So (and I have no idea if this is actually the case) people might be wondering why I titled this set of responses to Halstea’d Troll post the way I did.
Well, the first reason is the most obvious. We’re talking about Halstead basically dividing people up into “humans” (those who agree with him) and “Trolls” (which given his wording seems to include every polytheistic pagan who has disagreed with his position). So really, we’re talking about two different “races.”
The other reason though is a bit more complicated, involves a bit of history, and some of my own personal observations. So you can feel free to take the later with a grain of salt, but at least with the history we’ll be sticking to facts.
Once, long ago, the world was divided into the races of men. Okay, it wasn’t that long ago and it didn’t happen for all that long chronologically (just a few hundred years, before that we’d all been different ethnicities rather than races). You had white people and black people and yellow people and brown people and tan people and I think maybe some orange people, but those were mostly in Jersey and everyone stayed the hell away from there.
And everyone thought they were better than everyone else. Yellow people looked at their long history of cultural development and said “we’re better than everyone else because we developed so much so early.” Tan people looked around and said “We worship Allah, the best of all gods, clearly we are the superior race.” and you had white people who looked around at the massive technological advancements they had made and said “clearly we are the best because we have better toys.”
And everyone hated each other because of their skin color and thought they were the best. Who actually was best, was there objectively a best, and how the hell would such a thing really be measured given that civilizations rise and fall rather easily…no one really bothered to ask. Everyone thought they were the best so there was a balance…of sorts. and it was easy to tell who the bad guys were because they didn’t look like you.
And then things changed. Science marched on. Politics marched on, and people started to espouse the idea that there weren’t really any superior races, that all people were equal. Heck, science proved that race was nothing more than skin pigment and genetically we’re all the same peoples. So everyone said “welp, okay, racism is stupid, lets not be racist anymore.”*
But humans, regardless of “race” or “Ethnicity” are a rather tribal people. Humans like their groups. They like to be part of groups. They like to think their group is the best, and all the other groups out there are shit. And since we weren’t allowed socially to pick and choose based on skin color, we had to pick something else.
So we picked ideologies.
Suddenly, black and white didn’t matter so much, but my gods if you were a Republican or a Democrat suddenly you were everything that was wrong in the world. Seriously, if you don’t believe me, try it out. Go pick some piece of writing about say how “sub humans blacks were” and then hold it up to some piece about how Republicans are ruining the nation. The pejoratives might have changed a little, but the tone, vitriol, and hate will be much the same.
Hel, some of the language I’ve heard about people over different ideologies has made the videos of Klansmen I watch in my civil rights history class seem reasonable and rational. That should tell you something.
Think back over this whole pagan/polytheism debate. It started over a disagreement of opinions. It has devolved (largely on Halsteads end) into a series of labeling, attacking, and dehumanizing. As far as Halstead and his supports go, I practically am not even a human being, I’m some sort of deranged, abusive, psychopath….and so are those who have agreed with me about his position.
We’re not people with a different opinion, we’re monsters who need to be ignored, silenced, and driven away from society lest our “Debate” ruin all of civilization.
And while I’m sure Halstead will insist he “Doesn’t mean all polytheists” he’s also made it pretty clear across several blogs that he does mean any polytheist who doesn’t agree with him. The same for his followers (at least the one’s I’ve seen in his comment section). In protesting his position, in refuting it, we have shown we are not like Them. So we must be The Other. And the Other is Bad People.
So yeah, we got rid of “racism” based on skin color (sort of) but we have only replaced it with Racism of Ideology.
And that is why I gave this series that title. We have been made of different “Races” now. With all the hate, bigotry, close-mindedness, and violence that comes with it.
Now we’re “people and trolls” rather than “blacks and whites.” The names have changed, but the games the same. Hatred of others, it seems, will never die.
*Admitedly saying something and making it all happen is a different matter entirely. But that is a different discussion from what we’re talking about today.