So, this is the first time here that I’m going to talk about some of these issues. It’s probably not going to be the last. Hopefully most of you will see where I’m coming from. If nothing else, it might start a discussion that really needs to be had, not with agendas, but with honesty.
There are people out there who talk a lot about how bad it is that “white” people go around delving into other people’s cultures and taking what they want in attempts to find themselves. And then of course many of those same people complain about how “white” people complain when other cultures won’t share, something about it being “white privilege” to have access to said other cultures.
As one person put it, “white” people need to realize they have their own culture.
Personally, I agree, “White” people have their own culture. But it’s not enough to have your own culture, or to recognize that you have your own culture. For that culture to be able to do anything for you, you have to have something for that culture.
You have to have Pride.
Of course, this is something very hard to have at this point if you’re “White.” Start walking about “White Pride” and, well…you can pretty much say goodbye to friends, family, job, social status, and in some cases, even your freedom. Even if you don’t talk about “white pride,” if you just go around being proud of your heritage as a European American, well, you’re gonna run into problems of various degrees depending on if your WASP, Italian, Russian, Scandinavian, French, German (especially German), or otherwise. And that’s if you’re going Ethnically, which is different from this “construct” of Race. You start going by “race” and well…see above.
Interestingly enough, if you’re from Spain, you get tossed in with the Hispanic crowd, despite being from Europe as well (but that is another discussion).
We are constantly bombarded with how “White” culture is, well, Shit. It’s imperialistic, patriarchal, misogynistic, violent, racist, and, well, everything Evil in this world. And for a group of people taught from birth that they should be good, righteous, etc, well…you can’t really take pride in something you’re clearly taught is Evil. It doesn’t do you any good as a culture. It just makes you feel horrible.
So what do you do? You see the pride other people have in their culture, because they are allowed to have pride in their cultures, to celebrate and glorify their culture and the accomplishments of their culture. And “white” people are no different from anyone else. They want something they can take pride in, can be a part of, something that fills the void left by having their own culture torn away from them for being all that which is “evil.” So when they go hunting in other cultures, it’s not the actions of the “dominant” stealing from the “other.” It’s the “Lost” looking for a “Home” with those who have one.
In a lot of ways, I was lucky. I didn’t have a culture growing up. I was as sheltered and locked away as the monk on the mountain. I was taught that all were equal, that no one was better or worse. So when I came into the world, and having looked around and taken up the culture of my ancestors, I saw a Truth. Like the immigrant to a new land, I saw what those who were natives could not see, had been taught not to see.
“White” people aren’t any better or worse than other people. In fact, for all intents and purposes, they are far from the “worse” by the standards by which “white” culture is judged so harshly. We certainly are one of the least “Patriarchal” cultures around these days (want to see the Patriarchy in action, go visit the Middle East, any Muslim country will do. Or China, China is a great example, seeing as they killed most of their female babies). Hel, in history, Europeans were some of the most gender equal in nature, not perfect, but considering that in the Germanic cultures, Spartan Culture, and even to an extent Roman culture, women had more rights than almost anywhere on the planet that’s something. In terms of racial equality, we’re not perfect, but we have gotten further than anyone else around the world, we were the first ever to free our slaves, and we made the other nations do the same. Yes, we were imperialistic, but then so was and is everyone else on the planet. The history of the world is the history of empires. No, it hasn’t always been perfect, but it’s done a lot better than many. In terms of violence, well, everyone is violent. Not everyone brought you the Geneva Convention.
But those things aren’t relevant to the main discussion, it seems. What is relevant is that because of that last paragraph, a number of people probably think me horrid and evil (or at least more horrid and evil, I don’t think people will ever consider me nice and good). But the fact is, I am proud of my heritage. I am proud of where I’ve come from, and what my people have done, and I think that as it goes, we’re a pretty okay group of people. Not perfect, but still okay.
Of course, that’s the problem. I have pride in my culture. So do a lot of Heathens. And what do we get for it? We get called racists. Even by fellow Pagans, who you’d think should know better and show more respect. Even some fellow Heathens view their fellows and call them Racists.
This is because there are two main branches of Heathenism: Universalist and Tribalist. There is a third branch, which is racist, but this group is attacked by both the main branches. The Universalists say that absolutely everyone, regardless of ancestry or heritage, should be allowed in. The Tribalists say much the same thing, but they think that heritage and ancestry are important, and wonder why anyone of another heritage or ancestry wouldn’t rather go worship their own ancestral way instead of coming to “ours.” The vast majority of Tribalists, including the most hardline Tribalists, do not think that our “Ways” are in anyway “superior” to another because of ethnicity or “race.” Quite the opposite, in fact, they view other tribal ways and cultures as very important and to be glorified.
The irony is that the Heathen Tribalist isn’t doing anything different than say the Native American Tribalist when he asks someone of another race why they want to be a part of his culture. The only thing different is skin color. Make of that what you will.
Doesn’t stop us from being called racists, all for the simple fact that we embrace our culture and have pride. We’re…”white” and that’s all that matters to some people. So they attack, and they show any “white” people out there the price of taking pride in their culture. So the “white” people wander around, digging into other cultures, trying to find something that makes them feel whole and like they belong to something. And get called racists for doing that too.
I leave you with a song.