A Heathen Shouldn’t Have To Be The One Saying This But…

Since this latest imbroglio started with Rhyd and the G&R crowd, I’ve noticed that the terms ‘racist,’ [and ‘fascist’] are being thrown around with less and less care. What started out with Rhyd’s underhanded rhetorical free-for-all is turning into (just as many of us predicted) a witch-hunt. Now, it seems one is a “racist” if one doesn’t agree with Rhyd and his supporters. That is apparently all it takes. Racial bias need play no actual part.

In addition to crying “bullshit,” I want to parse that out a little bit because it’s an incredibly damaging trend, and not particularly damaging to our traditions, mind you, but damaging to the very work of social justice that Rhyd and his buddies purport to want to do. How?

Well, to go back to an argument that we’ve had ad nauseum: words mean things. If we start accusing everyone of being racist (or fascist, or sexist, or any other –ist) every time they disagree with our positions on other matters, those words are going to lose their meaning. When that happens, we will be numb and blind to actual incidents of racism and violence that very much deserve our attention and action. Language shapes our ability to perceive our world accurately. What they’re doing with their unfounded accusations (or founded on nothing save that the person disagrees with them on some other topic) is eliding the meaning of these words and that elision has the power to damage our long term ability to participate in recognizing the types of system inequalities and institutional biases that are so at work in our country and that so make up the fabric of racism in America today.

Basically if everything is racist than nothing is.

Here’s an exemplum to help you: It’s like the incident a few weeks back when college students supposedly got “traumatized” by pro-Trump graffiti. This isn’t trauma. Trauma is having a student suddenly have an abreaction wherein they viscerally relive childhood abuse right in front of you; trauma is a veteran crippled by PTSD, trauma is a survivor of domestic abuse unable to get close to anyone romantically out of fear, trauma is a survivor of rape who wakes up every night screaming, trauma is the mother of a young black child who has to worry about whether or not her kid is going to get shot on the way to school simply because he’s black, trauma is a lot of things larger and smaller in emotional scope than this but what trauma isn’t? Seeing Trump 2016 written in chalk and having a melt down over it. Trauma does not mean seeing something you don’t like and personally disagree with and choosing not to handle it like an adult. That’s not trauma. It’s also not racism. (And before the Rhyd brigade can accuse me of it, let me be clear: I’m in no way a Trump supporter. I find the man vile).

Let me let you in on a little secret: we can have different political beliefs and still behave like decent human beings. Disagreeing does not make us racist. Disagreement in the instances with which we’ve been dealing lately in our communities means that we’ve considered the same material that another person has and we’ve come to a different opinion about the way we’re going to practice our religion and live our life.

Go here  and read the comments. This is thoughtful and thought provoking discussion happening. For instance in the comments Eric S. asks a question that I think is quite salient to this current argument:

“That leaves me wondering: how safe will the coming decades be for polytheists, druids, hermeticists, etc.? Is there a possibility that, say, an act of domestic terrorism could get tied to some odinist skinhead group and lead to a crackdown on potential sites of radicalization, and that essays like the one on G&R could inform who winds up on watchlists? Or that, in the event widespread radicalization in the community, the entire occult scene, whether political or not starts looking to outsiders like a hotbed of sedition? One advantage of the pagan community since I’ve been involved has been the fact that the it’s been safe to be public and open, to hold rituals in parks, have public clergy, and so on without worrying about much more than being called silly or getting witnessed to. Do you see it as a possibility that within the next decade or so, we might have to learn to return to the same sort of cultural marginalization and tight-lipped discretion of the ‘60s and ‘70s?”

and likewise commenter “Kevin” notes:

“I’ve read Wildermuth’s article closely, and concur with your assessment. At one point he explicitly endorses the notion of guilt by association, actually using that word as he exhorts the reader to pin the tail on those secret persecutors who have ever read or discussed the works of Julius Evola. It all sounds to me like a game of Spot The Evil Space Lizard.

Even worse than the dubious slipshod logic, there’s something off about his tone, an unpleasant fusion of aggression with paranoia. I hope it doesn’t spread, but fear that your prognostication may prove well-founded.”

Now I don’t agree with everything Greer posited, not even close, (his lumping of polytheisms under the neo-pagan umbrella being first and foremost on that list) but I don’t have to in order to engage with his ideas and in order to appreciate the conversation that it has provoked. Ideas are being discussed and in some cases (thank you Eric S. whoever you are) taken to their most disturbing conclusions, a type of forethinking that seems to be perilously lacking at times in our communities (a failure of fortitude or one of imagination, I don’t know).

and yet if you go here, the second commenter, C. Thompson, says the following

“Now, they’re not even pretending that anymore and are just openly taking racist and right-wing stances along with the most dishonest forms of character assassination I’ve seen in a long time.”

Obliquely (or maybe not so obliquely) accusing Greer (and the rest of us in case you missed it) of being racists. That’s not thought provoking. That’s obscuring the discussion. Show me where that’s happening that doesn’t involve merely disagreeing with Rhyd. I’ve gone over Greer’s article closely and this is a laughable assertion.

[EDIT: C. Thompson has clarified his racist comments here.]

Rhyd and his supporters are attempting to hammer home one narrative of what it means to be a polytheist, devotionally inclined, of what it means to be anything other than aligned with his version of the radical left. They are giving us one narrative into which we must of needs be pressed ,a narrative that, when we attempt to speak for ourselves, says “toe this ideological line or you’re racist, you’re a fascist, you’re a monster.” It no longer matters if any of it is true.

So let me be quite clear: they’re using obfuscation and insinuation (without ever providing examples) to shut down discourse, distract when they’re losing an argument, and besmirch reputations. That is the very definition of a McCarthyite witch-hunt.

Enough of these foofaraws. Stop trying to colonize our religious communities with your oppressive and dictatorial politics. Stop trying to get co-religionists to be suspicious of and hateful towards one another. Stop attacking our traditions and our Gods. Stop making a power and money grab by stirring up endless controversy. Or know that we’ll be here to stop you. And we Heathens don’t back down. 

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Posted on April 23, 2016, in community, Polytheism, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.

  1. I wasn’t talking about Greer. Anyone who wonders what I was talking about can just read the links you have been approvingly posting from Son of Hel (he calls BLM “the most prominent hate group” in America) or Upsal’s Garden (he talks openly about preserving the culture of white people by keeping non-whites out of Asatru). These are the people you have been promoting. That speaks for itself.

    Liked by 1 person

    • ganglerisgrove

      Considering that you were directly responding to Rhyd who has made that accusation, one can see how that inference came about. Unlike you guys I have no interest in misrepresenting my opponents’ views so I will make a note correcting that in the post. Catawampus avoided.

      Clearly Helson is wrong; the most prominent hate group in the US isn’t BLM or even the KKK – it’s monotheism, followed closely by its bastard child evangelistic atheism. And that’s not just the in US – all you’ve got to do is turn on the nightly news and you’ll catch a story about monotheists behaving badly.

      Also, nice try smearing Joe with your half-truths. He does advocate for the preservation of White culture. As well as Black culture. And American Indian culture. And all indigenous and pre-monotheist conquest cultures. If that’s what you think qualifies as “racism” maybe it’s time to get your head out of the poli-sci books and out into the real world.

      Cue indignant liberal whitemansplanin’ in 3 … 2 …

      Liked by 2 people

      • Sorry,not taking your bait. Anyone with any common sense who read those blogs would conclude they were written by white supremacists and would draw their own conclusions about anyone choosing to promote them.

        Liked by 1 person

    • ganglerisgrove

      Have you asked them if they’re white supremacists? Can you link to specific examples? Or are you using your awesome mind powers to sniff out this invisible bigotry that escapes everyone else?

      Liked by 3 people

      • To be fair, though, by the logic of “have you asked them if they are or not?”, then John Halstead is a polytheist, cos he’s not willing to admit that he isn’t. I know you and I both know that asking and expecting a completely honest answer is, at its very best, a brutally naïve approach to learning more about another person’s agenda — we see through it with John Halstead, at the very least.

        Practically no-one (at least none with any good sense), in the current socio-political climate, is going to admit that their beliefs are “white supremacist” in nature, so it can be necessary to read between the lines to see if what a person says is, indeed, in line with white supremacist thought.

        Like

    • I have read their blogs and I have read the writings as G&R. Both groups write things that me wince. I read both since I need to be informed by all sides. However, I am in the middle on many things – I believe in the Greyness of life.

      Does that make me a white supremist or a radical? I just want to know who is thinking what and why.

      My dog in the fight since I am a frequent commentator here and have commented a few times at Helson’s site is having experienced the very witch hunt that was prompted by the G&Rs article about fascists. And the article in Patheos that really didn’t understand the witch hunt which continued until the 1990s, in subtle and covert ways. It never went away, but went underground. I still have an FBI record from the time I was 13 years old, and I am well into my 60s. These things never go away but linger. Yes, I can do a FOIA request and have, with much redacted. I simply do not want anyone to experience that ever again.

      Do I think there are fascists and white supremists afoot, yes. Do I see them under every bed and behind every tree, no. Do I think that by questioning the premise presented in G&R’s articles and else where makes me a fascist, no. Do I think that the language used by G&R is the same as the John Birch Society, and that makes me fascist or trying to tear down the effort to root out fascists, I suppose yes. That is black and white thinking which brings about witch hunts – if you do not agree with us, then you are one of them. A lot of innocent people got caught up in the Communist scare, and I do not want to see the same again.

      And I am still confused as to what this has to do with polytheism. It seems to be a ready vehicle on which to launch a cause, since people do conflate polytheism with conservatism with fascism.

      Liked by 3 people

    • I realize that facts aren’t exactly your forte, but in the hope that someone is reading this who actually is interested in facts, I have a few for you.

      First, if you actually do read my blog (and I rather think you’ve never actually read anything there, but just saw the AFA logo and your eyes started bleeding), you’ll see that I condemn actual racism, I point out actual examples of the AFA and Stephen McNallen condemning actual racism, and (as Galina alluded to) I actually vocally support people of all races exploring their own pre-monotheistic ancestral traditions.

      Second, You seem to make some sort of distinction whereby, if a non-white person does a thing, it’s fine, but if a white person does the very same thing, it’s racist. I do not accept that distinction. I would point out that my interpretation of the word “racist” is supported by the actual dictionary definition, which doesn’t support the sophistry that only white people can be racist, and non-whites are incapable of doing so. Advocating violence and hatred against other races is racism. Saying people of every race should have exactly the same rights is not. It’s really not that hard.

      Third, what you seem incapable of understanding is that people can disagree on X, but not let that stop them from agreeing and supporting one another on Y. It’s only people on the radical fringes such as yourself that demand a level of ideological purity that prevents you from working with someone on vital issues, just because you disagree with them on something else. When Galina and I agree, we support one another. When we disagree, we go after each other. That’s how it’s supposed to work; not the mindless black-and-white absolutist and reductionist worldview you and your ilk seem to hold.

      It just so happens that some of the issues upon which she and I (and Lucius Svartwulf Helsen) agree have been front and center in the various discussions being waged across the internet lately. That would be thanks to you and your friends, by the way. Congratulations; your totalitarian insistence on ideological purity seems to have bridged the folkish/non-folkish divide. At least something good has come out of the Marxist crap has been flowing from your friends lately.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. How exactly does one connect being conservative with being a racist? How do the two corrollate? Are leftists the only people who aren’t racists?

    Then why do they always make everyone conscious of race – theirs and everyone else’s? Why do they make a fetish out of helping Black people? Doesn’t that make someone racist?

    I remember in my studies coming to the conclusion that the German Nazis were actually proto New Agers in their approach to going back to Atlantis, and creating their own reality. That they were not Christians and they were more rooted in New Age ideas. Now, does that make New Agers Nazis? No, certainly not. But you can see by the conflation of the two, that someone could come to that conclusion.

    I think that something similar is happening. Conflating a stew of positions into one devastating whole.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Reading your articles this week, most of which linked to either Son of Hel or Upsal,I’ve had this song stuck in my head the whole time:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ow-nuHCTA5E

    Liked by 1 person

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