Listening to Voices of Pagans of Color
A reader asked me how people of color feel excluded from Pagan communities- outside of overtly racist groups- and I repeated things I’ve seen discussed by Pagans of color on their blogs- much of it is subtle social exclusion, but there are also assumptions that individuals should follow their “ancestral traditions” while assuming based on looks what that persons’ ancestry is, that maybe they do honor their ancestral culture, or that they have tried it and doesn’t work for them and they feel called to a different path, and so forth.
I’d recommend reading those blogs yourselves, so I’m making a list of links, please add any that you know of in the comments.
One theme I have noticed from Pagans of color is that many of them are sick of educating white Pagans on “racism 101”, and that they want us to educate ourselves. Sometimes Pagans of color also want their own space where they do not have to worry about racial issues- just as women and GLBT folks sometimes do- or heck Pagans do- there is a Pagans of Color suite at Pantheacon for this reason.
We Are Pagans of Color on tumblr- has a great list of resources
The Invisibility Cloak: Race & the Pagan by Black Witch
Social Unrest & Reflections of Pagans of Color at the Wild Hunt
More to come…
Anyway, I would like to volunteer to answer questions about racial/cultural issues from white folks- Pagan or otherwise- if you have a question you think is too basic or clueless and will annoy your friends of color, please ask here. Of course I’d like people to do their “racial homework” but I can’t force all white pagans to read books/websites on white privilege and racial issues, and go out and learn about other cultures, so I’ll keep posting resources, but this is additional form of outreach that hopefully may help reduce tensions. Please ask questions that inform and add to our communit(ies) racial and cultural understanding- not counterproductive questions. If it seems to be a question better answered by a person of color, then I will pass it along. And conversely, if you are a blogger/website owner etc. of color who is getting questions that you think whites need to figure out for themselves, you can talk to me. You can comment on this blog, otherwise my e-mail is caelesti AT gmail dot com
I don’t claim to know everything- I’m continually unlearning society’s racism and classism and doing my “racial homework” both academically and as an activist, and often with some “tough love” help from folks of color- who have given me chances and patience that I didn’t necessarily deserve!