I see you. I hear the pain in your words. May the love & respect of us all carry you through these troubles times.

  • I see you and you are a beautiful, passionate, sensitive, and talented woman. I wish you and your family good health, happiness and peace. If you lived in Michigan, I’d give you a big hug even with this covid19 hampering our lives. Take care.

    Francine

  • I see you. I can not know your pain, but I send you my love and support. And a pledge to SEE all through eyes that are open.

  • I know what these past three years, three months, and the previous two weeks have done to me. I cannot even begin to imagine what it has done to you.Thank you for your honesty. Please keep talking to the rest of us. I don’t give a damn about any economic gains, real or imagined, this administration may have made. They don’t even begin to come close to atoning for the damage they have caused by increasing pretty much any and all cultural divides in our culture. They don’t begin to atone for what they have done to our collective psyche. I agree wholeheartedly with Rev. Al Sharpton’s words in his eulogy for George Floyd yesterday: it is time for America to acknowledge it has been kneeling on the necks of African Americans for centuries and it is time to stop! It is time to push back at those who think it’s okay to limit the freedoms and choices of any group of people. I pray we maintain our democratic republic through the upcoming election cycle and the inauguration of the next administration. Please vote in November, don’t refuse to vote because you don’t like either choices from the two major parties. Please vote to get us to the next level of dialogue and change. Please vote so we can get back to a state of knitting just for the sheer pleasure of knitting rather than knitting as a coping mechanism to get through tumultuous times.

  • Spending you a warm and woolly hug from the other side of the world. Hoping you eventually find it in your heart to pick up your needles and bring more of your colourful knits into our sometimes bleak reality.

  • Much love Dana

  • I see you. I hear you. I stand with you. I will listen to you. Please keep talking. I want to hear more.

  • Thank you

  • Dear Prof. Dana, I’ve made a donation to Howard University, because I see you not only as an inspiration to us knitting people, but an inspiration to the young people who are striving to get an education despite all obstacles. As a female PhD who bailed out of academia, I see your courage in staying and being a role model. As a brown immigrant, I’ve seen much welcome and acceptance from black brothers and sisters.

  • Thank you Dana, I am an African American woman and I too have not been able to knit. You capture my feelings with your words
    Shavetta Conner

  • Don’t cry…l was berated by a white Supervisor many yrs ago….l said l didn’t understand what all the carrying on was about because on the inside…..we are all the same, it’s just the outside that looks different. As a result l have been told l am disconnected…but am l, really?

    • Marijane, in the most loving way I can, I say yes, you are disconnected. It’s so easy for us white people to be disconnected, to see the ultimate truth that all people are one, but not see the profoundly awful truth that in our society, being white means having privilege and dominance. What do I mean? I don’t have to worry that when a (white) man I love walks down the street he’ll be considered a likely danger to others. I don’t have to worry that someone might call the police because he’s wearing clothes that someone finds scary. I’m not suspected of having gotten my job or my admission to an elite college without deserving that place. And those are relatively mild examples of being privileged.

      Most of us white people have spent little time thinking about themselves as white people or have thought of themselves as good-hearted people who decry racism. It’s painful to realize that we don’t see that our society is built on whiteness being the norm and non-whiteness meaning the “other” who therefore is thought of and treated as an outsider who need to comply with the white norm.

      For me, that’s the tough part. I can feel that racism is a horror–as you do, too, I think–but if I don’t act as a white person working pull down a social framework that makes us the norm that gets to define what’s right, then I am passively letting what is unjust stay in place. And that makes our society as a whole an infinitely poorer, dangerous place to live in.

    • Yes. Consider others not just your own ideas. Read, look listen and learn.

      • Yes, it’s about listening to the experts. We’re living in two different worlds, and one of them isn’t in the least fair or safe. It’s on us, White people, who are the beneficiaries of the other, to change things.

  • Thank you so much for your words. May we continue to fight against the injustices and prejudices inherent in our systems to bring about much-needed change. I hope you feel like knitting again soon, but know that we’re here for you whether or not you do. Peace and love.

  • Thank you. I support you in any way I can.

  • You raise valid questions.
    I’m certain I would be screaming for justice for you & am equally certain I would approach your husband to ask about his sweater. Still, I cannot be certain I feel the same fears & doubts that you feel & will not minimize your perspective by saying that I do. Please know that I admire you enormously. You & I have things in common. I pray for all of us.

  • I am so glad you are here, Dana — here on MDK, here in the fiber community, here on the planet. I am sorry for my and my ancestors’ complicity in building and maintaining systemic white supremacy. Your voice and your soul are a mitzvah upon humanity, and I vow to do everything I can to support and protect it.

  • I see you. I support you. I pray that we can overcome this blight on America and treat all people the same no matter their skin color, religion, income level.

  • Sad that so many readers, myself among them, have benefited from this site’s information, activities and products, but have waited until now to come forward with how uncomfortable the MD moniker has made us…. We need to ask ourselves why it has taken so long to speak out, and speak up.

  • Dana, I hear you, I see you and I hurt for you. And all of the people hurt by the actions of an oppressive society.

  • Thank you Dana for sharing your honest feelings. We are all one race, the human race. I pray for anyone who has experienced racism against their own race to not stereotype that entire race just because someone from that race displayed racism. Two things I know for sure are that humans have magnifying minds whatever we focus on becomes the biggest thing in our lives. so now the magnifying glass is on racism. May we all look to find a way to better our society in that regard. The other thing I know for sure is that when you point your finger at someone else do you have two fingers pointing back at yourself. May we redirect our thinking to change our own behavior before we try to correct that in others.

  • About the name–I’ve noticed the tag line on the website is now “Modern Daily Knitting.” I would like to see Ann and Kay address this directly and not just sidle up to a new name. Own up to an unfortunate choice early on and then CHANGE IT!

    And DWJ, I love you and your chihuahua.

    • Hi Heidi,

      We’re not sidling, I promise. Our announcement comes in tomorrow’s Snippets and on our site this Monday. We are changing our name as fast as we can, and that first change just happened this afternoon.

      Sincerely,
      Ann

      • YAY!!

        I’ve been trying to make my own self take actions and not just write platitudes. It’s not easy.

      • Thank goodness. I am an old white woman and every time I visit your site I have to overcome the repulsion of that name to try and focus on the knitting. I cannot believe anyone would be so insensitive as to use this name but I applaud you for finally getting it and taking action.

      • Will you put your money where your mouth is and change the domain name?

        • Please respect that this is a transition in which Ann and Kay may not have full control over the timing of everything they’re trying to do. I’m thrilled they’ve taken the first steps and have faith they will continue the process.

  • Dana, I seldom comment on posts, but I want you to know that I support you. I lived the majority of my life in the Dakotas (South and North). There are not a lot of Black people there, so race was never an issue. People were just people and skin color wasn’t an issue. A few years ago I moved to TN and realized that skin color mattered to some people. I still don’t understand it because it still doesn’t matter to me, but I understand that it matters to some people. I am sorry for that because those people miss so much. I hope that knitting will soothe you soon.

    • Hi, Bea! As an Upper Midwest resident, I respectfully and lovingly ask you to re-examine your experience of life in the Dakotas. The earliest, most virulent racism I was exposed to was against the Native Americans living in those states. The systemic injustices of life on and off the reservations are another blight on our country. Thank you for considering this perspective.

  • I see you Dana – a person with a beautiful heart and an important message who happens to be a talented knitter. ❤️

  • Thank you. I appreciate you sharing even a little of how things are for you right now. My heart is so broken about how things are in this country these days, and our full history, but my skin is white so I also know that I can’t fully fathom the true depth of horror.
    People of color are also dying of COVID-19 at higher rates than whites, another tragedy of our institutionalized racism.
    I am still staying home and I will be for a long time, despite politically motivated reopenings happening everywhere. It makes me sad not to attend the protests. I’m going to use my time to read, and re-read, some books on American racism, oppression, I’ve also got a couple books on Nazism. I’m not knitting, though it has been my daily relaxation for the last decade. It’s up to me to get educated as much as I can. And for this reason, I am that much more appreciative of your willingness to share a bit of your experience here.

  • I see you and hear you and offer to share a little of your pain. I cannot totally understand, but I have been on that journey for many years and am happy to say I see people of all colors marching in the street these past days and nights. I was in Washington DC for the 1968 marches and that was not the case, but this obscenity committed against a Black man and thankfully videoed has hopefully begun a new day. I pray that you will be helped, if not healed, very soon so you can find true release in your beautiful knitting again. If I see the post is one of yours I turn to this blog immediately. I enjoy it all, but you are the best! Be safe and be well.

  • Thank you, Dana. I’ll remember.

  • Dana,

    Powerful words, difficult words, spoken honestly and from the heart. From your heart to my heart, and the hearts of so many others, I am sure. And if your heart is telling you that now is not the time to knit, you must follow your heart. I know it will know when the time’s right for you to knit again.

    Namaste.

    Diane

    • Dear Diana,

      Not to split hairs, but the term ‘namaste’ is not used as anything but a greeting. While I realize that white people like the word, please respect the millennia of culture behind it and use it only when greeting a person or God. The act of bowing with your hands together is appropriate for saying goodbye, but the word is not.

      – Saumya

      • Dear Saumya,

        Out of respect, I did look up the word prior to using it here. Unfortunately, Wikipedia reported that it is used as a greeting and also when saying good bye. I just looked it up again, and now see that there are places where they said only the gesture (not the word) is used when saying good bye, but other places, it looked as if they were saying that the word itself could be used for both. It was very subtle, though and did not place the importance on the use, as you have here, so whoever wrote that was uninformed. I was interested to see, however that they also reported that it is often used at the end (and start) is yoga sessions.

        My reason for looking it up was that I have seen the word said so often by folks who I know don’t use it with any regularity, kind of pretentious, you know? I have not liked that. To me, it was like when I see folks who always have used fork, knife, and spoon eating utensils suddenly insist on using chop sticks just because they are having Chinese food. One definition that I found was “I bow to the divine in you”. Other definitions that I found: “my soul recognizes your soul”, “I now to the place in you that is love, light, joy”, and “I honor the place in you that is the same as it is in me”. You see, I did no really mean it to be a greeting or a leave taking expression. So for that reason, I should have placed it in the body of my message, rather than at the end. However, I see now that would have been wrong, too. I simply wished to say to Dana that I see her, that my heart heard the words from her heart, and that I learned from her, too. Saumya, I have learned my lesson. From now on, I will use my own language to say what I want to say.

        By the way Saumya, you mentioned your realization that white people liked the word. Since I don’t remember meeting you, and since these comments are not conveyed via face time, I wonder how you can be sure of my race. I urge you to consider why you made that statement. I was born in a country of many races, so natives of my country that speak only my language could have made the same mistake, while not being white. I keep to myself pretty much, but there have been times when I have been the recipient of a racist comment or treatment. I have definitely and hurtfully been judged based on my color.

        When writing my name, you called me “Diana”, not Diane, which is how I spell my name. Diane is my identity, which for personal reasons in my history is very precious to me. Would there be any point in saying to you that you must be a foreigner because only foreigners call me Diana? No. Would there be a point in telling you that when they do call me “Diana”, I understand and generally do allow it. After all, Diana was a goddess.

        -Diane

  • I’m not sure if any non-black POC has spoken up yet. We too have no idea what it is to be black in today’s America. We worry in a general way about our sons, but not in the way black mothers and fathers do. This must stop.

    George Floyd was murdered in my city for simply existing. Minneapolis is making changes to ensure this never happens again. The entire country must make changes. GiGi Floyd said “My daddy changed the world.” We must fulfill what she said.

    I feel your pain and I walk with you.

  • I see you and I hear you. ❤️

  • Thank you for articulating exactly how I feel.

  • Thank you. Thank you for writing this. I see you. I see you through my tears, I cry for your hurt, your pain. I will read, I will watch and listen, I will have those conversations. Thank you.

  • I see you. I appreciate you sharing your column.

    I know it’s a minor point in your overall message, and one you said doesn’t cause you offense, however I also had a negative reaction to the name Mason-Dixon Knitting when I first learned of it and didn’t visit the site until after seeing the owners present at the recent virtual VKL. I recently wanted to recommend a book on the site to a friend but the name stuck in my throat.

  • Dana, thanks for this post. I discovered Mason-Dixon Knitting through discovering a Mason-Dixon Knitting book on the shelf at the Borders Bookstore, and promptly put the book back on the shelf. I was really worried about what I’d see there, and as a black knitter, I had already seen and felt enough. I’m glad following you has made me come to this website and see what is really going on – and enjoy seeing some who looks like me have a featured post each month. Blessings.

  • I feel you my sister — your words are powerfully real. If it wasn’t for your pleasant milk chocolate face wearing the really cute glasses, I would have passed on the Mason-Dixon Knitting sit for the same reasons as you. Because of you, I will give it a chance. Thank you for saying what many feel and were unable to express. Peace my sister, Peace

  • Thank you Dana for your thoughts, feelings and words so well spoken. I am a white woman so, I can not totally understand your feelings. However, I think most American women listen because we have all been dismissed, diminished and discarded. We are still discounted in our salaries.
    We all need to open dis ussions regarding racial inequalities and malice including abuse and brutality.
    The privileges white men have had that exclude those of color and women must end.
    Before, another tragedy occurs let us embrace change and each other as equals in our country founded on freedom and equality for all!

  • Thank you so much for using this forum for your post. People need to hear this! I live in Canada and there is definitely racism here.

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