I stand against white supremacy. Full stop.
I stand against white supremacy in the Pagan community. Full stop.
I stand against white supremacy in modern neo-Pagan witchcraft, and in reconstructionist polytheism, and in the New Age movement. For that matter, I stand against white supremacy in academia, and in queer culture. I stand against white supremacy in art and literature and in fantasy and science fiction and horror and every other community of which I am directly or tangentially affiliated. On the one hand, I would hope that — however I may, at times inevitably, fail to live up to my antiracist ideals — that would be clear from my record. On the other hand, I’ve been around the block too many times to think that it goes without saying.
This comes to mind today because it has come to my attention that an occult store in the Kansas City area has given a platform to a white supremacist author. When the author’s political leanings and affiliations were revealed, and the store owner was asked to cancel the event, the store owner and the general community at large responded predictably: doubling down, waving the false flag of free speech, and accusing all detractors of censorship. They say it is the author’s detractors who are the real racists, that membership in an explicitly white supremacist organization is not proof that the author, himself, is a white supremacist.
I am utterly unsurprised by any part of this. What else does a white conjure shop owner have in common with an Asatru author? And the deflections are fucking textbook: “They’re not really racist, just proud of who they are.” “Giving racists a platform doesn’t make you racist.” “Censorship!” “Do you believe it’s possible to be racist against white people?”
Meanwhile, over on the author’s folk assembly page, he and his crew are bragging about rumors of Antifa intervention. You know who brags about fights with Antifa? Fascists. Out-and-proud fascists brag about confrontations with Antifa. Fucking Nazis. And the KKK. And, apparently, folkish Asatru assemblies.
Giving a white supremacist a platform does not make you one, per se, but it does make you complicit in white supremacy. Likewise providing a platform for homophobes, transphobes, and mysoginists. Denying them a platform is not censorship, nor is it denying them their free speech: it is the exercise of your own free speech.
So, too, is providing a platform an exercise of speech. It is a statement: this is speech I support. If, per chance, you offer an individual or an organization a platform on a particular subject, and it is brought to your attention after the fact that they are best known for speaking on another, then … then you have a choice. You can either double down or make a judgment call. Mainstream racists will attempt to convince you otherwise, but there is a difference between sticking with an author who, say, believes that our government is run by lizard people or that the pineapple and anchovies are an excellent pizza, and sticking with an author who is part of an explicitly white supremacist, homophobic, transphobic, and misogynist organization.
In case you didn’t know, that’s what “folkish” Asatru is. Don’t take my word for it: go check out their websites. There are dog whistles everywhere, and you don’t have to dig very deep before they get really, really explicit about those views.
Stand against white supremacy. Stand against homophobia. Stand against transphobia. Stand against misogyny.
Stand against them in the Pagan community. Stand against them in the world.