Talkin’ Tolerance (PBP).

Alternate Title: I’m An Asshole, An Asshole, An Asshole…

Xzibit on tolerance, bitches!

So, one of the things that people who read this blog will notice is that I talk, a lot, about tolerating other pagans or polytheists or other races or other genders. This mostly stems from the fact that since I recently joined the Tumblr community, I see a lot of shit about this stuff all over the place. (That’s an entirely different kettle of fish, but I’ll tell you, if half those kids went out and did something about what they perceive as slights, then we may just have a better living community. Instead, all they do is bitch out people on the Internet because, you know, starting a petition is too much work.) I talk about it a lot, but I’ll admit something here that you may be surprised about: I don’t necessarily practice what I preach. I know, that’s a pretty big shocker. In a day and age where we hear about priests going on about protecting our children and then sexual assaulting them, it’s “oh, so shocking” to see someone talk a good game but neglect to actually practice what they are preaching. Let’s face it; I’m an asshole.

But the thing is, honestly, that for the most part you don’t know what it is that I am intolerant about and what I am tolerant about. I don’t do this because I like to keep people guessing, but because I know that it may just be me, as I said, being an asshole. In other cases, I do it because I know what I think and feel is wrong and I’m hoping to one day fix that. I’m going to discuss two instances in which you may not have been aware that I’m not tolerant of others and then, you know, you guys can get out the torches and pitchforks.

The first instance is that I am a racist motherfucker. Okay, so some of the comments I’ve made regarding thousands’ long reblogged posts on Tumblr may actually have been a clue or some of the more cavalier commentary I’ve made (if you know me, in real life) about skin color could have been another large clue. But, I am actually a person who hates and fears men of the black persuasion. I wasn’t raised that way. In fact, you can kind of tell how I was raised because I don’t see binary gender at all. If someone says they are a woman, but really have a dick in their pants, well then they’re a woman as far as I’m concerned. If someone prefers the pronoun “he” over the gender they were born with, then that’s what they are. My mom didn’t teach me to see other people’s differences, from skin tone to gender change. In fact, and you can laugh at me all you want, when I was a kid at an inner city public school, I had a few people as my friends who, gasp, were not of the same skin tone as myself.

Weird, right.

But, Sat. Don’t you hang out with that ex-employee who is half black?

Uh, yeah. Yeah. I do hang out with her and I talk to her whenever we can catch a hot minute. The thing is that my racism stems almost entire around black men. And while I could easily blame my impressionable hatred on the fact that I got to listen to a certain best friend’s mom talk about “porch monkeys” as a teenager, this actually has nothing to do with it. (I had no idea what any racial slurs were until I met that woman, so fucking help me.) You see, the boy who raped me when I was sixteen? He was black. And I’m almost positive this is where my heart-racing, roll-up-the-windows, lock-the-doors, stay-the-fucking-hell-away-from-downtown fears come from.

The funniest thing about this (as if there is anything funny about racism or how I, like, got it or whatever) is that the boy in question was a yuppie. He was being raised middle class. He was a football player. He was popular, smooth-talking. I mean, you can pretty much guess the story from those few sentences right there. But, whenever I see a black man, whether he is of a lighter color or darker color, I start freaking the fuck out and fear overtakes me. As a kind of trial and error to get away from these dark, irritating feelings that can swallow my heart up with my panic, I tend to say rather crass and asshole things about black people in a generalized summation. I know it’s wrong. Fuck, I know the whole fucking thing about is WRONG and stupid. None of those black men in downtown raped me. None of those black men hurt me. So they stare at me a little longer but so do the white boys in their group, too. So what the fuck?

This is one of the issues that I’m hoping, with my shadow work, I get to destroy. Let’s face it. Being a racist asshole in this day and age is oh, so passé. Not to mention, why am I going to take that shit out on people who are not my rapist? Why the fuck am I going to sit around and just be a stupid douchebag to people who are probably trying just as hard as I am to make it in this world? It’s completely uncalled for and completely fucking retarded.

And as TH just pointed out to me (because, you know, I did mention this post to him before writing about it) is that my racism is very specific, so maybe in a weird context, it’s not really racism. I don’t know. I don’t know what the fuck it is but I’ll mention this: I am okay on one-on-one basis. For example, down in Texas, we had Otis and Twennie (he called her “Twennie” because that was his pick up line to woo her: “Ooo, girl, you better than ten; you two tens… I call you ‘Twenty’.”) who would come in. And they took care of me just like they were my grandparents. I had no problem with them, whatsoever. And in fact, my son has money in his piggy bank from them and I get messages from them, via my mom, all the time. So, I don’t know what the fuck this is…

…besides completely inconvenient and really fucking weird.

(And as I’m reading this out loud to TH, he says to me, “Well… aren’t you buddy-buddy with Papa Legba? And I don’t think he’s white…?” And I tried to explain about in certain contexts, he could be construed as such because of the associations he has with Catholic saints who are white, and he just went, “PFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFT.” Yeah. That happened. And then he decided he was going to teach me about voodoo. Oh, gods. The conversations we have! “Why don’t you try to use some tolerance at me, brah?” He says now. THE POINT. GET TO THE POINT HERE.)

MLK is showin’ the way.

So, what the hell does all of this have to do with me, spiritually?

Well, if you can’t figure out that my being racist in some contexts can affect me in a religious way, then you are an idiot. (And there’s nothing racist about that because, you know, I hate idiots equally!) This sorely fucks me up on a religious level because, you know, I don’t believe it has a place in my religious practice. I don’t feel that my panic-stricken reactions to boys with darker skin tones has a single fucking place in what I practice. And yet, it’s there. It’s in my house, eating my potato chips and drinking my fucking soda. And I want it the fuck out. Thing is that I’ve noticed that intolerance in some areas, such as the more mundane such as racism, can translate over in other ways. And this is specific to my religious life, my spiritual path, what the fuck ever you want to call this.

I discovered this today when I was reading through my blog roll. While I may not comment, I do actually spend a good deal of time going through the blogs that have been updated to see what’s going on. I stumbled onto a blog entry written by someone who wanted to thank Sekhmet for something. And I was reading the entire entry with a giant fucking stick up my ass, like I knew my shit so I didn’t have to hear it, and I’m just like, “No, no, no, no,” throughout the whole entry. Everything this person had to say was wrong to me. I don’t live that person’s life. I don’t know how they connected with Sekhmet. I don’t know a fucking thing about their religious life, but here I am, sitting back and just snorting derisively.

And what is that?

That’s intolerance.

That’s me with a giant stick up my ass and thinking I am the gods’ gift to my premier deity.

That’s me being a motherfucking asshole for the sake of being an asshole.

That’s me letting my inability to get tolerant in one arena of my life bleeding over into another area.

You see, the thing that I’m rapidly learning is that intolerance only breeds more intolerance. When you see the kids arguing on Tumblr about appropriation of Native American items or clothing, which generally and rapidly devolve into name-calling and racial slurs back and forth… that’s intolerance becoming more intolerance. That’s someone being unable to stand up and say, “I see your point. I don’t agree, but I see your point.” We’re all too focused on how we are right and perfect and lily-fucking-awesome about everything to realize that others have a point-of-view and that they may be right. Or, if they’re not right, they’re not going to see other points-of-view because they’re being intolerant. And then someone else who is as equally or more so intolerant comes in and the cycle just keeps fucking evolving until your head wants to explode at the motherfucking stupidity going on.

PhilosoRaptor takes a stab at tolerance!

So, the point in all of this is that in one instance I’m like, “Oh, wow. This happened to me and it’s continued to effect me.” But, you know, I never really considered how much it could bother me in other ways, how it could translate in other ways. Am I saying that because I have racist tendencies in some form or another this translates smoothly over into being a dick wheel about someone’s blog entry about Sekhmet? No. But I’m saying that if it’s easier for me to preach tolerance, not practice it in some area, then it’s easier for it to come out in other areas.

And that’s something I have to work on.

So, in closing, I leave everyone with an awesome fucking song that can depict me, at this moment in time, being an asshole.

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7 thoughts on “Talkin’ Tolerance (PBP).

  1. I’ve had an interesting discussion with a friend about tolerance vs. acceptance with a friend a while back. We agreed that ‘tolerance’ implied a superiority nuance which ‘acceptance’ does not. Ergo, we came to the conclusion it’s acceptance which the world is lacking (religious, social, etc.)
    Don’t get me wrong, I’m far from perfect, I’ve often found myself tolerating instead of accepting and it’s something I’m continuously working on. I think people overall just need to let go of ego and paradigms they’ve grown up with or have been taught to them from an early age, I think ego is to blame whenever discussions such as you mentioned rapidly decay into name calling and such.
    That however, does not come easy :( I don’t these things will improve in our lifetimes but it’s my sincere hope that they do improve as soon as possible. The sooner we can stop worrying about what differentiates us and argue about it, the sooner we can focus on what brings us together. Perhaps I’m an idealist but I really do hope people will be better to themselves and others. I

    • I have a huge ego, but I manage to step back (normally) from those name-calling discussions. I mean, seriously. My ego is really big and I love it being stroked (hee, hee!) but I won’t subject myself to childish whims just because I think I’m better or more right than someone else. How does that make anything better?

  2. At least you can admit it. You have an idea where it’s coming from and a desire to fix it. Are ya perfect? Course not. None of us are. You’re heading the right direction, so I call it an acceptable flaw.

  3. OH I was totally singing along to that song while reading the entry. Man I love that song.

    Nobody’s perfect. And why would you want yourself or anyone else to be? Perfect people are boring., They inspire me to try and get them to do at least one assholish thing to make up for it.

  4. Pingback: On Being Accepted as a Polytheist | The Twisted Rope

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