(This is a long one, sorry. Probably could have split it up, but I didn’t.)
So despite the fact dealing with all this is literally like pouring acid down my back and I’m not doing well with the stress of battle, I’m going to keep going on this…”anti-racisms” thing happening in Paganism. We’re reaching a bit further back this time, pulling another Misha article (because it was published during one of my many breaks that I’m probably going to go back on). This one, has the wonderfully racist title of: The Unbearable Whiteness of Being Pagan: Some Observations on White Fragility in Esoteric Spiritual Movements
And I am saying racist absolutely unironically here because we all know what would happen if someone published a post titled, “The Unbearable Blackness of Being Pagan: Some observations of Black Fragility in Esoteric Spiritual Movements.” I mean, we’d be having riots and people would be burning down cities as if some black kid had gotten shot by the cops after he robbed a store and nearly beat three people to death.
Still, I’m actually going to get to talk a bit of politics and history this time too, so this could be pretty fun.
A common complaint I’m seeing about Pagan, polytheist, and occult writing is that a given writer’s work isn’t “spiritual enough,” however the complainant defines that. In other words, what the writer is talking about isn’t really Paganism, or witchcraft, or Heathenry, or Druidry, or occult, by whatever metric the complainant is using to gauge those things. The work is too focused on pop culture, or current events, or sports, or whatever secular and temporal issue the complainant doesn’t like. It’s too much “of this world,” if you will.
Now, I will fully admit I am guilty of this on both sides, wishing authors would just focus on the spiritual and as an author talking too much of the political. I do wish we could focus on the spiritual, but the mundane just keeps sticking its face into everything and thus we end up having to talk about it.
Of course it doesn’t help when you have people like Misha, Rhyd, Aubs, or any number of others who base 90% of their religious politics on Marxist politics and view and speak of everything in that lens. That’s literally shoving it into the conversation, declaring everyone who isn’t of that thought evil, and then making the rest of us have to put down the incense and pick up the metaphorical hammers and spears.
And of course then they start calling us racists, evil, heretic, tell us to get out of paganism, and imply or outright state we’re terrorists.
Recently, again and again, the common complaint is that the work is too political… meaning that the complainant doesn’t like the writer’s politics. I’ve written about the perils of apoliticality before, but rather than asking you to go back and reread those pieces, I’ll summarize my points here:
>Politics is just another way of negotiating power.
>Claiming to be apolitical is a way of dodging responsibility for what you do with your power.
>Dodging responsibility is giving away your own power.
>Giving away your power is a really bad idea.
Given I was deeply involved in the issues with both Rhyd and Halstead, I can fully, fully sympathize with people disliking authors adding their political views into the religious discussion. Being told that you need to shut the fuck up because you actually believe the Gods are Real, or that you need to go through your entire religious practice and remove anything that isn’t Marxist, all because someone who thinks they’re better than you says so, is deeply upsetting. Especially to people who have as a rule faced some level of persecution for their Pagan and Heathen faith already.
Now, to address these points Misha raises, they’re not wrong, but they’re not complete. Politics isn’t just another way of negotiating power. Politics, at its heart, is “war by other means.” The fundamental basis of negotiating power is Warfare and physical violence. Politics is nothing more than proxy warfare. So when you interject your politics into things, you are for all purposes, going to war, with all that implies. So the next time some progressive wants to know why “white people” get so upset at their anti-racist stuff, it’s because you have literally declared war. You can feel this is justified, but don’t get all offended when the people you declared war on get upset and fight back.
Claiming to be apolitical in most cases (at least leading up to these last couple years) was literally nothing more than being a pacifist and a conscientious objector. Misha can claim “you’re dodging your responsibility” but speaking as someone who was once doing his best to be apolitical in his writing and religious practice, I quite literally was trying to stay out of the wars going on. Of course then the wars spread, did their best to burn down my little place in the world, and here we are years later. An old soldier tired of the fight and longing for death, but still having to occasionally fire at someone who is trying to bomb my little hole.
As for Dodging your responsibility and giving away your power, and that being a bad thing….while they’re not wrong, it is highly jingoistic. What Misha is doing here is literally “giving the white feather,” in the British sense and calling people who refuse to fight cowards. Now, of course, Misha doesn’t want “racists” to fight, they just want them to fucking die like animals, but he can’t have it both ways. You can’t insist “you have a responsibility to fight and use your power” and then cry when people he doesn’t like fight and use their power.
The grand irony though is that not fighting can be a retention of one’s power. Gandhi is a pretty good example of this. Of course if Gandhi were alive today, people like Misha would call him a sexist, misogynist, a coward, and who knows what else. Because that’s the world we live in.
Still with me? Great.
Every time I see someone complaining about a particular piece advancing a political agenda, I’m reminded of Dorothy L. Sayers’ “Creed or Chaos?” in which she writes, “‘Take away theology and give us some nice religion’ has been the popular slogan for so long that we are likely to accept it, without inquiring whether religion without theology has any meaning.” Similarly, I think it’s worth wondering what use a spiritual or religious path without values can possibly have. My very dear Pagans, polytheists, magical practitioners, and all you other weirdos out there, do we honestly not understand that our paths and practices have values built into them? Do we truly not believe that the gods want us to behave in certain ways, which implies the existence of values? Do we really not get that power is power?
See, I could pretty much agree with this statement. I’m 99% sure I’m going to disagree with where Misha takes this statement, but as it stands it’s not entirely unbased. I freely admit that I am one of those rare people who actually wishes we could get some Orthodoxy going on in our various Religions. Orthodoxy is important. It tells you what is and isn’t true, what is and isn’t right, and it sets it there so that anyone and everyone can learn it, and if they agree to it they can stick with it, and if they don’t then they know somewhere else is probably a better place for them.
Instead what we have now is an absolutely unGodly mess where anyone can say and believe anything they want is part of a religion (regardless of how counter it runs to any and all facts known about that religion) and insist that not only do they have equal validity and footing as someone who has based their practice in that religion entirely on research or deep devotional practices, they will often insist that theirs is of higher merit and that the others are “backwards, outdated, and bad people.”
And the sad thing is, the former cast of characters is generally the ones given the priority spots on religious blogs like Patheos and Gods & Radicals. Were I a conspiracy minded man, one might think that such people were deliberately chosen by those who run such sites in order to spread that message at the expense of the more reasonable and faithful practitioners. But media companies would never deliberately have biased coverage of things right? That would be crazy.
Let’s Play “Unpopular Opinion”
Here’s where I break down and do something I once swore a grave and terrible oath I would never, ever do, and play the “Unpopular Opinion” game. Today’s unpopular opinion is that, while people might complain that there isn’t enough esoteric content that isn’t beginner-level introductory pabulum, no one actually wants higher-level material, because that means doing work: work that affects the real world, work which demands that we change and grow, work which is challenging, difficult, and not what we were expecting. Work which is uncomfortable and scary, work that makes us see things about ourselves and the world around us that we’d frankly rather not see.
Oh, great, Misha’s an oath-breaker. Welp, this is the level of person we’re dealing with that thinks everyone who is of pale completion and doesn’t agree with them is an evil racist that needs to cease to exist from this little fucked up planet. Yay…
That being said, Misha isn’t wrong here. Hell, I’m pretty sure I’ve said it myself plenty of times. Most people do not want to do the work to get to the higher level shit. I’ve done that work. It is fucking hell to get through. And I don’t mean the nice, calming lands of my beloved Goddess Hel, I mean the infernal torturous realm that is Dante’s inferno where Lucifer chews on the oathbreakers. And not the pleasant tour Dante go, you gotta work your way through the equivalent of all nine rings of punishment. It’s one of the reasons I don’t come around here as much anymore.
Because it changes you. It demands changes of you. Unpleasant, harsh, cruel changes. Changes that are…for lack of a better term, Politically Incorrect. I can’t speak for every path out there, I can’t even speak for the totality of Norse paths, but the Helish path? I went in a demon and I have come out something a lot of people consider a fucking monster. Almost everything you think you know about morality and society? You strip away centuries of illusions man has created around himself to shield him from the natural ways of the world. Marxism, for example, is very much a product of a post-industrial society…but that society is nothing more than an illusion made of glass, and things born of it do not survive the removal of that glass. And Marxism isn’t the only thing, a lot of modern ideas just crumble once you learn the scope and reality of things. And I’m still learning.
It means being responsible, and responsibility is uncomfortable.
The unpleasant, unfortunate, unavoidable truth is that most modern forms of Paganism, polytheism, and occultism—and emphatically most modern American iterations of same—are, at heart, little more than watered-down Protestant Christianity with a thin coat of New Age whitewash (pun intended), concocted for the express purpose of making white people comfortable and reassuring us about our essentially libertarian individualism.
And then of course you get people like Misha who think they’ve “pierced the veil to see the hidden truth” when in reality they’re only creating more illusions around themselves. Generally (like this) the illusion is based not upon a divine guidance, but rather to further justify their politically guided spiritualism.
Now, I went through school as a historian. History has been a great love of mine and while I haven’t studied it as much of late as I would have liked to years ago, I still retain things more or less. And here’s something I’ve put together over the years.
If you look at the attitudes, lore, history, writings, etc…your average “Redneck” today really isn’t that different from your peasant farmer 300 or even 1000 years ago. The entire idea of the American (and much of European) political systems can be traced back to the Germanic Thing and the Roman Republic. These are political ideas that really haven’t changed in thousands of years. A person has rights, a person should be involved in his own governance, etc.
Hell, if you grabbed a random Norwegian from 700 ad and put him next to a random Norwegian from 1400 ad, you honestly wouldn’t see much difference in terms of outlook or morality. Your average East Tn farmer probably has a moral compass similar to a christian englishman from 1500 and a Pagan englishman from 300. The same cultural values are there. Sure, the Gods might have changed, the place of worship might be something different. But keeping your word is still good, saying your prayers, etc.
It is has long been a theory of mine that despite Christianity being the religion of europe for between 1500-1700 years, most of the social morality of the population was still 90% the same morality they had as pagans. It’s actually something you can see church elders complaining about. So the “christian morality” Misha is seeing filling Paganism is…more than likely the Pagan morality that survived Christianity’s rule. “Libertarian Individualism” is something that has existed as an attitude, however unnamed, throughout European history since Pagan days.
That’s kind of a confrontational statement, so I want to unpack it a little.
What I mean is that, in my observation, most modern p-words seem not to have really thought through the full ramifications of our putative beliefs and practices. We might pay lip service to some notion of wyrd, virtue, or (sigh) karma1 as a guiding force in our moral and ethical decisions, and we might attend religious or spiritual services at a covenstead, a grove, a grotto, or a lodge, but when push comes to shove, we still think of things in Christian terms. We’re still going to “church,” and we’re still trying to avoid sin and achieve salvation. We have, in essence, laid a veneer of “paganism” over our unexamined core beliefs and values, which in the United States are largely a sort of watered-down Christianity.
This, here, is a perfect example of Misha’s complete ignorance and failure to “do the work to pierce the veil.” I like to say I’m a Deusologist. Where some people might be demonologist, angelologist, or herbologist, etc, I studied the divine. The workings and mechanics of the Gods and Faith, etc. If the workings of the universe were a machine, I sought to study the parts to do with the Gods above all else. And here’s something I found.
Faith…works like faith. It literally doesn’t matter what religion you worship, the same mechanics still apply. There’s reasons that if you look at the meta of religions, they all function the same way. There’s prayers, there’s faith, there’s Gods, the Gods all work a certain way, there’s temples, and offerings, and holy days, etc, etc, etc. To say that Pagans are “worshiping a watered down and whitewashed version of protestant christianity” is as valid as saying “Hindus worship a watered down version of christianity.” Or “Buddhists worship a watered down version of christianity.”
To put it in even more mundane terms, it’s like saying “a motorcycle is running on a watered down version of a plane engine.” It’s absolutely ignorant. Both the motorcycle and the plane are running on the same thing: An engine.
So too is it with religion. Like gravity, the Divine works by a specific set of rules, regardless of which divine that is. Take this picture:
It’s an image set in the 1940-50’s, of people having a picnic after church. Now, use your imagination, change the cross for a valknut, the cotton for linen and leather, and the date for the 700’s. You would see the exact same thing: A Feast after a day of worship and making offerings to the gods. Now use your imagination again. Change the linen for denim and the date to the 2010’s, and you’d have another feast after a day of worship. We meet up on special days, we give songs and offerings and prayers, then we gather together in kinship and celebrate each other as we have celebrated the Gods.
The rites and rituals and practices are similar because that is how faith and the divine work. It isn’t some “watered down” or “whitewashed” or anything of the sort.
I specified “Protestant” because, according to the Pew Research Center’s latest study, roughly half of America identifies as some flavor of Protestant.2 Moreover, the history and culture of the United States are positively soaked through with a peculiarly American set of Protestant values, which we can see written into the founding documents of the nation. It’s also worth noting that these values were codified by white landholders—and, in many cases, slaveholders—and that they cater to the specific concerns of white people. Property rights and other forms of wealth are conflated with political franchise and other forms of power to establish the moral and spiritual superiority of the individual man: not “person,” but “man,” meaning “adult white male with money and power.” The value of that individual man’s relationship with God, unmediated by hierarchical religious functionaries, translates neatly into the valorization of the individual will as against the authoritarian collective. Similarly, the notion of a moral justice which transcends temporal authority elevates revolution against that authority from a potentially necessary sin to a kind of noble virtue. One can argue the merits and flaws of various aspects of those values, but it’s beyond question that they derived in great part from the religious and philosophical values of the authors of those documents, and are squarely in the tradition of late-Enlightenment Protestant libertarianism.
And again, Misha is showing their ignorance. All these things that he is assigning to “Protestantism” can all be traced back into the old Germanic and Celtic Pagan religions.
In fact, Protestantism arose and took strongest root in the Germanic territories, and when you look at it with an open mind and knowledge of Heathenism, you see that a lot of what sparked Protestantism was the ancient Germanic values and morals and their near violent disagreement with Catholic morals and values (which appear to have many roots in the old Roman Pagan moral and value system). These values didn’t arise in Protestant Christianity…they basically created Protestant Christianity. And they carried on to the modern era inside of it.
If you look at the rules of who could go and vote in the Althing…it’s basically the same rules as what Misha lists here. Fundamental ideas that have transcended time. Pagan Ideas. Heathen ideas. The very fundamentals of what we consider human rights were birthed by Heathens and Pagans, carried on through the Christians, and now return to us, the new generations of Heathens and Pagans. Our heritage and legacy.
Why is it that only men went to the Althing/to vote? Because the family was to be a single unit and he was there to represent his family. Why did he have to have property? Because that meant he had a real stake in the running of things, and if he chose poorly it would lead to his ruin, and so that he would have a voice so that no one could abuse his family and strip them of what they had created. Why were those without property not allowed to vote? Because they would use their numbers to strip away those who had and give it to themselves (proving our ancestors knew the dangers of marxist thought even before it had been codified).
The idea that our lives, our liberty, our property, etc, are OURS are fundamentally Pagan. But Misha would have you throw these holy beliefs out. Be done with them. They were created by “white men and slave owners” and thus they are evil. Better then that they be cast aside and we be stripped of these “white rights” lest we be “evil racists.”
Misha fails to mention (if they even know it) that the entire idea behind the Enlightenment was to return to Pre-Christian, Pagan values and restore them, so that we might live as we were meant to live.
All of which is to say:
>American Protestant Christianity has a history of holding a particular set of values;
>these values have been codified as “American values”;
>these values exist specifically to consolidate and defend power in the hands of white people, specifically white men;
>and modern American Paganism has largely reiterated those values without really examining them.
So, to rephrase
- American Protestant Christianity has a history of holding a particular set of values passed down for centuries from our Pagan and Heathen ancestors and more fully resurrected during the Enlightenment.
- These values have been codified as civil rights and as “american values”
- Misha feels that these civil rights and values are racist and evil, with no understanding of the real world reasons why they exist or were adopted by our ancestor long ago. They just stand in his way and he wants them gone.
- And modern American Paganism has largely embraced these ancestral pagan values out of a natural instinct that this is what is right for our people.
I’ll note in passing that none of these observations is particularly innovative or groundbreaking. People of color have been saying these things for decades.
Hmm, yes, interesting. So a group of people with a different heritage, a different way of doing things, etc, look at the system and say “that doesn’t work for me, you need to change it to fit what I think is right.” And…we’re just supposed to throw away thousands of years of heritage and millions of dead who made it happen because…someone else wants us to change to a system they think will benefit them more.
Now look, I could do a whole thing about this. But I’m not going to. Instead, I will simply posit that perhaps people should consider the following, especially any Pagans or Heathens who might be thinking of taking Misha’s views to heart.
Look at the state of areas run by those Misha considers minorities, both here in the USA and around the world. Now, sure, you might want to discount the last 60 years because of fucking American interventionism and the god damn CIA fucking up everything…but go crack open a history book. See how the different nations in Central and South America have been run, how the people were treated, what life was like, etc. Do the same for Africa, or the Middle East. And before you say “muh imperialism!” crack the books back further. Look at life under the Caliphate. Look at life before the Empires. See what it was like.
Were the rights of people respected? Was slavery non-existant? Did people genocide each other or did they live in peace? Were they human to their citizens and their non-citizens?
Look at the state of Baltimore, it’s a city that has been run by minorities for decades. Chicago. Any major city in california. Those places have certainly cast off the chains of whiteness and Protestant values. Do they look and feel like Pagan places to you? Do you feel your values are represented in those locations? Don’t just read the surface stuff, dig deep. Learn about the violence, the corruption, etc. Look underneath the underneath, as Kakashi sensei taught me to do. Then look underneath that.
That’s the world Misha wants. That’s the Paganism he seeks. Is it what you seek?
What do I mean when I say that Pagans are reiterating those values, unexamined? Here’s a brief sampling, gleaned from the comments of the Facebook share of Cyndi Brannen‘s recent post about white supremacy in witchcraft:
>“I don’t see color.”
>“Talking about race just fuels hatred!”
>Claims that white people are an oppressed minority.
>References to “Irish slaves.”
>“Where’s this white privilege, so I can get some?”
>Claims that discussing racism is racist.
>Claims that Social Justice Warriors are ruining Paganism.
>Claims that Social Justice Warriors are ruining Patheos.
>“Don’t label me just because I’m white!”
>White people making references to “our people.”
>Laments about the poor quality of the content and threats to stop reading.
So to cheekily respond to this because how the hell am I supposed to take this seriously right now
- I didn’t used to see color, but trust me, now I do. Apparently, that makes me a racist.
- Most discussions about racism have in fact fueled racism. This is because rather than talking about it with any sense of reason and rationality, it has literally devolved into “whites are evil, gibs me dat, fuck you, you’re evil, get the fuck out of here and die.” Which isn’t exactly something that leads to non-racial and productive outcomes
- white people literally are a global minority, in the next 20-30 years they’re set to become minorities in their own homelands (universally), and the case can certainly be made that oppressive behavior is being enacted against them.
- Hilarious that the Irish Slavery thing constantly gets ignored by anti-racists like Misha. I mean, it is a perfect case that blows their entire argument to splinters and discrimination and hatred towards the irish existed in the US all the way up till the 1960’s, and I think still occurs in the UK to this day. Talk about an inconvenient truth.
- I too am still waiting for my white privilege to come in.
- I mean, progressives like Misha like to claim that literally everything is racist, so I don’t see why he’s dismissing the idea that discussing racism is itself racism.
- SJWs are certainly trying to ruin Paganism. I’ve experienced that for decades at this point.
- You can’t ruin what was already ruined garbage to begin with, but I will give the SJWs credit for trying with Patheos.
- I mean, labeling someone because of their skin color is racist, Misha
- I mean, what should we call ourselves other than “our people.” That’s literally what they are. Though with the whole “People of Color” thing going on I am very fond of a new moniker I’ve heard that calls white people “People of Light.” So yes. We are the People of Light now, or PoL. Please refer to us by our politically correct term, thank you.
- I mean, I would lament it too, but I gave up reading over at Patheos a long time ago because the content literally is that poor.
So yeah, we are the People of Light, which I guess ties us into things with Lucifer because he is the Light Bringer. I guess that finally gives me a logical explanation for the whole “White Devil” thing. Ohhh, I wonder if this means I can get my demonic powers back soon. I kinda miss those.
And so on. I’m reminded of Helen Lewis‘ maxim that “the comments on any article about feminism justify feminism.” Similarly, it seems that the comments on any article about anti-racist work demonstrate the desperate need for that work. I’ll also note that the handful of people of color responding to these responses have been either ignored or mocked, in some cases using overtly racist tropes and language.
“M’Lord, the fact the witch protests her innocence is prove that she is a witch and is justification for this witch trial!!!!!”
You know, I’m not entirely sure where this idea that insisting you were innocent of a crime was supposed to be taken as guilt of your crime and the justification of your punishment for said crime actually started, but I’d really like to know. Just so that someday if I get a time machine I can go back and stop it from ever happening, because it is fucking stupid.
Ironically I can completely flip this around on Misha and go with “the violence inherent in articles on anti-racism justify racism” because on a mechanical level, that’s what’s happening. White people, at least the overwhelming majority of them, stuck out their hand in friendship to minorities and all we’ve gotten for the last several decades is an overwhelming amount of violence heaped up upon us. Hell, even the “anti-racist” whites get violence heaped upon them, the only difference is instead of punching back they punch other white people in a vain attempt to gain their master’s pleasure so he won’t beat them as badly the next time. But the truth is you can only punch a man in the dick so many times before he gives up trying to be friendly and decides to start punching back.
And we’re at the point people are willing to start punching back. And everyone admits this, even if they won’t admit why. That’s why you see the media pushing this “white terrorism” thing so much despite the fact white terrorism hasn’t really been a thing, at least not for a long time. Everyone is willing to admit the violence is inevitable, even if they’re refusing to admit they caused the violence.
White Fragility as a Spiritual Path
a state in which even a minimum amount of racial stress becomes intolerable, triggering a range of defensive moves. These moves include the outward display of emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and behaviors such as argumentation, silence, and leaving the stress-inducing situation. These behaviors, in turn, function to reinstate white racial equilibrium. (“White Fragility,” in International Journal of Critical Pedagogy, Vol. 3, No. 3 (2011)
Wow, I could literally say this about black people and “undocumented” people. But especially about black people. I mean, the history of black rioting is well document and fairly recent. I guess Black Fragility is a thing?
All sarcasm aside though, this is a classic case of what progressives call “victim blaming.” You attack someone, they get defensive, and you then justify further attacks. Actually, I take that back, this isn’t “victim blaming.” This is flat out physical, emotional and psychological abuse. This is abuse, right here. They are literally battering people. This is no different than a person coming home, beating their spouse, and then beating their spouse more because they dare raised their hand to block a hit or begged that they didn’t deserved to be punched.
Congratulations Misha, you are an advocate for abuse. You have just justified every abuser and their behavior out there, because according to you, the act of being upset and defending yourself from attacks warrants and justifies any and all abuse heaped upon them. And these days, that abuse can mean people not just being debated, but harassed, losing their jobs, or even being physically assaulted.
Looking back at that list of responses, I’m struck by the eerie accuracy of DiAngelo’s definition of white fragility. Anger, fear, guilt, and aggression are all on display here, all in defense of white supremacy. For some Pagans, the core of their belief system isn’t Paganism, polytheism, witchcraft, or magic: it’s whiteness. Whiteness is their god, their path, their religion. This observation isn’t limited to overtly-racist sacks of hot trash like the Asatru Folk Assembly. It includes everyday white people who would deny having a racist bone in their bodies, and who would be horrified at the suggestion that their words derive from a host of unexamined, deeply rooted beliefs which are, at their core, racist.
“Whiteness” is anything Misha doesn’t like. It doesn’t matter how Pagan it actually is. It doesn’t matter how reasonable or rational it is. It doesn’t even matter how moral it is. If Misha doesn’t like it, it’s whiteness. And it needs to go. Because whiteness = evil. Why? Because Misha says so.
Oh, I’m sure Misha could list any number of things that make whiteness evil, and I could point out that each and every one of those things existed outside of whiteness and was practiced extensively by non-whites and perhaps even invented by non-whites. There is not a thing out there Misha could point to that makes “whiteness” uniquely evil that I could not point out has been done by non-whites. But Misha would never say that non-whiteness is evil. Because Misha’s Paganism isn’t about Paganism, polytheism, witchcraft, or magic: it’s basically Marxism. Communism is the God Misha worships, and it is currently express through his anti-whiteness. Were whiteness to ever actually vanish, Misha would no doubt find something else to focus on that wouldn’t be Paganism.
Even this “fragility” is something that can be found and ascribed to literally any group out there. Like “racism,” “fragility” is nothing more than a handy phrase being used to justify violence.
Remember what Misha said about needing to use one’s political power, and what I said about politics being war by other means? This is it. Right here. His “reason of war,” his justification. Because I attacked you and you fought back, I now have the right to wage total war and utterly destroy you for the sin of “whiteness.” “Because you did not give yourself willingly to my power, I am now fully justified in assaulting and raping you into submission.”
Because that’s what it is. Misha, and those like him, deny the humanity of those they deem guilty of “whiteness” and the only solution is to “purge whiteness and everything related to it” from the earth. Today it’s with words. Tomorrow, should you continue to resist? Well…war is politics by other means.
Do we want books, blogs, and other content about deep spirituality, something more than another Wicca 101 book or a Tumblr blog on Polytheism for Beginners? Maybe we should try doing the shadow work of rooting out our own racism, and confronting our own white fragility. Maybe we should explore the interrelation of the individual and the community through the lens of community service. Maybe, just maybe, we should look at the heart of the fears that arise within us when someone dares to suggest that white people are complicit in racism and white supremacy, and that American Pagans, polytheists, and occultists are just as complicit as the rest of white America.
And then, maybe we should do something about that.
As I’ve said before, our actions derive from our truest beliefs, our core values. Don’t tell me what you believe. Show me what you do, and I’ll know what you believe.
All Misha is saying here is the exact same thing Rhyd said a few years ago. The only difference is instead of “fascism” that we need to remove from our practices, it’s “whiteness.” “Destroy your traditions, destroy your beliefs, destroy everything I don’t like, and then we can get the real ‘deeper’ stuff we crave.”
But as I have tried to show, and as many have in other places, to “remove whiteness” from our Paganism and Heathenism, at least as defined by those like Misha, would be to fundamentally destroy every thread of what those religions are. You cannot remove basic concepts like Rights from Heathenism and still call it heathenism. You cannot strip personal freedom and liberty and responsibility from these religions and still have them be what they have always been. Just as “removing fascism” would do so. Not because our religions are inherently “white” or “fascist” but because the things inside our religions maligned as those things by a bunch of narcissistic and violent Marxists are fundamental to those religions.
Misha will never find these greater truths he seeks, because he is not seeking the truth, in any form. He is blinded by his own pride, his own arrogance, and his own belief that his morality is the only morality. And in doing so he practices racism, something he claims to hate, and advocates the use of political violence to achieve his ends. Just as all like him are.
Because to people like Misha, Utopia is always just one more body away from happening.