On the other hand, the bigger issue here is obviously a misrepresentation or lack of representation of other races in crafting. I think that part of this error is cyclical — we see images of white women crafting, and therefore grow up, unless we see other women or men crafting, believing that those are the people who craft. And this is simply not true. People of all races and genders and ages across the entire globe craft.
While Carla’s post in particular was coated in extreme racist views and misinterpretations of SO MANY things, I will admit that she has a point. If white women like Heather Ross are presenting their childhoods to the world, where are the designers from other races and countries representing their childhoods? If they are designing fabric, why do they feel that in order to make it sell they have to present certain views or images? And if they ARE presenting their fabric with images of only african-american children or only native-american children, why is it wrong for H.R. to present only pictures of white children?
I guess what I am trying to say is that yes, there is something wrong with the textile/crafting industry’s underrepresentation or misrepresentation of other ethnicities. This needs to change. This needs to have attention (like this awesome post and the ones before and in response to it on other blogs from other people, too) brought to it. But I also would like to believe that in the same way we should push the celebration and showing of people of other nationalities and ethnicities, we should also stop attacking white crafters and artists for being white.]]>
I thought that all of this got much more interesting when Heather Ross started commenting. From my point of view, her initial response to public opinion about race was in line with maintaining her ‘brand’ which is to say that she has merchandized her life story into her line of fabric. Her memories, her drawings, her fabric…her brand. What got more interesting is that her comments on your blog’s two posts have gotten increasingly hostile, which is in sharp contrast with the child-like spirit of her fabrics (which I own a fair amount of), her book of weekend projects in rural Vermont and her blog of drawings. I think if anyone has diminished the shine of the Heather Ross brand it is not you with your discussion of privilege but her with her comments so out of line with the public image she has cultivated and sold.
p.s. your dog is really adorable.]]>
I don’t think I commented on the last post about this because I needed to think about it. I feel much more comfortable with this. It feels more like a ‘what can we do’ than a righteous ‘fighting for those poor black people’. I know that wasn’t at all how you meant the first post to be read, but it was uncomfortably close to that line, for me. As a white person interested in social justice, it’s a line I’m particularly wary of. I particularly liked the point about whimsy.
Have you seen ‘unpacking the invisible knapsack’? I can’t remember if it has been mentioned. I think it’s list of white privileges is useful here http://www.amptoons.com/blog/files/mcintosh.html
6. I can turn on the television or open to the front page of the paper and see people of my race widely represented.
Re the mosaics. Some of those in the first set COULD be POC - they MIGHT be asian or latino children. Their skin is not that much lighter, for eg, than the kids in the Hawaii’n print. But they are not obviously non-white. Which I think is what we need. Non-white children/people in everyday representations. Not noticeably different or highlighted because of their skin. Just different people. Otherwise, it’s ‘white (male, middle clas, cis, straight) is the default neutral, everything else is ‘other”.
Personally, I am a white person who would prefer to have diverse bodies and people represented to me. Fat kids, thin ones, poc, different genders, etc. Not as a Thing, not ‘this is the Fat Kids fabric and this one is the Brown Kids fabric;. Just in there. Normal.]]>