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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Racism

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

I just wrote a whole post on Ferguson, white privilege, and racism. It was all about overt and institutionalized racism and the difficulty of seeing your own privilege. It recognized my own privilege as a white man and asked people of color to have patience with those of us who have a melanin deficiency as we try to figure out how to handle these successive rounds of evidence of systemic racism in society. Then I threw it out.

It was way too “Great White Father.” I was speaking to the white community, not the African-American community, but it still smacked of power and privilege. I can afford to sit down and think about these things because they don’t affect me. That’s privilege.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Tim Titus
    Tim Titus says #
    I'm with you, and all I suggest is that we talk with rather than over each other.
  • Linda Pardue
    Linda Pardue says #
    The thing is while I can't completely empathize with the current climate's situation - I CAN empathize with the fear for their chi
  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    Love your pentacle of activism!
Source: Wikimedia Commons.
Police officers using tear gas during the first wave of the Ferguson unrest. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

I was twenty-one when I took a Greyhound across the country into Maine.  It was a long and brutal trip, and I was travelling from BC; so I was on the bus for five full days.  Needless to say, on Day Five, when I went through Niagara Falls and Buffalo, NY, I was exhausted and hoping to get some sleep, so I pretended that I was sleeping and guarded the seat beside me jealously.

But the bus was really crowded; packed like sardines.  And so eventually, because I present like a tough cookie but am actually a marshmallow, I invited a young man to sit beside me.

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  • Carol P. Christ
    Carol P. Christ says #
    I could not agree with you more. We have to be taught to hate and fear and no one wants to kill others, until taught. Our white ex
  • Sable Aradia
    Sable Aradia says #
    It sure would be nice if we could remember how not to want to kill each other. Thanks for your thoughts!
  • Joan Stringer
    Joan Stringer says #
    Sadly it is becoming apparent that violence is an increasing part of our lives in North America. Even if you haven't been personal
  • Sable Aradia
    Sable Aradia says #
    When I was six, I used to take off on my bike to the beach in the summer with a couple of bucks in my pocket to buy lunch at the c

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Staying awake - because of Ferguson

Helicopters roaring overhead. Spotlights sweeping over me. Sirens. Bullhorns. Angry chanting. Drums. Fireworks. A trash can on fire. Lines of cops in riot gear. Suddenly the crowd turns and I am in the front with hundreds of people behind me. To the freeway, they shout. A guy next to me sprays the word POWER on the freeway bridge. More cops in riot gear. Helicopters flying low. People running toward the freeway ramp. Cop cars speeding through the crowd; protesters jumping out of the way.

 

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  • Jeanine Byers
    Jeanine Byers says #
    Thank you!

Lanaya Heathen 

An Open Letter from a Mixed Ugric and Black Heathen:

by Lanaya Winterly

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  • Lynn Sharp
    Lynn Sharp says #
    I don't often interact with other heathens. My ideas on heathenry are wildly unpopular. I believe in the Gods and Goddesses as kin
  • Shirl Sazynski
    Shirl Sazynski says #
    Thank you for your comment, Lynn. If you can connect with some IRL groups, you will probably be pleasantly surprised to find Heath
  • Lanaya Winterly
    Lanaya Winterly says #
    Dear David Carron The suggestion I would make is that young men and women in our community stop taking on the roles of shield mai
  • David Carron
    David Carron says #
    "I wonder when the time will come where Heathen groups actively discuss the wrongs that have been done to other neighboring cultur
Cultural Appropriation or Creative Expession?

I opened up my Facebook account today and was greeted by a long discussion focusing on cultural appropriation, vis-a-vis belly dancing. It appeared to be based on a Salon article titled "Why I can't stand white belly dancers."

The first thing that struck me was the confrontational nature of the headline: It wasn't belly dancing performed by white people that the author couldn't stand, it was the belly dancers themselves. If this doesn't put people on the defensive, I don't know what will. Then again, it's part of the inflammatory nature of online "journalism" these days, which uses hot-button language to increase the number of hits. (Full disclosure: I'm white, but I'm no belly dancer, and belly dancing isn't something I go out of my way to watch.)

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  • valkyr dragonborn
    valkyr dragonborn says #
    as an amateur American "bellydancer" this article both astounds and disgusts me- noted professional Middle Eastern artists, musici
  • Literata
    Literata says #
    I appreciate your points about the impossibility of achieving purity. Like Carol Christ, though, I can also see the author's persp
  • Stifyn Emrys
    Stifyn Emrys says #
    I was intentionally careful with my wording on the parody point: I wrote that it was "one" key question rather than "the" key ques
  • Ruth Pace
    Ruth Pace says #
    lol - yeah, I too was wondering about that article and commented on it. I reminded the author that the dance (and the Arabic word
  • aought
    aought says #
    Randa Jarrar is also forgetting that "white" people were originally from Africa and migrated to the north, losing their skin pigme

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

 

First, allow me to apologize for being out of the loop for about a month. Between Thanksgiving, holiday shopping, and coming down with some mutant offspring of the bubonic plague, writing anything of merit has been difficult. Second, allow me to also apologize for not having any funny memes in this post; I'm still recovering from the cold and I don't feel particularly equipped for humor.  Also, this topic is serious enough that I fear humor would detract from it.  Now, with that out of the way, let's move right along.

On December 21st, Heathens United Against Racism will be holding an international event. Heathens, Asatruar, and Norse Polytheists across the world will be raising scorn poles, or Nidstang, against the undesired racialization and radicalization of our religious paths by extremists. Months ago, the founder of that group, (Ryan Smith) asked if some of the membership would be willing to write anything to spread the message. I was eager to assist, but found myself hard pressed to write something I was satisfied with. After some work and soul searching*, I came up with the following thoughts.

Let's cut right to the chase; the racialist minority in Asatru and Heathenry is a group of disturbed people. There is no other way that I can phrase it, and I do not consider such language inflammatory or inaccurate. There is nothing within the history and anthropology of the cultures that first honored the Norse gods which supports a ethnic supremacy mindset. Tellingly, it also possesses no representation within the myths and tales that represent our religious heritage. With these things in mind, it becomes clear what the catalyst for such a philosophy truly is; fearful and/or angry people projecting their own hatred and biases onto a religion in order to give them the pretension of legitimacy. It a tactic that is ages old, and one which causes no lack of frustration and anger.

It is easy to hate such groups. Actually doing it, however, is a trap. In fact, it's the same trap they've fallen into themselves. I'm not going to go forth and do a stupid thing, simply because my reasons have better intentions. Their hate speech is a language of madness. Within that madness, however, is the best solution they think they have to a problem they cannot properly define. They are dangerous people to be sure, but they are also tragic.

I'd say that the actions of many who think like them come from a need to be the victim, and to not be the persecutor. A need to say, “No, really...everything I do isn't related to some irrational fear that equality will lead to me being treated as some of my ancestors may have once treated others! It's a war, and if I don't fight it the white race will be unable to prosper because of....reasons”.  A need to find a way to believe that such tripe is actually a valid concern. To say otherwise, in their mind, is to promote white guilt.

Allow me to address that.  You see, I'm not a land owner in the pre-civil war South. Further, I'm not a member of the Nationalsozialismus in Holocaust Germany. I didn't hold power in Apartheid era South Africa, nor did I lead Aboriginal Americans to their deaths along the trail of tears. I don't bear shame or guilt for these actions, because I didn't do them. When someone goes to great lengths to legitimize such terrible deeds, they do not appear as men and women who are attempting to triumphantly repeal the march of “Liberal Revisionism” (or whatever the kids are calling it these day); they look like someone who is terrified of being connected to the bad guys. It looks like fear and shame, turned into hate.

So, to such people, I offer a small prayer:

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

Maybe it won't mean as much because for an alleged "Big Name Pagan / BNP", my name is pretty small outside a relatively tiny circle of Hellenists and other traditional polytheists, and it's not like I've moved my spiritual blogging to mostly over here... hell, I can barely keep to the minimum of a single post here a month, but I've researched some recent drama, weighed the words and intent (or at least likely intent) of all sides, and I've decided to step down from PaganSquare.

Racism is the gigantic elephant in the room for traditional polytheism -- too many use their religious practises as an excuse for racism and vice-versa.  While, true, Heathenry has the biggest reputation for racism, here's the thing:  There is not a single recon religion without its racist baggage in some form.  I've met Neonazi Celtic Recons passing out literature at the Celtic Festival in Saline, Michigan, back when I was in high school.  In more recent years, I've seen Hellenists in North America describe Hellenismos as "kinda like Asatru, but for the Greek pantheon and, best of all -- no Nazis! ^_^" and then ten minutes later encounter Hellenic polytheists from all over the globe say some of the most appallingly racist filth.  Hell, at least the LaVeyans and Boyd Rice fanboys I used to hang with during my misspent youth had the decency to try and hide it.

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  • Frith Wierdman
    Frith Wierdman says #
    I am likewise sorry to see you go. I look forward to reading you elsewhere.
  • Hester
    Hester says #
    I'm sorry to hear it, I always enjoy reading your work. Thank you for posting the other places to find you!
  • Amarfa
    Amarfa says #
    I made my name here more by calling out unfair behavior than by writing articles. We are more than our interests. I will follow
  • Greybeard
    Greybeard says #
    Choosing to support "MY" family, clan, tribe, people, against "those" family, clan, tribe, people, is an evolutionary success stra
  • Ruadhán J McElroy
    Ruadhán J McElroy says #
    And yet the basics of evolutionary science support the "liberal degenerates", like myself, and the evidence is tenfold that the ge

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