Voices of Reason
I am glad to hear some voices of reason in Heathenry. I have thought about taking a step back from the Heathen/Asatru communities, though I felt greatly encouraged to hear from a Facebook friend, who contacted me asking if he could cite me as an example of a Norse Polytheist who believes the religion should be inclusive. He is working on a paper explaining that the racist contingent of Asatru is a distorted viewpoint- contrasting it with Viking religion (he’s working on a B.A. in Scandinavian Studies) and making a comparison to how the Westboro Baptist Church is not representative of Christianity.
The Northern Gods Are Not White- by Sarenth Odinsson– Excellent! Couldn’t have said it better myself!
How to Raise Racist Kids– Not how you think, actually!
A suggestion I’ve seen from various people is not to condemn racists, but to try and educate them. I will admit, I probably let my Christian influenced “turn the other cheek”/take the high road etc. mentality get the better of me (I know it’s not how polytheists roll, but it’s my upbringing and personal inclination), and more than once I have been taken advantage of as a result. I’ve invited people to “dialog” and understand where they are coming from, to have them stab me in the back. For my post about the origins of policies of who belongs to the Jewish people and various Native American tribes, and how it doesn’t compare well with Heathenry, I got support from people who already agreed with me, but people who didn’t, ignored all the points I made and just told me I was perpetuating “white guilt” and hating white people.
So if I am so stopped by a sense of “Nice White Liberal” guilt, then I would give money to any person of color that was asking for money, but not white homeless people, because after all, they’re so privileged. And I would expect my white tenants to pay rent, and my non-white tenants to not pay rent, because my family who owns the house “owes” them. Actually I don’t. I don’t want begging going on in my neighborhood, and so to discourage it I don’t give money to people of any skin color. Instead, I give to charities.
And currently there actually is a situation in which I have one tenant who is paying rent, and 2 others who are not, which is why we are evicting them. I’ve had both great and terrible tenants of various ethnic backgrounds. I actually consider it just as racist to give special treatment to someone because they come from a historically oppressed group than to a historically advantaged one. Believe it or not, I am a white left-winger who has mixed feelings about affirmative action, that great sacred cow of liberalism. But I don’t whine about “reverse racism/discrimination”. I actually think, if we are going to have such policies in colleges in particular, it would make more sense to give scholarships on the basis of economic need. White people who are not wealthy are getting very angry with being told that they are privileged. I think class needs to get discussed a lot more. I think disability needs to get considered more. The word “social justice” should not just get thrown around to apply equally to pseudo-causes like “otherkin oppression” or “Wiccan privilege” as actual forms of oppression & privilege. People should actually look up the origins of the term, it was invented by a Catholic monk. Discussions have in general become way too centered around individual privilege (of any type) and there is too much of an expectation in every discussion that every participant has a recent liberal arts education and knows a bunch of academic terminology.