Remember what I said about the most popular topic in Paganism/Heathenism isn’t the Divine, but the Politically Racial? Well, here’s another example. I’m probably not going to go each paragraph, but I’ll hit the stuff that strikes a spark in me. Today we’re going to be looking at Aubs Tea’s You’re Toxic (The toxic a-holes of the Kemetic community won).
So to start off with Aubs went to some leadership conference and went to a panel where Bozoma Saint John was speaking (someone from Uber according to their post) about Toxic Work Environments. This is important and I’m going to do a bit of a block quote here to get something that struck me as important (whose lesson is perhaps missed). Emphasis mine.
When we think about the culture of a workplace, we start to think that the overall dynamic is created by the HR department or the CEO’s office. But that is a misnomer. The culture of one’s work environment can be found first in your cubicle or work station, and next in the cubicle or work station beside you. The CEO and the people of the HR department are, of course, part of this but it isn’t their rules or regulations that necessarily create a toxic or not-toxic work culture: it is the attitudes of the people that make up the company as a whole.
The problem is that a toxic work environment typically is created because there are multiple people coming at things from a completely different point of view or basis of an idea. Instead of everyone being on the same page about X, Y, Z thing, they all come at it from different directions.
Just like a school of fish, everyone in a work place need to swim in the same direction and together. When you have multiple fish going in a million different directions, it causes chaos. And this in turn will cause issues across the whole school, or in reality, within the work environment.
Keep that part in mind. It’s probably going to be important later on.
As the Q&A panel progressed, the hosted asked Bozoma what were three things that can make a work environment better for everyone. Her answer was:
Okay, now, let’s think about this. In order for things to run smoothly, everyone has to swim in the same direction like a school of fish. But the three things that make the work environment “better” are Empathy, Diversity, and Inclusion. Some of these things are not really like the others.
Still, remember that these are “important” ways to create a non-toxic environment. Emphasis will be mine again.
You have to be willing to empathize with others; not sympathize but to have empathy for your coworkers and the situations that they are in. If you look at a situation and fail to empathize with the person in that situation, you are cutting yourself off from them. This can and will cause work place issues in future, which will only snowball from there.
This is well and good, I agree. We should try to understand what others are feeling so we can attempt to understand where they’re coming from. Many argue that the world today lacks empathy and frankly…I have to agree with them.
The recent run on people screaming “incel terrorists!” and how the Joker movie is going to inspire waves upon waves of young men who can’t get laid going out and slaughtering people is a great example. The political left demands we show empathy and kindness to the down trodden, and by all their metrics “incels” deserve some of our greatest empathy, being human beings discarded as trash and denied even the most basic and fundamental human needs of affection, love, and sexual fulfillment, yet they are treated as far more dangerous and evil than murderers and rapists.
Hell, the growing rise in “white nationalism” is largely exacerbated by a complete lack of empathy towards a growing number of white people who feel attacked, displaced, and vilified simply for their skin color and the changing face and political spectrum of the nation they’ve founded and lived in for hundreds of years. (This is important later).
You have to have diversity within your work environment. Everyone must be invited to your workplace. Whether its an after-work get-together or the workplace itself, diversity helps to promote growth, positive change, and everything else you want to see in the place that you spend at least 40 hours of your life in every week.
Ehhhh, see, I don’t know about this one. First off, if “everyone must be invited to your workplace” that’s just asking for a lot of toxic people. Not to mention, Diversity is pushed for the reasons listed here, but let’s stop and think about it.
Diversity is listed as a strength because it brings in people from all different backgrounds and viewpoints, with the idea being that these people will see things differently, catch things someone else might miss, and offer unique and new solutions to problems that give others problems because of their background and knowledge base. All well and good, out of the box thinking has been the solution to some of history’s greatest problems.
Here’s the problem though. Remember what they said earlier, about how for things to work smoothly everyone has to swim together like a school of fish? Yet diversity is all about “out of the box” thinking. Well you can’t have everyone swimming together if everyone is refusing to get into the box and coming at the problem from a dozen different directions. If you have Takashi who comes from a more traditional Japanese background who thinks one should work hard and diligently for 12 hours a day according to the company guidelines, and then you have Maria who thinks a two hour lunch is normal because that’s what her mother and father did at their business, then you are certainly getting different solutions to the same problem, but you are absolutely not getting a harmonious and school like work environment.
Ironically, the more homogeneous a work environment is, the smoother and less toxic it tends to be. When everyone agrees on the little things, they tend to agree on the bigger things, and thus harmony is maintained.
You have to be inclusive for everyone. There can be no us vs. them, or me vs. the whole in a workplace. There must be inclusion for everyone. As Bozoma indicated, it’s like going to a school dance and standing on the sidelines, waiting for someone to ask you to dance. You’ll begin to feel badly if you continue to sit it out. You have to join and the other works have to allow you to join in order to make the work environment a good one for all parties.
The grand irony here is that while they say “inclusivity” what they’re describing isn’t inclusivity. In a “Diverse” environment, you are far, far more likely to have an “us vs them” or “me vs the whole” situation.
Let’s go back to my example of Takashi and Maria. Takashi is going to despise Maria because he’s working far more hours and harder than her, and he knows that if he took two hour lunches he’d get in trouble, but she gets away with it. Meanwhile Maria is going to hate Takashi for lording his work over her, hate the fact he earns more money than her, and feel he’s a giant asshole for looking down on her.
So now you have “diversity” and you have “inclusion” but “empathy” is absolutely not going to happen. The fish are not swimming together, the fish are bashing their heads against each other.
So now, let’s get to the Pagan stuff.
When I was listening to Bozoma discuss toxic culture in the work place, it is little wonder that I first thought of our Kemetic community. We have had a lot of problems in recent years. Some of it is simple growing pains – the more people who say they are a part of the community, the more problems are going to arise because of a variety of things. It’s a people thing. But beyond simple disagreements about how to do something or the way to go about introducing yourself to the gods, there have been Bigger Problems. Our community went toxic as hell and we never really recovered from it.
This, honestly, was inevitable. For several reasons, but I’ll probably only talk about a few.
When you slam open the doors and scream “everyone is welcome,” then you’re going to get a lot of different people. You’re absolutely going to get “diversity.” But as much as people insist “diversity is a strength” it really, really isn’t. There’s a reason that universally, cultures and religions have been homogeneous rather than diverse. The reason a school of fish works, is all the fish swim in the same direction towards the same destination.
One of the things early Wiccan religions got right was the initiation paths. You had someone who knew what the religion was supposed to be, and the vetted people slowly to make sure that they knew what that vision was and that they could keep it. Those who couldn’t abide were let go or removed. This built, initially, some strong traditions.
Of course then the book publishing started and everyone thought they could be the next Pagan Billy Graham with wealth fame and power and suddenly everyone was invited to be whatever Pagan religion they thought was right, all they needed was to read a book or two and believe and they were 100% whatever religion they held. It didn’t matter if they didn’t understand the concepts, or if their previous life blinded them to certain truths or moralities, or if their political beliefs were counter to what their religious ones were supposed to be. Damn it, they read a book, said a couple prayers, built an alter, and now their version of that Pagan Religion was just as right and true as everyone else’s, and fuck them if they felt otherwise!!!
And what did you get? Heathens who felt it was important to destroy their fellow Heathens because “racism” rather than uphold the Troth of kinship. Khemetics who felt white people shouldn’t worship the Egyptian gods cause they were for black people only. Pagans who felt the Dianics should be genocided because they only wanted Cis-women in their rituals. etc, etc, etc.
When everyone is as “valid” as everyone else, then you get a bunch of people who are fanatics demanding that their path is the only way and fuck you for believing/being something “politically incorrect.”
No matter how hard we try to make a welcoming community, there will always be people who get sucked into the racism problem that is prevalent within various pagan and polytheism communities. And as they slip down that rabbit hole, they change to fit the dynamic that their racist circle requires or desires to see in them. This will continue to happen as long as racism continues to be a problem within our communities.
Racism is the preference to be with people like you. Or, to put it simply, to be in a school of fish like you. What is anti-racism? The belief that one should throw a depth charge into a school of fish and explode it because how dare those fucking fish swim together!
And honestly, the whole “racism problem” is literally just a reaction, like I talked about yesterday. If I went to pagan events and constantly got told I was an evil, racist asshole who needed to fucking shape up and do a ton of shit for a bunch of people who were generally being unpleasant to me “because I was a racist” then yeah, I would naturally go hang out with the “racists” because honestly they’re probably people like me who constantly got bullied and fucked off to do their own thing.
I mean, I’m still a solo, but if I ever did join up I’d probably go join up with the AFA at this point because that’s a large part of their story. They kept getting yelled at for being racists and fucked off to do their own thing, and now they’re super successful as things go.
And this problem isn’t going to go away so long as you keep attacking white people for being ‘fucking racists’ all the damn time.
Sometimes you can educate those people out of those circles, but as we’ve seen in our community with its issues, educating others tends to have them doubling down on their problematic rhetoric because “the loss of privilege often feels like oppression”. There will be people who can learn beyond what they’ve either been raised to believe about racism, or have been re-educated to believe about racism, and there are those who prefer their power and comfort over everything and everyone else.
If you’re trying to teach someone, and they double down against the lesson you’re teaching, the first thing you should as is “how am I teaching them?” This is going to get important later.
In my experience, I’ve rarely come across people being racist “because they prefer their power and comfort over everyone and everything else.” Generally, I’ve found people being racist because they’ve been viciously and repeatedly attacked for their race while watching other people get away with shit they never could because of the perp’s race, or even doing monstrous things while suffering far less punishment.
A good example of this is the dude from Charlottesville vs the perps from the Christian/Newsom case. The guy from Charlott got a total of 500 years in prison for…basically a hit and run accident where a woman who his vehicle never even got close to died from a heart attack. Meanwhile, the four black people who horrifically tortured and raped a young white couple maybe got that amount of time between them, and I think two of them might even potentially have an option for parole. And we’re talking about a double murder that involved hours of gang rape, torture, mutilation, amputations, etc.
Does that seem like Justice to you? Well it better, or else you’re a fucking racist piece of shit. Apparently.
We must be willing to understand that not everyone is going to be willing to examine themselves and their privilege. And if that is the way that they want to be, then we must do everything we can to police them, to make it difficult for them and their ideas to proliferate in the community. We must be willing to point out their wrong-doings, warn new people away from them, and everything else that we must do to ensure our community doesn’t turn toxic again. We must make it difficult for their shit to continue unabated; we must make them unwelcome and unwilling to continue to gain the foothold they are hoping to have.
Wait a minute, I thought we were supposed to be “inclusive” and welcome everyone in?
Friendly reminder, a homeless white man with chronic and crippling health issues is more privileged than a rich black woman with two houses, and he needs to check his privilege or he is a racist. Which means he is toxic, and doesn’t belong “in the community.”
See, this is why I think their “attempts to educate people out of racism” constantly fail. All they seem to be doing is insisting to people “you are evil, you’re being evil, and you need to stop being evil. Because all your problems don’t matter. Now stop being a racist!”
The problem is that we all saw warning signs. I know that I did. I know that TTR did. I can remember having private discussions on what to do when we saw concerning behavior begin to manifest in various discussions. When we finally started pointing out the problematic behavior, it seemed to cause more headache than do much because there were so few of us willing to police it.
“Everything is racist. Everything is sexist. And you have to point it all out.” – Anita Sarkeesian.
Oh look, you decided with a couple of friends to start bitching at people and telling them they’re bad people, and they didn’t like that. Which of course, proves they’re bad people, doesn’t it! Their protests say more than real evidence ever could! Protestations of innocence are proof of guilt after all!
And I can understand why not everyone was willing to do anything about it. It can take a form of bravery that not everyone has, but part of the problem is that there were so few of us willing to speak up, to speak out. With so few of us willing to stand up and say, “no, this isn’t okay,” it became easy for the problematic people to simply block us. We couldn’t speak up unless we took the time to screenshot shitty behavior.
Oh how horrible. People you were harassing and vilifying blocked you! And I’m sure you’ve never blocked anyone in your life, Aubs.
Of course, Aubs isn’t providing any examples of this shitty behavior, so there’s no way to really judge if someone was acting shitty, what the context was, or if it actually was shitty behavior or something actually inline with Khemetic practice that was just politically incorrect. Oh well.
If a community is what is desired, then everyone has to be willing to think to the three points Bozoma made and do what needs to be done to see it happen:
One shouldn’t be capable of empathy for a racist piece of trash. I’m going to throw that gauntlet down now. You can pity them for their misinformation and just generally being wrong, but you should not be able to empathize with them. They have no legs to stand on and therefore, as far as we as a community should be concerned, we cannot and will not attempt to see things from their point of view in any context.
“What is the best way to resolve toxicity? Empathy. What can we absolutely not have for racists? Empathy.”
Well, look at that. No wonder the community is so toxic with this complete lack of empathy. I mean, consider white people to be human? The fuck kind of messed up logic is this? Nah, dog, we need to beat down the white man till he’s a whipped dog cowering at our heels, and drive off/kill any who stand up for themselves. They ain’t human, you don’t empathize with them, not even a little bit!
Honestly, most racists seem to be highly informed on subject that those who are against racism tend to be incredibly ignorant of, so this “pity them for their ignorance” thing is honestly laughable to me. I can’t speak for always, but “racism” today seems to come from two places. A) Knowledge both academic and from personal experience, and b) a result of constantly being attacked.
There is, of course, the absolute irony of people like Aubs demanding “gibs empathy to poc” while screaming “no empathy for whites!”
It is more important that the minority members of our community be safe than the privileged and racist few who demand the same sort of “respect” that they see us give others. It is the minority members of our communities who should have our empathy, not the assholes who preach hate either overtly or subversively.
Oh yeah, fuck that equality/equal treatment shit dog. We respect PoC but white people are dogs, and if they want respect they can go fuck themselves. They don’t deserve our respect. They have “privilege!” (Though, apparently, not the privilege of being respected).
Like I said…irony.
And it is the privileged person’s job, through the empathy we should all have with our minority, to speak over the racist pieces of trash in our community and refuse them a platform to speak from. If that means we get blocked, then so be it. We must make the racists as uncomfortable and unwelcome as humanly possible to ensure that the people who we need and want in our community are safe from that shit.
Rights for we, but not for thee. Empathy for them, but not for you. A voice for the “minority,” but silence for you. For you, the “racist,” there is only hate, only discomfort, only hostility. You are bad. You are evil. You should go away. This is not the place for you. But don’t you dare go and make a place for yourselves either!
Is it any wonder the community is toxic, with such hateful attitudes permeating and being championed with in it? Of course a place without empathy is going to become toxic. Any place that devolves into dehumanizing witchhunts is going to become toxic.
Aubs, you want to know why your community is toxic? Look in the mirror. I can’t claim to be a great expert in Khemitic faith, but I know a little bit, and I’m pretty sure your heart is heavier than a feather with all this hatred in it.
We want to invite everyone – except racists – to the party. Everyone should be able to join us. Whether we agree with all of their ideas about what things are, or how things are defined, we want to extend an invitation to everyone that we want to see in our community. We cannot simply be a white, cisgendered person’s home away from home: everyone should be able to jump into the water and be able to stay. They should all feel comfortable and welcomed.
“We cannot simply be a white, cisgendered person’s home away from home.”
Why not? Is there something wrong with white, cisgendered people? Are they incapable of being faithful to the gods? Are they less deserving of a home with the Gods because of their race or gender? Are you trying to imply that a black transgendered person is somehow more holy, more worthy, of a home with the gods?
That sounds pretty fucking racist and sexist, desu.
“Everyone is welcome except white people who stand up for themselves!!!!” is the cry of a bigoted, horrible person. I highly doubt this is an attitude the Gods of Khem would find pleasing. I know it isn’t among the Norse Gods I worship. While the pleasure/displeasure the Gods might find in ethnic preference is perhaps debatable, going by the decades of debate, no Gods I know of find hypocrisy to be a pleasing thing in the soul of a person.
And in the same vein, we want to ensure that everyone – except racists – feel as if they were invited to the dance. We don’t want anyone to feel like they don’t belong. A newcomer will already feel overwhelmed with all of the resources and 101s that we’ve put out there. We don’t want them to feel like they shouldn’t be willing to post in our tags and be able to get helpful, thoughtful, and kind responses in return.
“We need diversity and inclusion…except those people!”
That’s not diversity, and it certainly isn’t inclusion. That is exclusion. That is, given who is being selected and why for said exclusion, Racism. You are saying “everyone is welcome…except you, because of your skin color, you are not welcome. Go away. This is not the place for you. We do not want you here!”
So they go, and they join “racist” groups who welcome them, happily. And then you bitch endlessly about the “growing problem of racism in our community!!!!!” A problem you made. A problem you exacerbate at every turn.
You deny people empathy because of their race. You deny them a place among you because of “diversity.” You demand inclusion while enforcing exclusion. It is hypocrisy of the highest order. This is not Ma’at. It is of Set.
I know this is long, but for those of us who have stayed with me, thanks.
The community fractured because of the toxic environment it became and it has never recovered. We’ve all seen it.
People like Aubs are directly responsible for the toxicity within their community. The saw what they felt was a fly in the ointment, and decided the best thing they could do was run around screaming, accusing everyone of being flies and throwing the ointment on the ground time and again, until the pot holding the ointment is cracked and crumbling and the ointment is filled with dust and rocks.
Then they double down screaming the flies have done this horrible, horrible thing.
I know this, despite not being part of the khemetic community, because I have seen it constantly in the Heathen community and these people never fucking change. They’re the same everywhere. They’ve got their gods of political correctness and anti-racism, and they worship them the same way with the same fanatical behavior. And they run around screaming, accusing, smashing, attacking, vilifying, and utterly ruining everything.
You cannot take a breath to praise the gods but someone is screaming “rAcIsM!!!!!” and swinging around wildly trying to destroy who ever they can without care of who gets hurt or the truth of the situation.
The content creators are tired of the same old shit and tired of creating. The people who see shitty behavior going on openly in the tags aren’t willing to speak up about it. The new people who joined us after or during the toxic foothold in our community learned to keep quiet and to keep to the shadows, not posting in the shared tags, because it was too easy to get their content derailed by inter-community fighting or policing. The behaviors of the few continue to negatively impact a place that all of us are constantly looking for: a place to call home when it comes to our religious paths.
I mean, this is true. I got tired of the constant fighting, the constantly having to defend myself, my faith, and those even tangentially close to me from all this toxic “anti-racist, anti-fascist,” bullshit. It’s so fucking tiresome. You can’t discuss anything without some fuckwit with a complex yelling “that’s racist” or “that’s sexist” or “you’re evil” or “you should check your privilege” or “no, the gods believe what I believe!” or any of a hundred other bullshit bits based on their political leanings rather than any faith or study.
Honestly, I’d like to read some of the “racist” khemitics to see what they have to say. Of course, Aubs doesn’t mention any of them (do they even exist?) because of course to mention them would let people look for them, which would let their ideas spread, and I suspect these ideas are so good that even hearing them would cause people to take them up. Aubs demand “racists” be silenced, but honestly when you cut out a man’s tongue it makes me think you fear the truth from his lips more than he was ever a liar.
The toxic assholes won.
Our community broke down and we haven’t done a damn thing to fix it. Some of that is because we’re tired of fighting and policing. Some of that is because life gets in the way and we have things to do. Some of that is because people left, not willing to step a toe into our shitty environment considering the shit that was going on when shit was going down. Some of that is because people are scared to speak up. Some of that is because some people are just selfish.
Well, at this point I’m kind glad the assholes won, if Aubs is anything to go by. Honestly, if I was part of a community where people like Aubs were constantly running around bitching and screaming and threatening and excluding, I’d probably run away if I was a newbie too. Clearly I wouldn’t be able to learn anything with all the screams of “muh racism!!!!!” being thrown around constantly.
There is, of course, a hilarious meta irony to this whole post by Aubs.
They have literally been given the “solution” to the toxicity in their community, and even better its in language they understand and believe in: “Empathy, Diversity, Inclusion.” They have been given all the tools to succeed, and yet they throw all these tools on the ground and jump up and down on them screaming like a spoiled child, because to use these tools would be to admit they’re wrong, that those they hate are human and equally deserving of all things they want to deny them.
But on another level, Aubs is also admitting that the very thing they worship and believe in, Diversity and Inclusion, fundamentally cannot work and are completely non-functional. You cannot have diversity (racial or ideological) because these things fundamentally will work against each other in ways that destabilize the whole system. You cannot be inclusive of everyone because people will fundamentally disagree because of things that they cannot simply cast aside just because you want them too, especially when you are unwilling to cast things aside simply because they want you to.
Given all the tools to succeed, but rejecting the tools because you recognize they’re fundamentally broken, yet screaming at anyone else who rejects these tools because you don’t like the color of their skin.
This is the irony that is Aubs, I suppose.