Before we get started, does anyone want to get out?
You know, I have avoided going into the Heathen tag on this site because frankly, I knew what I was going to find and I didn’t want to deal with it. But I did, and now I am, because I am a god damn idiot who knows exactly what he is going to get, but goes and gets it anyways. I knew with the election, and with the media screaming about “muh white supremacy” and “muh terrorisms” that people were inevitably going to start attacking my faith again, and it was inevitably going to be some Heathen trying to earn good boy points like some Vichy French asshole selling out his or her own people in an attempt to save their own skin.
Indigenous Lives Matter. Keep that one in mind. We’ll ignore the fact he’s supporting a terrorist movement and inciting violence for the moment. Because really, does that even matter these days?
First off, let me just say I hate the current interface for WordPress posting. I miss being able to block quote and all the other stuff that seems to have just disappeared. So I’ll do my best to make it clear when I am quoting things.
“White heathens, we need to talk.
A lot of us are already doing it, but it seems we need to talk about it once again.
We have a white supremacist problem. And to be frank, we have from the start.“
Note, we are not defining “white supremacy” here. I make a note of this because at this point the definition of white supremacy is so all encompassing that at times there mere act of not being self flagellating is considered an act of white supremacy. The mere act of existing as a white person is, to many, seen as an act of white supremacy. “White privilege” being a great example of this, claiming that a homeless white man is somehow an agent of racial violence against a wealthy black person. So already we’re running into issues, because how can you solve a problem when you cannot even define it.
“I see a lot of really bad information floating around out there. A lot of people saying shit with confidence that just isn’t true. It’s a weekly occurrence that I see someone on Tiktok defending Odinism, or claiming that Asatru started out as an anti-racist religious movement.
So let’s be perfectly clear: Heathenry and Asatru and other germanic religious revivals have their roots in nationalist, racist german romantasism movements that ultimately influenced the Nazis. There is no getting around this. These are the roots we must reckon with. And these roots show. Racist movements like Odinism and organizations like the AFA and other folkish and volkish movements are powerful and growing.”
Alright, so, to start with we’re already running into Maleck here being something of a hypocrite. See, he posts in his tags that “indigenous lives matter.” On this, we can agree (to an extent). All lives matter. All cultures matter. Everyone has a right to their heritage and culture. That is my belief. Yet, when discussing the indigenous German people seeking to return to their indigenous religious practices, throwing off the religions of the colonizers who violently and systemically forced their foreign religion on native Germans…he calls it racist and nationalistic.
That…doesn’t sound right. That doesn’t sound like saying indigenous lives matter. I mean, if someone were to describe Native Americans, for example, as ‘racist and nationalistic’ because they cast off Christianity for their own native religion, threw their voices behind celebrating their ethnic and regional heritage, and insisted non-natives had no business in their tribe or faith, I imagine that would be quite problematic.
And if we’re going to pull the “X set of beliefs inspired Y group of people to do Z bad thing,” well I would would point out that a fair bit of “anti-racism” as a philosophy came from Trotsky, who was a founding part of the Bolshevik Revolution, which formed the USSR, which lead to the deaths of over 60 million people. So if we’re going to reject things because of the negative consequences, Mal here might want to consider what he’s preaching.
“Now. Heathenry is not the only pagan religion with a white supremacy problem. Far fucking from it. And other groups pretending that they don’t have to worry about racism because the AFA is in the news more is its own insidious kind of issue. But I’m a Heathen, so I’m going to stick to talking about Heathenry.
Let’s also be clear: white supremacists are not our fault. But they are our PROBLEM. We may not have caused them, but they are present in our religion, or they co-opt our symbols, or both. And that means we have the responsibility to do something about it.“
And now Mal is just being inconsistent. “They co-opted our symbols.” Well, first off, Mal, you do not own the symbols. The Gods do. Just like they own the faith. But Mal stated earlier that Heathenism was basically founded on the “racist and nationalistic romanticism of the Germans.” The history of Heathenism in the USA basically starts with McNallen, who founded the AFA. So, both revivals started with those Mal here considers to be “racist.”
So the “racists” didn’t “co-opt” anything. They had it from the start. Mal, here, coming in with an “anti-racist” practice, is technically the one “co-opting” the symbols. In that he has come in, not from the originating religion, practicing a different faith (Trotskyan anti-racism), and is taking those symbols for himself and his practice. Much the way some Satanists came in and co-opted the symbol of the upside down cross, which used to represent St. Peter, for their own religious practices.
One of the things that has long confused me about “anti-racist” heathens is that they come in, and they insist that the faith has a problem with racism and white supremacy and is inherently tainted. One would think that, being fruit of a poisoned tree, they would want nothing to do with it. I mean, that’s one of the reasons I rejected the monotheistic religions. They were poisoned fruit, from a poisonous tree. No good could come from partaking it, better to reject it.
I do love the whole “we have a responsibility to do something about it” line though. It’s kinda cute, in that it is both impotent, and yet an excuse to do so many, many terrible things.
“And many of us are. Myself and many others work tirelessly to guard our spaces, to spread education, to denounce racists and facists and nazis wherever we can.
But we don’t get to put this work down. And we don’t get say “we don’t claim them” and just wash our hands. That’s bullshit, and it’s lazy, and it does NOTHING to protect the people we claim we want to support.
I get it. Decolonization is HARD. I struggle with it all the time. I have fucked up, do fuck up, and will fuck up again.“
Logically inconsistent and hypocritical. I do so love it when it all comes together. When the Germans sought to “Decolonize” (because that’s exactly what German Romanticism was) it was “racist nationalism that led to the nazis,” yet somehow when Mal wants to “decolonize” it’s okay? I guess when you seek to decolonize by erasing the exclusive right of an indigenous people to its heritage, opening it up in a universalist, globalist context that allows people of all races to come in and have an equal claim to something, that’s okay, right?
Oh, wait, isn’t that technically one of the problems with the USA? That we came in, removed the exclusive rights of the natives to this land, and then proceeded to open up the entire country to the world and let everyone come in regardless of their race and trample all over the rights of the native americans to their land even as we erased their culture?
Now, in the old days of this blog I’m sure someone would scream at me about how that is not the same thing and I’m a lying, racist, dumb son of a bitch who doesn’t understand anything. So I’m just going to go ahead and respond to that theoretical comment by my usual response.
A is A. An action is an action. If coming into the space of a native practitioner and insisting that they open up their practice and culture to outsiders is wrong, then it is wrong when done to a Native American, an African, or a European. An action does not become morally acceptable because of the race of the perpetrator, nor the race of the person it is perpetrated against. If indigenous lives matter, then all indigenous lives matter, and all people are indigenous to something, especially a faith.
Mal, forcibly opening up a religion to non-indigenous people, however well one’s intention, is colonization by definition.
Now, I am not inherently against people not of European decent practicing Heathenism. I do, however, believe that every people has an inherent ownership of their ancestral faith. And as people who insist on standing against racism and for indigenous rights have repeatedly insisted that Native Americans have the right to tell non-Native Americans to fuck off and away from their religious practices, and all human beings being equal and deserving of equal treatment, rights, and standards, then Europeans do also have the right to tell others to fuck the hell off. To insist they do not have that right, or that they are evil for practicing that right, when that right is good when enacted by others, is itself an act of evil. This is something Hel insisted I learn long ago.
“But we still have to do the fucking work. We have to fight racism, including in ourselves, at every turn. We need to do MORE to make our spaces actually safe for marginalized folks, including disabled, queer, and BIPOC people. It is not enough to say “well I don’t support it.” You, and I, have to be better about being allies.
That means vetting people who come into your spaces. Gatekeeping is a good thing. That means making space for marginalized folks and shutting the fuck up and listening when they talk. And believing them when they say things. That means coming to their aid when they face persecution. That means lifting their voices using our privilege.“
“Gatekeeping is a good thing.” Except with the Folkish do it, then it’s racism. “Colonization is bad.” Except when you want to throw open the gates and allow non-indigenous practitioners in an indigenous religion. “We must fight racism.” Even if it means acting in a racist manner by holding one ethnicity to a different set of rights from all others.
I love the “we need to lift up marginalized voices,” bit, after he spends an entire post marginalizing and vilifying indigenous voices. Mal, by definition, all Heathens are marginalized. We are a minority. All of us. Progressive, Universalist, Folkish, etc, we are all a minority trying to practice our indigenous religion. Yet you insist on silencing marginalized, indigenous voices who are seeking to retain their indigenous religion for themselves. Not only that, you insist on vilifying them.
The irony of an anti-racist, decolonization advocate going around attempting to colonize an indigenous religion in a racist manner is hilarious to me. And I’m sure I’ll laugh even harder if Mal responds to this post in any manner that I actually see, to try and justify and insist that despite his actions being the very kind of thing he claims to stand against, it’s okay when he does it.
Or he’ll just do like everyone else like him does when they get called out. Foam at the mouth, scream I’m a racist, and have some sort of psychological fit. It will still probably be funny.