Equality, PT 1.

Note: Prior to today, I felt that a raised-middle class white woman had no need to comment on this ongoing drama. Apparently, I do have to because I’ve been needlessly dragged into it.

Over on Tumblr, there was an explosion of debate when someone started the Pagans of Color, or PoC, Tumblr blog. The whole point in this, from their blog, is, “In our experience, we’ve found that having a safe space within the Tumblr Pagan community is essential. The recent controversy surrounding the mere idea of a Pagans of Color blog has made it clear to us that this space is necessary. It is a place we are welcome, comfortable, and free. We can write about our traditions and our experiences among people who understand and relate. We can celebrate our heritage and our practices.” More or less, the point was for them to have a safe place to comment and post about the racially motivated experiences they’ve gone through in pagandom. Here’s a really awful example of why a blog like this was necessary. Yep, yep. Stuff like that happens; I’ve heard about it in a myriad of quarters and I have little faith that pagans can be as morally uplifted in all genres (from pro-choice to gay rights to skin equality) as I believe they should be. So, I’m pretty pissed off to begin with this morning.

And then I read this. And this is the point where I’m going to get really stupidly pissed off and angry. This is the point where I’m probably going to get death threats and that’s okay. All of this has an eventual point, but I have to get everything out of my head in the order it deserves. But before we go very much further, I’m going to link to LJ’s post about racism because I think we need to pay attention to what actual racism is before I go any further. I’ll wait until after you read her post.

Ready?

This is the point when I wanted to throw my tablet across the room and scream obscenities. Declaring that you are upset by people choosing to have a space that marginalizes you because you’re white, is hard (for me) to take seriously. Do you actually HEAR yourself when you say these words? Do you realize how hard it is to hear this because that’s what it’s like for me and other PoC and marginalized groups for a few moments in a hypothetical situation? Our marginalization happens in our day to day. We are marginalized, othered, and shamed for things we have NO control over, just going about our day. I wish I could feel for you, I really do, and part of me does; but the part of me that does, is sardonic in its response because you have now been afforded a taste of what my life is like, CONSTANTLY. At this point, I am pissed the fuck off for a number of reasons. One: this is snide and condescending and will not win any sympathy with the very people who would have stood beside you and aided/abetted you when you asked for your PoC venue at a major pagan function. Two: this is very privileged in the opposite way by insinuating that because someone falls into a certain set of racial or sexual or gender guidelines, then they must not get shit on by any other group of humanity. Three: no one holds the “my life sucks more” crown when it comes to humanity; everyone’s life equally sucks.

One
So, the first thing I mentioned was that I felt that this statement came off as very snide and very condescending. I’ve actually heard things like this said about statements I’ve made and I’ve also made similar comments to other people. “I mean can you hear yourself?” When someone says something like that, they’re pulling out a very self-righteous card that they probably have absolutely no reason to be holding. All it does is place the person making that statement above the person they are talking to and it doesn’t matter what the situation is – victim shaming, gender shaming, race shaming, etc – no one should hold themselves above or better than anyone else. I don’t care if the person stating this is rich as hell or poor as hell. I don’t care if the person is black, white, or red. I don’t care if the person is completely at home in the gender they were born with or otherwise. I really don’t care who they are or what their circumstances are, but when you say something like that, it is completely uncalled for, unnecessary, mean, and just generally off-putting.

And in regards to that off-putting, as I stated, saying something akin to this is just asking for the people you want to aid and abet you in your goal – a public venue that is PoC friendly or only – to step out of it. I may not agree with the overall goal here, and I don’t and I’ll explain why later, but I would have stood beside you and helped you to make this happen. Obviously, it’s not because I believe in the cause but because it’s something that should be taken into consideration. It’s something that, maybe, will open up the eyes of people on the fence or unaware of racial discrimination in pagandom. It could actually do a lot of good and besides. Most of us pagans are very keen on the whole social outreach and helping others thing in our practices, for whatever reason. And I’m the kind of person that wants to stop the rushing crowds from running over the people fallen to the floor, in need of help. Not because I want to get a medal but because it’s wrong and inhumane to not just stomp on someone while they are down, but to kick them until they black-and-blue. I want to help the “little guy” I suppose is what I’m getting at and from the stories I’ve read, like the one I linked to in my first paragraph, PoC need assistance to make other pagans aware that racism is strong in pagandom.

However, by being so condescending in that one little paragraph, I’m no longer interested in your cause.

(Now the reason I don’t quite agree that there should be a PoC-only venue is because I feel that in setting that up, you’re only making the racial debates more pronounced than they already are. You’re setting up the idea that we could head back to segregation. And I think that’s incredibly dangerous. Don’t segregate yourselves because of this. Yes, I think there should be a place where PoCs can go to unwind, discuss some of the issues they’ve found or are facing, but I don’t think that they should have their own venue. Segregation wasn’t good back in the day and it’s not good now.)

Two
So, the second thing I mentioned was that in making it seem like you hold the stakes on how very badly life is going for you because you are X, you are actually coming off in what I’ve deemed as “reverse privilege.” Often in these debates, you’ll hear people discuss how certain people are privileged. Now, according to Dictionary-dot-Com, there are about five main definitions for the word “privilege” but the one I felt really correlated with the debates as well as what I’m trying to convey is, “the principle or condition of enjoying special rights or immunities.” So, when the racial or gender or sexual debates come up, we hear discussion of privileged people, people who are immune from X because they are not afflicted with whatever it is that causes the problem in the first place. And I’ll admit that I am white. So when it comes to race, I am exempt from things. However, when you state something like the above, you are ASSUMING that someone of my race or gender cannot have things badly. You are ASSUMING that there is no way I can have it badly or that Joe Blow doesn’t have it badly or that anyone else has it nearly as bad as you unless they are a person of color, a person who is gender-queer, a person who has had an abortion, a person who has been raped, a person who is homosexual, etc. etc. etc.

This is wrong. This is false. And this is drivel.

I am a white woman. I was raised middle class. I went to public school. I attended church every Sunday until we hit my teens. Just in those statements alone, we’re beginning to paint a picture of me that is actually not who I am. By making broad generalizations about me, you’re assuming that my life is going well. Well, as a white woman, I don’t hear racial slurs directed at me and I’m protected by all my white male relatives. Well, as someone who lived middle class, we owned a house, I was given the ability to go to college, and my parents probably bought me anything I wanted. Well, I went to public school because, as a middle class person, my parents couldn’t quite afford a private school but I probably went to a good school with good statistics with other middle class kids. Well, as a middle class citizen, I probably was able to give to the church, go to functions, and generally believes in God.

These are all fallacies. I’ll get into some of the reasons why. In the first, I was raised middle class by a single parent. I had a mother and that was it. In the second, we didn’t own a house until I was nearly ten years old and we lost that house when I was a teenager. I went to an inner-city public school where being white was a minority. I stopped going to church because I was angry at God for taking away my dad when I was a kid. I was raped. I was molested. I was treated like dirt for various reasons – single parent, buck teeth, being a geek, not caring about makeup, reading all the time, etc. Just because you are given the above statement about me doesn’t mean things were all that great for me. I got to listen to my dad die in the middle of the night, never mind the other shit I’ve gone through. So, I’m sorry. But seeing me based on the fact that I was raised middle class and am a white woman, it really, really doesn’t hold a candle to the argument itself.

I may present this outward face, but in reality, I’m just as torn up and fucked up as the next individual. And that brings me to…

Three
No one’s life is better than anybody else’s. Nobody’s life can be looked at in this two-dimensional lens when everything is three-dimensional. We are a sum total of the experiences we have gone through and lived. These are the aspects of ourselves that we should be judged upon because it is because of these experiences that we feel so strongly about issues. For example, I like the idea of “helping the little man” because I was, in fact, considered a “little man” by myself and others throughout my formative years. So, I don’t like to see people bullied or anything because I know what that’s like and I get all HULK SMASH when I see or hear about things like that. No, I wasn’t made fun of because I was a white or a girl (unless we talk about the time that I wanted to play tackle football and the boys said no because they thought I would get hurt and so they made it two-touch football instead and I never got hurt but ran through the lines because I had long legs), but I was made fun of for a lot of other reasons. And it’s those reasons that make me the person I am today.

But as much as I may wallow in my own hurt and pain and anger because of X, Y, and Z, this is no way gives me the ability to act as if I am wearing the “MY LIFE IS FUCKED TO SHIT” king’s crown. My life is shit, but so is everybody else’s. They all have problems stemming from their childhood, from their teenagerhood, from experiences with exes and with their parents or their siblings or watching news items on television. Each of these aspects have created and molded these people into who they are and possibly have resounding effects as to why they feel/think that their life is really crappy. And in some of those instances, we can say it’s because of skin tones, gender profile, sexual orientation, or any of the other main debates still raging around out there. But beyond these aspects, we also have to keep in mind that boys have it just as bad as girls; that people of color have it just as bad as people without major melanin-production; and that people who identify with a sexual orientation that society frowns upon have it just as bad as the bigots who think they shouldn’t have the right to get married.

No one’s experiences are greater than anybody else’s.

Now as much as I’d like to get in to my basic ideas about this debate, I have to take a break. Please look back for part two in the next few days. Or, you know, hate me for the rest of my life because I can’t just sit by and let someone shit on me for being a white woman raised middle class without knowing that I am a sum of my experiences and not of what you see when I walk out the door.

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60 thoughts on “Equality, PT 1.

  1. As much as I think the PagansOfColor Tumblr is great way to share stories, it seems to rather, yeah, “I’m obviously in worse of a situation because I’m not white”. Let me add, yes, I am white, but no, I am racist. We’re all people. We all have hardships. (Like you addressed.) Some people just like playing the pity card, I guess.

    • Holy crap. That had a lot of typos. I blame being half-awake. it seems to be rather* but no, I am not racist* Lol. I need some coffee, yes.

    • I think it’s just an inability to see that someone else has problems, too. It could be due to ego and wanting pity, but it could just also be an inability to see past their ownself to realize that no one has shit easy. I’ll take Romney (gag) as an example. I often bitch about how they can’t have it so bad because they have money and health insurance to help with his wife’s MS. But I have never lived with a person with MS so I don’t know the day-to-day nuances of what that’s like.

      I think another issue is that phrase, “walk a mile in my shoes.” We can’t do that. It’s impossible. So we just ASSUME (ass out of you and me) that everyone else has it easy. And, you know, that’s wrong and stupid.

  2. I had no idea this debate was getting this nasty. Seriously. Especially since it pisses me the fuck off too, and usually things that piss me the fuck off manage to make it on to my radar sooner. I never paid much attention to race as a kid. I’m white. I was raised working-class-turned-middle-class (I went hungry a few times as a young kid, but then the folks got better jobs and things got better) I’m female. I went to church on Sunday. And I caught more shit, have more physical and emotional scars, have more internalized anger than those few facts would ever suggest. I *have* been treated like dirt because of my skin color. I *have* been physically assaulted because of my skin color and gender. I *have* been in mortal danger because of my skin color, gender, and background. The idea that I can comprehend another person’s shitty life because “well there’s just no way your life was all that bad compared to mine” is utter fucking bullshit.

    Oddly enough- with that said- I don’t think there is anything wrong with a PoC group on any forum. I don’t think there’s a problem with ANY specific group on any forum. Hell, maybe I’ll start a group just for white females with masculine tendencies and extremely high IQs who were mistreated and abused by peers and family and who remember being so financially strapped that they missed meals as kids but still managed to turn themselves into productive members of society and somewhere along the way escaped their previous monotheistic religion to become Pagans. Because unless I keep the group to ONLY THOSE PEOPLE no one will ever understand me! Special Snowflake Syndrome, anyone?

    Bah. You’re not nuts for being upset, Aubs. Maybe we’re all nuts for letting ourselves get to this point. I’ve been an emergency responder for a long time and trust me when I say that when it gets down to the grit and grime, the blood and slime of humanity; we’re all the same.

    Now if anyone really wants to hear me rage, bring up inherited wealth. That always gets me going.

    • But it -isn’t- Special Snowflake Syndrome. It’s about sharing experiences that are often denied by the wider culture and having a safe space to talk about them.

      Being able to not pay attention to race as a kid -is part of white privilege-. PoC kids and their parents have to be aware of that, are aware of that, everyday, whether they want to be or not. Being in a space where their experiences won’t be denied or white people won’t exclaim, ‘But I’M not like that/I don’t do that!’ is important, at least to some PoC.

      • When I say I didn’t pay attention to race- I mean none of us did. The woods and fields in the farm where I grew up were a freaking skin kalaidoscope. Or however you spell that. None of us gave a frak and it had nothing to do with our various skin colors. It wasn’t until we all got older that we started to be aware. The point is that our natural “default setting” is to pay more attention to the person that the body that person is in. I wish we’d all be able to get back to that setting.

        • I wish that too. I just don’t think the way we’re going to get there is by telling PoC who want their own safe spaces that they should stop ‘segregating’ themselves or stop acting like special snowflakes. They’re not. They’re trying to find places where they can express themselves and their experiences without invalidation, and I think that’s important.

          • It is important, and perhaps I should apologize for being snarky. It’s become an unpleasant subject for a lot of reasons, most of which are not the fault of people here. I think what bothers me is the idea that some groups need a safe space more than others. I think what bothers me is the assumption that I look down on minorities simply because I’m part of a majority. I think the whole thing is poorly worded (something of which I am obviously also guilty) and I think the whole situation is a damned shame. Also the special snowflake bit was directed back at my own deliberately hyperbolic rhetoric. Apologies for not making that clearer.

            • I definitely understand the frustration – and I hope I didn’t come off as rude. I’m really just trying to explain it how I see it.

              I definitely think there is a lot of invalidation, ignoring and mocking of various lived experiences when it comes to Tumblr SJ blogging. While I definitely believe there is a time and place to share your experiences – preferably when they aren’t going to stomp/overrun/takeover an important point or experience another person is making – the SJ community gets nasty fast. (I know, I’ve been a part of it!) I think the PoC tumblr is a great resource and I love it. I think a lot of the dialog that came out of the proposal was horrifying – mainly because of the mocking of PoC voices and experiences.

              Basically, I agree that we all have different lived experiences. And because of that: we need different safe spaces.

              • Why can’t the safe spot be a comfort zone, such as home?

                Look. Let’s look to the hullabaloo at Pantheacon this year and last with Z Budapest. She had her little rituals for people who were born as woman and no other woman could qualify. Instead of licking their wounds and finding a safe haven to do so, the cis-gendered stepped forward and cried out against this moral outrage. Why can’t the same thing happen in regards to PoC?

      • I’m not saying that they shouldn’t have a space to comment on where they feel safe. I do believe I actually mentioned that. I don’t believe that cutting themselves off from the wider pagan group will get what they want done, however. I think it may, in fact, damage the cause more so than some of the comments I’ve read lately have been doing.

        • I don’t think they are cutting themselves off by having a safe space for PoC in a larger conference – they’re still part of the conference, they just now also have a place where they can talk about their experiences and be together without white privilege exerting its head.

          On the Z. Budapest point – I can’t tell what point you’re trying to make. I remember the trans* community being more outraged than cis Pagans. Isn’t it also allowed that people can have hospitality suites that are exclusive and only allow the people they want in – so cis-specific groups could have a suite like that? I admit I stopped following the Pantheacon drama because, as a trans* person, I got really tired of having my very existence denied every time it was brought up.

          • I’ll try to explain my point in depth later. But can you explain the difference betweem cis and trans? I thought they were universal…? Since all I see is the sex the person ascribes to, I don’t know all of these extras like gender queer or cis…

            • Cis – a person who IDs with the sex they were assigned at birth. Trans – someone who IDs opposite or differently than the sex they were assigned at birth. Gender queer people ID anywhere between male and female and may actively dress in non-conforming ways, and they may also actively challenge gender assumptions by confronting them with how they dress/act/simple ARE. The gender spectrum is so wide that there are a variety of terms and pronouns used.

          • So, what you’re ascribing to would be like a job fair gathering? You have the general theme, a job fair, but multiple booths for various jobs. So, the point you seem to be making is that the pagan conference would be as the job fair and the PoC area would be as a booth in said job fair…?

            As I said, I think my point got lost because I used the wrong word. What I meant was that after Z did her silly ridiculous maneuver with barring trans from her rituals, the greater pagan community gathered around this and pointed out her shame. But, at the event itself, there was a human chain of some sort, I believe, made up for both cis and trans people who were against Z’s basis/beliefs. They made their unhappiness at this apparent, they were vocal and outspoken (by gesture). Why can’t we have the same in regards to PoC?

            I guess my thing is that I don’t really think this should be an issue at all. I seriously doubt the gods give a crap one way or the other what skin tone the person who is worshiping them has.

  3. As I’ve said many times. Racism isn’t just a “white” person thing. Yes I’ve been made fun of because I am white. I grew up in an area that was mostly Asian or Natives. I had a single parent. I lived on welfare. I was abused. Does the fact that I have white skin somehow mean that I don’t understand all the crap I went through?

    Yes, there are places where racism is still an incredibly crazy and terrible thing. But by pushing away someone who cares or is willing to stand with you on your cause you are just hurting your cause.

    Having grown up in a hugely multicultural place I don’t see skin tones. I think growing up there were more so called “coloured” people in my classes then white, but I only know that by flipping through the yearbook and looking for it. I just see people. But apparently I don’t know anything according to some. I don’t “see” the issues simply because of the colour of my skin.

    I actually went and asked some of my friends of “colour” if they had ever had issues in the pagan community and we had a great chat. According to them they have never felt anyone being racist to them at community events. They have never been made to feel like they are secondary or shouldn’t be there etc. They explained some places outside of paganism they had, but that they hadn’t had any issues at events.

    So I have to assume that the ppl I was in a community with weren’t assholes. Lucky me, lucky us etc.

    • I still see skin tones. This is… well, it’s based off of a TW that I won’t discuss. But I try to look past that. I try to look past all the trappings a normal white person would get stuck on and give the benefit of the doubt. Case in point, we used to have a Mexican motor cycle gang come in to our store down south (a very famous one). They were always polite, kind, and very nice whenever they came in. They could have killed me without blinking an eye, but I would have rather have dealt with them than the spoiled rich brats who would come down for spring break. How’s that for breaking the mold? Not only that, but I think it breaks conventional norms here in the area of gangs, the area of Mexicans, and the area of middle class American white collar kids. It’s because of instances where I felt safer at my job with the gang members in my store than those middle class suburbanites.

      I would also like to think that in situations like this, we’d find a community that aren’t jerk-faces about all the isms out there. If you don’t feel welcome to a ceremony, then maybe the group or ceremony just isn’t meant to be. And keep on looking until the right fit comes along.

      • I’m sure somewhere deep in my brain I see the skin tones, but I am so about knowing people by their personalities that I guess I am blind. I mean someone once said to me “You know the beautiful asian girl” and I had to think for a few mins to figure out who they were talking about because I don’t see an asian girl I see my friend.

        On a side note, I don’t know how many times strangers and friends have come up to me and told me I need to get a tan. Or that I need to stop being so pasty. K, I’ll get right on that? Sorry I can’t control it…

  4. I think if people need paganism to teach them about racism, sexism, or any other “ism” then they’re too socially stunted for me to deal with anyway. This ongoing angst is one of the big reasons I decided to take a step back from the hive.

    • I definitely understand the need to step back. For the most part, I let most of these issues fly right on by me. They don’t impact my practice unless I want them to or let them and I usually don’t. I only say something if I’m feeling angsty, as in regards to my post about head covering. Today, after reading that paragraph… well, the angst just about exploded. I probably could have made a sailor blush. :)

  5. That article you linked to, if I didn’t know any better I would say it was written by EM. She used to sprout that stuff off to me all the time, and call me racist all the time (remember, working your 10 year old butt off for 5 months to buy a doll that is black is racist and offensive to black people! DON’T DO IT!)

    The whole race card has been thrown so much it’s dog eared, scratched, stained, ripped, and faded. Which actually sucks for some people. Because it’s been bandied about so much people are becoming so inured to it, that when actual hardcore racism comes into play we pretty much just let it keep on rolling. I don’t think anyone who is in this group realizes that they are inspiring apathy, not empathy and understanding.

  6. “Discrimination won’t go away until we stop talking about it”

    I was actually having a conversation the other day with my GF that sort of touches on this. People, as a rule, I do not think naturally hate those that are different from them, as those who are “discriminated” against like to often argue. I think what happens is that those who are “different” often insist on rubbing people’s faces in the difference, flaunting it, and often going so far as to insist that “if this makes you uncomfortable, it must be because secretly you’re like me.” The whole homosexuality thing is a pretty good example of this. That’s when people really get upset.

    The fact is, the ones making the biggest issue out of this how discrimination in the pagan community are the “PoC” as you pointed out. “Oh boohoo, someone sees the color of my skin and thinks I practice my ethnic way! Racists all of them!!!” Meanwhile, the aforementioned “White” Pagan is probably going wtf? Oo

    The article you posted about the black woman who worships Loki. She claims to be Northern Path, and yet manages to make all “white” NP people seem racists. While there those in the NP who do believe that the Aesir and Vanir couldn’t accept someone not European (foolish, I think), that’s hardly the belief of most that I have come across, even in the Folkish bent. Most folkish tend to be curious as to why you aren’t going to your ancestors. She also seems to really disregard the Loki thing. I don’t know that it’s all “fluffy bunny” type stuff like she says. Sure, the bunnies like Loki (mostly, I think, because they don’t really know Loki). But most NP people either do not like Loki from the start, or are like me and used to be neutral, and then got hit with the wrong side of one of his actions.

    Going around Heathens and shouting “I’m with Loki!” is about as smart as smart as running into the Jewish Temple and shouting “Hamas is Win!” Doable, certainly. Smart…not as much. It has nothing to do with skin color.

    I think if we got over it, we in Paganism could be as accepting as we say we are. It’s in our foundations to be accepting. The issue really starts up when people start running around screaming “I’m different from you, bow before me or I scream discrimination!”

    Then again, if my time over at the Wild Hunt taught me anything, it is this. Too often those that fall into the PoC group are the same that fall into the Progressive Paganism group. A group that founds their Paganism on the ideas of Progressive Uber-Left politics (rather than any actual known Paganism…), which for all it’s pretty words of tolerance is really just about the most intolerant thing I’ve ever run into. They have to be the “persecuted” or else they aren’t in the “morally correct” spot. It’s all about dividing groups into the “oppressors” who the “oppressed” must take “social justice” upon. And if they aren’t the “oppressed” then they must be the “oppressors.” So they always set it up so they seem “oppressed.” even when there was no oppression there to begin with.

    That’s my ten cents, anyways. looking forwards to part 2. :D

    • The thing is that how many times have we heard the argument of cultural appropriation in regards to practicing other faiths? I’m white and I must be culturally appropriating the lwa and voodoo because I have a working relationship with the lwa and actually study the religion. In same vein, I suppose I’m appropriating the Kemetic faith as well because I know that my ancestors were all blue collar workers from France and England. That’s it.

      I bet if I’m not overt and obvious about my faith (with my ankhs and my tattoos and shit), then people would just assume that I practice the “faith of my ancestors.” They may assume I’m a practicing Heathen or that I’m of a Celtic persuasion. But, you know, I am obvious about my shit with my cowrie shells, my earrings, my ankhs, and my tattoos. Am I saying that the blog I linked to should be like that? Maybe. It may cut out a lot of irritation.

      That being said, I’ve heard about some of the more debatable aspects of Heathenry, specifically with the Loki thing, and you know, it probably does have more to do with the Loki following than anything else. Considering that there are huge, raging debates in the community about whether or not honoring Loki is a good thing… yeah. I’m sure the blogger I linked to has faced racism in some context or another because I know there are “white supremacist” Heathens out there… but that doesn’t mean all pagan groups are guilty of it.

      I’d like to believe that I’m not.

      And maybe, too, this whole thing is just the “look at me, I’m special” thing that all people go through. I’ll admit it; when I first started this stuff, I was pretty damn fluffy. And I did it because I wanted to be “different.” Now, I just don’t care.

      • I think we were all fluffy to start with.

        And you’re right, “white” people do get a lot of crap for “stealing” (some might call it appropriating, but lets face it, they call it stealing in their hearts) from “minority” cultures. Then when “minorities” do it we’re called racists for even asking why they’re doing it, much less complaining.

        There are racist heathens. WE all know it. Often enough, we’re probably punching them out if they show up. It’s the danger of walking with pride in your heritage. Some people go “my family is cool.” Others go “my family is the best.” and then there are some that go “my family is greater than all others to the point where the rest aren’t even human!”

        The family thing though, is the key. and that’s why Loki ends up being such a…controversial figure. He was never the nicest lads, but then neither was Odin and they were blood brothers and fellow tricksters. Where he finally crossed the line was the killing of Baldr via tricking Baldr’s brother Hodr. The Gods, in their rage at Baldr’s death, slew Hodr. Which made Loki a kinslayer two times over. By killing the sons of his Blood Brother. You can do a pretty large number of things and get away with them in Heathenism, but killing your flesh and blood isn’t one of them. That’s why so many Heathens are up in arms over Loki being included in anything.

        Which, I think would go a fair ways to further explaining the one lady’s treatment. Even though most Heathens tend to avoid other Pagans (we get called racists a lot, and don’t like it), Heathens do tend to have a fairly good idea about trends in Paganism. They’ll have seen the “minority” people whining about “non-color pagans” stealing from other paths. Then this apparently “minority woman” comes along going all “I’m with Loki” and you have appears to be some sort of crazy person wanting to be adopted into a kindred while shouting “i’m with the kinslayer and pray to him as my patron! whoooo!”

        Frankly, if all she got was spit on, she’s lucky.

        and you’re right, epic comments are epic. :D

        • The blog I linked to by LJ pretty much attests to how people of a lighter skin tone aren’t comfortable or able to take pride in themselves. I also had this discussion last night with my best friend. We can say that we’re proud of having X ancestry, but if you ever go around and say, “I AM PROUD TO BE WHITE,” you are listed as a racist. And yet, we’re the only skin tone that has this restriction. I wonder if the penalization is an inherent belief that white people should atone for the slavery thing or if we’re just too embarrassed to try it out.

          I knew Loki had killed Baldr, but I didn’t know about Hodr.

          • Yeah, I read LJ’s post before, it was awesome.

            I think it started as “white people have to atone for slavery” and just grew to “white people have to atone for every oppression done to a “minority” ever. Slavery, imperialism, etc. Of course, never mind that without those things, african americans would still be stuck in Africa (gee, I know this sounds bad, but I personally could forgive a little slavery in the past if it meant I wasn’t living in a war torn continent filled with ethnic cleansing, where everyone gets raped regardless of gender, where I’m likely to die of aids, or be a child soldier). and the rest of the world wouldn’t have the medical, educational, and social side dishes that came with it. :P Sure, it didn’t turn out so great for the Native Americans, but then germs and immunity weren’t really understood and really couldn’t be helped. Everyone else, thought…I think it worked out okay (at least until the Arab Spring, or a bit before that in some places).

            Loki killing Hodr is more a conjecture of mine. He didn’t so much kill Hodr as it was everyone else at the part leapt and killed Hodr after Hodr killed Baldr with the dart Loki gave him. But then Loki was responsible for both deaths cause he started the chain. So from a certain point of view he killed both.

  7. Pingback: Equality, PT 2. | Mystical Bewilderment

  8. It’s times like these that I’d actually like to ask a member of a group like “Pagans of Color”‘ what exactly they expect to get out of the situation they’re creating? Because, from where I sit, it just seems to me that all they’re going to do is segregate themselves from pagans at large and isolate even more than they were already feeling. They have to be some isolated feeling people to even bother doing something like this.

    The amounts of people who actually care that they’re pagans of color who may be observing religions that aren’t native to them are minimal in the grand scheme of things. I do not doubt that they’ve experienced slurs, not at all. But, to insinuate that the rest of us haven’t been hounded for the exact same things because we aren’t “of color” is insane.

    I should try to come up with the links to stories of the other white people out there who were harassed because they were trying out Hellenism, but they weren’t of Greek descent. Or all the ones who are sneered at because they ARE practicing African Diasporic religions, or the ones who are doing Aztec recon (yes, there are a bunch)! They’re all white people and they’re all being sneered and spit on by those that believe they’re doing something wrong.

    This shit happens. It happens to everyone.

      • I’ve often thought, “Why would want to practice a religion that wasn’t native to them?” In all actuality, I don’t really understand the draw particularly, but I certainly wouldn’t tell someone they were wrong because of it, or discriminate against it. I think that a lot less now-days. I’m finding that I’m more and more like a Hindu or a Buddhist than anything else, really. Hindu is stretching it a bit, but I can’t deny the draw I have to Hinduism and their Gods. That being the case, I find I don’t ask myself the above question very often anymore.

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