So in my previous post I called out Rhyd and Gods & Radicals for supporting a Native American tribe which has bi-laws and performs actions that would be considered Racist if a Heathen did them. I did this because, well, I’m sick of all the racist double standards I get to see everywhere, were tribes like the AFAr (and they are becoming tribes in the traditional sense, or at least that appears their goal) are denegrated, stripped of their identities, and labeled a lot of horrible things simply based on their ethnicity, but as soon as some other tribe that qualifies as “people of color” (as if that isn’t a racist statement itself) does it, it’s perfectly okay. Well, apparently I rustled some jimmies.
Carl Bonebright (@HeathenTech on twitter) decided that his rustled jimmies needed to be unrustled by talking about how terribly wrong and ignorant I was. Which is fine, but I’m going to respond in this post rather than in the comments because, well, it’s just easier and more fun.
Wow. Someone doesn’t understand US Federal Law and Tribal Authority interactions at all. Lie down before you hurt yourself.
Actually, I do have some passing knowledge of these things. As well as the history of US government vs Indian tribal interactions. However, the issue is not with the legality of the Standing Rock Sioux’s position on ethnicity and tribal exclusivity. I’m sure that their ethnic and tribal exclusivity is perfectly legal and all above board.
However, as anyone who has followed my blog for a while knows, there is (to me) a fundamental difference between “legal” and “moral.” Not only that, the issue I had, and the stance I took in my post, was not that of a legal argument, but of a moral argument.
The Standing Rock Sioux have a “blood purity” requirement for their tribe, a rather stringent one at that. And Gods & Radicals supports the Standing Rock Sioux as a Tribe and that Tribe’s actions. Despite the fact that Gods & Radicals has called various Heathen groups/tribes out as Racists and Fascists for simply having an ethnic preference even when there is no “blood purity” bylaws for those groups/tribes.
But remember this whole “understand the laws” bit.
1. You have a false equivalence in comparison between Standing Rock and AFA…
Let’s see, they’re both groups of people. They both define themselves by an ethnic heritage. They both seek to preserve that heritage. And they’re both made of (largely) human mortals. Sure, one is “Native American” and one is “Native European” but if we ignore the differences of continental origination they’re largely the same. People, just groups of people who identify based on what they’re born ass.
But sure, let’s see how this is a false equivalence…
…Standing Rock *has* an unbroken tradition of centuries, and the dead to prove it, as you so graciously pointed out. The AFA has no such unbroken tradition, so not only is any and all modern interpretation suspect and subject to scrutiny because it was “allowed” to survive by the Christians, but also due to the intense modern bias that has impacted historical study since time immemorial. Heathens can’t claim blood law because, funny story, before the 1900s at the earliest, there were no “Heathens” to speak of as we know them today.
Or to put it in simplistic (if emotional terms):
“Because these Heathens are the scattered remnants of a people who experienced the genocidal destruction of their native ways and it has taken them a thousand years to start piecing themselves back together, they do not deserve the same rights as a tribe who survived the attempted genocide of their native ways.”
Now here, I suppose, is where Carl and I have a fundamental disagreement. I’m a historian by training, so I’ve seen new peoples come and go throughout history. Some come back on the basis of who their ancestors were long ago, and some just have a tribal genesis all their own.
Take Haiti for example. Haiti was founded Jan 1, 1804. Before that, there were no Haitians as a national/ethnic group. In fact, all the Haitians were either Africans of different tribes brought over, or the children of Africans brought over to Haiti. According to Carl’s logic, however, there is no “Haitian” people and they do not have the right to call themselves a people unto themselves, because they’re just the descendants of a lot of broken lines, and anything they came up with for themselves was the broken beliefs tainted by the suppression of a foreign power/belief system, and before the 1800’s there were no “Hatians” to speak of as we know them today.
As far as I’m concerned though, there are indeed a Haitian people. “Broken” lines and “suspect” beliefs don’t really matter to me. What makes a people is “are there a people” and “do they have a belief/heritage that will be passed down.” To me, the AFA is legitimately a ‘tribe’ of people. Sure, it’s brand new, just a few decades old, and it could well face a “genocidal extinction” depending on how things play out that erases the tribe from existence. But it is still a group of people, bound together by common culture and belief. And as a people, they deserve all the same rights and equal treatment as any other people/tribe out there.
So, is it a false equivalency, then, to recognize the validity of two tribes, regardless of how successfully one has managed to avoid its extinction vs one that is founded by people recovering from an ethnic cleansing…even if it has taken them a thousand years to pick up the pieces? That’s really something everyone is going to have to decide on their own.
But I will give Carl a thought experiment to play with. If in the next forty years, a group of Iranians manages to break away from Islam and begin rebuilding their original Persian culture and paganism…would he consider them ‘false Persians’ who are not worthy of recognition because of the broken lineage they’ve suffered at the hands of Islam?
2. To be recognized as a member of a First Nation Tribe, both under Tribal Authority and under Federal/Local/State authority, is a BIG FUCKING DEAL…
Indeed, it is a big fucking deal.
Not just for the individual person to be recognized as a member of a First Nation Tribe, but to be recognized as a First Nation Tribe at all. There are, in fact, a few Native American tribes who have not been recognized by the Federal Government and thus are not “officially” Native American Tribes…despite having unbroken lineages, traditions, etc. There was one talked about on television a while back, who rather surprisingly were insistent that they didn’t want their tribe to be recognized by the US government because (partially) they didn’t need some foreign government recognizing their people in order to still be their people.
At the same time though….why is it a big deal? If ethnicity and tribal ethnicity shouldn’t matter, then why is it such a big deal to be recognized as “member of the tribe.” Hel, one of my big issues is that Gods & Radicals has screamed bloody murder and called Heathens with any degree of ethnic focus, no matter how slight, Fascists and Racists for saying “being part of the tribe matters.”
I’m sure Carl is going to insist “false equivalency” but really, tribe is tribe, belonging is belonging. It’s okay for being “first nation” to be a big deal, but it’s racist for “European” to be even a…deal? How is that equal treatment?
…For some of the larger tribes, it *does* relate to gambling profits and whatnot, but for most it has a deeper impact on everything from where you’re allowed to live to what forms you fill out for just getting a driver’s license, and a multitude of other things (passports/taxes/etc.). This is not *just* a religion, or even a culture, that an individual is joining…
Of course, this is part of why it’s a big deal to be part of a First Nation tribe. Get in the right one, and you get some sweet free bank off of the casinos. Now, I got no problem with gambling, and I’m all for them making fat stacks and doing with it what they please, but let’s be honest…there is the question how much of these regulations are about “ethnic preservation” and how much are about “Economic preservation.” (And it’s a question I’ve seen raised by some First Nation people at that).
There’s a fairly large part of the population in my area who have Cherokee blood (I’m one of them). And none of us are going to be recognized as Cherokee by the standards of the “official” Cherokee tribe in the area. Does this make our Native Blood a False Blood? Are we any less the children of native Cherokeen peoples than those “officially” recognized? I don’t think so. But my belief in my Cherokee heritage is also never going to get me any of that cash, despite the truth of my genetics. (I do look pretty Cherokee when I get a tan too).
Now, it is true that joining a First Nation Tribe does get you things beyond a chance at free money. It also means you are literally joining a 2nd nation beyond the USA. You get Dual citizenship, or the equivalent of it. And that does entitle one to a lot of other perks and duties.
And it is true, joining a Heathen tribe like the AFAr doesn’t do that to you. You’re not joining a separate nation. You’re joining a culture, a heritage, a religion, members are taking back that which was stolen from them and ethnically purged from their ancestors, but they don’t get dual citizen ship. But does this lack of “dual nationalities” really mean that the AFA isn’t a tribe? Does it really mean it’s okay to hold them to a different standard?
Honestly though, I could go and get dual citizenship with a lot of places. Canada, England, Germany, Japan, China. None of these places insist on a “blood purity” law to join their nation. Even though they are “ethnic” countries and being a member of their nations would require many of the same legal things that joining a First Nation Tribe would.
…This is a shifting of Law and Authority on multiple levels. There is no Heathen equivalent, unless you think the AFA should start setting up local Things like little Sharia Courts, petitioning for Federal recognition, etc?
Not sure why the AFA would be setting up Sharia Courts…Is Carl implying that Native Tribes are running Sharia Courts?
I do know that most First Nation Tribes do have their own courts and legal systems, but they’re not Sharia. I get the point he’s trying to make, but if we’re talking Native Tribes he really should have used the term Native Courts/Tribal Courts.
Now, do I think that the AFA should start setting up their own legal system and tribal courts, petitioning for Federal recognition of their tribe, etc, etc, etc.
Why not? I mean, sure, I’d give it a few more generations, but if they want to do that, why the Hel not let them? I mean, there’s down sides to that course of action, but really its up to the AFA and they should be allowed the same rights as any other group or tribe out there. As they grow and unify as a tribe, why not let them become their own tribal nation. Hel, for all I know they’ll do what Norse people have done before and go settle some other piece of land out there outside the US or in it. I’m not part of the AFA, so I can’t tell them how to live their lives on a mortal level.
My entire position is: Don’t be racist. Racism is the having of multiple standards based on race/ethnicity. So I’m going to hold the AFA to the same standard I hold the Standing Rock Sioux, which is…anything the SRS is allowed to do, the AFA should be allowed to do as well. And any group of people (like G&R) who insist that they’re “against racism” must live up to that claim to not be racist.
Just…stop. Stop using the First Nations as an excuse to critique things that are not even remotely similar. It’s embarassing.
I suppose it is embarrassing. To realize that we’re allowing for a double standard of behavior based on ethnicity of the tribe in question.
Sure, Carl can say they’re nothing similar…and he’s not wrong. The Standing Rock Sioux are allowed blood purity laws, federal recognition, status as a separate nation/state, with all the rights and responsibilities there unto for their citizens and the Asatru Folk Assembly is….allowed none of these things.
These two groups are different…because one is afforded the Legal Right to engage in actions, based on their ethnicity, that is not allowed to the other…based on ethnicity.
Let’s even look at a third party example: Israel. To immigrate and become an Israeli citizen…you have to be a Jew. There is quite literally a blood purity requirement (or an ethnic purity requirement, since you can convert). A Jew who gains joint citizenship with Israel and the US is no different than a Native American who gains join citizenship with his Tribe and the US. So this situation is not unique to Native Americans. But it is allowed with Israel, it is allowed with First Nations, would Carl consider this a false equivalency as well? No standard he applies to First Nations cannot be also Applied to Jews. In fact, many similarities exist.
But Many similarities exist with Heathens as well. Before the 1900’s, there were no “Israelis.” Theirs was also a broken, tainted, devastated line of peoples who after thousands of years managed to reform themselves and take back not just their heritage as a Nation/Tribe, but even managed to go so far as to take back their long lost ancestral homeland. Should we consider them a “non-people” like Carl considers Heathens, despite the fact that Israelis as a people are not that much older than Heathens (born of a long scattered tribe of Jews)?
The double standard is truly embarrassing. Allowing groups based on ethnicity alone the validity to call themselves a people and have the rights of a people is embarrassing. Claiming that “because it’s legal” is…embarrassing.
To further point 2. As part of that Federal recognition of Authority, the Tribe has to keep strict records and tight control of membership, thus their rules for “blood quota.” It’s not a thing Tribes necessary *want* to do, but something the Feds forced on them to contain them and keep membership low.
“It is not that we do not wish the Negro vote, but that we are legally required to ban him from voting. We’re not racists, it’s just the law.”
“Because it’s legally required, they must.”
So we’re now to the point where it is acceptable to perform an action deemed Racist, because it is legally required by the “State.”
Wonderful, I’ll be sure to call up the KKK and let them know that they should fight to restore the Jim Crow laws, because it was unlawful they be struck down on the basis of “Being racist.” I mean seriously, did we not already answer this excuse? Was this whole Idea not done away with back in the 60’s and 70’s!
But hey, it’s for a people we like, so we’ll allow legally enforced racism! And We’ll support it, excuse it, rationalize it, and insist it is morally because it’s for these people! But gods damn it, we’re not going to allow those people we hate to dare think they should have the same rights as the people we like! The Standing Rock Sioux can have their ethnic discrimination because it’s legal for them to do so! And Legally acceptable means it’s Morally Acceptable too!!!!!!!
I would like to as Carl if that is what he really believes, because that what he just said. “It’s okay for them to engage in “racist practices” because it is legally demanded by the state (and we should accept and support them for this). Because what is Legal is what is Moral.”
Gods Damn it, if that’s the case then I think a whole lot of people owe the American South in particular (and white people in general) a heaping helping of apologies. After all, if Legal Racism is Morally Acceptable, and there was a fuck ton of Legal Racism in places, then that Racism was absolutely Moral. And everyone who fought against it because “racism is immoral” were in the wrong because apparently “Legality = Morality.”
I mean, I would have thought that the moral thing to do was to fight against such racist laws (it used to be), and that the rational and moral thing to do in this case would be to fight legal battles to force the Federal Government to do away with such racist laws as “blood purity laws.” Not to accept them as the final word of what is morally acceptable and insist that a collection of peoples legally have the right to discriminate based on blood because the state says so….and then turn around and insist that any other group of people who even think about doing similar be derided as “Racists and fascists” and have their very existence as a people questioned to the point where people demand their abolition, based solely on the ethnicity of each group!
I mean, I was calling Gods & Radicals out for their double standards on what they considered an “immoral action” i.e. Racism. But apparently there’s an easy solution to their apparent double standards, and that’s for the AFA to get themselves legally recognized as a separate Nation State by the Federal Government, just like First Nation Tribes have done, and then they or any Heathen organization who wants can apply whatever member requirements they like and Gods & Radicals will happily support their legal right to set up blood purity laws or anything else like that and not call them Racists and Fascist anymore.
Who knew the Law was the secret!!!!!
Oh wait…There’s a problem with that…
Gods & Radicals is an Anarchist Marxist collective who do not recognize the validity of the Capitalists State and often speak to the need to overthrow it. So the fact that the Standing Rock Sioux’s blood purity laws is legally recognized and enforced by the State should have absolutely no bearing upon G&R’s position. In fact, the fact the law is recognized and enforced by the State should be an absolute mark against the blood purity law in the eyes of Gods & Radicals.
Not only that, the recognition of the US government (a government G&R does not recognize as valid, but rather as an oppressive state to be removed) of the Black Rock Sioux tribe is immaterial and invalid to the discussion because said recognition by the Government means nothing to the anarchists of G&R. The Standing Rock Sioux are merely a tribe of people, period. Not legal special positions or legally special rights, merely a group of people. A group of people with a blood purity law. The kind of law which Gods & Radicals, along with their allies, have deemed absolutely racist and evil.
G&R have taken the position that “Ethnic preference” of any kind is Racist when it comes to groups of people like the AFA who are a heathen tribe. They have been very explicit in this fact, and partner with groups even more explicit about that fact.
So for them to join with a Tribe of People who Possess a Blood Purity Law (which they deem racist) and to Support Those People Unequivocally without saying a single word about the SRS needing to do away with its racist blood purity law to retain the support of G&R, means that G&R is perfectly fine with blood purity laws so long as they like the “ethnicity” of people who have it. Which is a double standard based on Ethicity/Race and therefor is itself a racist action.
At which point, everything I said to Rhyd and G&R in that previous post remains valid.
Still, I would like to thank Carl for his time, and for the knowledge there are apparently Heathens out there who question the validity of their own people’s right to tribal existence, as well as persons in general who consider racist actions perfectly acceptable so long as they are legally mandated by the Government. That’s been…enlightening. Thank you.