I know between COVID-19, the United States under an fascist authoritarian administration, and the BLM (Black Lives Matter) we have a lot on our plate right now. And some of us have legit personal issues on top of that, either connected with these things or involving other things entirely. We haven’t been very comfortable being uncomfortable, and quite frankly we’re going to have to get a lot better about it if we want to survive.
I spoke already about surviving first, then thriving. But like my previous warning from Hekate, I’ve got another message for you. And I’m not going to be as gentle about it.
Buckle up, it’s gonna be a bumpy ride.
We need to get comfortable being uncomfortable
We can’t grow numb to everything that is happening to us, no matter how much we may want to. Too much has already been normalized which should NEVER be accepted as normal. We have a very rough road ahead of us.
Also, my fellow white folk, we need to accept the facts: things have been terrible for Black people in the USA for 400 years now. They didn’t suddenly become worse or more terrible overnight; this is the way it’s been. It’s just now captured on video, in social media, and is under a shiny, harsh spotlight.
The pagan, polytheistic, witch, and general occult communities have been fairly white for a while. There are just some people who like to kid themselves and pretend that because we are already a religious minority that we are somehow more tolerant and better than the rest of society.
Sadly, this is not the case. We are finding ourselves dealing with well known members of the community having their terrible racism, queerphobia, transphobia, and other forms of bigotry outed. Between COVID-19 and the BLM protests, we are finding out the hard way who people actually are, and it’s been a real eye opener. Some pedestals will be smashed to bits and I’m not just talking about the slave trader statues being dumped into rivers either.
You’re gonna find out that some of your favorite people are actually terrible
Whether or not that’s JK Rowling being a racist and antisemitic TERF, a prominent member of your witch or occult community expressing racist views, an elder in your tradition or pagan community expressing white supremacist sympathies, etc., you’re going have to learn the hard way about some people. Now is not the time to sugar coat it, try to “explain” their statements to others, and/or get on the defensive. And yes it’s going to suck, it’s going to hurt, and you will feel betrayed.
Allow yourself time to feel those emotions, honor them. Heal however way you need to. But don’t try to run from the issue. We need you right now more than ever. We need you to help us to weed out these members of our community, figure out how to handle whatever good they’ve brought into your life, and learn how to appreciate aspects of the art but condemn the artist. Because often enough, their bigotry makes its way into their art and even if you didn’t see or realize it before, you need to see it now. Figure out the whole cancel culture thing NOW because this is going to continue.
And don’t erase it. Never, ever erase it. Look it in the eye and acknowledge it. We can’t afford to sweep anything under the rug anymore. Like I keep saying, get comfortable being uncomfortable cause it’s going to keep happening over and over again until we resolve these issues within our society.
It’s not enough to not be racist, we need to be anti-racist
Let me break that down, as it’s likely not immediately obvious on the surface.
Not being racist is a state of mind or belief. Being anti-racist requires action.
Witches, we need to ACT. And those of us who are white especially. We need to use the privilege we have for the forces of good, recognize that we shouldn’t have this privilege to begin with, and start helping to make some drastic, structural changes to our society.
But that change starts with each of us. And it’s going to make us very, very uncomfortable because change often is, especially when it needs to start happening internally before it can become an external thing, particularly through action.
So get comfortable being uncomfortable, and start making those changes.
It’s okay, I’m here with all of the resources for you. I’m here to help.
I highly recommend watching this two part discussion. It takes place among Black leaders who have spent the time to painstakingly break down what has happened, what is happening, and what white people need to do about it. If you want to know what you need to realize, what you need to do, and what needs to happen in order to change things and to help make a difference this is a fantastic start. And I highly recommend taking the time to watch them:
Where Do We Go From Here? Part 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=09ysfL2SlHo
Where Do We Go From Here? Part 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1jy6LpivqIM
There are also some fantastic books out there that are recommended reading for white people. I’ve compiled some booklists, and you’ll find that some are repeated on each list. I’m sorry to my non-American readers about how American-centered a lot of these are. But given our country was literally founded on slavery and genocide and our economy on the backs of Black and indigenous people, we are a textbook example of institutionalized and systemic racism. Therefore I suspect many of these books will be useful to you anyhow. Please learn from us, if nothing else how NOT to be us:
UNDERSTANDING AND DISMANTLING RACISM: A BOOKLIST FOR WHITE READERS
18 books on race and white privilege that will show you what’s really happening in America right now
24 books for white people to read beyond Black History Month
But please honor your own trauma, and put on your own oxygen masks first
I’m not going to sit here and tell you that none of us white people are having our own troubles and lack of privileges in other areas. But none of our issues, obstacles, or traumas are because we are white.
I am realistic af. Some of us are already bleeding from existing wounds whether it’s deaths among our friends and family from COVID-19, existing PTSD due to other reasons, the loss of our jobs due to the pandemic, and a myriad of other things. It’s a lot to take in, and even those of us who ARE aware, ARE working on our crap, and desperately want to help do something are feeling overwhelmed. It doesn’t mean that we don’t care or should feel guilty that we feel this way, far from it.
Put on your own oxygen mask before assisting other people. I will never, ever advocate for shaming anyone for their own mental and emotional health, especially when I’ve had my own issues with mine. But you WILL need to do this work. It might involve some shadow work for some if not most, but it will be worth it. Do what you can, when you can.
It’s time to get comfortable being uncomfortable, cause we’re going to be here a LONG time. Cause we have to be. It’s the only way we’re going to have a prayer of surviving. We can’t go back. Back no longer exists, we can only go forward. We are watching the real time collapse of an entire society and we will need as many of us as possible to be here at the end so we can build a new one together.