Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Endless On-Line Debates about "Race in Asatru"

Within 5 minutes of signing onto Facebook, I can be certain of running across some heated, trollish, angry debate about "Race in Asatru."  It really begs the question what any of us have to gain by arguing on-line over this Folkish/Unversalist, ethnicity, "race," inclusion/exclusion topic for another 20 years.  For the past 20 years, this topic has artificially divided our Folkway.  For the past 20 years, this topic has distracted us with its emotional fervor.

Let's be honest.  No one ever convinces anyone else of their opinion on this topic in an on-line discussion.  People scream and shout, and get their blood boiling posting at people that they don't even know and will very likely never meet.  And what is the benefit of this?  What positive effect has this had?

None.  Its simply casts a dark shadow over all we do.  Getting on-line and arguing about "Race" is essentially emotional/intellectual masturbation.  You have the chicken-littles running about constantly posting that the sky is falling and moaning about "racists," all the while competing for who can sound the most tolerant, accepting, and "enlightened" on the issue.  Then you have the "racists" running about constantly posting about how "white" they are, all the while competing for who can sound the most strident and pure in their outlook.  

And finally you have the rest of us wondering how the heck this ridiculous topic has managed to dominate the Asatru landscape for decades now.  It is Pointless.  Purposeless.  Empty.  It is a topic that is used to divide us.  It is a topic used to drum up membership in organizations and factions within our Folkway.

To my tribal way of thinking, let each kindred decide how they are going to pursue this topic, and everyone stay out of everyone else's business.  I you find a kindred that has views on the topic you aren't comfortable with, then join a different kindred or start you own.  At gatherings, if every kindred respects the autonomy of other kindreds to approach this topic (as well as so many others) in the way that is best suited for them, then everyone can gather in Grith.  Problem solved.  Done.  Move on.

My hope is that we could live in a world where everyone acknowledges that this "dead horse" is indeed dead.  A world where when someone tries to bait others into a discussion of this topic, everyone ignores them or the moderators simply delete it.  But, that's an unrealistic wish.  20 years from now, hoards of on-line heathens will still be fitfully debating this topic on whatever 3-D holographic social media we're using at that point.  20 years from now, people will still be enjoying the rush of pointless bloody battle over a topic that will never be fully resolved.

Next time you see someone bringing up this topic, think to yourself..."Why isn't that person out doing something?"  There are so many things to be done.  Start a kindred in your local area. Host a regular heathen study group. Host a gathering. Schedule a heathen workshop or class.  Go to a gathering. Read a book. Write a book.  Teach your family your culture and ways. Honor our Gods and your ancestors.  Make something positive happen in our Folkway.  DO SOMETHING!

Go do something...and post about what you are doing. That's what I enjoy reading about when I'm browsing Facebook.

As for my own opinion on this "dead-horse" topic?  I've expressed it elsewhere in an essay I wrote, that was later included in a book along with about a 100 other topics related to Heathenry that I consider more important.  Honestly, when it comes to your family and your kindred, you shouldn't really care what I think about the topic anyway. 

Mark Ludwig Stinson
Jotun's Bane Kindred
Temple of Our Heathen Gods

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