Sunday, June 19, 2011

'Northern European'

I guess I should give fair warning and say outright that this is a post that is probably going to offend a few people.

But I can't not say this anymore. It's been eating at me and pissing me off for about a week now, ever since I saw the usual claims from Folkish Heathens that they somehow have a 'right' to decide who gets to be a Heathen based on ancestry and blood.

Now it's all well and good saying that you don't understand why someone that's not of Northern European ancestry would be interested in something that is as intrinsically linked to culture and reverence for ancestors as Heathenry is. I couldn't imagine ever being Santeria, I simply don't have those cultural/linguistic/ancestral links, or an inner calling to do the requisite work to join a community. I know people though, who are involved in Santeria without those cultural and ancestral links and who did do that work and find much fulfillment in those ways. Horses for courses.

But it's quite another to deny that people of different ancestries don't have a right, like you're some kind of appointed gatekeeper who gets to judge if each person is 'Northern European' enough to qualify.

And it's quite another when those people that feel they have the right to do this judging aren't even Northern Europeans.

Yep, you heard me. Being a whitey born in America with ancestors that were from Northern Europe doesn't make you Northern European. Not in the slightest. You're American.

And let's not even kid ourselves that it is somehow about ancestry and 'having the right blood'. How many people of colour have some European ancestry? I'll give you a clue – lots of them. Some of it from intermarriage, some of it because their ancestors also came from Europe and some because at some point, somewhere, some guy of Northern European ancestry thought he had the right to rape a woman because she wasn't white and he considered her to be nothing more than a domestic animal, to be used and abused as he wished.

Yes, let's not get away from that one, especially not if there are going to be 'race traitor' allegations being thrown around. According to the typical White Supremacist view of things, their own antecedents in terms of ideology would be the biggest and first 'race traitors' in America.

Another funny thing about claiming to follow the ways of ones ancestors and the 'wrongness' of blowing off the ways of one's ancestors for something new, is that the vast majority of modern Heathens have done just that by eschewing about a thousand or so years of ancestors and their Christian/Jewish ways for Heathenry.

And really, does this judgement ever really come down to having the magical number of drops of the 'right' kind of blood? Or the 'right' ancestors? No, let's not kid ourselves here either, it's about skin colour.

Regardless of the fact that that has FUCK all to do with any kind of historical Heathenry. Yes, Scandinavians did have slaves, but a Norwegian could just as easily take a Swede for a slave as an Irish person or someone of colour.

At the end of the day, 'folk' was defined by 'us' as opposed to 'not us'. Usually this was down to kith and kin, but entry in communities could be gained through proving oneself to the community, learning the community ways and taking them for one's own.

And here we come to perhaps the most polemic point of this entire post.

This using 'Northern European' as though it's just representative of just one set of beliefs, customs and traditions, has got to stop. Northern Europe is a varied place. We are not the same culture or peoples to be lumped into some kind of a monoculture because it fits the needs of Folkish Heathenry.

Also, unless you were born and raised in Northern Europe, you're not Northern European. You can enter into the culture at a later stage through becoming a part of a community, learning the language (if it's different), learning the customs and being accepted. You still wouldn't be Northern European, but you'd be a member of the community and a part of the culture – adopted if you will. If you were born on American soil, even to parents that came from Northern Europe, you're still American. You still grew up in one of the many American cultures (which btw isn't Northern European but I will concede that some still have certain aspects).

And you know what? There is FUCK all wrong with being an American and tackling Heathenry from an American POV. Hell, I'm loving the different Heathen cultures that are springing up in different parts of the US and the geographical differences and similarities that we're seeing coming up. That's great because generations of your American ancestors have given their blood, sweat and tears to give you what you have today, their bones lie in the land of your birth, now it's time for you to continue building on that and claim that birthright instead of trying to lay claims to things that simply aren't yours but were at one point. Americans are diverse people too...just something to think on.

In 874, a new land was settled and Heathen peoples figured out ways to still be Heathen in a land that was strange and had its own beings. They learned new ways of working, stopped looking towards Norway for anything but supplies and their worldview changed, they became distinctively Icelandic Heathens.

This is a great example for American Heathens to follow and be inspired by.

Oh and to the 'gatekeepers' in the American communities, the gate/s isn't/aren't yours, so piss off!!!