Shut Up and Knit

I’ve wrestled with this post all day long. When I saw Phillip I proposed my ideas, my thoughts, and even then, he said, “Calm down. Take a minute. Focus on something else.”

confederate-flag-1-1400x650In this current climate of opinion, should you have one that goes against the masses, you are doomed. You’ll be run out of business, you’ll be drug through the mud, you’ll be given a place in history (before it’s revised again) of an intolerant insolent who refused to go with the status quo. You are not allowed a difference of opinion. I promise you. And that’s why I’m terrified these days of saying what’s on my mind. But, as a knitter, you spend so much time alone, deep in thought.

And deep in those respectful notions of “it forces a dialogue” comments from others, you discover that there is no place for dialogue…..they want you to assimilate, or get out of the way.

So, I’ve wanted to say something about the confederate flag controversy over the past few days. Much of me had so much to say, alas, there comes a time when you’re heart and your soul become restless, for you burn with an opinion. And there is much of me that realizes that I’m not afforded that opportunity, to say what I want, for the social-sphere will come hounding down on me so hard and so fast that I won’t have an opportunity to even have a career before they decide to take it from me…..

And that’s precisely what I’ve seen lately. We don’t want your different opinion. We don’t want you to think differently. Bake my gay cake for my wedding, get rid of your ridiculous confederate flag, and  ACCEPT me. I DEMAND it. I don’t care about your feelings. WAIT! EVERYONE! LOOK! OVER HERE! HE doesn’t AGREE WITH ME! DESTROY HIM!!!!!

Where and how and why did this happen? That’s the question this southern man wishes to pose. As they take away a piece of my culture, I watch everyone else celebrate and brand theirs in populace territory. And if you are offended by that flag, then please give me a moment of reflection as to the moment of when where and why (in personal experience!) of how that is, and by all means, don’t begin your personal story with, “Well, everyone knows it represents…..(fill in racist reference).”

We all made a disastrous turn when we decided a picture of a flag could be more offensive than a picture of a man pissing on Christ. We turned hellish corners when we decided that the national discussion should be about a cotton piece of cloth reminiscent of the past versus the daily on slot of crime in our more urban neighborhoods.

This whole incident reminds me of a question posed to me yesterday  by the reporter, and I censured myself. I wanted to say, “When I was in my 20’s we pushed and screamed for moments that affected people in terms of life and death. Now? Now, people scream and yell because their feelings are hurt.”

I expect more from people because I was taught that your actions were more impressive than your words. You wanna bad mouth me? Fine. I don’t care. You wanna call me names? Blah blah. You hit me? Now, that’s different.

Be cautious, be careful of these actions we take now as we decide to overwhelmingly ban a flag. (really? no discussion about crime in America over tennis shoes and labels and entitlements.)You’re offended by a flag? Well, I’m offended by your crime ridden neighborhoods. Mine is only thought, yours is downright action.

You are setting precedent. Tomorrow I promise you, I promise you, it will be your symbols, your look, your heritage that will be called into the court of public concerns…..your identity will be banished, because the majority has decided that symbolism and thought rule more than your actions. Drive by shootings and home invasions? Who cares? Garner a flag? DESTROY THEM!

And this is where I am told to just shut up and knit….Keep your concerns out of current issues, and press them more on how to use double pointed needles.

I’m sorry, ya’ll. But, I just can’t do that.


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  1. Well said, Gregory. It isn’t the flag that killed those people. The flag is just a piece of fabric in a design that represents the culture of over a century ago. The larger problem is the people who distort what that symbol means and use it to blame their own delusions and hatred upon. I’m so saddened and discouraged by the human race these days. My 5-year old grandson asked me this morning if I thought humans would die out like the dinosaurs did. I answered my honest opinion and said yes, that I think they will at some point (but hastened to add that I didn’t think it would happen in his lifetime). What I didn’t say was that I *hope* they will at some point so that the earth can rest and recover before starting over yet again because I sure think humanity is on a collision course with disaster.

  2. Let me start by saying I agree.

    Now let me turn the tables for a moment and say that the confederate flag has been invested with a symbolic meaning over time, much like the “N” word. You could very easily argue that it’s just a word, the same way it’s been argued that it’s just a flag.

    Let me turn the tables again and say that the confederate flag has been skewed and misrepresented by the masses. This is a great article on that:

    Call it overreaction, mass political correctness or ignorance. A little bit of information is always a dangerous thing, especially in the hands of the media and the masses.

    (Why can’t we all just get along?)

    1. Now that the flag has been removed from every major retailer in America, I would hope they do the same for any album that blatanly uses the N word for “artistic” purposes. Kinda the same isn’t it? So offensive, one can’t be uttered, another so offensive it can’t be looked at. Great comment Andrea!

    2. Well said Gregory! I’m not an American, but you hit the nail right on the head and its going on all over North America. I hope you dont mind but i reposted it on my page as well as ‘Andrea Squared’s’ comment because a little more information never hurt anyone. Thank you both for the great read today!

  3. While I do have SOME personal experience regarding this particular symbol, albeit via a very misguided Californian suburbanite, all I am going to say is if Germany didn’t disassociate itself with the swastika, the past 70 or so years may have been very, very different; I can’t say for better or for worse, but it’s very difficult to change the meaning of a symbol once it is so engrained in a history, specifically one as strong as a history of oppression; it’s basic semiotics. This symbol means a certain thing, and by endorsing the symbol you’re endorsing what it represents, whether that’s really how you personally feel about that symbol or not. For example, in many cultures, a swastika is a sign of auspiciousness, and it was used as such when the Nazi Party first came about. But since then, because of the actions of the Nazis, the cultural stigma around the symbol they used to identify themselves is associated with xenophobia, racism, homophobia, and genocide. Would a German government agency, knowing what that symbol means to the Western world, keep it on their flags? No, not if they want to send a clear message that they treat their citizens equally. Could they? Sure, but all the Jews and gypsies and homosexuals will lose trust and security in their government’s ability to represent and protect them. It’s in that vein I don’t really care whether or not someone is offended by the use of a symbol in a flag, but when the one flying that flag is a government, they need to be very aware of the message raising it brings to their people.

    1. I will tell you that I lived in Germany for 8 years. And sometimes you DO still see the swastika, but the difference between that flag and the confederate is the concept of genocide.

      1. 1. wow, so you dont believe that the kidnapping, enslavement, abuse, torture, and killing of 12.5 million africans is nearly as bad as offering people of a different culture the right to leave your country freely, placing them in temporary internment when they refused or couldn’t? do you realize the majority of the roughly 1.5 million who died during internment under the nazis weren’t tortured or murdered, they died of disease and starvation due to the allies cutting off supply lines?

        2. it is highly illegal to display the nazi flag for any völkisch ideology in germany. it’s only permitted when used either as an artistic expression or as part of some other ideology, e.g. hinduism or judaism.

  4. I just wanted to post here that I think you are brave and inspiring to put yourself out there in a public way. Words can hurt and heal, and I wanted you to have some kindness from a stranger to lift you if others wound. God Bless or Namaste which ever you prefer.

  5. I don’t comment usually, but I loved this line. “When I was in my 20’s we pushed and screamed for moments that affected people in terms of life and death. Now? Now, people scream and yell because their feelings are hurt.”

    I’m in my 20s. It embarrasses me how my generation (online) whine about other people because they had their feelings hurt. It embarrasses me how people scream about equality and compassion then when someone disagrees with them, they scream and shout and point their finger and want everyone to ostracize the nah-sayer. They want everyone to agree with them. It takes their original message and just makes it hypocritical.

    Anyway, thank you for your post. That’s what I wanted to say.

    1. Not very fair, if you ask me. If this is to be settled, then it cannot be constantly contained in racial identity, it must be fervidly moved into common, human, pride. Peace will never be delivered if built on what makes us different, but only on what makes us uniquely similar. I said nothing in my post about race.

      1. There…You just said it. There. The recent fervor over the confederate flag has everything to do with race. Which brings me to a point I addressed in my post. To when, where, and why did you personally have a feeling of disdain over that tired piece of cloth? When did it burn YOU up inside. I think you and I are both being played, frankly, in a dangerous game. None of this was disastrous, and so monstrous to cause everyone to dismiss it OVER NIGHT….until we were told to.

    1. care to expand? I’m so willing to have this talk, that was the point in the post. We should be able to talk without repercussion. Otherwise, we have learned nothing, NOTHING.

  6. I know that for me (right or wrong) the confederate flag has always represented oppression, hate, racism, slavery, fear. I am really okay with it representing good memories for totally different reasons for you. The problem for me is seeing the flag as a symbol of government or something to be celebrated.

  7. Just re-reading your post…. in 1980 in Lakeland FL we had a cross burned on our lawn because we lived in a nice white neighborhood. The next day several of our neighbors were flying confederate flags….maybe that’s where my bad feelings come from

    1. And THAT is what I want to hear. How, where and why it hurts you so much. But, Beth, every memory we have cannot shape hatred. How are you and I to reconcile if we use symbols to define who each of us is? Should everything one man does determine the extent of our perception of their race? Are we to forever hold the sins of our fathers? Can I not look you readily in the eye and say, “nice to meet you, Beth,” without the fear of my confederate belt buckle and ball cap and boots and pick up truck causing you to feel an immediate dislike of me?

  8. Gregory – I appreciate your wanting to dialogue but is it really dialogue? All of us posting here are white. I grew up in the south in the 60s when MLK Jr was marching. The symbol goes way beyond “hurt feelings”. If I were to say I don’t like gay people (not true) that’s a feeling-hurting statement. If I support a symbol that is associated with flat out oppression and torture of gays, that’s a whole different ball game. And I would stand between you and anyone who would hurt you, Gregory, simply for part of your being over which you have no control. How would you feel if I cherished a symbol that caused pain, suffering and death to gay people? Would it matter if it were theoretically MY heritage or should I ask the gay folks *affected* by said image? PLS put yourself into the shoes of black people for a moment.

      1. But all too often hurt feelings do more damage than broken bones ever can! That is part of what is wrong with the world, we are living in a time of change. And while yes, I agree that people need to not get hung up on every little thing, but at the same time, there are things that are very damaging! I have never been long hurt by physical things that have happened to me, but the damage that has been done to me due to things said, or even “symbols” as you are looking at here, have damaged me to my core!
        That said, I don’t have any issue with the flag itself, but I also don’t think that the government should by flying it. If individuals want to, that is fine, I think that should be their right. Just as I want my right to be gay and fly a rainbow flag, or any other minority symbol that I would want to express myself, my beliefs and my persona.

      2. Name calling is silly and not illegal. Selling people as property, oppressing them and killing them and having a flag associated with such – tell me honestly – how can that be put on the level of name calling? Calling gays horrible names – not cool. Matthew Shepherd – WAY beyond name calling.

  9. I will comment Gregory. That flag, piece of cloth or not, indicates spaces and places that are NOT SAFE for me. My one experience that I can personally point to is while living in Kentucky, driving down a back road (I lived in a small town… back roads abound) in broad daylight, and being nearly run off the road by a guy in a red sports car and a flag like this in the back window. He seemed determined enough to scare the crap out of me that he lost control of his car and nearly killed us both.

    Had he not had the flag in his back window, sure we could have had the same interaction, and it could have been for the same reason (or a different reason altogether) but having experienced that moment, it is forever associated with danger to me.

    Aside from that… you want to put it in your yard, hang it on your car, wear it on your body, sell it on your website, good on you… but why must it fly over our government buildings? I do think that our public spaces need to consider some of these things. The minute they start playing hard core gangsta rap music as the Musak in the elevators in the state capitol building, I’ll be right there with everyone protesting. Because there’s a time and a place … and I think our public spaces should be places that everyone feels safe and welcome. Government buildings should be neutral territory – places where everyone feels they can take refuge and get help and support. It’s something we should aspire to, though we don’t always get it right.

    And while I didn’t experience Jim Crow or slavery or a lynching personally… I have seen the photos and images and documentaries of the men in white sheets with torches, carrying that particular flag, and those images are also burned into my brain. (I also can’t look at a swastika without associating it with Nazi Germany. And while it has a particular innocuous and even auspicious meaning in Sanskrit, I still wouldn’t tattoo it on my body or put a sign on my lawn that says, “Good luck, (swastika)! I know that lots of people will find many, many things offensive that I don’t and vice versa… but there are some things that I just try to be more mindful of. To help, not hurt, if I can.)

    What I see in a lot of these conversations from people who support the flag isn’t a respectful discourse that says, “Wow. I didn’t even realize how this makes people feel, and it wasn’t meant to be offensive. I can see why you wouldn’t like to see this symbol at a courthouse.” Most of what I’ve seen has been of the sort, “Oh, you stupid person, you’re a jerk for being offended, and I don’t even care if you’re offended or not, piss off and screw you!” It doesn’t seem to come from a place of understanding and peace and reconciliation.

  10. As an interested observer from across the pond I think that all those who are screaming about the flag-from both sides- would be better occupied by screaming anbout the gun laws, or lack of them. At least a flag doesnt ‘kill you!

    1. Hear! Hear! I fully agree with this statement. There are so many other things that are really much more important. Do I feel the flag should be flying above any government building? No. Do I feel that people need to get their heads out of the sand? Definitely.

  11. The hardest thing to “take down” is the flag of racism and all the other “ism”s. Taking down the symbol is only a symbol of the way towards peace. Education and loving, respectful conversations are ways to make peace.

  12. In Norway the confederate flag doesn’t have the same history as in USA. But even here it’s looked at as a negative symbol as it has been used by people who want to be ‘rebels’.

    My view on the ‘problem’ might not be ‘right’ according to many people, but it’s mine.

    A symbol has it’s strenght in what people connect with it. Here in Norway we had, for a while a flag called Sildesalaten (the Hering Salad) while we were under Sweden. It was a Norwegian flag with a ‘part norwegian, part swedish’ upper left corner. That corner was the ‘hering salad’ part. To norwegians THAT was an abomination.

    The history behind it was that we spent ‘400 years in the dark under danish rule’ And when Denmark was part of ‘the loosing team’ in a war in Europe, Norway was ‘given’ to Sweden as compansation for what they spent during that war. It took us almost 100 years to get free from Sweden.

    So even if we don’t have any experience with the confederate flag, we do have controversy over our flag history.

    A norwegian poet said it so well, in 1937 he wrote a poem called Du må ikke sove (You must not sleep), Who sais something about not permitting some people doing other people wrong.

    The one part of the poem ‘everybody’ in Norway knows is:

    Du må ikke tåle så inderlig vel
    den urett som ikke rammer dig selv!
    (You cannon permit it! You dare not, at all
    Accepting that outrage on all else might fall.)

    There are an english translation of the whole poem on Youtube:

    To me, this poem is important, specially as it was written in 1937, before World War 2.

    The easy way is to let symbols not bother you. The hard way is to know that some people feel a symbol suppressing, even if you don’t, and still you fight the symbol.

    In my way of thinking the Cardamom Law is the best kind of law i know.

    One shall not bother others,
    One shall be nice and kind,
    otherwise one may do as one pleases.

    This is from a childrens book by a norwegian author (again) Thorbjørn Egner.

    To me there is a difference between getting feelings hurt, and knowing that things are unfair. There has to be the same law for everybody. Even if there is only an ‘unwriten’ law. As in, if you want respect for what and who you are, you have to start by showing respect towards others.

    To me there is a difference between having/living after one religions rules. And demanding that other people lives by the same rules.

    To me discriminating against people with a different belief system, is WRONG.

    To me discriminating against people who are different than you based on who they love, who they want to marry, how they function is WRONG.

    We have to separate your beliefs and your public life.

    Running a business serving the public, and refuse people service on the fact that they don’t believe what you do is WRONG. And when people goes public with that fact and you loose customers, and loose your business. Don’t blame it on anybody else but yourself.

    As a human that wants respect for what and who I am, I have to show others respect. But as soon as people don’t respect me, I don’t respect them.

    To me respect is the most important term there is when it comes to interacting with others.

    So when some people feel uncomfortable with the public buildings flying the confederate flag, and it’s not the nations flag, don’t fly it from the public buildings. In that way you show that the public buildings are for all the people in the community. It has to do with respect. What people do in private, is up to them.

    What people wears to show their belonging to a group, wether it’s a religious group, a ethnic group, or a fan club. It’s ok with me. But that doesn’t mean I like that particuar group. It means i respect their right to dress as they want to.

    What I don’t want to see is a news anchor on a Public TV-station wearing religious symbols, ethnic symbols or ‘fan symbols’. As long as their job is to tell the public what happend in the world, I’m not interested in what they believe, just the news.

    In any other TV-channel, no matter what they say they are, showing it with symbols are ok with me.

    Our world is both Huge and Tiny at the same time. Let’s at least try to respect eachother . . .

  13. “We turned hellish corners when we decided that the national discussion should be about a cotton piece of cloth reminiscent of the past versus the daily on slot of crime in our more urban neighborhoods.” In all honesty, I think these words summed up the whole post. It’s not about whether or not you believe the flag should be flown, but the sorrowful state of our nation when this issue is louder than the issue of people dying because of their race or gender or gender preference.

    People are listening to what is the loudest on the news at the moment. “The mob is fickle, brother.” Until the loudest things are the ones that really matter, nothing will be changed and we will continue to kill each other.

    I personally don’t think the flag should be flown above any government building and it bothers me that people use it as a rallying point (much as the neo-Nazis do with the Swastika). But it’s so very much deeper than that. There has always been an underlying fear and hatred of difference and until we can address that, the world will still be a harsh place for anyone who isn’t homogenized with the rest of the people.

  14. As another Interested party from across the water I have to agree with you that these days it seems to be all about people complaining that their feeling have been hurt. Not only that, but that Their feelings and opinions matter more than anyone else’s. It seems to be more of the whole entitled mindset of me me me! I am the only one that matters! Brigade. Also as you say, woe betide that you don’t agree with them! You are considered the Devil incarnate if you do. Everyone is entitled to an opinion, I don’t have to agree with that opinion, but that doesn’t give me the right to insist that you change your opinion to agree with me either.
    That said, purely from an outside point of view, the confederate flag to me represents, the Southern side of your civil war, which we were taught, from an outside perspective, was fought over slavery. From that view point it is as much a symbol of a regime as the swastika is a symbol of Nazi Germany. I am not seeking to compare the South with the Nazi’s at all before anyone gets their panties in a twist, just trying to explain why from my standpoint the flag as a symbol has negative connotations for me.

  15. I am coming to this with little real information and I must go and find out more, I am not here to comment on the flag, it’s use, it’s ‘meanings’ esp as I am not sure what I think of the way feminism is being used by some groups in the UK. But I am going to thank Gregory for bringing this up and making me ask more. and thank you for the comments that are making me set off researching, and to just add how the passion has come through but not the unkindness, or unpleasantness, our society seems to react with out thought, and try and avoid upsetting others! and in doing so upsets every one. Here I can see different points of view with out nasty reactions.

  16. Greg, I am a very liberal person, but I want you to know that I read your entire post and gave your thoughts due consideration. So although there are people (of all political persuasions) that would rather point fingers than have a discussion, don’t let those people fool you into thinking that everyone is that way. You’ve collected some very personal and honest responses from your readers already. Does this give you solace?

    Secondly, I want to remind everyone what the Supreme Court ruling actually said. The court ruled that Texas isn’t REQUIRED to offer a state license plate that showed a Confederate flag. (Go ahead and read that again.) The court said, “The government of Texas – the dept of motor vehicles – COULD make the license plate, but if the state DOESN’T WANT TO use that particular design, they don’t HAVE to.”

    The court did NOT say that you, Greg, have take down your flag. They did not rule that you can’t have a bumper sticker that shows the flag. They didn’t say that you can’t paint your whole car with the Confederate design. You could get a flag tattoo on your face if you wanted to.

    The recent discussion about the Confederate flag was spurred on by the fact that several African Americans were recently killed in their Christian church by a crazy guy who happened to appear in many internet pictures with the Confederate flag. Now, we both know that just because this guy was a wacko, it doesn’t mean that everyone who shows the flag is a racist wacko who is going to murder someone.

    But given the murders, you can’t really be surprised that many people have a negative feeling about the flag and want to distance themselves from it.

    So Greg, I don’t understand what you mean when you say, “be careful of these actions we take now as we decide to overwhelmingly ban a flag.” That is simply not the case. The court has not banned the flag. No one has proposed a law to ban it.

    The flag is under fire in the court of public opinion, true. A lot of people are voicing their opinions against it. In response to this public outcry, some companies have voluntarily DECIDED to stop selling the flag. But again, no one told the companies they HAD to stop selling it. And – let’s be real – if someone wants a Confederate flag, he or she can easily buy it online. We still have the liberty to buy it, fly it, and show it.

    I like that you asked an important question and listened to your readers’ answers. Can I ask you the same question? That is, “If you feel positively about the flag, then please give me a moment of reflection as to the moment of when where and why (in personal experience!) of how that is.” What is your answer? I am curious to know, because I honestly haven’t heard anyone share that. The only dialogue I hear is “Don’t tell me I can’t fly the flag! I have every right to! It’s our history!” Okay, so you CAN fly the flag, but why do you WANT to? Again, honestly curious, not criticizing.

    Look forward to your answer.

  17. Your blog is makes me smile, reflect and is moving. I just found you today, due to Facebook. The bear is lovely, and many blessings on your book. I will be purchasing your book, and cheering and praying your success.


  18. Okay, so I totally hate to comment and I don’t know if I should even do so. I am Jamaican by birth, and American by choice, so I don’t even really feel like I have a place in this argument. The most important label I carry is Christian. I understand both sides of the argument, and I wonder two things. The first is why is the symbol so important if it causes such division? If you are my friend, and I care about you, and you are hurt because of something I say or do, I would consider out of my love for you, how to make the situation better. Secondly, why are we as a culture so easily offended and quick to litigate instead of having conversations and really listening to others. There is so much anger and hate sometimes. The only people who seem to benefit from all the anger are those in the media. I think social media has an insane amount of power, and like Uncle Ben says, “With great power comes great responsibility.” Unfortunately sometimes we use our power to tear down and hurt others, rather than to encourage and build up.

    It seems like there were some references made to African American issues in the article and in the comments ( I do apologize if I took them the wrong way. ) that could be taken as offensive, but as a Christian, I am called to not be easily offended. I agree with the comments about the “N” word and the need it for it to not be used. I am offended by the crime in urban areas. I am offended by music that promotes violence, murder, and the sexual exploitation of women. I am offended that some people on one side are unable to really feel compassion for those on the other side. India Arie wrote this song called “Better People”. Take a listen.

    I also want to commend Greg for being brave enough to start this conversation. Ironically I spoke to my cousin who lives in England today and he says he never thought he would ever say that things are worse for those of African descent in America than they are in England.

    Peace to you all.

  19. First of all, I want to thank you for creating a venue where the dialogue can take place. I’ve seen a range of attitudes expressed here, but they’ve been expressed respectfully and there has been as much of an effort to listen as to speak.

    Having said that, I’ve got to say you’re late to the free speech party, and you seem a little bit unfocused. What exactly is it you object to here? Have you run into some furor on the internet? Yeah, that happens. Is it the South Carolina legislature voting to take down the confederate flag? Admittedly there’s been partisan pressure (on both sides) for years, but it’s hardly surprising that they would vote to take down the symbol which was explicitly used by the man who murdered a state senator – a colleague who was admittedly known and respected. Is it Walmart pulling the flag? I’ve objected to a lot of things Walmart has done in the past, but reacting to market pressure is not something I have a problem with. Is it the fact of the market pressure in the first place? Wait a while, it’ll be washed away in the next cause du jour.

    So far there have been two long term (as in won’t be forgotten when the next ‘thing’ comes along) reactions which bother me. Bubba Watson deciding to repaint the General Lee and I don’t think it’s going to happen. Apple got overzealous in removing games which flew the flag then reversed itself.

    The point is, this particular storm will blow over. The next time a symbol comes under attack it won’t necessarily be one you have any particular attachment to. Will your sense of injustice be as strong?

  20. Hi Gregory, I’ve found you today, because you/ your book was featured at “The Crochet Crowd” on Facebook. I am fascinated by your story, loved the ‘ question and answer video’ and thought, what a cool dude and I love to support people/ or the underdogs of Society, whom have been through hard times and made it out, due to an amazing self trade. Therefore I was very ready to hit the ‘buy’ button to purchase your book.
    But here comes the big BUT, I am astonished by this blog entry.
    While this is your domain and you can speak and write as you please, but from a business point of view – this is bad business. Your life, your story attracts more people, and I will say this loosely, with liberal views on world politics. The flag is a symbol of hatred against a race, as many commenters above me said it much better than I will ever be able to do.
    You have become a public figure and as such, whatever you say will be taken
    as such.
    Just look at Donald Trump, his public views on Immigrants has cost him a lot of business and he is losing more by the day. There are certain things, that should not be said in public, if you want to create a business and sell your trade.
    Sorry to say, but it only takes “one unhappy customer” (due to social media) to lose everything you’ve worked hard for.

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