So I’m reblogging this partially to mark it so I can come back later, and partially to respond. This is in now way a full response, but this is what I have at the moment.
I am Svartwulf, and I am a racist.
Oh, I didn’t start out as a racist. I was taught we were living in a post racial world, that everyone was equal, and that no man or woman was different from each other. We all could do the same things, be held to the same standards, and that the color of one’s skin didn’t matter.
But, it turns out, I was wrong. The color of one’s skin does matter, it does place you above or below people. I was told that there were privileges to being white, and that while other races also had their privileges, these privileges did not matter, that they distracted from the truth, that the white person had superior privileges. This was often placed in the jingoistic language that life in the USA was how life was everywhere, that the privileges of white people in the USA were universal privileges round the world. That these privileges, nebulous and indescribable and invisible that they were, were so ensconced in society as to be irremovable. That even checking these privileges wasn’t enough, that placing others of different races than me above myself in order of speak or relevance was not enough to remove these privileges and their horrible taint on society. That as a white person, I was always going to be of the superior race for as long as that race existed.
I was taught that my religion (Asatru/Heathenism) was racist because it celebrated “white” heritage, culture, and that it was racist because it preserved them, spoke in the languages of “our people” and that it othered because it said that we had our gods, and that other people had other gods. I was told that this was racist, that it did not respect them, that it mistreated them, because we had something. Something that others had their own of, but because had ours and said it was ours, we were racist.
And then I saw where this was leading. I saw that all lives did not matter. Covenant of the Goddess taught me this, when they said that all lives mattered and were flayed alive in the proverbial public square for it. It was black lives that mattered, because they were not privileged, because they were not white. It did not matter who those that died had been, it had not mattered in their life what they had done. What had mattered was that they were black. And as I saw their anger (which was understandable) and their call for justice (who could not agree) I saw the black brunches, I heard the chants, and I saw the violence, and I understood something.
As a white person, I was privileged. As a white person, I lived in a system that was going to always be nicer to me (even as it would leave me broke, unemployed, homeless, and on the street). As I white person, I came to understand that this privilege was going to never going to cease to exist until white people were gone.
Until all the white people were dead. Because it was a system built by white people, apparently for white people, to benefit white people. And sure, the dream had been that all people could have a fair chance, that all their lives mattered, but this, I have come to understand, it a white dream, for white people.
So I was faced with a choice. I could continue to live the white dream, the dream that all people were equal, all had a chance, perhaps not the greatest of chances, but a chance, to make their lives better, to speak their minds and live as they saw fit under the law. Or I could give up this dream, accept the fact that apparently white people were in a superior place, made superior by our place, and that there was a choice of going back in the dream if I could give up all my privileges (which was impossible, for by being white I would always have these privileges)…or I could be a racist.
Because racism, is, at it’s heart, nothing more than group preference. My religion, after all, preferred itself and its ways and that was what made it racist. So the only way I could give up my privilege, the only way I could give up my racism, was to give up my faith, my people, our ways and our dreams. Perhaps, even, to give up the lives of my people because the systemic racism of the system cannot be eliminated without eliminating the white people who make and run that system.
I believed in equality of peoples. I believed that all beings were equal. But then I was informed that my beings, my people, cannot be allowed to exist because their existence is oppressive, and if all are to be equal then those that are not equal, those that are above, must be eliminated.
And I cannot be part of that genocide. I cannot in good concious look at my assigned people, “white people” and say that they are worthy of destruction simply because over the course of hundreds of years and with oceans of their blood, built a place for themselves that occasionally stood on the back of others. After all, that is the history of all peoples in this world, and my people do not deserve death and dissolution simply because they played the same game, by the same rules, and managed to win in a few geographic locations.
Racism is group preference. So I chose to prefer my group, because in preferring my group I preserve my existence, my people’s existence, our heritage, and our ways. Because I am a racist who believes that #alllivesmatter, including white people. This may make me evil, this may make me a horrible person. But though evil, though unpleasant, though horrible, it is the only choice I can make in good conscious. Because I will not see a people attacked for simply being born who they are, by an accident of birth, and the fact that it might have made their life just a little bit better than someone else’s.
I am Svartwulf, and I am a racist.
Leave your thoughts below.
Hi, I’m Shauna, and I’m a racist. No, not one of the ones clearly defined by the pointy hats and white robes. And not one of the racists clearly identified by hateful invective.
In fact, I’m in some ways the more dangerous kind of racist; or at least, I was. Once upon a time, I was the kind of racist who didn’t realize how bigoted I was. I still struggle with my own blind spots and how much this impacts my thoughts and actions on a daily basis.
How did I come to be this way? This kind of racism is systemic. It’s ambient. If you’re raised in it, you can’t see it any more than you can see the air you breathe. But just because you can’t see the air doesn’t mean you aren’t breathing it in.
I used to believe I lived in a post-racial society…
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