Black Lives Matter Responses
Crystal Blanton’s call for a response from Pagan & Polytheist communities has been met with many statements from organizations & individuals listed here on the Wild Hunt blog. I’m happy to add any further statements from people of any tradition, ethnicity that are anti-racist and specifically that this about the lives of Black/African-American people. I’m proud to see organizations I’m a member of of, like ADF and Heathens United Against Racism, come forward at this difficult and divisive time and stand up for what’s right. I’m disappointed by the statement given by the Covenant of the Goddess nationally- which was much too generic in nature, and I don’t blame Ms. Blanton and her coven for resigning from CoG. I’m not a member of CoG but I have attended many of their rituals over the years, and have been grateful for them providing rituals in local, bus accessible, handicap accessible locations (which a lot of other Twin Cities Pagan groups *do not*!) I’m hoping that the Northern Dawn Council, our local CoG chapter will write & release a better statement. (Shall I get off my duff & join?)
There are also some incidents going on with mistreatment of American Indians- in particular Corey Kenosh, a 35-year-old unarmed man who was killed by police. I don’t want to steal the thunder from the Black community, but this needs to be acknowledged as well. American Indians are a smaller group, and many people aren’t as aware of the American Indian Movement. I’m originally from Montana- where “No Indians” signs on stores were once as common as “Whites Only” signs in the South.
Here’s an Open Letter from LGBTQ organizations on the Bisexual Organizing Project’s website
A Commitment to Realignment & Resignation– by Crystal Blanton
These events are showing me, more than ever how huge the gulf of understanding of racial issues is between Black and white Americans. I am seeing many of my fellow white folks who are getting it, but just as many who are not, though it is hard, please folks we need to educate the people who don’t get it. Some of them won’t listen, but some of them will. One great first step you can take is by reading the book the New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander, if you already haven’t.
Personally I have not said much as I’m trying to focus on getting over depression and finding a new job. Information & emotional overload does not help with that. I still care about what’s happening, but sometimes you have to take care of yourself first before you can deal bigger problems!
Here’s also something my Dad wrote on Facebook:
“I think we need to get beyond recent specific incidents that allow critics to pick through facts of the case to try and demonstrate that racism was not a factor. We need to look at the larger problem. Our society continues to be animated by subtle and not subtle racist attitudes.
People of conscience no matter their faith system must be aware of the many strata of racism in and around us and find ways to witness against it. Few things are more difficult. It must begin with self awareness and, well, transcendence. If we are afraid to speak out then we must ask ourselves why. We must be willing to risk social consequences. We must be courageous.
Within any meaningful faith system we can find wisdom and truth that can inform us. And maybe we can employ beliefs unique to our own faith that can motivate like minded folk to acknowledge the greater truth that has seemed hidden from us.
Citizens, believers, cannot easily reach the right conclusions with no outside help. So faith groups can help by offering training; by giving participants insight about what is happening around them; and suggesting specific actions they can take.
Grand juries can fail to indite but that is a technical legal process. I doubt anyone believes those officers INTENDED to commit murder. But in the mix of things going through their minds at the moment they pulled the trigger or choked the victim was race in the equation? I think it is difficult for any critical thinker to say NO!
Now that state bodies have ruled limited as they are by facts and law, the federal Justice Department can ask did these officers as individuals and as part of the law enforcement collective violate the civil rights of these men? We can hope and expect that the answer will be yes. But then we cannot just move on and wait until the next injustice presents itself. No matter the answer we are called to continue the struggle against institutional white racism.”
(Virtual hug) Thanks, Dad!
Entry filed under: Pagan Communities, Race/Ethnicity. Tags: American Indians, black lives matter, Corey Kenosh, covenant of the goddess, ferguson, Heathens United Against Racism, mental health, pagan communities, self-care.