Confronting racism? More like putting your own petty values onto the Gods.


Confronting Racism

I have read this blog for a while now, I disagree with the flaming liberalism but the information is often well reasoned when it comes to maintaining a personal relationship with the Gods.  However, this post required a post of its own because my response to her got so long.

What utter arrogance.  What utter, blind, supremacy is espoused in this young woman’s post.  I’m frankly stunned.

I am a voracious consumer of things arising from cultural exchange.  I know a little of some foreign languages, enough to understand though not really enough to speak; I love certain kinds of foods and clothing that come from other cultures; I adore jewelry and furniture from cultures not my own.  I enjoy speaking with people from other cultures who didn’t grow up here, to get their views on the “insider view” of their culture and home country.  I am a voracious history buff.  I read archeology and linguistics journals for fun and personal education.

So here’s what I responded with:

First of all, I know Stephen personally and if he’s anything, he’s a separatist, not a supremacist.  How in the world you can call him a supremacist when he has spent decades fighting all over the world for minorities like the Tamils against the elites of their respective countries?  

He was a signatory on the 1993 Declaration of War against the Exploiters of Lakota Spirituality.  He has never once, in his writings or in person, expressed any idea of feeling that he is superior.  What he has expressed, over and over, is that Gods of a people arise from their people.  Just like he is passionate about the idea that the Lakota have a right to their Gods without cultural appropriation from others.  THAT is all.   

Second, Stephen hasn’t been the head of the AFA since 2015.  Matt Flavel has been.  

Third, I don’t know if you’re aware of it, but Stephen himself is the one who began expressing the idea of the Gods as being in tribes and clans, and that we as people are as well.  He’s the one who began promoting tribalism in heathenry.  And it’s true.  That is how human society has worked since the beginning.  It works.  The only thing different now is that we can communicate across thousands of miles and have much more interaction with those of other tribes, families, ethnicities.

The US was approximately 95% white in 1965.  Like it or not, it’s fact.  But that didn’t make us monolithic at all.  In researching my family tree, I have discovered that the Germans married Germans.  The Irish married Irish.  Etc.  It literally wasn’t until my parents got together that there was ANY crossover, and my respective families knew each other for 100 years, and worked together on different things, such as Rum Running during Prohibition.   But they didn’t go to the same churches, they didn’t live in the same neighborhoods, and they really didn’t associate very much outside of the occasional friendships.  And hey, guess what – my parents broke up.  No surprise.  Different cultures, little shared clan/tribe minutia, and lots of pressure on a couple. 

While you’ve apparently had a terrible relationship with your family, that’s not the norm.  I have children.  I love those children more than I will ever love you, for instance.  I love my kindred members.  They are adopted, initiated family.  They are my clan.  I don’t take that lightly, and I love them more than I love many of my other friends, regardless of how long I’ve known some of them.  Family comes first.  Always.  And if, someday, you were to become initiated into our kindred, you would have my love and loyalty on the same level as they do.  Because then you would be family/clan/tribe. Hell, I even still have love for my ex husband and regard for his safety and well being.  He’s still family, we share children, and have history together.  He’s an asshole, but he’s family asshole.  Not neighbor asshole.  Or stranger asshole.   

I think it defies logic to have the idea that Odhinn for instance wouldn’t accept worship from someone of African ancestry.  Of course He would.  That doesn’t mean that person will be around for the long haul.  Odhinn uses and discards people, even those of His own people, and that’s a fact.  It doesn’t make Him any less a God.  It doesn’t make him any less a God of the Germanic and Scandinavian originating peoples.  To pretend otherwise is prevarication.  

There is no hatred in saying that I like what I grew up with more than what I have come into contact with as an adult.  I like Indian food.  I am a good Indian food cook.  But I don’t want to eat it every day and it’s not what I grew up with, and if I want comfort food I’m going to make chicken and dumplings or a pot roast, not lamb stuffed eggplant.  

Frith and grith are not the same.  And you of all people should know this.  Frith was for FAMILIES.  Grith is for other tribes/clans/and the greater outside.  I deal with my neighbors in grith, but I don’t make the mistake of giving them a key to my house.  Freyr is the God of peace, IN THE OLD GERMANIC SENSE.  Not in the modern progressive sense.  

Tyr will uphold justice.  Period.  If a person who happens to be a minority assaults a “white supremacist” that person should face equal justice under the law.  If a white person assaults a minority, that person should face equal justice under the law.  THAT is what Tyr will do.  Nothing more.  He’s not going to refuse to hear a prayer just because you don’t happen to like the ethics or values of the person making the prayer.  

There are Nazis in Valhalla, because they fought with honor and because they were the best of the best.  You might not like it, but it’s so.  Odhinn doesn’t give a shit about your personal value judgements about Nazis.  

I really have to wonder at someone who will tirelessly defend the right of a transgender person’s right to choose their pronouns but will demonize someone who says that they have a right to be proud of their culture and history, who says they prefer their own.  I really have to wonder at your incredible arrogance, to put your personal values onto the Gods and expect Them to do YOUR bidding regarding from whom They accept worship, and to whom They give Their favors. 

Finally, to quote Stephen:  “Just because I love my own doesn’t mean I hate anyone else.”  And I can tell you that I am convinced that Stephen genuinely believes this.  He has a great love for other peoples, and he is a crusader for their rights to exist and not be forced to assimilate into their larger culture, and to keep their own Gods and rites as their own.  I respect that.  I respect him.  He is a very misunderstood individual and has suffered many slings and arrows promoting the idea that no, we are NOT all the same, and we DO have differences to be celebrated, not denigrated.  He’s not perfect.  He has issues like anyone else.  But:  if that offends you, if that threatens you, if you think that me preferring my own children means I hate you, if me preferring my own family/tribe/clan/culture over others FOR MYSELF means I hate others, if Stephen promoting these ideas means he is a white supremacist to you, then perhaps you should look at your programming.