Posts filed under ‘Ethics’

Nothing to Fear But Fear Itself

A couple weeks ago I returned from Minicon, a local science fiction/fantasy convention to find yet another online Pagan/polytheist tempest brewing. Concerns of fascist infiltration and accusations were flying about. Interestingly, there is a similar issue going on with WorldCon and the Hugo Awards, with a particular faction pushing a political and ego-based agenda. People were a bit concerned, they were annoyed by these particular factions. But they were also laughing about it. Several long-time fans commented that not long into the future, this would become part of the history of fandom, and be just as ridiculous as the arguments between L. Ron Hubbard and Isaac Asimov. There’s a bunch going on, but at the root of it, are some people who are afraid of change in the overlapping fandom communities. Surely, the quality of science fiction must be going down if it’s not all stories starring straight white men who rescue alien princesses. Or something. And there’s other folks working for inclusion, but we don’t always agree how that inclusion or equity should work. Some people want more protection and safer space from opinions and people who they find threatening, while others worry about freedom of speech and behavior.

We have a lot of the same debates in Pagan and polytheist communities. And frankly, a lot of this is going on between a small percentage of people who participate in online discussions/flamewars and attend public events- both in regard to fans and Pagans. What is actually happening in your local community? If you don’t have much of a local fannish or Pagan community, well you have some other sort of community, pay attention to that, and even if you do have smaller specialized communities, pay attention to the broader community as well. You’re a part of that, too.

If we give into fear, whatever we feel threatened by wins. We become more isolated, we give up hope. What we’ve worked for falls apart.

What are you passionate about? What drives you to practice your religion, or your fandom? What do you value? Who around you shares those values, locally, regionally or from afar? How can you collaborate with them to make your project a reality? Whether it’s an anthology, a series of public shrines, a panel or workshop at a convention, or maybe you’re not an idea person, but someone else inspires you, how can you help them? Who is also passionate, but isn’t included as much in your community? Older, younger, disabled, rural, no/limited internet access & transportation. Who are we missing and how can we bring them in? Seriously, with all that on our plate, we don’t have time to worry about fascists!

April 15, 2016 at 7:38 am Leave a comment

Finding Common Ground

 

Seven Habits of Highly Depolarizing People

1 Criticize from within– criticize the other on the basis of something you have in common- the safety of your neighborhood, the education of your city or district’s children

2 Look for goods in conflict (Good Thing 1 vs. Good Thing 2 rather than Good vs. Evil)

3 Count higher than two

I remember a keynote at by John Michael Greer, the ArchDruid of the Ancient Order of Druids in America, in which he mentioned a great contribution of Druidic and Celtic thinking is seeing things in threes- triads. Both the medieval Welsh and Irish had many triads that poets and scholars used as mnemonic devices for proverbs, virtues and other associations. Greer suggested this as a sort of antidote to the destructive binary thinking in Western cultures.

4 Doubt– “the concern that my views may not be entirely correct—is the true friend of wisdom and (along with empathy, to which it’s related) the greatest enemy of polarization.”

5 Specify

6 Qualify

7 Keep the conversation going

 

April 7, 2016 at 5:48 am 1 comment

Hellenic Ethics

I noticed one search phrase used to find my blog was

“what is Hellenismos rede?” referring to the Wiccan Rede, “An harm it none, do what thou wilt”. (There’s also lots of debate among Wiccans and Witches about how that should be interpreted, whether it should be emphasized as a form of ethics, yada yada other Not My Religion, Not My Problem Issues. Just an FYI though, in case you go onto a forum thinking the Rede and/or the Law of Three are universally agreed upon things even among Wiccans let along greater Pagan-dom.

Anyhow, Hellenic religion & philosophy historically existed in many diverse forms, and does in its revival as well. There is no one source of ethics- the Delphic Maxims, a group of sayings traditionally attributed to the Oracle of Delphi which exist in various numbers, translations and interpretations are commonly cited as a source of ethics. The two most famous are “Nothing in Excess” (or moderation in all things) and “Know Thyself”. Be careful, as there a lot of watered down pop culture and New Age-ified forms of these. Your best bet is to be aware of different ethical philosophies and virtues that existed at various times in ancient Greece and the Hellenistic (Greek-speaking/influenced) world- what was considered more “mainstream” in a particular context, and what was more radical? Then how is this relevant in a modern context? Look at opinions held by different Hellenic polytheists, but think for yourself, and consider their different influences, focus on particular cultus, philosophies, time periods, city-states etc.

Of Thespiae- Maxims of Delphi– Ruadhan J. McElroy is focuses on the Boetian region, is a devotee of Eros, and a Hedonist (a Greek philosophy not in the modern sense of the word)

Baring the Aegis- Delphic Maxims– Elani Temperance is a member of Elaion, a Hellenic polytheist organization

 

January 12, 2016 at 1:02 am 2 comments

Posting Well with Others

There are certain things that I think of as Standard Internet Social Protocol, but as more people have joined in (especially with the increased access that mobile devices provide) I suspect some of these norms have gotten a bit lost in the shuffle.

FAQs- Frequently Asked Questions– Read them. Especially important in any field of specialized knowledge- if someone asks questions that are in the FAQ, politely direct them toward it. If they keep ignoring this, moderate. If you don’t have a FAQ for a social media nexus, create one. You can also include questions that aren’t actually frequently asked, but you wish they were. Links to other communities that people commonly mix you up with are also often appreciated, and will save everyone headaches.

Common Internet Abbreviations & Group-specific terminology should be listed.

Rules of Behavior– They should exist! Consequences for violating said behavior- they should also exist and be enforced! Like real life- because yes, the internet is an extension of real life- there are consequences. Social norms that seem pretty obvious to you should still be in there, it needs to be written in the clearest language. Keep in mind cultural differences, as people can be posting from any part of the world. What ages does this forum include, and even if it is adults only, what behavior is included? Plagiarism, over-quoting, derailing topics, (including nitpicking over punctuation, spelling, grammar) Bashing people rather than ideas- sometimes even people who aren’t present. All Bad Things. You can also suggest Good Ways of moving along conversations, solving conflicts before they happen and other fun stuff.

Banning People– Moderators- You can do it! It does not make you evil. Reduce worldsuck by not tolerating trolls, predators and bigots. You are not banishing someone from the entire geek/GLBT/Pagan or whatever community. There are other places they can interact both online and in person. (See Geek Social Fallacies) Know them and resist them!

Constructive Criticism is a Thing– figure it out. If your idea or project is being criticized, that does not mean *you* are being attacked. (If ad hominems are happening- report them!) If you just want to share your idea or project for warm fuzzies, make that clear in a thread title.

Why Am I Joining this Online Community/Forum?

Am I truly interested in this subject? If this community focuses on a population that I don’t belong to, is it welcome and appropriate for me to join? How should my role and behavior differ from other members?  Is there a different way to learn about this group outside of their space? Such as Allies/Friends etc. of Group X. Do I share the values of this group?  What are your assumptions and preconceived notions of this group?

If you are a journalist, researcher, or other professional are there rules governing your behavior? If not, please reveal your status and ask how to proceed. If you are an academic entering a discussion with non-academics interested in your area of study, please keep in mind differences in what information you have access to. If you are an professional who studies a group that you do not belong to, please keep differences of power and privilege in mind.

December 15, 2015 at 5:08 am Leave a comment

Encouraging Respectful Language while being well, Respectful!

I try to use respectful language for various groups of people- though even better is just calling them Bob and Susan, Mr. Jones, etc. The problem is what’s considered respectful for which group varies depending on where you are, who you are, and who you are talking to! Even being able to access the knowledge of this ever changing language can depend on your education, life experience and who you happen to have met! For example, I only learned that in the United States, the term little people is preferred rather than midget for people of very short stature, because I saw a stage production of The Hobbit as a teenager. Most people, I suspect have more recently learned this from the (sur) reality TV show Little People, Big World. And I’m sure various individuals prefer different terms- dwarf, person of short stature, my name is Bob, and yes I’m short, get over it and stop staring at me!

I was raised by two college-educated parents with left-leaning politics who had degrees in English and journalism, so you can bet that I had the Presidents’ English drilled into me, including various types of non-sexist and non-racist language. And I learned even more when I went to college in a multicultural city with a large GLBT population and programs for people with both learning and physical disabilities. As I interact with others, both in person and online and encounter folks who use terms that may be considered offensive, I try to take into account their background and life experiences- of course this works far better in person!

All this stuff I am talking about is often called “political correctness” usually with an angry accusation behind it. I’ve heard umpteen different uses of this word over the years. I recommend that we all stop using this term, because when each little faction uses it differently, it really doesn’t mean anything. It’s also mostly an American thing, and our friends in other countries may be even more confused by it! Another even more fun one is “cultural Marxism”. I had to look that one up! I sometimes see people say “instead of political correctness, let’s call it respect” I don’t think that’s a solution either.

Various individuals also seem to have different ideas of at what point “all this” has “gone too far”. Often, a member of one group will take for granted that *of course* you’d better use their pet terminology, but they get mad if you call them on another type of language. Then we get into this giant contest of whose oppression is the worst (Oppression Olympics) who has read the most books or taken the most classes on Women’s/GLBT/Black/Asian etc. studies or whatever. Anyone who doesn’t have the “right” knowledge or experiences, but is curious and interested to learn more about a particular issue and wants to oppose bigotry in their communities or support their friend/relative, is driven out of these online and sometimes in-person social justice groups and what they learn is- “Wow, those people are jerks!”.

This is a lot of why I ended up leaving Heathens United Against Racism (well the Facebook group not necessarily the org), just to give one example. There are many good people in that group, don’t get me wrong, and I support the idea of it, but in practice the people who have real or virtual Ph.D’s in Anti-Racist/Every Kind of Oppression Theory and Awesome Badass Activist Experiences! live in multicultural cities, and so forth don’t know how to talk to Heathens from other backgrounds (esp. rural and working-class) who agree that yes, racism is a Bad Thing, but Holy Social Theory, Odin slow down, I’m confused! You can oppose racism without being into things like Critical Race Theory and whiteness studies, or supporting certain policies like affirmative action, slavery reparations and totally open the gates to Mexico-style immigration policy.

(Note this was written a while ago- Heathens United Against Racism has undergone some…changes but that’s in another post)

September 10, 2015 at 5:12 am 1 comment

Comments on Why I am Not a Heathen

I reblogged Pagan Church Lady’s Why I am Not a Heathen essay But of course, being me I have to add my own commentary. I am not sure whether I’d identify with the label Heathen or not- I generally call myself a polytheist- the details vary as I figure out my path. I tag my posts about Germanic/Norse religion with heathen, heathenry and asatru partly just to add another voice for inclusive, non-asshole Heathenry.

Rejection of NeoPaganism

I have generally found more friendly attitudes from Heathens who interact with broader Neo-Pagandom. Their friendship and cooperation does not necessarily mean being “fluffy” or “eclectic” just as when I go to an interfaith gathering, that doesn’t mean I suddenly decide I’m going to start observing Buddhist or Muslim traditions.

I most definitely respect the choice of Heathens and Heathen groups to choose to engage and work with other Pagans or not. I think there are various good reasons for doing so. I can also understand why many Heathens feel they don’t have much in common with non-Heathen Pagans or even simply feel excluded by Pagan festivals, Pagan Prides and other entities that are very Wicca-centric. Many other polytheists and followers of other indigenous/folk/tribal religions feel similarly.

It would be enough to simply state- “As a Heathen, I don’t consider myself/identify as part of the broader Neo-Pagan communit(ies), here are some reasons why…” and list some relatively neutral reasons of differences in values, focus etc. I do see those sorts of explanations from some folks. But even more often, I see a list of generalizations with undertone of “Eeew- we’re not like Those People!” A caricature of promiscuous, nudist, hippies is then painted- while on the other side, a caricature of gun-toting redneck Heathens  is painted by some Pagans. Rather ironic- considering both Pagan and Heathen mean “redneck/hick/hillbilly” in other languages. In any case, obviously these generalizations are very harmful to all our communities, so I ask that we try to get to know & judge each other as individuals. I admit that I can be very judgmental myself and make assumptions about other people’s character, beliefs and behavior based on their appearance, the bumperstickers on their car and so forth. So this is a learning process for everyone, I am no exception!

Dismissal of UPG/Spiritual Experience

I most definitely consider the Eddas, Sagas and so forth to be useful sources of information about Germanic and Norse mythology and religion. But they are not The Lore- Holy Writ from On High as Handed to us by the Gods! The Eddas, in particular are Norse myth skaldic Christian fan fiction. Actual folklore, by definition is information (lore) handed down orally by the folk, the common people, not attributed to any one person. Just as we’ve gotten literary interpretations of legends of King Arthur and his knights from Malory’s Le Morte de Arthur and secondary or tertiary historical sources from Geoffrey of Monmouth, we have literary interpretations of Norse mythology and history written from particular viewpoints by authors of Sagas and Roman dudes like Tacitus. Is Snorri Sturluson a better source for the original myths than say, Wilhelm Wagner? Yes, definitely. But that doesn’t make the Eddas holy writ. To develop any revived polytheism into a living religion we need to come up with our own folklore- we are the folk- the common people. We can use texts as guides and templates, and hold them up against our own insights and experiences. But ultimately, we need to create lore ourselves- for our time, for our lands, for our people. Likewise, Heathens in Europe tend to draw more heavily from the folklore and customs of their respective nations, even if those customs don’t go back to preChristian times. We can too. But we live in different climates, different terrains, with different cultures. So we need to adapt accordingly.

My additions- Black & White Thinking– Whenever I attempt to join an online Heathen group, before posting I have to learn not just the rules of moderation, but all the unwritten rules of this particular cadre of Heathens which I learn by lurking and carefully poking thru archives before I dare make a post. Which authors are good, which are “fluffy”. Whether patrons or fulltrui, let alone godspouses are a Real Thing ™ Whether using runes, magic and seidhr is a legit part of Asatru/Heathenry or assumed to be a fluffy Wiccan influence. Whether certain beings/deities/spirits are off-limits or not. Whether exhibiting any sense of compassion and mercy is hospitality or “Too weak and Christian”. Granted, Pagans across the board are quite capable of black & white thinking, and engage it quite avidly, but I don’t typically see the same level of uniform judgment about *every single spiritual belief & practice* My Lords and Ladies!

A Stupid, Crazy Level of Ableism Pagans, not being any exception to our broader cultural influences are once again quite capable of every sort of ism- racism typically manifests as clueless, well-meaning “we’re all human/I don’t see color” platitudes and micro-aggressions, sexism typically as gender essentialism and Truly Liberated Women will, of course sleep with me! Homophobia and biphobia are typically not tolerated, but transphobia definitely rears its head especially in the name of “safe spaces/rituals for women”. Ableism is most definitely present in various forms. But damn, among Heathen groups online anyway- I found the ableist insults and assumptions to be so constant as to be intolerable. Other isms, while present, I could learn to dodge, but I found ableist crap in pretty much every Facebook heathen group I have joined and left, notable exceptions are the Urglaawe/Braucherei groups, ADF Heathens, and a couple of local Heathen groups. Lokeans, while they vary broadly are also generally more inclusive of most categories of excluded people- I consider them a slightly different category however, since not all them identify as Heathen. People act worse online in general, but I notice particular sets of obnoxious traits among online Heathen groups, atheist/skeptic/humanist groups, Men’s Rights Activists (MRA’s) and right-wing libertarians- rampant ableism (under the guise of intellectual snobbery/superiority- anyone who disagrees is stupid/retarded/crazy) machismo, and dominance by white male heterosexuals who raise a hissy fit if anyone ever mentions the concept of privilege, and loudly claim how oppressed they are by Social Justice Warriors. I agree that some nonsense that goes on in the name of “social justice” online is pretty ridiculous, but they can’t distinguish between that and everything else. (Yes the irony of that subtitle was intentional)

The Racial stuff– well, that you already know my opinion, and I have been informed by certain Heathens that I’m apparently “obsessed” with race, motivated by white guilt, “cultural Marxism” and other interesting accusations. It seems I’ve violated some social norms of their communities by not minding my own business. Well if speaking out against racism violates the norms of your community, I definitely don’t want to be a part of it. Clearly I share values with some Heathens and not others, but once again that is the same with every other community I participate in.

May 15, 2015 at 4:36 am 1 comment

Is UUism just my Spiritual Safety Husband?

Th term safety husband (or wife or spouse) refers to a friend that you would consider as a suitable if less than ideal partner to marry, should you not meet the spouse of your dreams, especially by age 40 or 50.  (I could comment about the rather messed-up tyranny of couple-dom that this concept promotes but that’s another post!)

Anyway, I have been wondering if UUism is really just my spiritual community equivalent of a safety spouse. After going thru lots of bad break-ups, I thought well, this “person” is nice, we have enough in common, share the same general values, zie owns a house and lives nearby, it’s a stable place to raise a family. I enjoy our visits together, but still wonder if I need a little more passion and good ritual in my life. Am I really being a good enough partner if my heart isn’t it this enough?

In the Pagan realm, I wonder if to find a stable community I’ll need to compromise and join a coven- there are many well-established ones here. Reclaiming shares a lot of my values, and they have a thriving community. But I don’t think my heart would be in that either. Non-Wiccans/Witches seem so scattered throughout the urban sprawl. Meanwhile I have a lot of trouble motivating myself to practice as a solitary.

Frankly in both settings, I have the similar situation of having people whom I’d consider close acquaintances but not really friends. I have known some of the regulars of the Wiccan Church of Minnesota (WiCoM) since I took a Wicca/Paganism 101 class when I was 16. (My dad signed off on it) They all know me by name, will say “Mariah, how are you doing? Haven’t seen in you in ages!” and even give me a (consensual) hug. There were a couple of people I ran into at Paganicon that wanted to get together for coffee chats. One of them was a person from the Cauldron Forum- several of the same folks that were there last year were present- Veggiewolf, HeartShadow (I know at least some of their actual names, just using the screen names for privacy and in case other folks reading this know them) It turned out one of the Kemetic peeps (sorry, she has a long Egyptian name I can’t remember!) lives not far from me so yay. So maybe I will make some new/old Actual Friends. I also think I should get together with folks on the BOP board and get to know them better.

Just generally continuing to Get a Life is good!

March 19, 2015 at 4:50 am Leave a comment

Finding my Path Again

As Paganicon approaches, I find myself re-evaluating my (rather dormant!) spiritual path. I think for the past year, with the depression, it’s kind of like I’ve been wandering through the mists and need to find the path again, only to find it rather hidden and overgrown. I need to do some weeding, replace broken pavement stones and such. Being a caretaker of an old house, these home maintenance analogies come very easily to mind!

My main focus has had to be managing the depression, becoming active and involved with my communities in a sustainable manner that helps me get away from sitting at home alone stewing in my thoughts. One aspect of that has been becoming a Director of the Bisexual Organizing Project, a way to give myself a job (even if unpaid) with responsibilities that helps me develop my self-confidence and skills. The next step is to psych myself up enough to start looking for work again. I don’t have a specific idea of what I want to do, mainly Please Not Customer Service!!! Or at least not certain types. This time I would like to network with other people with disabilities- particularly learning disabilities/autism/developmental disabilities, and perhaps their family members and so forth.

Anyway, I am ignoring spiritual approaches that others do that don’t seem helpful to my situation (the Put the Gods first type stuff) and looking for ones that do seem helpful. I am looking for spiritual practices that might help me build up my confidence, reduce my anxieties, and re-direct negative though patterns in positive directions. I am not sure if I believe in magic, but if I’m not mistaken there are magical techniques that are more about changing how you think than changing the world around you. Without being totally, The Secret and the power of positive thinking can totally solve your problems!!!

I am also trying to back away from more intense and extreme versions of activism and social justice stuff. I’ve noticed that I feel good about going to meetings and doing things in person, but online discussions have a tendency to get really negative and depressing, so I am avoiding or at least being more selective about participating in them. In particular, climate change/Big Environmental Problems OMG!! are things I avoid, which is difficult because it’s also a big thing at Unity Unitarian. I have sat through at least two sermons about environmental destruction one of which listed in detail all the types of species that were endangered or going extinct that made me cry. It was like, yes I get it, humanity has messed up, and all this bad stuff is happening, but there wasn’t much space in the sermon for redemption, and oh here’s something small and manageable that you can actually do. It just fills you with despair, not a desire to be active. There’s also a lot of elitist baggage involved which is really alienating to someone who doesn’t have much money.

The other political area that I have to get away from for sanity reasons is the anti-capitalism and anarchism. I am not an anarchist, but I hang out with some of them online, and they can be cool people with whom I agree with some things. But a lot of the stuff they write I have to avoid, it’s like drinking a giant depression dose. I am skeptical of capitalism in many ways, and I realize it has a lot of problems but I kind of need to set that aside and well believe in it enough to go find a job, keep it etc. It seems like we’ve gone to the opposite extreme of Keeping Up with the Joneses, to a contest of who can intentionally live the simplest life on the least amount of money, involving the least amount of working for “The Man” and feeling morally superior to people who have regular jobs. When I signed up to be Pagan, that didn’t mean signing up to be poor. Wanting a decent job does not automatically make me Scrooge. I feel like we can’t have real discussions about these things because there is too much political division. Well that was long enough. More on the path development thing another day!

March 6, 2015 at 11:24 pm 7 comments

Atheism as Cultural Imperialism

Something I’ve noticed among progressive or leftist atheist activists is that they tend to assume that atheism is culturally neutral and furthermore becoming an atheist* is necessary to achieving full liberation as an individual or for an entire oppressed group/nation etc. (*or humanism, Atheism+ or whatever positive form of atheism that they subscribe to)

There are many problematic assumptions behind these ideas. I think many of them are a reason why atheist/humanist movements tend to be heavily white and male. Though this is changing, I believe the tensions arising from increased diversity are related. A simple lack of belief in god(s) is perhaps somewhat culturally neutral (if such a thing is possible) Assuming that all forms of religion are necessarily oppressive and must be destroyed is just as cultural imperialist  as declaring one true religion for all people. Extremist atheism (or anti-theism) is just as bad as extremist monotheism- in fact it’s the flip side of it. Granted, anti-theists are typically just arguing against religion, and do not have the power (and hopefully don’t want it!) to outright suppress the practice of religion. However, we are starting to see some anti-theists argue against public religious accommodations in public schools, prisons, workplaces and other settings (adding to the arguments some Christians make against non-Christian religious) in the United States, and a ban against clothing that covers the face (targeting certain Muslims) has been made in France and upheld in E.U. human rights court.

I really think people who have de-converted from any sort of fundamentalist, extreme religion need to take some private chilling time before grabbing a banner to publicly march behind, writing books and giving speeches in the name of atheism, humanism or a new religion that they choose to adopt. Just as “rebound” romantic relationships are usually a bad idea so is choosing a “rebound” religion or secular ideology. Doing so right away is likely to result in bringing a fundamentalist attitude towards the new belief system.

However even moderate and liberal ideologies and religions can be culturally imperialist if they’re not careful.  As a Euro-American feminist, I’ve learned from listening to other folks that it’s best for us to step back and support rather than lead women’s reform movements in other countries, or even in my own country,  in the case of Black feminism/womanism, American Indian women, Latina mujeristas etc.  What works in one cultural context, may not in another.

New Atheism Has a Distinctly Neo-Colonial Aspect

New Atheism, Old Empire

Reason & Racism in the New Atheist Movement

For a different perspective check out Siviku Hutchinson’s book- Moral Combat: Black Atheists, Gender Politics & the Values War

December 8, 2014 at 2:23 am Leave a comment

Big White Lies

This post is written with some tough love for my fellow People of Pale, it is based on things I have seen or heard people say countless times, in all kinds of social settings, both offline & online. I’m sick of seeing people repeating the same stupid stuff, electing people who use race to divide and conquer the poor, working and middle classes. And hurting and alienating their neighbors, co-workers, relatives, etc.

Note: these are listed intentionally so the most offensive/extreme statements being debunked are at the bottom to make it slightly less triggery.

Real Americans Speak English!

Interesting opinion- you should try sharing that with some American Indians, oh yeah and the folks of Mexican descent whose land was taken as part of the U.S. after the Spanish-American War. I’m sure that *all* your ancestors instantly spoke perfectly unaccented English the second they got off the boat. They never did anything so shocking as to teach schools in the own native language, have newspapers in it, or worship services in Swedish, Polish, German et al. Actually…they did. And native-born Americans complained about it and said all the same nasty things you’re saying now. Immigrants have every incentive to learn English when they come here, but it is a difficult language to learn and it takes time. Have you studied another language, especially one that was very foreign to an English-speaker, like Chinese? Doing so might help you develop empathy for these folks.

Reverse Racism- in general

Racism doesn’t just mean hating or discrimination based on skin color, it also means a *system of oppression* against people based on skin color. Now and then people may proclaim the general suckiness of white people, insult you (honkie! redneck! oh the pain!) However you are not surrounded by messages from the media & society all your life telling you that by virtue of your skin color, you are assumed to be a criminal, no matter how hard you try to be “respectable”- you can wear the so-called right clothes, have an education, be a doctor or lawyer etc. and still be assumed to be “up to no good” by your mere existence.

See this video for an awesome explanation of “reverse racism” from comedian Aamer Rahman

Reverse Racism- Affirmative Action, specifically

You *just know* you would’ve gotten that job, that contract or that spot at Stanford if it weren’t for Those People getting affirmative action. You deserve it! You worked hard! I think you can have non-racist arguments against affirmative action, but claiming “reverse racism” and discrimination against white people are not those arguments. Affirmative action has been outlawed or severely curtailed in many states, so do your homework before you complain. Also if you’re so concerned about fairness, take a look at those legacy scholarships, merit scholarships (which more often children of the upper-middle class benefit from) It may be less obvious, but there is likely some type of “Affirmative Action for Whitey” that you’ve benefited from.

But Obama is President Therefore Racism is Over!!!

Not sure if people are still making this argument, considering all the racist stuff that has been tossed our President’s way. Like how his Dad was from Kenya, therefore Barack was born in the exotic African nation of….Hawaii. Yep. How dare a Black man use an executive order, ever!! Bush and Reagan never did…oh wait.

They Can’t Be “Proud” of Being White

Doesn’t that suck that those Racist People Over There, that *you’re totally not like at all* ruined the white pride thing for ya? Remember those immigrant ancestors of yours I discussed earlier? A lot of them weren’t considered “white” when they first came here. Irish, Italians, Jewish folks, Poles, Slavs etc. they were all considered members of races inferior to upper-class English Protestants. Whiteness is a social construct- it just means you can’t be enslaved and the police are less likely to assume you’re a criminal just by looking at you. Why be proud of that? It’s fine to be proud of your ethnic background, so long as you don’t claim it’s better than anyone else’s.

Genocide/Ethnic Cleansing– Say what? If you’re worried about this, I doubt you’ll be reading this blog anyway, but just for the sake of inclusion.

Are you worried about natural blondes & redheads dying out? That could happen eventually, but seriously doesn’t the world have bigger problems? There is a history and (it still happens) in the United States, Australia & Canada of forced sterilization of people with disabilities, Black, Latina & Native women, immigrants and poor people. This was advocated by both conservatives & progressives before the Nazis made eugenics look bad. You’re worried about being a minority? Just a memo- so-called “white” people have been a global minority for most of human history- you just didn’t notice because of your Eurocentric worldview!

(OK, so I may re-write this later so it’s less sarcastic, but writing it was very therapeutic, and perhaps reading it will be for some people. You have to laugh to keep from crying, sometimes!)

December 5, 2014 at 12:31 am Leave a comment

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