It is past time to make a loud and clear statement right now from Longmont Yarn Shoppe. As Desmond Tutu said “if you are neutral in a situation of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.” We are not neutral. We choose justice.
Longmont Yarn Shoppe strives to be a welcoming place of inclusion and kindness for everyone. Our Manifesto, crafted in 2014 with the help of our community, I believe reflects our open heart for all.
For me, the death of George Floyd at the hands of law enforcement seemed surreal. Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade and innumerable others have been killed as a result of racist policies, and police brutality. For White people, incidents like this may be surprising, but for Black Americans, this kind of event is not a surprise; killings like this have been happening for hundreds of years, along with other more subtle but nonetheless unacceptable forms of racism. I have a lot more to learn about this history to move from being surprised, uninformed and hopeless to being an ally to the oppressed.
I have always tried to keep politics and religion off limits at LYS. The Movement for Black Lives Matters is first and foremost a humanity issue, not a political or religious issue. It is as basic as The Golden Rule: Treat others the way you wish to be treated. Everyone within our community must practice this. Racism has no home at Longmont Yarn Shoppe.
Severe anti-Blackness, oppression, and White Privilege exist, and it is time they be stopped. Here are some other ways we can stand together.
To the Black people and other people of color who patronize Longmont Yarn Shoppe, I invite you to share your criticisms, hopes, and dreams for what a truly inclusive LYS looks like. On our end we will commit to searching for more teachers and vendors of color, learning more and listening to Black, Brown, and Indigenous voices, and crafting partnerships with arts programs in local schools that serve people of color. What other ideas do you have? I want to hear your voices to help us make LYS a truly inclusive space.
Longmont Yarn Shoppe