There’s been a lot of discussion about racism and Paganism lately. Important discussions, necessary discussions.
I haven’t written a lot about this issue and I don’t plan to. My approach is pretty simple – we live in a racist society. Pagandom does not exist in a vacuum. We are not magically exempt from the problems we live with in daily life.
The reason I haven’t written a lot about this is because I’m white. I learned about privilege (before I called it privilege) in high school when I saw my classmates get harassed, sprayed with pepper spray, and attacked by authority figures because they weren’t white like I was. My classmates and I were saying the exact same things but the people around me were only getting mad at my peers who weren’t white.
I learned about my own privilege and how much of an arrogant person I was during that time too.
And I don’t write extensively on race cause it’s not my place. Privilege, remember? It’s my place to listen. Allies listen and learn. We speak up too, because part of being an ally is speaking up in order to try to eradicate oppression or oppressive spaces. Allies are supposed to make spaces safer, not talk everyone’s ears off about things that they (that we) – as allies – can’t understand.
But we don’t speak over. If we are speaking over, there’s a problem.
I felt it was important to say something, partially so there could be no doubt about where I stand on the issues being discussed at the moment. And where I stand is that there is racism in modern Pagandom, it’s often coded and subtle, and it needs to be stamped out. Where I stand is that white Pagans need to work harder to make spaces safer for Pagans of color. We need to listen and learn and change.
If you have more in-depth questions about certain issues, I’ll answer them in the comments. I will delete any comments about privilege not existing, anything that implies the oppression people face is their fault and not the fault of oppressors or oppressive societies, or anything that borders on racist. You don’t get to play devil’s advocate about issues that affect people.