Note: I occasionally write for my industry, and this is one of those such times.
By now we’ve seen many organizations within the quilting industry take a publicly anti-racist stance. Some stances have been prompt and willing, some only exist through goading, some have been powerful, and some have been so carefully tepid as to essentially mean nothing.
Talk is cheap. Actions matter more, and a few days ago I witnessed an appalling and disappointing disconnect between a stance of support for diversity in my industry, and how that support played out in what should have been a minor conflict, if that.
This happened in the Facebook group of Craft Industry Alliance, a professional, for-profit organization with paid membership. As our current version of the anti-racism revolution was building steam in late May/early June after the murder of George Floyd, this organization made haste to start posting more links to black-owned businesses, and in general made a pretty good performance of being woke.
I’ll back up here and say that these groups exist for people like me (women who own craft businesses) to find peers, and they’re not generally full of chatter. They’re full of questions from members looking for solutions, and a small subset of the membership has taken the responsibility for helping others seriously. If you’ve known me a while, you know that I’m rabid about helping women stand tall in their business shoes and rise (I believe we all rise together) and I’m one of that small subset.
Another thing you need to know about craft businesses is that the people who own them usually sort of fall into it. They were passionate about a craft thing, and had a bit of business sense, and those two things got together and birthed a baby business. And like parenting, you’re doing everything by the seat of your pants for a while. You make a lot of early mistakes, like getting yourself into contracts that aren’t in your best interests once you understand the fine print.
Finding a peer business group makes you feel a little less lonely. And when you get helped by the smart and experienced members, it usually saves you a bunch of time, if not a bunch of money you might have left on the table in innocent ignorance.
I have colleagues in these groups who are helpers, like me. There are several of us, but I’m going to tell you about one in particular, Ebony Love of LoveBug Studios. She’s smart, and she’s generous with her smarts. She’s well over a decade into running her businesses successfully (note the plural on that), and she’s known for being an authority in many facets of business operations, one of them being how intellectual property is assigned, handled, and defended. In other lives she has run projects for Fortune 100 companies, so yes, as we say, she has the receipts. And in this life, she’s in the groups every day, crafting extensively detailed answers to most questions, for free.
And now, to the incident that I find upsetting:
A member sold a pattern to Craftsy some years ago, and recently tried to get the intellectual property rights to the pattern back. Craftsy (now Bluprint, under NBC) has a pretty well-proven track record of looking out for themselves before anyone else, and replied with a hard “nope.” So our disappointed member was in the group, trying to crowd-source legal advice to go fight NBC (and let’s just let that sink in, shall we… crowd-sourcing legal advice on Facebook. Hm.)
Ebony waded in to answer, pointing out that intellectual property rights get assigned forward in contracts. She noted what specific phrases around this to look for in the contract, with the conclusion that she (the pattern author) would likely not prevail in a fight but hey, go read the contract anyway. It was a typical Ebony answer: practically written, full of pertinent info, and offered freely. And probably worth about $500 in attorney dollars.
Shortly after, the post disappeared.
Those of us who contribute our time and answers to these groups make a point of periodically reminding members that, while the answers might be written to them specifically (in terms of the hierarchy of a Facebook response) they’re written for the good and education of all in general, and so leaving them standing benefits everyone. It’s why we take the time to help.
And so, Ebony sent that reminder out, again, pointing out that shutting down posts silences the contributors, and dampens discourse in the community.
And this is where it gets interesting:
Abby Glassenberg, who owns Craft Industry Alliance, made a lengthy statement about being extra kind when we respond because the tone* of our voices gets lost in the written word. Ebony pointed out that, equally, you shouldn’t make tone assumptions about the intent of people’s written words, either. The original poster, Deb Buckingham, at this point said she asked for help, not attacks, and followed that up with “I’d suggest that you don’t take things personal (sic)” – hot on the heels of her own self being personally offended by being told to read her own contract.
And then, right after Ebony apologized for upsetting her, the admins shut off the comments on the post.
Why is this all a big deal, you ask? This is why: Ebony is a woman of color.
First, her words got deleted.
Second, she got tone-policed by two different white women, one who got her feelings hurt over competent free advice (and who seems incapable of taking her own “don’t take it personal” medicine), and the other defending the first’s hurt feelings and trying to keep it all blandly happy in the group.
Lastly, she was cut off from the opportunity to respond.
Apparently, frank business advice is supposed to be delivered with a side of emojis and cookies if you are a woman of color delivering it.
I called Abby Glassenberg to talk this over with her, privately and personally. Abby is a well-intentioned woman, and she’s trying to do good things with this group – all things I strongly support. But I’m under the impression from our conversation that she still doesn’t see the incredible WRONGNESS of telling a black woman to be nicer, publicly, in a Facebook group, and then silencing her.
I asked Abby if she would have treated me the same way (I’m a white woman), and she said she wouldn’t have to because I don’t talk to people “that way.” Friends, I DO talk to people that way, and I write to them that way, too. I’m known for being as blunt as a two-by-four, for not suffering fools (especially those who won’t attempt to conduct their businesses like professionals), and potty-mouthed to boot.
The issue here is that neither of these women sees themselves as racist, so they can’t see how their ACTIONS are racist. So let me state once more for the people at the back: Tone-policing a black woman in a business forum for a clear, factual, business tone is RACIST.
I feel like Craft Industry Alliance is at a critical crossroads now. Either it becomes the professional business resource the craft industry needs, or it becomes just another group where non-controversial sweetness matters more (and is policed unequally based on skin color) than being able to occasionally say the hard stuff that truly helps our membership rise as professionals. And as an aside, the first thing you need to acquire when starting a business, after your domain name, is some thick skin.
Craft Industry Alliance needs to get super clear on fixing the racist actions, and outline communication and moderation policies that specifically protect the voices of our members of color. Until this is in publicly in place, I don’t see how this space is safe or supportive for our BIPOC members.
Ebony left the group, and we all lost an incredibly valuable resource. It also makes the group less diverse, which is NOT reflective of the diverse populations our businesses serve.
I’m staying in the group, for now, in the hopes that it can pivot into the professional, diverse resource our industry needs.
Talk is cheap. Actions matter.
We’ll be watching.
* Regarding the issue of tone… tone is ALL in the mind of the reader. We decide how we will hear or read things, and we assign it an emotional tone. We often do this to support our beliefs. For example, if I think all car mechanics think I’m a dumb woman, I will unconsciously be looking for evidence of that bias in any exchange I have with one, and will probably find it so I can then get upset about it, which further validates my beliefs. Reading Ebony’s words as an attack is 100% in the mind of the reader.
All comments are moderated before publishing.
06.22.20:09.32am – edited to correct Deb Buckingham’s name
06.22.2020:11:37am – edited to link Ebony’s personal response to this incident
Thank you for bringing this situation to our attention. I am not a part of this group but Ebony is a member of other professional groups on FB where I find her insights to be very valuable.
Wow! I wondered what post had been deleted when Ebony wrote that. I recall her comment to the original Craftsy/Bluprint person and thought that it was spot on. There was absolutely nothing snarky about it. And hey, when you sign a contract it’s your responsibility to read it and understand it. Damn, I hate that Ebony left the group. She has amazing business insights and has ALWAYS been free with adding to the group’s body of knowledge. I’m so disappointed to see that this happened. How are we ever going to change for the good if we don’t see why this wasn’t the best way to handle this on the original poster’s end and from Craft Industry Alliance’s? I can’t tell you how disappointed I am in how this was handled.
Concur. And now we watch for the solutions
Ebony posted a screen shot of the response she posted and was subsequently deleted. Please read her post here: https://lovebugstudios.com/why-i-left-the-craft-industry-alliance/?fbclid=IwAR1AS_meKyPG8nPrNVswzdsxiPPeu8px2j5kQ-WX4OP1BnqqlgCFv0HNjmY
Thanks for the explanation. Very helpful. I can only imagine the hundreds of pin arrows slung at POC every day. This was a big one and the Alliance lost a valuable resource.
I came in on the tail end of this, after the thread with Ebony’s original comments had been deleted. In the conversation that could still be read, I found Ebony’s comments to be professional and free of judgment or emotion. As a black woman who is a member of a number of groups with low membership by makers of color, I am asked from time to time why I think that membership is so low. The answer is that you need to do more than tape up a welcome sign. You have to look at how committed you are to having rooms with more brown faces. If you’re not that committed, fine. Continue business as usual. If you are committed, examine the way you manage interactions and look for ways to reach out and connect. The concept is simple. Execution takes work.
thank you Sarah! I love the perspective you bring and appreciate you sharing it always
Thank you for these words, Sarah Bond. I am a white woman trying to make our guild more welcoming and racially diverse. I have come up against some of the implicit racism Ebony mentioned in her blog post. May I please share your words “The answer is that you need to do more than tape up a welcome sign. You have to look at how committed you are to having rooms with more brown faces?” I will give you credit. What you said is what I need to explain to some people in our guild. Thank you for so concisely putting it.
I also found Ebony’s comments (through her blog post) to be professional and free of judgement or emotion. How fragile is our white ego? Shame on CIA for censoring this generous, intelligent woman!
Absolutely. You’re gonna have to say it a bunch of times for the folks in the back ????
Hi Sam, Thank you for calling me and thank you for this post. I am so sorry for the way that I handled this situation. It was wrong of me to ask Ebony to change anything about her tone. And it was wrong of us to close the thread that she opened later asking members of our group not to delete their posts. I would like to sincerely apologize for my actions. I have written to Ebony personally as well, although I do realize this is not enough. I have made a mistake and I am very sorry for it. I acted without thinking things through. I so appreciate your willingness to call me, to talk about this with me, and to post here to explain what happened in detail. And, frankly, I’m grateful to you for calling me out on this. My actions were wrong.
There are so few Black women in the crafts industry, and even fewer in the quilting industry. I know it must be incredibly difficult to face the racism of our society and within our industry every single day, and I absolutely hate that I could have taken part in that by asking a Black woman to soften her tone.
Ebony, as you mentioned, is an incredibly smart and generous person. It’s a huge loss to our organization, and to me personally, that she felt unwelcome in our organization and it is entirely my fault. We are working to create guidelines clarifying the way that our group discussions take place so that this will not happen again. We want our Facebook group and Craft Industry Alliance as a whole to be a place where frank business advice can be delivered, even when it’s hard to hear, by everyone. That’s how we all learn and we all rise and that’s always been my mission.
“ and I absolutely hate that I could have taken part in that”. Maybe change that to “I absolutely hate that I did that myself.”
Yup. Deferred the apology.
“There are so few Black women in the crafts industry, and even fewer in the quilting industry,”.. Uh, there are loads of us crafters and quilters of color. We just don’t join groups like this for reasons like this. Just because you don’t see us doesn’t mean we don’t exist.
We absolutely exist.
I believe at this point, Abbi Glassenburg, that it’s important to take absolute responsibility for your part in erasing Ebony’s words and censuring her. You DID take part in asking a Black woman to soften her tone. You are fully capable of it because you did it. Apologies for one’s behavior have to include complete ownership of one’s actions and that’s not what it seems to be happening here.
Did you even make a direct apology to Ebony or is this reply your apology? Ebony’s blog post doesn’t seem to indicate that you reached out to her personally. You might consider that you owe her that at a minimum.
Where is this statement in the Facebook group that you run? Seems like you are pandering to an audience and not taking actual accountability.
Love it that Abby is getting slapped around on line again. The previous controversy cost her half her softie customers. Declined to join CIA because I didn’t trust her and still don’t.
As a woman who ran a consulting business for many years (and had to take over several companies to “fix them”) I am appalled that an organization would object to a professional who provides clear and direct advice, freely given. As a quilter, I am extremely upset that someone in the quilting community is silenced in a public forum. I hope that the organization can rise above its unprofessionalism, and be a welcoming force in the quilt business. And for Ebony – keep doing what you are doing, and thank you for your generous sharing of your knowledge.
Sam, Thank you for bringing this issue to the forefront in this way.
Sam, Thank you for bringing this up, and Abby, thank you for apologizing.
May we all help by listening with an open mind.
That is NO WAY an apology!
Sam this was very well said as your posts normally are. I was surprised by Abby’s apology because it was both heart felt and she did what very few people do nowadays, she admitted that she was wrong. Well done Abby. We only learn by facing our mistakes, acknowledging them and learning from them.
I agree that it was good to see her apology, but now it’s time for actions. Mere words are not enough.
Sam, thank you so much for writing this and for sharing it with the world. I have a niece who works for a non-profit and we were recently talking about a training that she had attended. The gist of the training was that “Intent does not equal Impact.” That really struck me because I can also have a 2 by 4 personality and I started wondering how often I had offended people over my lifetime. Many times, I am sure. If we are going to move forward and be better how we treat all people then we each need to listen and learn. I am a white woman of privilege and until I learn better, I can not do better.– to paraphrase Maya Angelou.
Indeed we can do better
Thank you for that excellent commentary. As a Black crafter this was an excellent reply.
Hi Sam, Thanks as always for speaking up and not sugar coating things. I’m a member of the group and also came in at the tail end of the conversation and wasn’t really sure what was happening. I don’t know Ebony personally, but I know of her and have always found her to be honest and to the point—two attributes that are super important in business. I’m sorry to hear that she left the group and was treated as she was.
Ebony is a fantastic resource.
I left this group (CIA) a few years ago because I kept seeing this – “the in group” running everything, posting, or regulating posts and I got sick of it. Ebony has so much knowledge, it’s sad to think she experienced this reactionary behavior. Intentions (I’ve learned the hard way) are interpreted so differently by each person. However, do you want honesty or do you want niceness when asking a frank question? I’d want honesty. Yes sometimes it hurts, but the truth does – maybe often, but it’s what a person needs to grow a better business. Be a better person. I’m glad a friend sent me this post, and I appreciate your view here. It will be interesting to see where the industry goes moving forward.
Hi Natalie, Thank you for your comment. I’m sorry to hear that a particular group within Craft Industry Alliance felt dominant. That’s important feedback for me to hear. It is my goal for every person to feel valued and for each member’s voice to be heard. I will work harder to ensure that this happens going forward.
Abby, in all honesty, I’m seeing this as a non-pology. It’s not that a group with CIA “felt dominant”. This particular group IS dominant. People squelch others ALL THE TIME. And please don’t apologize for what you “could have” done to hurt someone else. Please apologize for WHAT YOU DID DO and then LATER DENIED DOING and then KIND OF ALLUDED TO DOING to hurt someone else and allowed subtle racism to continue, even AFTER it was brought to your attention. An apology, however heartfelt, needs to be legitimate, honest, and contain the integrity to make change happen. I think you seriously need to look inward right now. If it truly has been your “goal for every person to feel valued and each member’s voice to be heard”, then please explain why you squelched Ebony’s voice, as it has incalculable value. So much MORE so than that group of mean girls who run roughshod over the group while talented, visionary artists and businesspeople run for the exits. If you just NOW noticed that this has been happening, you seriously have not been paying attention in your own groups, nor to your own actions.
Thank you Frank.
Thank you – and yes, we’ll be watching.
Thank you so much for writing this post.
I truly appreciate all that you have shared here. While I am not a member of the mentioned group, because of how I was previously treated by the same person many years ago, I am thankfully friends with Ebony and am in other groups with her. I always appreciate her insight and vast knowledge, and I feel lucky to know her and work with her. #blacklivesmatter
Ugh. I’m glad you’re friends with Eb tho!
Oh no! Ebony’s leaving is SUCH a loss to the group, I’m so sad, she has so much wonderful experience and is so generous about sharing it.
She had also been keeping us focused on racial justice.
Yes to all of the above
I just renewed with this and this totally makes me sad. It might keep me from renewing next year.
You can be part of what makes it better 🙂
Wise, strong, and helpful. Thanks, Sam. And, Abby, a true and heartfelt apology. …also wise, strong, and helpful. …both helping us wake up and move forward.
You’re welcome Virginia, and please don’t think that the apology is all that this needs. Now is the time for actions that undo the damage. Words are pretty cheap.
Ugh. True, absolutely. Sloppy and self-aggrandizing but not wise, strong, nor helpful. No more cookies for a sound coming out of mouths.
Thank you for writing this post.
Thank you for writing such a detailed post, Sam. I also just caught the end of this with Ebony’s last post. I couldn’t believe how poorly it was handled by Abby and the OP – their responses were unacceptable to me when I read them. The comments were turned off so I could not even respond. I am so sad Ebony has left the group. I value her (and your) opinions the most in the CIA group and the Quilt Pattern Designers group because of how clear, thorough, and zero BS they are. It’s the type of advice we need as business owners. That is given freely! What a huge loss.
Thank you for craft journalisming the craft journalists Sam! This is super important. When we’ve all learned to subconsciously prefer whiteness and fear blackness, stuff like this will happen and we must hold ourselves to very high standards if we hope to make a truly fair world.
The learned biases are so hard to unlearn. And concur on the hig standards we should be aiming for.
Can I ask about the headline? It cites the quilting industry when it seems the issue was more generally about the craft Industry. Thanks.
Hi Joanne – eh… I can’t really get interested in hairsplitting the title when the content matters more.
I think you’ll find that this was not an isolated incident but an example of reoccurring insensitivity and ignorance. The title is, unfortunately, just right and there are too many examples out there to prove it.
Ebony’s contributions to the CIA group are so valuable. I’ll miss her wisdom and experience. Thanks for writing about this incident and its implications.
I don’t know Ebony personally but I am a member of another Facebook group and have always found her inputs to be straightforward, no-nonsense, and extremely helpful. This is disappointing to hear about.
Thank you for writing this so very important post. I am a member of CIA and read the post and Ebony’s reply. Ebony went above and beyond in her reply and I didn’t hear any tone. I also read Ebony’s post letting CIA know that we were waiting to hear where they stand on Racism. I have had the privilege of taking some classes of Ebony’s at Quilt Market and was so happy when I realized she was also a member of CIA. I thought how lucky this group is to have her as a member and to be able to get input and advice from such a knowledgeable woman. I am so sorry to hear that she has left the group as that is a tremendous loss for the other members. I will not be renewing my membership. I’m sorry but I just don’t think CIA (Abby) is “woke” yet.
Concur. I have a few more months before I renew so I’ll use that time to watch…
Well said and it is indeed unfortunate. Thank you for posting this and pointing out that actions do matter more than words.
I always take extra time to read both Ebony and your responses of the FB group that I’m in. You both share such great, school of hard knocks, advice. Facts, clear concise and not sugar coated. Thank you and I hope you both keep sharing and propping up others.
Thank you for writing this characteristically clear and concise summary. I’ve got so much to learn about just about everything and I’m grateful that people like you and Ebony are willing to share your expertise.
Thank you for another perspective of the situation. You are spot on with your comments and as black woman and teacher in mostly white spaces, I have been treated like Ebony because I’m pretty no nonsense, I know what I’m talking about, and will not blow smoke up you bottom to make you feel better. Lol. I appreciate your support of her and will make it a point to follow you both moving forward.
Thank you! And YAY for the non-nonsense women!
Seconded. yay. For no BS women.
Seconded. yay. For no BS women. So we all agree that change needs to be made but I’m not seeing any concrete suggestions for the change. Abby apologized and stated that they are making changes to make sure that this does not happen again, but what specifically do you want changed. No tone comments is a nice start and where do we go from here. I’m not a member of this group but thought I would point out the glaring obvious. I am a member of Sam’s emails and that is how I came into this discussion. I will also say that I learned something thru this, as Sam reminded me talk is cheap but actions speak louder. So again, I ask because I really want to learn, what exact changes do yo want to happen.
I left CIA a few years ago as I just couldn’t support AGs gossip columnist style handling of issues in the industry. In a place where she could have help direct action and improvements, it seemed she likes to stir things up more. As a group to promote creatives in the craft industry, one would have thought she’d be at the forefront of “don’t fricken sign your rights away!” instead of being the tone police.
I am a quilter of color and although I’ve been on CIA’s mailing list for years, I never joined for some reason I could not put my finger on. Now you did, Amy! There is something off-putting about Abby’s style: shallow, supercilious, and wanting to stir the pot unnecessarily. As a Jewish woman, I thought she would have been more sensitive to other minority women. (I am married to a Jewish man, who is very accepting to people of color because he married me!) Thank you to Sam for bringing this upsetting matter to our attention. Also, call me skeptical, but these fabric companies that say they support BLM/BIPOC are just paying lip service and may even be engaged in cynical marketing ploys.
My husband told me once that the problem with text messages and other written words and comments on social media is that you are not talking directly to the person involved and so can’t see their face and hear the tone of their voice. He said a lot of hard feelings get started that way. That is why I don’t belong to any FB groups any more. People not getting what the writer intended. I think Ebony is amazing. I love the success of any woman. I think this group sound like it is headed the way of all groups that can’t or won’t stand on the side of right. Please keep shouting your truth.
[…] am appreciative of Sam Hunter for calling me out on this behavior on her blog and I am also appreciative that Ebony took the time […]
Thank you. There’s been a hesitation to not be directly vocal in the quilt/sewing/crafting community. Not lately, but pre-Trump election. There’s a lot of women that won’t look at themselves and learn in our groups.
But I think what you said finally hit me: they don’t see themselves as racist, therefore they don’t see how they act that way. Pretty obvious, but I get it now. That’s pretty easy to explain to someone (cough-cough, family) that don’t get it.
It’s hard to guess who is who, because we don’t typically talk about things out of sewing, unless it’s nice things.
So I make it a point to say, thank you, as I make it a point of not spending my money or even unfollowing others that refuse to.
Wow. Poor Ebony. I’m sorry you lost such a great, resourceful person. I just hope others can wake up and finally see what there is to see.
I am so on your side. Tone IS totally on the reader and their own mindset. I can’t tell you how many times I was called on the carpet for my tone in a email, when I was still working. People hate hearing the truth, in any form. Ebony clearly told her the truth and this person heard “Wow, you should have read your contract before signing it”, thus making her feel dumb.
Hard lesson to learn … to read a contract and understand it before you sign it. Hey, we have all done it at least once. Live and learn.
I am sorry Ebony left the group. Can’t blame her. You can only fight for so long.
Good luck changing this group from within. But like the song says “know when to fold ’em” and walk away from the table.
Thank you so much. Again your words offer a perspective that is well thought out, perfectly written, and take up uncomfortable issues That hit the mark. Your crystal clear accounts of what took place show exactly how Horribly Ebony was hushed in numerous ways. Sadly, the continued racism and abuse of Ebony continues even after this was posted. So much for faux apologies.
This is a great post, Sam! Your transparency is needed and appreciated. Thank you for disclosing the vomit-inducing comments shared by phone call. It is interesting how easily we can have facts in front of our face and chose to deny them, especially when it’s ourselves we are denying. We can assess someone else much more quickly than we are willing to sit with the truth about ourselves, it will hurt sometimes, so can doing that work, but what greatness we always get out of laborious tasks, is nothing to be denied. I guess therein lies the issue.
May I ask why you’ve chosen to stay in the Craft Industry Alliance after what’s happened? You clearly care a great deal about social justice, will you continue to support them?
Hi Lo. I’m staying until the end of my subscription (the money is already spent), at which point I’ll re-evaluate. There are a lot of people still in the group who are worth my time in terms of helping them rise as I believe we all rise together. Also, being as I was on the front end of this debacle, I’m sticking around to see what Abby does to fulfill the promises she’s making. Better to see it from the front row than through a game of telephone. If she can’t pull a few rabbits out of the hat in six months, then I’ll bail. I’m not passing out forgiveness like halloween candy, but cancel culture can keep us in silos in a bad way, and I think what we’re looking for is a way to help each other in this group that is sensitive to the hardships endured by my BIPOC colleagues, and one that treats us ALL with equal respect. It’s a massively tall order. I’m on board for the work.
Got it. Thank you for taking the time to explain your reasoning.
Hiya Lo. Just wanted to send you a quick update… I was ejected from the CIA FB group in a moment of emotion last week, and was invited to re-join today. And I declined. I decided to take that time and invest it in myself and my biz instead. Sometimes one does not have to stay in all the fights. 🙂
[…] myself, but for other people of color. (I will note that after my friend Sam published her post, The Subtle Racism that’s Destroying the Quilt Industry, a full five days after the incident, they have finally acknowledged the issue, but still only […]
Hi Sam, I am not a member of CIA so cannot access the B page but I do wonder if other members of the group are commenting about this issue on the CIA FB page or has the issue been totally shutdown/ignored. I think that would be a good, first step for Abby Glassenberg/CIA to make – to open the forum to a frank discussion with constructive suggestions from members on how to improve and be inclusive of all quilters regardless of race, creed, colour or gender. But, we do have to be careful ourselves not to cross the line and become bullies out of a sense of self-righteousness.
Also in all this furor has there been any response from the instigator – Deb Buckingham?
Interesting how Abby Glassenberg’s non-apology is being “policed” for her poor word choice and wonder how she is feeling about that.
thanks for being the conversation.
There has been a lot of discussion in the group, but we’ll have to see where it goes. There has been, obviously, a lot of high emotion. I fervently hope that Abby can find a way (or get the help needed) to steer the group out of this and build a better thing. I would imagine she’s feeling battered at the moment, both with and without cause (a lot of piling on going on, not all of it constructive). I think the best thing to do it to give her the room to enact some of the things she says she’s planning to do… actions speak, so let’s let them. As for Deb Buckingham… she flounced out of the group in a fit of “I am in no way a racist person” and “I can’t think of a reason to be involved with a community that quickly jumps to racist as a reason.” Um… yeah, honey, that’s a textbook racist diatribe. I did not link her up because I thought I wouldn’t give her the pleasure of the traffic, but if you want to track her down just type “Deb Buckingham crochet” into the googles and you’ll get her FB page. Interestingly enough she acts like she’s a business woman, but she doesn’t seem to have a business web page – huh. And in researching her within the CIA group, it seems she only popped in when she needed something, and not to be of help to others – another huh. There has been enough support for Ebony that at some point I hope Deb thanks me for not sending the righteously pissed people her way.