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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Racism

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Heathen Symbol or Hate Symbol?

Resources for the disambiguation of Heathen symbols vs. hate symbols. TW: discussion of racism

This is a resources and links page for how to tell the difference between a religious symbol being used by heathens and a hate symbol being used by neonazis or white supremacists. There are several different symbol guides linked from this page. Using the various symbol guides requires more than looking up a suspect symbol; it also requires taking context into account. For example, once while screening applications I ran across the version of Othala with wolves attached to the lower legs of the symbol. The first time I saw this symbol, I wondered: is it the footed Othala used by Nazis or is it just the regular Othala but with wolves? I used a reverse image search (the Chrome extension) to find the origin of the symbol, and found the page of the artist who designed it. The page had many pagan and heathen artworks, none of which looked like neonazi or white supremacist symbols. The artist's statement on his website was an unobjectionable, pretty standard pagan statement. I concluded the Othala-with-wolves symbol's resemblance to the footed Othala was just a coincidence. The context provided by the artist's other artworks and artist statement helped me interpret that image.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Alas, Ill News in Pagandom

Alas, ill news in Pagandom.

To judge from his social media presence, it would seem that Holden Matthews—the domestic terrorist who recently torched three predominantly-black churches in Louisiana—is pagan, apparently of some folkish heathen variety.

If that doesn't make you angry, it should.

If that doesn't make you feel ashamed, it should.

Here are some entirely inadequate responses:

He's not a pagan/heathen.

That's not real paganism/heathenism.

[It doesn't involve me because] I'm pagan, not heathen.

[It doesn't involve me because] I'm heathen, but not folkish.

[It doesn't involve me because] I'm folkish, but not racist.

Who Matthews is in his own heart, we do not know. But we can be certain that refusal to take ownership of problems in our own community achieves nothing.

Some better responses:

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Thanks, Carol. I've updated.
  • Carol P. Christ
    Carol P. Christ says #
    link no longer working

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Dealing with Governor Blackface

Well, well. The mills of the gods may grind slowly, but they grind exceeding fine.

The political future of Governor Blackface of Virginia now lies in the hands (O happy irony) of the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus.

Of course, I don't get a vote here. But if I did, here's what I would be tempted to say.

Dear Governor Blackface:

Your callous actions in the 1980s were despicable in their casual racism, and you are right to be ashamed of them.

We take you at your word that you regret your actions. For this reason we will continue to work with you as governor, to make the best decisions that we can for the people of Virginia.

Please be aware, however, that as we do so, we will be watching you closely.

Extremely closely.

Yours most sincerely, etc.

Then, of course, he'll owe them bigtime.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I'm from Virginia; the story isn't over yet, it just keeps coming. Not only did the governor do blackface according to yesterday'
  • Murphy Pizza
    Murphy Pizza says #
    This is turning out to be a more complicated issue than it looks. I was listening to a Public Radio show discussing this blackface

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Resources for anti-racism work

This is the final in my series on racism in Paganism. It is devoted to resources we can use to educate and challenge ourselves with the long-term results of having a multiracial Pagan movement where all feel welcome.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Racism Rears Its Ugly Head Again

The young woman in that figurine isn't doing a facepalm (it's an ecstatic posture) but it was the closest I could come in Minoan art. "Facepalm" is pretty much my mood right now because I've just had to boot yet another round of racists out of my Modern Minoan Paganism discussion group Ariadne's Tribe

Unless you've been on an extreme media fast lately, you're probably aware that there are a lot of right-wing racist (plus other prejudices) type people out there right now, spouting their hateful propaganda and doing their best to convince others to join them. Unfortunately, many of these people have infiltrated Pagan groups in order to expand their recruiting. We hear a lot about this happening with Norse Pagan groups, but it's also happening in Hellenismos and now, Minoan Paganism as well.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Drowning in a Sea of White

I am working on a blog about race in Paganism, so I am posting this guest column by Elena Gutierrez. Elena is a mixed-race Latina, Tarascan (native Mexican), white young woman in the Midwest.

I am drowning in a sea of white. I am not at an actual sea with light colored sands and receding waves, but rather, the extravagant dining hall my grandparents eat at every night. I am ‘blessed’ with the opportunity to eat in the same dining hall when I go to visit them. The table cloths are of thick material and they are so white you would think they are brand new, straight from the package, rather than washed after each use from meal times. Maybe they are brand new. It would only make sense based on where they live. My grandparents, on my mother’s side, live in a retirement villa. They have to ask us in advance when we schedule a visit, if we would like to stay for dinner, if we respond yes, they have to hurry to make reservations. They are my white grandparents. I am drowning in a white sea that is made up of all the retired masters of their career fields. It is a white population who sit at their white tables with their white pearls hanging from their necks smiling with their expensive fake white teeth.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Talking Across the Hedge

There were pagans on both sides of the mess in Charlottesville this weekend.

Agree or disagree, they're still our tribe.

As the “Vote No” campaign here in Minnesota—which successfully defeated an anti-marriage equality referendum—proved, the single most effective way to change other people's opinions is by engaging: by getting to know them personally, and by letting them know you.

We're pagans. Whatever our politics, we have certain things in common. We still share a common language.

So here are thirteen questions to ask those pagans on the other side of the hedge.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Mab Nahash
    Mab Nahash says #
    Because the biggest issue I've seen is Eurocentric paganism's anxiety about people of color, I'd like to offer a few points that s
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    I live in a world, Marc, in which pagans perceive one another as holding something in common. I live in a world in which the singl
  • Marc
    Marc says #
    What kind of mayonnaise-slathered world do you live in?

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