Anonymous asked: Same anon from earlier, but I have another question and you're good at answering them. Most of the posts on here are about white people appropriating another group, but I am a POC who grew up with a white family in a white area (etc etc). What I'm wondering is if appropriation is something that only applies to white people, or if I'd fall into that category as well, despite my race. If that makes any sense at all.
From what I understand from reading POC’s posts is that there’s a difference between exploring your own [ancestral] culture, if you’re able to find it, and appropriating other POC cultures. For example, if your ancestry is Wolof, it’d still be appropriative to take on East Plains beliefs.
That having been said, I am white and I don’t have POC’s posts about this in front of me for proper reference, so if any POC followers could chime in that’d be great!
Anonymous asked: Okay, so I'm starting out (or trying to, anyway) with paganism, and I'm not entirely sure what's cultural appropriation and what isn't. I'm looking into the (mainly Celtic) history and the culture, and I'm trying to be respectful, but I'm not sure when it goes from learning and emulating to being racist and rude. There's just so much information.
There’re two main things to consider:
- Is the culture historically a coloniser or one that’s been colonized? Or, more to the point, are you taking cues from white people or people of colour? There’s a huge difference between taking cues from the Celts and using “Native American” beliefs, because of the history of oppression and colonization.
- is the belief system you’re looking at open or closed? Hellenists basically welcome anyone, where a lot of belief systems are very focused and don’t appreciate others barging in. (Again, often because of the history of oppression and colonization involved.)
Push comes to shove, ask a few people who practice the belief system you’re looking at about it, do research specifically about feelings towards outsiders, or just pass on it and keep reading.
I get irritated at people with bumper stickers that say "Keep CHRIST in Christmas!" Like, look guys, you can't appropriate a pagan holiday and then tell everyone they can only celebrate it one way.
- Me: Today is my birthday! I notice you are not celebrating my birthday.
- Non-believer: Well, ok, happy birthday, I guess, but...I don't know you! I was celebrating my wedding anniversary today, actually
- Me: Excuse me?! It's *my* birthday. Don't make this about you.
- Non-believer: What year were you born?
- Me: 1986.
- Non-believer: I was married in 1984. Wouldn't that make it my anniversary before your birthday?
- Me: YOUR ANNIVERSARY WAS A SATAN-WORSHIPPING ORGY BEFORE IT WAS MY BIRTHDAY MY BIRTHDAY SAVED YOUR ANNIVERSARY WHEN IT BECAME PART OF MY BIRTHDAY
- Me: Praise Me
- Non-believer: Hey ... your driver's license says you were born April 15 1988
While it is certainly difficult to find instances of racism against white people in North America, I believe it to be different overseas. Let me use China as an example. It has a long, long history of feeling superior to foreigners. While I do not deny the colonialist interference of European countries and the US, it is inaccurate to suggest that anti-white practice in China stems purely from this (anti-Japanese sentiments, that’s another story.) By claiming that the ‘oppressor’ cannot be ‘oppressed,’ you presume that white people have, in fact, exempted POC from being equally bigoted. While I am sure you don’t intend to, your responses can come off as “poor them, bad us.”
Good to know, and thank you. I can see what you mean, and that’s really shitty and gross of me — I’ll do my best to unlearn that attitude.
plantashes asked: You were very gracious in your response. Please look at your responses circa Aug 15. You very emphatic about institutional power being a requirement for racism. This sounds credible, but when you say this and then say racism is not bidirectional, you separate white people from the rest. While the ‘white people have privilege over POC’ claim is and was true, it is a generalization that cannot be made without a caveat. (1)
You are understandably North America-centric, and fail to acknowledge that the same rules do not necessarily apply. I am more well-versed in the Chinese attitude, but the anti-white sentiment does not have everything to do with being oppressed. Certainly, there is a space for that, but you ignore the fact that indeed, non-white countries (and there ex-pats) are capable of acting on their inherent feeling of superiority over whites.(2)
I find you are too presumptive and you don’t listen as well as you should, especially to POC. I’ll direct you to that ask with the Korean individual, wherein you dismissed what they had to say quite easily. You also dismissed a couple other asks as being trolls (as well as another ask confirming they were not trolls) when in fact they were actually going somewhere. This is already long enough as it is, but you still care to listen, I can expand upon these things. (3)
I’ve always been told (by other POC) that it’s basically a worldwide thing, so if you wouldn’t mind expanding on that even just for my own knowledge that would be amazing, but you’re definitely right in that I was too quick to dismiss what the Korean person had to say because it didn’t fit in with what I’ve been told (and if that person is still reading my blog, I apologize!).
I’ll do my best to bess less presumptive and listen better, and thank you once again for calling me out on it.
Anonymous asked: I am by no means a follower of your blog, nor am I a pagan, but I am a POC. If you request that I come off anon, I will gladly do so, but for now, I will withhold my identity. I will not put this lightly. You overstep. You overstep tremendously. Around mid-August, I sent you an ask calling into question your responses to some other asks (still mid-August.) You did not respond. You say you haven't gotten negative feedback about this. This is your negative feedback.
I apologize! If I didn’t respond, then it was probably Tumblr eating the ask.
Thank you for not putting it lightly. Would it be possible for you to point me in the direction of where I fucked up so that I can be sure that I know where I overstepped?
I am incredibly sorry for going past where I should, and this worry is why I made that post. I’ll do my best to not repeat my fuck-up.
Um, can we please talk about the REAL meaning of Christmas? It’s about The Wild Hunt, Odin, and Modranicht, people.
Prepare to have you mind blown: It’s a holiday in a different fucking religion, so you’re ‘real meaning’ bs is exactly that - bull shit.
It’s also (holy shit, more mind blowing stuff!) largely secular, at least in the US.
And so it has begun