Pagan Community: Woke or Not Woke?

Dear White people image by Bago Games. Licensed under CC 2.0
Dear White people image by Bago Games. Licensed under CC 2.0

The highly anticipated and seriously controversial new Netfilx show Dear White People asks the important questions about racism in America. They are necessary questions and ones that I have been writing about in the context of the pagan community for over a decade. Based on the 2014 film of the same name Dear White People goes where most mainstream media fears to tread.  In one episode a main character develops an app where people can vote on who is woke or not woke. It’s an interesting notion and one that certainly made me think.

Woke or Not Woke?

There is a lot of talk lately about being woke. For most people it means to be aware of racial and social injustices, and also working actively for positive change in these arenas. One of my favorite memes from the recent women’s march was a photo of a baby with a carefully scribbled protest sign. The caption was this “ I feel like woke baby has all the answers but my third eye is too clouded to understand the message. ” As I like to say, it’s funny because it’s true. The current political climate has forced almost everyone to become woke, whether they like it or not. The chasm is getting bigger and the consequences are great.

 

Wake Up Pagan Community !

Pentacle licensed under CC 2.0
Pentacle image courtesy wikimedia commons.

One of the traps of the Pagan community is that it can be quite myopic. It is easy to become seduced by the power and majesty of these ancient religions. It is also hard to see past one’s own day to day struggles and identify the larger problems. But if we can’t come together to fight for a better tomorrow, who the hell will ? The show features the line “This is how real change begins, slowly,  from within .” So how does real change begin. How can we make a difference not just in our own lives, but for the lives of generations to come ? I’m talking about change we can be proud of, knowing we fought for what was right, and ultimately did all that we could.

First we must make a serious analysis of our practices and choices. Are we doing all we can to support people of color … the disenfranchised … the marginalized … those that truly need our help? Does most of the money we spend on the craft go towards making ourselves and our surroundings pretty, or to learning and making sure others learn from teachers who are qualified and, for lack of a better phrase, “come correct?”

In my recent post Ebonics, Entitlement, and the Embodiment of Racism I wrote “Many years ago Billie Holiday sang about Strange Fruit. While lynchings may be down the mindset behind them is stronger than ever. Part of the problem is people are hyper-focused on their selves. The trials and tribulations of our own lives make it difficult to see or even attempt to understand the plight of others. Racism and religious persecution is nothing new. ”

We need to use our hearts, our spirit, and our wallets to support those who are doing what’s right. We need to examine how privilege and entitlement works for or against us, and try and even the scales no matter the cost. These are some tough words, and some serious choices will need to be made. But know that I am with you, as a person of color I consider my motivations and choices every day. I hope you do too.

As always if you have benefited from what you read here lease help a sister out and remember to share, share, share !

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