Dear Missouri Star Quilt Company,
Firstly, I have mad respect for what you’ve built. Jenny and I are super cool I honestly love her. I’ve done work with y’all a number of times. And I’m the first to celebrate another’s success because as one rises in the quilting industry, we all rise. However, your silence right now is doing harm to the Black community and harm to the future of the quilting industry at large.
The story of moving to Missouri just trying to find a way to afford retirement and then transforming it into an amusement park for quilters is legendary. We all know it. We’ve heard you speak on it. We’ve watched you talk about it on YouTube and your website and Forbes and CBS This Morning and MSNBC. This is all spectacular and amazing omg I am living for the increased visibility of the quilting industry so much. So legit, thank you for all you’ve done. But with this visibility, you now represent the quilting industry for so many. So so so many. So so so so so many. You are quite literally THE face of quilting. And right now, your silence is communicating that black lives don’t matter. And if your silence is intended to maintain the business of quilters that don’t think black lives matter, that seriously breaks my heart and a legion of quilters that want racism to end. From what I’m hearing and reading, many of us are sorry that we gave you the money to build an empire only to silence black stories and black voices with it.
You, right now, have a responsibility to the quilting community to do the right thing. We as a nation all need to stand up and say, “black lives matter”…. just as much as any other life. It’s so easy to say. Like so easy. So so so easy. So so so so so easy. American history is clearly and oppressive country, even with the white-washed account of its history in centuries of education. It was designed for White superiority and Black oppression. This country kidnapped and enslaved Africans for 250+ years. With freedom, came intentional mass incarceration to exploit a loophole to maintain free labor for the economy. The Black community accumulated no wealth, no standing, and even today there are innumerable laws on the books trying to oppress the Black community and make sure they achieve no wealth and no standing. I know you see and know this. And right now you can’t look away. Please don’t look away.
Yes, I could have sent this quietly, but frankly I care more about trying to heal the pain you have caused to the Black community than y’all being a little embarrassed. And honestly, this can’t ignored. With your voice, you could pivot the ENTIRE quilting community to the path of anti-racism. That’s a lot of power. So please use it for good. Please.
And honestly, I truly hope that I am wrong here. And that y’all have been doing a lot of anti-racism work behind the scenes. And instead of putting up a statement, you were really trying to figure out how to be a leader right now and implement tangible internal and external things to help end systemic racism and help shift the racist-leaning of the quilting industry to one of inclusion and equity and diversity. And I would eat crow like nobody’s business. Like all the crow. I’d eat it all. But a statement won’t do now. We need you to be the leader described above because, if quilting is going to survive beyond its current dominant demographic, we need to bring in younger quilters. And the kids aren’t down with racism.
I seriously hope that this is received with love and true kindness for ALL. And I fully expect some popping off because we are all protective of Jenny, even myself. But right now, the Black community needs us. And had the Doans been a Black family and not White, they would still be struggling to afford retirement.
With love and respect,