Category: Race


I received a comment on my post ABW Free Space: Every Day is Exactly the Same – Or “Last Year’s Protest is About the Same as Any” from Marymtf:

These long, boring, single idea posts make me itch for a red pen. Who gives a hoot what you think about white people. Certainly not Alexander Fleming, Shakespeare, or Alexander Graham Bell. Or me. I prefer to judge individuals by their actions not their colour. I don’t care for mobs. Last year’s rioters, thieves and vandals decided me that it was less about black lives mattering and more about the uncivilised trashing of cities, secure in the knowledge there would be no repercussions. Because of course there’s a push to defund the police. And who would go against a feral mob?

I wrote my reply, it’s a bit long but, hey, it’s my space so why not?

Ah, in the decade I have written Black Witch, I’ve always wondered when I would get a comment like this. Almost year eleven come June, better late than never, I suppose. First, a quick note: given my core targeted audience is Black & Pagan, I’m really not super inclined to make any modifications (outside of major errors) if those issues are not raised by my core target audience. And even then, I still am usually the one who decides. Keeps things simple. That way if a White person, a Christian person, a straight person, whatever have you, complains … I may listen because, hey, I have a comment section, but I can always shrug off what they say because “not core audience”. Unless it is major, that’s how I treat things. The internet is loaded with writers, go find them if this blog isn’t your cup of tea. I do it all the time. Besides, judging from your avatar, you are not in my core audience. There are plenty White Pagan blogs to read. Assuming you’re even Pagan.

Yes, I don’t write my online posts the same as I do my published essays … because it is the internet. However, given that you could understand what it says enough to write this comment, it is legible enough for you, however. Not to mention, this is my corner on the internet, I can post what I care to discuss. I take it you don’t just red-pen the internet, do you? That sounds like a forever job, but in quite a bad way. Especially because it would be a volunteer one.

I think I don’t give a hoot about three men who are currently quite dead so it is rather mutual. Actually, I believe it could also be that because they are dead that they may not care. You are very free to visit their graves to give us all the inside scoop, however. Granted, I think you will have to introduce yourself to them because they probably wouldn’t give much a toss about you, either. Especially if you are a woman, all three never had the greatest respect for them. And why stay stuck in the boys’ locker room? No White women of history to note? I am going to assume from your avatar and screen name you are indeed a White woman. Not even the Grimke sisters or Marie Curie. Plus, as for Shakespeare – I always preferred Ben Jonson. He simply was better, even the people during the time agreed. Surely you have read “The Alchemist”, yes? Far better than that “Exit Bear” drivel Shakespeare pumped out – and at least Jonson doesn’t have to contend with plagiarism claims, even well into the afterlife. Then again, that is what happens when you like skilled works over the Middle Ages version of “The Simpsons”.

Now, who cares about what I write or think about White privilege and such? Quite a lot, according to my numbers. Over a thousand, at minimum. Which is a lot of people. I have over three times that on the Facebook fan page, almost twice that on the Tumblr – oh! And over 5,600 on this site alone. Gee, that’s at least 10,000 people. Huh, that’s more people than I can fit in a bathroom – or even in your house. So, as for “who cares”, maybe not anyone currently decomposing, but an awful lot of breathing individuals. And an awful lot more than you and yourself. When you check someone’s writing, at least check on their numbers, too. That way you can give a more accurate snip than blithely run about with “who cares” when the numbers are very clear who does. Just say “this post hurts my feelings” instead. Sounds much more accurate.

You say “I don’t see color” – thanks for proving a point I wrote above about people who say that, by the by, it makes it super easy when people wind up proving me right when they are trying to prove me wrong – but here you go bringing up BLM and the riots that happened. At least try to prove your point better by bringing up the Nov 6th Insurrection, the Vancouver hockey riots and other countless times where it was another race causing destruction. Or the Revolutionary War. Or the Bastille. Or the other countless times in history where “protests should have be quiet and gentle”. Otherwise, it could look like your racism is showing. Also, you can get upset over Black issues and the destruction of architecture at the same time, if you believe it is an either/or issue, that is more a “you” problem than you think – even if you personally owned one of those buildings.

Uncivilised? Wait, is that an “s” I see? As in, you aren’t American? Oh my gods, I would say “I hope that isn’t a typo” but apparently you have never made a literary mistake in your life apparently. Well, as long as no one considers region or localization. Otherwise, that “s” would be marked with a red pen to a “z”. Given this fact, I ask you: why do *you* care? You aren’t American, as far as I am concerned. Go worry about *your* nation’s problems. I was about to say “you must not know how to research either because defunding police isn’t the same as removing the police – you don’t check numbers or facts, that’s two for two” but you aren’t even American! (You still don’t seem to check facts or numbers, though. Still two for two). Since you are so bothered by what I write, chalk it up to “oh, those Americans and their problems” and keep living your life. That is British spelling. America hasn’t had to concern themselves with the British since the 1700s. You don’t like violence, given how uncivilized you think it is, so I will assume you never heard about the Revolutionary War. It happened. Lots of violence and blood spilling and death and killing. Gory but hey, now we have our own nation. I do apologize, given this is usually White American-grade stupidity – the lack of research and ignorance of numbers on your part didn’t help either – I sincerely could not tell the difference until you made that error of putting an “s” down where there should have been a “z”.

I think you might be worrying over problems that do not concern you. And that can be quite a fatal error, even unnecessary stress is deadly. Maybe read some Women’s History instead. I really think Jane Elliot is interesting – oh, hey I just named another living White woman of history! It’s like there were bunches of them, living and dead!

Thank you for your input!

Let’s break down my response. First starting with an info bit about Marymtf.

I had noticed she wrote “uncivilized” with British spelling (an “s” instead of a “z”) and thus decided to look up where she was in the world via her ip address, which WordPress likes to hand me whenever people post comments. Victoria, Australia. As in, ding ding, I was right, she was not an American. Here’s the thing – if you are whinging over American race issues, especially when your nation has a boatload of its own, it is time to maybe go get some tea and mumble “not my problem” unless you’re going to bring something fruitful to the conversation. If you’re going to bring fluff concerns and say things like “who cares about what you think about White people”, just look into a mirror until something clicks. Aren’t there some bush fires to put out? Or race issues in Australia to better worry over? Also, it is a little odd a White Australian would think Black people are uncivilized when the history of modern Australia is basically “Britain’s Trash Can”. Sincerely interesting words for someone from If-Alcatraz-Was-A-Country. Miss Mary Oh Contrary, indeed.

By the by, she has her own site. A Wondering Minstrel, which is quite a name choice to have when coming to a Black blog and opine – especially since she could do that on her own blog. I don’t scour the internet for how people respond to my works so it would have been super safe there. On her “About Me” – where there is a typo: she has an open parenthesis on the first line – she pens about how she wants to be a writer. She goes on about how she wants to write stories and articles and how difficult it is to write books for toddlers – I understand that it can be difficult to make a tiny tot sit through a rewrite of The Canterbury Tales, I’m sure. She muses that it is difficult to get published and no one wants to read the collections of short stories from nobodies, which I do not disagree. I guess she just doesn’t stan Shakespeare and Fleming hard enough for such an overwhelmingly White industry as publishing to pay attention to her. Maybe she should grow a penis, apparently that really helps when you’re a nobody in literature with little to offer, especially if you are White. I mean, I usually get asked to write articles or assist with research so I sort of feel her plight. Sort of … not really. I tend to turn down such engagements though, the most recent was from the BBC. I have a personal standard: NPR, Al Jazeera, Pro Publica or better. Unless it is a book, I believe I am in at least three. And still, I turn down the crappier book offers. The only downside to my publications is that I always wanted to be published for my creative writings, not my usual articles. But! I’m also published on that end as well – one of my works was even turned into an audiobook (audiostory? It was a short story turned into audio form). And there’s even more to come from the creative writing end but that’s a little beyond the scope of this post. Amazing what work one can get done when not wasting time spouting White Opinions on the internet. However, she did say she is trying to fill her time due dealing with “post Empty Nest Syndrome”. I guess she has to find something else to do that isn’t creative writing since “being a mom” is checked off and apparently there’s literally nothing else for women to do in the world after pumping out kids, their only goal and reason for existence, amirite? Hey hey, WASP-out to your heart’s content – just keep it to yourself or at least to your web space. At least the publishing world lets her be to her lonesome.

The posts on the site aren’t my cup of tea so I won’t bother talking about them. I have already received my English literature degree so I don’t have to suffer through dry, contrite, self-conceited, myopic works of Whiteness (and stifling White femininity) if I personally do not want to. Even at the Library of Congress, where I formally worked, we would chuck them out because there’s so many and if you have seen one, you have pretty much seen them all.

And for everyone, if you want to read works from a much more important White female author and does not have her head shoved way up her derriere, please try Kristine Kathryn Rusch. She says quite interesting things, especially about the writing field. Her “Business Musings” posts are a must-read, especially for anyone who would like actually decent information about publishing, not simply the trials and tribulations of crafting Hemmingway for tots.

To sum up, this was basically Marymtf’s comment:

You never know, this could be one of her toddler books

 

Now, enough about Marymtf. Let’s go into why I replied the way I did. Paragraph breakdown, ahoy!

I feel like this is needed

Paragraph 1: It will be year 11 for Black Witch come June 9th. I will try to do a FB livestream but no promises. It is true, I rarely get fussy people like this on my blog. Also, she isn’t Pagan, either. Just a plain ol’ WASP type that simply decided to inject her opinions where it really isn’t needed. Again, she sincerely could have kept her opinions on her own blog. 

Paragraph 2: Just looking at her “About Me”, I found a typo in the first line. For a grammar nazi, she trips up in her goose-stepping when it is her own works, huh? Perhaps she should concern herself with her own writings first instead of try to edit the internet because some rando on the information highway said something she disagreed with. 

Paragraph 3: Ben Jonson is indeed better than Shakespeare. Also, I can tell she really holds on to the “went to school for writing” bit about her with a death grip because she couldn’t name any women writers. Not even White women. Internalized misogyny, I think the publishing market is already full of that, no wonder it can be tough for her to get a bite. She mentions Gloria Steinem on her blog, probably doesn’t even understand a single thing Steinem says that applies outside of super basic White Feminism.

Paragraph 4: I decided to check my numbers! They are, as of print:

  • WordPress/this blog: 5,607
  • Facebook Fan Page: 3,410
  • Tumblr: 1,539
  • Twitter: 774
  • Instagram: 164

That comes to a total of 11,494 people who seems to “give a hoot” about what I have to say about anything. And they’re just followers/subscribers, this excludes page visits. This also technically makes me what one would call a “micro influencer“. Which is explained by ImpactPlus as “individuals that have between 1,000 to 1,000,000 followers/audience members and are considered experts in their respective niche.”

Not bad for someone who “no one gives a hoot” about. I don’t generally get into pissing contests over numbers but it is nice to have the stats on hand when needed. And I’m not even super active on my social medias! Otherwise the numbers would be bigger. Twitter is least used, still almost has a thousand followers. Instagram is new and hardly talks about Paganism, still has over a hundred. Also, Marymtf seemed to care enough to post a comment so that is already at least one person who cares about what I say, otherwise, it would all be ignored as silly gibberish.

Paragraph 5: She basically provided a prime example of my statement in the original post:

And another thing that I’m super sick of hearing over this past year:

“I love all people of all races and backgrounds.”

Usually people who say this are usually caught with their hand in the Cookie Jar of Racism. I have rarely met individuals who have said this phrase and actually lived up to it.  What they usually mean is this:

“I have not personally murdered a non White person (Black, really) via lynching and I know how to not say slurs when the irritable affected are not around – only around people who look like me or the sycophants of that group that I keep around for anti-racism rep but I tell them it’s ‘friendship’/’relationship’. And I know one Whitewashed MLK phrase. Maybe two if I think really, really hard. I salt my learned hatred of you in heaps of sugar.”

Still racist all the same.

Gotta love when people prove you right when trying to prove you wrong. Here are also one bit that can even better truncate what I feel:

Won’t someone please think of the buildings?

 

There is also the fact that not everyone who was part of the violence from the BLM protests was Black. Like this guy, for example:

Maybe that’s one of her kids visiting America. She calls herself a “minstrel” and this is generally what they have looked like for the past 200 years or so and she did say she had sons.

Then there’s the fact that police and other instigators (White supremacists) wanted to paint BLM as bad so they would put out brick piles. Very neat brick piles. Ready for the chuckin’. 

Surely she’s hip to this, right? Being from a Land of Convicts, there’s got to be some innate knowledge of how to be violent and such? Most likely a descendant of British law breakers, causing undue mayhem has got to make natural sense to her, right?

There was a feral mob there but it wasn’t primarily the Black people. They looked a lot more like her. Surprise, surprise.

Paragraph 6: She talks about Black people being uncivilized … while a White Australian. As in, her family tree most likely started in the Land Down Under because one of her recent ancestors got pinched by Scotland Yard and it was egregious enough to get deported to the arid land of “What the hell are those animals and why are they like this?”  

 

Will never not be funny. At least a good chunk of the animals are cute. Unlike the people similar to Marymtf

Again, if you have a family tree that has a strong statistical probability of literally starting with murderers, thieves and rapists, maybe you shouldn’t be declaring who is civilized or not. That’s more of a British thing. And again, don’t worry about American issues. At least we’re not still under the Monarchy. She should worry about race issues in her own land, or worry about those books for toddlers since they’re posing such a hardy task. Can’t be that hard to mimic Dr. Seuss but, hey, everyone has their difficulties, especially in a country commonly slammed on by the British as “devoid of culture, etiquette, and decency”. When I saw the s/z difference, this was basically my reaction:

Paragraph 7 & 8: She sincerely should just go work on her books for tiny tots and not worry about problems she seriously does not get. I’m sure getting Mein Kampf and the works of Lovecraft written down to a Pre School level must be a real brain teaser so maybe she shouldn’t worry about problems that happen on the other side of the world, especially since she is at a pretty lofty age and still doesn’t understand. Again, thank you for your input but no one wanted it.

 

I know, I know, I usually don’t get comments on my posts. I usually appreciate comments but only if they’re not soaked in snooty prejudice. If she wants to whine, she has her own blog to do it at. Plus, my writing can’t be that long and boring if she was willing to sit through it and even comment. I mean, hers are none too whiz-bang either or she would have a couple decent publishing credits to her name by now. Perhaps it would have been best if she simply never left her echo chamber.

Oh, and Happy Nothing-Happened-Today Day

It’s been roughly a year since there were massive protests supporting Black Lives Matter due to the several hate murders of Black individuals by White people, being from behind a badge or out of simple plain, garden variety homicidal anti-Blackness. It also, unfortunately, was one of the biggest showings of White Guilt and White Fragility and White Saviorism I have seen in a while, mainly to pretend to care while keeping things roughly the same. Or pretend to care, get called out on it and then whine about “Cancel Culture”. (Hot tip: Yes, accountability sucks (which is usually what “Cancel Culture” is, pointing out your prejudiced f*ck-ups.) Get used to it or stop doing it. Can’t get any simpler than that.) These acts pretty much co-opted the struggle for respecting the inherent civil rights of Black people, which is what any thing to do with White Reaction tends to aim for. Maintaining White supremacy is odd like that. Otherwise the Proud Boys, a White supremacist group, wouldn’t be led by a White passing Latin man – who they only martyr the fall of when it is really, really convenient.

Before we begin, let’s review the various forms of White Reaction:

Let’s review the difference between “actual allyship”, which takes work but has positive lasting effects, and “harmful allyship”, which is easy to do – hence why it is an often sought after choice – but does literally nothing positive or genuinely effective. It’s a bunch of pointless kumbayah’ing meant to keep the same system in place. Pathetic lip service, in other words.

Changes did indeed happen, that is fact, but the changes aren’t that staggering and will probably peter out in a few years. I’m from Baltimore, we had the riots back in 2015. Things changed for a little – and then went back to how it was or got worse because of performative allyship. Oh, and then there was the glaring fact that White people tried so endlessly to call it an “uprising” or a “revolution”. It wasn’t. It was a protest that eventually turned into a riot because all transportation was shut down thanks to the Baltimore police not being that great at crowd herding – among a lot of other things. (City Hall is even more corrupt than the police, brief reminder. And City Hall painted themselves as the Defenders of the People during this time. The same City Hall that is so corrupt I don’t even bother learning the Mayor’s name because they get booted out that frequently). Oh, and those same White people also tried to loot a lot during that “uprising/revolution” that it very much wasn’t – because they knew Black Baltimoreans would get doused with the blame. By them, the White people. And those very same ones that wanted to cast the Baltimore riots like there should be a Muse soundtrack playing in the background also wanted to duck any and every claim that, actually, they are part of the problem, not the solution. From trying to provoke police into shooting at the protesting crowd by screaming “gun! Gun! There’s a gun!” when there certainly wasn’t, to trying to rename and sanitize the opinions of the protests to suit a more “We’re not like those White people, we’re saviors! Also, please focus on us!” gaze. And now, some time later, we’re still in a suffering state. Actually, we have gotten worse in some ways.

Or to put it in a favorite image I have seen:

Yep, sums it up

If anything, it just has been a bunch of White Whinging and Concern-Harassment, which is “oh, I want to unlearn prejudice (not really), can we go deep sea diving through your cultural trauma so I can feel better about myself, even when I royally screw up?”  First of all, I’m not a Diversity Consultant. That is a bona fide job and with a very bona fide rate of $500-700 an hour. Want to frolic wistfully in the pains of others? Those are the go-to guys and it is less “let you frolic” and more “give you a paltry talking to in exchange for buckets of money”. Go pay them. Requests like these are usually about 3 to 15 hours worth, roughly. They break the bank with the greatest of ease but hey, people like me get to have a regular, unharassed day so it works. And Concern-Harassment, though similar, isn’t Concern-Trolling because they act like they want to be taught, not that the individual they are targeting should change. 

Two images that come to mind when I think of last summer:

Wow, did this occur a lot. It is wholly why I haven’t slow-walked anyone about unlearning any biases for years. It’s much easier for me to just rip on the person until they learn or leave.
They usually leave.
Another reason why I just rip on the person until they learn or leave – because they’re usually not interested in learning. They just want to cause hassle for personal entertainment or gain.
Moral of the Story: Nice doesn’t Work. Ever. You’re just one bad day (theirs or yours) away from being “just like the rest”. And it doesn’t have to be a bad day, either. Any regular day will do.

If there were any sign of something genuinely fruitful coming out of slow-walking privileged groups through unlearning their biases, I would go through with it. But I don’t do things like that anymore because what I have noticed for myself and others like myself is that it’s just an utter waste of time and simply a very easy way to ruin your day while theirs is very amplified from their “learning experience”. You aren’t a person to them, you’re a walking life lesson. And if you don’t Life Lesson exactly right, expect to deal with a nasty storm you 100% did not ask for. And you don’t get to know what “exactly right” is but you’re definitely sure it sits somewhere in the realm of “coddling and defending bad behavior” so they don’t really have to unlearn a thing, you’ll do all the suffering for them. Yeaaaaaaah, no.

Plus, there are countless resources for a regular person to avail themselves to. Loads and buckets. I’m not perfect by a long shot, I have had (and still have) my own biases to check. But I learned by myself how to do that. I didn’t ask a total stranger of any affected group to personally slow-walk me through my own biases and to basically be my punching bag “for experience” until I learn through and through how to treat them like a human being. I would perhaps follow their blog and watch a bunch of documentaries and read books and follow a few other people as well in the affected group but that’s it. No interacting at all. They get to be themselves and not harassed, I get to learn via not harassing. Besides, some other idiot would usually ask whatever I was thinking and I would learn that way as well. Granted, I’m the type that never wants to bother others in general so that’s probably why the “lurk and learn” method works wonders for me. I may not have had full understanding about the affected group I’m learning about but I know enough as a human being that being annoyed by annoying people is, well, aggravating. “Lurk and Learn” works better than “Harass and pester” when it comes to unlearning biases. Way better.

Not to mention, when bothering affected people to learn about how they are affected by prejudice, they’re not the happiest bunch to grace the planet. Because you are bothering them. It’s remarkably easy to take this agitation of being pestered over something very stressful as confirmation bias. (“See! [Affected group] really is loaded with terrible people. I asked one to personally walk me through my prejudice and they had the nerve to tell me where I could stick my questions. How dare they not be nice and notice I am trying to improve their lives?”) Here is a cute picture to help you remember how not to harangue others:

Very adorbs

 

I also must say, I personally have certainly encountered an unusual additional annoyance: Chinese Nationalists. This is probably borne from the fact that I do indeed know Chinese (as well as at least four other languages – to be honest, I stopped counting at five) and thus interact on an international language exchange app that started in China, Hello Talk. By the way, Hello Talk used to be sort of decent, now, it’s part of standard Chinese government level censorship. This means you can’t really say a whole lot on a language exchange app. And if Chinese is one of your languages, it is even worse since you can hardly post in Chinese – because it will be censored for one reason for another. Never really been much of a fan of non-obscene censorship. Back to the original topic, I have been dealing with an insane slew of Chinese nationalists because apparently Black Lives Matter also was used for propaganda bs there as well.

It’s usually in the tone of garden variety anti-Blackness but whiplashing to playing victim. (“See, this is why Black people get murdered – but Asian people also are treated poorly! Look at how China is treated!”) If I never interacted with White people or White society before, this would sound super brand new to me. It’s a different brand of super stupid, to be honest. For the record, whinging to a Black person about the imperialist acts of America is pretty much preaching to the choir. Also, China recently has been going through a lot of Yikes when it comes to oppressiveness, including but not limited to, anti-Blackness. From state-sponsored plays that feature blackface, to acting exactly like West with the Belt and Road Initiative (which hijacks African nations of their materials & people via economic and/or oppressive force and oppresses Black individuals of their freedoms), to deporting Black immigrants in China as a scapegoat for the coronavirus to duck responsibility, to straight up concentration camps (complete with boxcars!) of the Uyghur people. About that, the Uyghur people are not Black, no, but when the world went “Wow, China, you’re looking very … 1940s Germany but with a side of 1800s America and some Hannibal Lecter thrown in for flavor” because of the Uyghur forced labor, which ranges from building technology to picking cotton, as well as harvesting organs of the Uyghurs – which they, the Chinese government, have also done to other Chinese civilians, such as those in the persecuted religious group, Falun Gong, the Chinese government’s response was to bring up American chattel slavery, basically cherry picking Black history to present themselves as “not the bad guy/not the only bad guy” to justify (or deny) their textbook genocide. Cherry picking the collective lives of Black folks to suit your own biased and prejudiced agendas while refusing to interact with said group in genuine earnest – yep, sounds about White. For a nation really mad at the West, they certainly like to pull countless methods out of the West’s rule book. 

What sucks more is that people in China will repeat this nonsense but the second they are asked remotely in-depth questions, out comes the “I respect all people. The Chinese respects all people. We love Black people and are grateful for them!” If this phony act does not work for White people, it is not going to work for other groups. Especially if they have the same narcissistic hyper defensiveness that I usually find way more common with White people in general or non Black people of color (NBPoC) who are middle class or above. Happens every time. For example, when I talked about how the use of Black history to justify genocide with folks in China who would interact with me – just like with White people, these conversations are never started by me, I’m always approached – it would be met with tone-deafness and many red herring attempts. Such as “Racism is so big and difficult a problem, I’m just one person. [So I don’t have to fix any of my bad behavior!]” Uh, ridding racism can be as easy as telling someone, “Wow, that is a really bad joke. Lol, were you trying to be funny? Please keep your day job, ha!” Simple. Or “Wait, when the Japanese treated us like this, we all thought it was wrong. I don’t know, I don’t think I want to be that kind of monster. Unless you thought all that was okaaaay ….” Throwing the ball back at the prejudiced person by evoking shared historical pain is an oldie but a goodie and very effective. Also simple. No, it won’t get you a Nobel Peace prize like Dr. King but it also won’t get you a bullet to the throat (like Dr. King), either. Very easy peasy. Or just examine your own thoughts and root out your own biases. Here is a handy-dandy wheel to get you started – anyone on the planet can use this easy learning tool! 

Look at all the pretty colors! Easy to use for everyone, anywhere at any time! Live in Boston or in Beijing or in Bristol or in Berlin? Still applies!

For me, it’s just like interacting with White people who would bug me about the same, except in a different language. One thing I can expertly say now for fact is that racist, anti-Black bullsh*t sounds roughly the same in various parts of the world and in various languages. China isn’t the only Asian country to pull this behavior (looking at you, Japan and South Korea (oh boy, all that can be said about K-pop alone is warrant enough for its own discussion)) but I do seem to hear the most from China. Yes, there is the whole geo-political rivalry thing between the US and China but if either nation are going to barrel through Black history and people with indecency, it should be noted and brought up. If China is flipping through The West’s playbook of How To Succeed, they should have just simply bypassed the “Engage in Anti-Blackness, There’s Literally No Way This Can Possibly Go Wrong” chapter and kept it moving. 

Also, bringing up anti-Asian sentiment does not justify anti-Blackness. Yes, there have been rifts between the Black community and Asian community but they usually only appear when White supremacy has poked about. Otherwise, there tend to be more unions than not. Like I said, maintaining White supremacy is odd like that. Heck, a lot of Asian Americans are figuring that one out now, that “borrowed White privilege” isn’t real privilege at all – because White people will still set your grandparents on fire should the whimsy strike them. And “borrowed White privilege” doesn’t afford any real protections, you’re just a human shield to conduct White supremacist anti-Black behavior behind, not an actual human being to them. That realization came at them super duper fast when the massage parlor mass shooting occurred and the gunman was referred to as “church-going” and “dealing with a sex addiction” by NBC news and “simply had a bad day” by the police. Anglicizing and minimizing the true awfulness of a White gunman’s racist behavior, check and check. Speaking as a Black person who is extremely familiar with history: stock up on your cat videos and gas masks, Asian America, things are going to get pretty bad. At least there might not be any lynchings, White people aren’t that read up on their history. Maybe.

And for Black folks: try not to buy into White supremacist anti-Asian behavior. Here’s a handy reminder image:

 

But definitely, hold them accountable for when they screw up, be it in the name of White Supremacy/”borrowed White privilege”, colorism (which has been in Asia long before White people showed up), or in the form of straight up murder. Always inspect your mind and check your biases but some things are simply as plain as day. They may call it, “Oh noes, Cancel Culture!” (they like to borrow White Whinging, it appears) We call it, “Accountability – so you don’t coddle a culture that convinces someone else to shoot us in the back of the head at point blank over orange juice. Get used to it or stop doing it.” Remember, check your bias but check the anti-Blackness of others.

And if there are any Asian American folks who think they can successfully fight for better respect but still think anti-Blackness (and colorism) is the truth, the light, and the way – you might as well go home and stick your head back in the sand. Can’t dismantle the same White supremacy that thinks turning your elders into bonfires and your sisters into bullet cabinets & walking fleshlights is “self-expression of frustration” if you plan on still holding on to it with a death grip. Historically, it really does not work out well. Well, not for you. White folks will be fine, if not somehow benefited – which the main point of White supremacy, by the way. Angry Asian Man explains this far better than I do, hence why his blog has lived in the Links of Interest at the top of this blog since the literal creation of this very blog. He even added a podcast.

Dealing with Chinese nationalists is certainly annoying and a brand new annoyance for me. Also note I say “Chinese nationalists” not “Chinese people”. Not all of them spit nonsense, but the nationalists? Oh, they certainly do for sure. And I am aware sometimes it is probably people of the “50 Cent Army”, paid pro-nationalists trolls, but still these folks need to be reined in and they tend to burst into fireworks when you simply bring up general, accurate Chinese history. So much is censored over there that it takes very little to find something that will easily flip the tables and upset them. Heck, just bring up the concentration camps that are happening now or the Tiananmen Square massacre and eventually they’ll be the super angry one. Oh, and bring up the BBC. Apparently the channel that pumps out nothing but Dr. Who and dry television really gets them going. I’m not a fan of the BBC myself (though, I do love Red Dwarf and Chef!), it’s not enough to practically bust a vein over. Except when the BBC is being racist, which is practically all the time. Over-censorship makes for easy counter trolling, thankfully. Troll or not, they usually block me because I get them angry enough. Huh, just like White folks who also pester me for racist reasons.

Oh! And another thing that I’m super sick of hearing over this past year:

“I love all people of all races and backgrounds.”

Usually people who say this are usually caught with their hand in the Cookie Jar of Racism. I have rarely met individuals who have said this phrase and actually lived up to it.  What they usually mean is this:

“I have not personally murdered a non White person (Black, really) via lynching and I know how to not say slurs when the irritable affected are not around – only around people who look like me or the sycophants of that group that I keep around for anti-racism rep but I tell them it’s ‘friendship’/’relationship’. And I know one Whitewashed MLK phrase. Maybe two if I think really, really hard. I salt my learned hatred of you in heaps of sugar.”

Still racist all the same. Even without a personal body count, even without a pointed hood, even without a membership card to a known hate group. I posted this in the last post but it bears saying twice:

There is no “racist boogyman”, I have met a lot of super nice racist people. They’re still racist and I would steer clear of them whenever possible. Nice or not nice, you don’t want to find out which side of the coin you’re on because it flips in the blink of an eye. The people who have attended lynchings would all be considered “nice people”, not monsters. The people who have expressed hateful statements or very problematic statements would usually also be considered “nice”, with “well-meaning” tacked on. They are all very nice – up until they are not. Some are good at using this like a weapon (White Feminism is a diamond example). Some just like to act baffled but still lovable – it’s that pesky, unhappy darkie that just wants to make a mountain out of a mole hill, ugh, always want to find the problem in everything. Can’t they just cheer up

Do people who are all accepting exist? Totally! They’re just a very small minority. And it usually shows up in their actions, they don’t need to boast over and over how awesome a person they are to people who don’t look like them and how caring they are and that they don’t see race or anything. They don’t have to because it’s not even a focus to begin with. Remember, they are all-accepting. And one thing I have learned about all-accepting people: they are certainly not accepted by all, and especially not the majority. Because they genuinely disrupt the status quo, and that is seen as a very big problem. They basically get the “if you like them so much, we’ll treat you like one of them” treatment, which can get pretty fatal at times. (Fun fact: White abolitionists and Civil Rights supporters were commonly lynched because of that sentiment. The good ol’ “if you love them so much, you can die like them”. Remember, White supremacy is about maintaining itself, even if it means killing White people who “don’t get with the program”. White supremacy is odd like that.) I have seen White friends get booted from jobs, advancement and other life joys because of this exact sentiment – and always from “I accept all people of all races” types. I’ve seen Asian friends pretty much get ostracized because they wanted to be anti-Black and learned that their communities are not as collective as they thought. Those are just two broad examples of plenty others. Basically, as long as you don’t disturb the status quo, you’re accepted. So much as poke at it and you’re officially a problem. Remember, authentic allyship is quite hard. 

To be honest, I didn’t expect much to happen in a year, because it usually never does. Or in two, or in ten. There are some glacial changes but usually the status quo resets itself and goes back to being what it was. There’s a reason why a lot of the same sentiments from the 1860s and the 1960s are still around today. Almost right down to the words and tone of irritation. And so are all the pandering answers and the lip service that are more self-serving than anything. Not much has changed, only the technology has gotten better. Without severe disruptions, that’s pretty much the pattern of how things are going to be. And that, everyone, is a problem. 

Accidental vacation, huzzah. The second one in so few months.

I simply had a lot to do. But now, I’m back (I think).

At least I was half active on my Instagram, where I mainly showed my cat, my 3d printed masks, and my orchids recently. Oh, and my roses. I like scented flowers, what can I say? Especially flowers that smell like candy and/or chocolate – though I don’t really like eating candy and chocolate. I’m complex, it is what it is. I’ll eventually post them to my Tumblr.

I think taking breaks are not that bad, especially when juggling a bunch of things. In the past, I would try to schedule posts so breaks weren’t that obvious but then there are times where you simply just go “Nope” and that’s it.

As of two weeks ago, I’ve gotten both vaccine shots against Covid-19. I am now considered “fully vaccinated”. Still wearing masks. Still socially distancing. Still cleaning things. Now, I have experienced (and seen, and heard from others) that getting the Coronavirus vaccine is immensely difficult – oh, and before we touch on that, let’s touch on bunk for a second.

I’ve also heard from others that people will sometimes go out and about and try to sell to people, usually in poorer neighborhoods that have obscene lack of access to vaccinations – due to terrible hospitals, deeply prejudiced/rude healthcare workers, simply no properly enforced vaccination system, and a long, horrific Western medical history of White medical practitioners using Black and Brown (well, anyone that wasn’t White, really) people as lab rats over and over again – these people will try to hock oils that will “get rid of the coronavirus”. I have zero idea what the oils are made of but I can tell you, it’s a load of bullsh*t. These folks tend to target those standing at bus stops and hock their wares. It has also floated to me that this is also a thing on the internet, including fluffy bunnies and dabblers, who are folks who basically like to play pretend when it comes to magick and occultism. (Having a Killstar bag or a cottage dress doesn’t make someone a witch. Hopefully fashionable but not a witch). This is remarkably dangerous for so, so many reasons.

Here’s the thing: while quite a few forms of science has witchcraft DNA (from potions to modern medicine, from alchemy to chemistry, for example), there is absolutely nothing, and I mean not a single thing that can be purchased from Instagram or Facebook that can vaccinate against Covid-19 or remove it from your body. No phony online witch doctor can cure you via DMs. Even in cultures that do have genuine witch doctors and shamans, they will say just about the same thing a person in a lab coat will (in certain places & cultures, they’re also the same people. And they’re still legit). Which is, “It’s the coronavirus. You need to get medicine and/or treatment for Covid. Or best, vaccinated.” If it is being sold (emphasis on the sold part), it is most likely dubious. If it is being sold on the internet, it is definitely dubious. If it is being sold on the internet via social media, it is a 100%, solid gold scam. Social media can provide a lot of things, dependable medicine is not one of them. Especially not ones gears towards a pandemic. If it is being sold on the internet via social media through an influencer – it is not only a super scam but, congrats, you officially seen someone who is willing to kill you for a couple bucks and with a super edited, but glitzy, smile. They should be behind bars and deplatformed quickly.

If you see anyone posting, selling or spreading such information (from oils to spells about Covid, they’re all phony), report them to the social media platform and even to local governments if possible because they are just trying to make money off of scared people, even harm or kill a few. Doesn’t matter if they are famous or fairly unknown, these folks do not need to harm people just to collect a few coins. They don’t care about the population and especially not their communities, just themselves. You’ll be pushing daisies and they’ll dump out a phony apology just to hock the next thing offered to them for a couple more bucks.

Back to the difficulties of getting a vaccine in the community. I have tried to get a vaccine in the community and, wow, is it difficult. There is the option of going to a mass vaccination center, like a football stadium. However, according to those I know who have gone, it can be long, lengthy and nerve wracking – and this is assuming they have appointments. One friend tried to show up a few minutes early for their appointment but wound up soaking two hours away because of how long the lines were. There are pharmacies, like Walgreens and CVS, but they are so inundated that calling on the phone is pointless (it will just direct you to their website, and their website will direct you to their phone, it is an ouroboros of bullsh*t) and should you get a human, they will be a very frazzled and snippy one.

There is also the difficulties of even getting an appointment itself. It should not be easier to buy concert tickets than it is to get an appointment for a Covid-19 vaccine (by the way, in-person concerts should not be happening, they’re just super spreader events just waiting to happen). Just like concert ticket sites will hold your ticket for five minutes or so, it should be the same for an appointment setting. Granted, there can always be logistical problems with that – everyone chunking up the system because of all the five minutes (or so) timers are active on available appointments, good ol’ scalpers (that should be sort of easy to fix with checking ip addresses, names and such, to prevent one person scooping up a bunch of appointments and trying to sell them off) – but these are problems that can be handled. Hopefully. I mean, we’re almost a year and a half in of handling a virus that can be easily defeated with regular dish soap and a mask and look at how badly that is being handled, from the start to now. Totally predictable but definitely still disappointing.

My vaccination came because I work at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), where they are making a mad dash to vaccinate as many employees as possible. Makes sense, given they are the place that has the core of the vaccine research, that they would have better and easier access to vaccines than the average health clinic in America. No greedy and/or incompetent middle men like what regular health clinics have to deal with, no round-arounds or snippy people, either. There was a line but it moved pretty fast. However, NIH is only vaccinating its employees not the entire country, so a way smaller number of people means a smoother run, I would imagine. Either way, if I didn’t get vaccinated at my job that is literally responsible for the creation of information about covid and the vaccines and treatments, I still would most likely be unvaccinated because of how hard it is to be vaccinated in the communities.

And speaking of government organizations interacting with pandemics – what the CDC said is quite sus. For those not in the know, the CDC said: “… [F]ully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a mask or physically distance in any setting, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance”. This sounds really simple on paper, and I would sort of agree, except for several caveats:

  • A lot of people are unvaccinated and it is quite easy to lie since there is zero obvious difference between a vaccinated and a non-vaccinated person at face value.
  • Related to above, there is even a black market for buying fake vaccination cards (just like there was and is a black market for buying fake negative covid results), which means a lot of people are willing to risk their lives and the lives of others just to not wear a mask. Oh, and help Covid become new, stronger variants
  • There still isn’t full documentation on whether a vaxxed person can catch and spread Covid to others in asymptomatic fashion. That is still being worked on
  • A lot of places did away with their “laws, rules, and regulations”, they’re pretty open now so the unvaccinated and vaccinated don’t really have any pandemic mandates to go by. One place I know of in Virginia is holding a four day rock festival event that is supposed to have 180+ bands and they have indeed claimed to have no restrictions and aim to be filled to full capacity. Please cue Bad Religion’s “Infected”

At NIH, they’re still operating as if the CDC never changed the rules (meaning full masking and social distancing and all the other pandemic protocols are still in effect) because of a lot of the reasons I mentioned above – especially the “can’t tell if you are vaxxed/unvaxxed by looking at you” part. Also, at NIH, they always include the phrase “against current variants”, because it is the truth – the current vaccinations only protect you against the current variants, and to variable degrees per variant. The USA is *miles* from achieving any sort of herd immunity.

The part highlighted is the most important part: the fully vaccinated. There needs to be a population of at least 70% fully vaccinated to count as “herd immunity” against Covid. Herd Immunity is, as explained by Oxford dictionary, “resistance to the spread of an infectious disease within a population that is based on pre-existing immunity of a high proportion of individuals as a result of previous infection or vaccination.” As you can see on the graph above, we are at 38.6% Fully Vaccinated. And less than half of the nation has at least one shot of vaccinations. Some are indeed refusing their second dose because of how bad the effects the first one was for them, others are very “one and done” and thus do not want their second shot. Being half vaccinated in the nation that has the most Covid cases and deaths in the world and wanting to live, frolic and free, is not a great idea. Partial vaccinations can make it easy for the coronavirus to become vaccine resistant as it interacts more and more with half-vaxxed bodies. Plus the immunity wanes a little bit in the body since it is not at full capacity. This is why people who are considered half vaxxed are still told to wear a mask and adhere to pandemic protocols. Yes, it is not common for viruses to out-pace their vaccines but also Covid has proven to be rather uncommon. Also, there’s the people factor that still gets forgotten in super science pieces: the people who still catch and spread Covid are still real and their lives are still impacted. There still research underway about long haul Covid, which affects a lot of people who have caught Covid. Heck, for example, there is zero clue to as how a child that has caught Covid will do in school or in life due to long haul symptoms such as brain fog, weaker vital organs and upped chances for things like stroke before adulthood because of how Covid affects the brain. In other words, if you brought covid home to your kid, congrats, you may have done a superb neuter to their future and quality of life. At least they might not live long enough to really be that upset, perhaps. Wear a mask, social distance and get fully vaccinated. If you are an essential worker, please be careful for yourself and others. If you are not an essential worker (you don’t work in transport/delivery, food or public healthcare), stop being stupid and stay home. The important part is to try to wipe out Covid, not help it get stronger and mutate better.

Also, here is the graph again, not blocked by the info tidbit:

The US Population is about 330 Million, by the way

There is still the concern of vaccinations in historically marginalized communities. Already racism has shown it’s ugly head time and time again during the pandemic (and before the pandemic, and will again after the pandemic). It is zero surprise that when it comes to scarce supplies and unstable lines like how vaccine rollout has been, prejudice will very obviously show its head. From White people flocking to the historically marginalized communities to suck up available appointments to trying to route vaccines towards richer, historically privileged communities. Then there’s turning hospitals and health centers in the historically marginalized communities with atrocious community histories into vaccination centers. I have already heard of several, such as King hospital up in New York. John Hopkins is in its own class of “holy sh*t, what the f*ck”, stretching from inception to now. This alone can make people turn down the vaccine. If you terrify people from even wanting to walk through your doors or looking in your general direction, you’re probably not going to have a densely vaccinated population. Most people, when it comes to needles and bed-side manners, generally do not want to have Jigsaw from the Saw series come to mind. This is a systemic issue that is heavily danced around by, well, the system that keeps it in place. Even when it was brought up on Global Citizen’s VAX Live online concert event, the distrust, it was never really talked about, just painted as “Oh, those silly Black and Brown people. How dare they not believe in science! They have no reason to fear. Because everything that has ever happened in science was always ethical and above board. Always. What paranoid kooks. Don’tevertalkaboutwhathappened,we’resaviorsandyou’reliars.” People in historically marginalized communities definitely want to be vaccinated, we’re the ones who have been really seeing the decimation, but it is difficult to want a vaccine when there are systemic, physical and psychological barriers put in place. Needles are already scary by themselves, there sincerely is no need to try to make that experience even more terrifying, especially not to the point of driving someone to say, “Ehhhhh, I rather take my chances with Covid. Both these doctors and this virus are trying to kill me but at least the virus is honest about it.” This is something the medical community is extremely aware of and their current methods of handling such issues is, well, things like VAX Live. (I love the Foo Fighters with all my heart but the entire event is still a load of crock when you think about it. The Foo Fighters are amazing though). Yeah, the smart answer would be “to work and diligently root out all systemic issues via hiring better, firing system enablers (as well as the bystanders and inducers, etc), actively listening to the community (which must include ‘hearing the not-fun and the really not-fun parts – and without pulling the classic “speed them up to shut them up” method’), working diligently to improve systems and not in a way that is strictly self serving and out of pandering” but remember, that all requires work and a lot of introspection that will bear very few happy self-realizations. And I mean very few.

Very, very few.

These vaccinations are very important and the mad dash to get them shows the problems that were already here and spoken about at length by the affected. It is very important to get vaccinated, it is very important to get accurate information about the vaccine and the virus, it is extremely important to have trusted individuals in health – especially public health – fields to express this information and not be confusing about it nor allow for wide gaps to be abused out of blatant selfishness. There is still a lot of research and information that needs to be done about how Covid is going to affect all our lives, for the rest of our lives. I lived through a lot of things, such as the Oklahoma City Bombing, the HIV/AIDS pandemic (which is still happening, by the way), 9/11 and more – this is definitely not going to be one of those “things we will eventually forget, maybe even the week after its over”. There are a lot of untold issues, sicknesses and definitely fatalities. At least a vaccine is a good first step but not if it is tagged with countless problems. Otherwise, we’re all going to be right back at square one.

At least this still gives me a proper chuckle:

Woo, late but still here! I have been recently getting a bit of an uptick of people writing me for my personal input into their papers. It’s a little unusual for me since usually the kind of people in academia that contact me for my input are usually writing books. Granted, I don’t usually mind either except … I basically kind of get the same kind of rabbit food questions for the papers and sometimes it can appear really, well, lazy.

Here’s a disclaimer before I go into this:

A) I’m hard on students because, oh look, I work in research as a librarian as a trade so I tend to expect a certain degree of academic consistency. I’m old, I know, but *cracks out cane* back in my day, there were way less resources – especially free ones – available to people and still you could get decent research out of them. I’m a research librarian that has worked at the Library of Congress, not Twitter personified so, for future folks, please be warned that I’m going to act and react like a research librarian that has worked in the Library of Congress. I know I derp around quite a lot on these here internets but I do expect any informative inquiries to be that – well thought out and informative.

B ) Read A until you understand. In other words: I’m the person your teachers warn you about :3

I’m just going to smatter these inquiries together (including my responses) because they’re basically all the same. Then I’m going to do my usual breakdown because if I get more of these, I’m might as well slow-walk future academic askers how to actually ask in one post. By the way, these are all college students, I’m a little easier on high schoolers and a lot easier on middle schoolers (because they’re still learning the skill. It should be near iron by the time you hit college).

The names of the askers are redacted because this is such a common issue. It’s not “boooooo, this person in particular sucks!” It’s “boooooo, this method in particular sucks!” So let’s get to it:

Hi Black Witch, 
I found your page through the article you did for Afropunk back in 2012 and have since been going over your blog and reading lots of your posts. It’s so fascinating! I’m a senior at UCLA and am taking a Gender Studies class about race and space. For my thesis paper I want to investigate how the online Wicca community is racially coded and, perhaps, inequitable. As a White woman, I definitely fit into the Etsy-mom-selflove image we often see of witches, but I think it’s so much more important in and outside of this paper to prioritize the voices of black and brown folx in the community. I would love to interview if you have the time or would appreciate any insight you can give me.
Thank you,
[redacted]

Thank you for reaching out. Firstly, I’m Pagan, not Wiccan. I appreciate that you read my posts but it appears you didn’t pay attention to that obvious detail. Wicca falls under Paganism the same way Catholics, Baptists, etc. falls under Christianity but not the other way around.
I’m going to decline interview but you are free to cite my writing since I have talked about this topic at length throughout my blog. Please cite well and thank you :3

– Black Witch

I get a lot of people confusing me for Wiccan – despite the fact I literally never pass up an opportunity to bring up that I’m not Wiccan. I’m Pagan, there is a difference. Whenever I am approached by anyone who says “Wiccan” instead of Pagan it shows me they didn’t read. This is why I had the reply I did. Remember, I prefer academics who research to ask me questions. Figuring out whether I’m Wiccan or Pagan is not a very difficult discovery at all, it’s laziness otherwise. And again, it’s rabbit food questions, hence why I told her to use what I already wrote as a primary source – because I have already talked about this exact topic ad nauseam. Shouldn’t have to be said but here it goes: please do your homework before requesting an interview from anyone, especially for cultural pieces. They may have already answered the question 8098754657877655768908765 times already.

Hi there!

My name is [redacted] and I’m a student at New York University.  I’m an anthropology major and I was wondering if you would be interested in helping me with my final paper? I wanted to write about the witchcraft community and the types of people who practice.  I would appreciate your thoughts on the subject as you seem like someone who is very knowledgeable.  As well as I think it would be interesting to hear your thoughts on the community as a POC.  I would just need you to answer some of my questions over email.  Nothing would be published everything would simply be between my professor and I and I can also keep you anonymous if you prefer.  Thank you so much for your consideration and I hope you can help me out.  I totally understand if you are not comfortable or able to and I appreciate it regardless.  Thank you again!

Best,

[Redacted]

Sure, what are your questions?

– Black Witch

Hi!

Thank you so much for your response! If you are uncomfortable with any of the questions please let me know and don’t feel obligated to answer them.  Traditionally this is done in an interview so forgive me if my train of thought seems to jump all over the place or if I am rude.  You may feel that some of these questions are subjective but please answer them according to your views.

First and foremost I would like to know how you got into witchcraft in the first place and what type of witchcraft you practice or what deities you follow? How many types of witchcraft are there? Are there any that are better than others? Which types are most common and why? Could you explain to me how your practices have changed, if at all, since you’ve started practicing and how long you’ve been practicing? Could you give me an example of what some types of, excuse me I hope this is the right terminology, spells or rituals you perform and why and or what their purpose is? Do you believe that anyone can be a witch or is there some type of pre-requisite that you need to fulfill? Are there things that can prevent you from being a witch? What are the characteristics of a real witch/ what makes a real witch? Can you tell when people are actually practicing witches or if they are simply pretending? Are there any stereotypes that bother you about witches or witchcraft? Are there any that are true? What are your thoughts on the types of people who practice? Is there a hierarchy within the community whether it be by how long you’ve been practicing or how devoted you are to the lifestyle or anything else?  What are your thoughts on the community as a whole? Do you find them to be gatekeepers? Do you think that being a POC has changed how others within the community treat you or how you are perceived within the community? Do you think the community has changed with the presence of social media? Please feel free to add any anecdotes you think might be interesting, as well as anything else you think it might be important for me to know so I can write about the community in the most respectful and comprehensive way possible including the proper terminology and things of that nature. And please correct me if I’ve said or asked anything incorrect, inappropriate, or rude.

Thank you again for answering all of my questions, I know there is a lot.  Would you prefer to be kept anonymous or is okay if I quote you directly? (Again I want to remind you that no one except for my professor and myself will be seeing this paper but you are under no obligation to let me use your real name.)   And what are your preferred pronouns? If I have more is it alright to reach out to you again? If not I completely understand and regardless I am grateful for your help with this assignment.

Best,

[Redacted]

I reviewed the questions. Given the sheer amount, I would best suggest to use my posts to answer as many of the questions down there (pretty much any question on race and bias I have answered several times over since I am asked everywhere) and whatever questions are not answered or sufficiently answered, I can answer personally. 

– Black Witch

I don’t mind being asked to help on a paper or be asked for input. However, the sheer multitude of questions is towering, usually they’re about 3-5 questions, definitely less than ten. Plus some of the questions are really easy to research, no need to ask anyone anything. I think about at least 60% of the questions asked could be answered with some general research and reading. By the time you get to wanting to interview a person for any academic purpose, the questions should be very sharp and thought provoking. It isn’t the student’s intention, I know, but it all just eventually started to smack of “can you do the work for me?” given how simplistic and many the questions are. And while I appreciate the person going “please let me know if I am being rude or inappropriate”, thorough research should make it so such a statement doesn’t even have to be said since they should theoretically know by the time they are asking a person the general right and wrong things to ask based off of their research. There are always going to be flubs, even in the best of times, but be more confident in your research and the concern that they’ll pop up will reduce dramatically.

Good-evening! My name is [Redacted] and I am a journalism student in the Communication department at Southeastern Louisiana University.I was emailing you regarding Hoodoo and voodoo. I’m writing a feature article on those topics for my Comm class.I had some questions & a quote (s)you would love to use as well if you would like to answer.I would love to do an interview. It would be a Interview over email or message(whatever you prefer). Please let me know if it would be possible to set this up by March 25,2021. I will send you the questions. If you know anybody else who knows information that’s willing to give me info.  Please let me know!

Thank you so much! I look forward to hearing from you.

Questions:
Why is hoodoo/voodoo not black magic?
What does voodoo and hoodoo mean?
What do people consider to be more practice, hoodoo or voodoo?
Why do people consider hoodoo and voodoo “the religions no one talks about”?
Are they consider witchcraft or spirituality?
Why should more African Americans know more about Hoodoo?
Who is Madame Marie Laveau?
Why use Tarot cards?
Tell me anything I should know that’s interesting

Before I post my reply, everyone, I just want to bring up that the date I received this inquiry was actually March 25, 2021. In the late afternoon of March 25, 2021, at that. So I didn’t even get a day or two to mull over whether or not I want to participate or figure out if I can squeeze this in my schedule, I get simply mere hours. Even the Huffington Post, a site that I strongly dislike because they have pulled egregious things with me in the past – including super short turn arounds without even asking if I wanted to participate while asking super fluffy, filler questions about race and Paganism – has given me at most 24-48 hours. Given my experience of knowing that students are given days, usually at least a week, for papers and articles (I have taken a journalism course, too. Quite a few of them – I was an English major), this shows very poor planning and an indirect insult to the person requested. Yes, news can have a short turn-around time, I know this deeply, but back then, good news places still expressed respect for the time of the person that they were asking. Nothing is wrong with a bit of pre-planning for time and asking “I’m [such and such] from [so and so] university writing a news article about [hopefully worthwhile topic], may I ask you a few questions?” Note I didn’t throw in a deadline. In the words of my Journalism teacher: “Your timeline doesn’t matter to them. If it is important to them, they will reply. If it isn’t, they won’t and you write ‘No Comment’.” (paraphrasing here, by the way, I had a few Journalism teachers.) Moral of the story: give people enough lead time and don’t assume they’re going to be as up and thrilled as you are for your story to just be shot a bunch of questions from a random person (That’s you. You are the random person). Ok, back to the thread at hand!

Thank you for writing but I feel a good chunk of the questions can be answered with regular book research (such as “Who is Marie Laveau?” and “what does voodoo and hoodoo means?”). I am not a Voudoun or hoodoo practitioner, just a general denomination Pagan with an in depth background on both subjects.
Basically, if you send me better questions, sure. Otherwise, I would recommend just searching my blog for my writings on the subjects. 

– Black Witch

Thank you! 
Okay 
How is hoodoo  cultural appropriation in witchcraft and keeping the African American slave folk magic alive?

In the era of slavery, questions of security  in African American experience were very large, so they turned to Hoodoo for help. How did Hoodoo help  the African American experience?

Most African Americans are not as open to talk bout Hoodoo facts or culture due to information that is greatly twisted. Why are African Americans not open to sharing certain information?
Why did you get into Hoodoo? What made you get involved with it?
Do you think  Hoodoo would help African Americans know their roots and their past ancestors?

I don’t practice hoodoo actually. I’m afraid these are not good enough questions. I recommend using my site to answer these questions as well as other books and critical resources to best help your papers.

– Black Witch

Um okay Thank you for your time.

Okiee dokie do, time for a post mortem!

Remember everyone, I’m pretty old school when it comes to education (unless it comes to the structural prejudices and inherent prejudices of Western education, then I’m just plain anarchist to a defining degree) but remember, it is important to respect the time of the person asked for the article. That means no “umm” (that’s unprofessional and unacademic), that means using proper punctuation (Where are the commas and periods and proper capitalizations? This came from someone at an accredited university, right?), that means reading the already provided material the person you are asking has already provided, if any, to justify and hone your questions and make the most of your time to ask them whatever it is that you want to ask them. It appeared more and more that the student thought I practiced Hoodoo and/or Voudon, despite the fact that, just like Wicca, I always express that I am not a practitioner of Afro-centric religions. I am Pagan, yep. I am a Black person, yep. Does not mean that I automatically practice culturally indigenous faiths? Nope. No more than a White person would automatically be practicing Nordic or Roman faiths over, say a particular Middle Eastern faith (*cough*Christianity*cough*). This is why it is important to read and research. Otherwise, the student could be potentially wasting their time barking up the wrong tree. That’s never fun.

The questions had potential but still was in the “why didn’t you research this yourself?” category. It is way better to ask fruitful questions and also, if pursuing journalism, do not ask leading or loaded questions. “Why do people consider hoodoo and voodoo ‘the religions no one talks about’?” is both leading and loaded, for example. Who are the “people” and who considers hoodoo and voodoo “‘the religions no one talks about'”? That shows a journalist usually does not want an honest answer but one that is kind of on an angle. Usually a sign that yellow journalism is afoot when left unchecked. At least this person isn’t a student and hopefully is not already in the field working for an actual news outlet.

For those who don’t know what a leading question is or a loaded question, quote time!

Loaded Question, as explained by Effectiviology

loaded question is a trick question, which presupposes at least one unverified assumption that the person being questioned is likely to disagree with. For example, the question “have you stopped mistreating your pet?” is a loaded question, because it presupposes that you have been mistreating your pet.

Leading Question, as explained by FormPlus

A leading question is a type of question that prompts a respondent towards providing an already-determined answer. This type of question is suggestive as it is framed in such a way that it implies or points to its answer(s). 

A leading question typically leans towards established biases and assumptions and it is made up of specific information which the individual or organization (interrogator) wishes to confirm.

Yeah, not a great thing to use when learning journalism. But! Hopefully their teacher is doing something about that. There are already enough sucky journalists in the world.

And that was all that I have received in the past month or so! Time for super Saiyan post mortem!

Now if a middle schooler asked me all these questions, I would answer them pretty easy peasy. I am not going to expect someone who is roughly in the 10-13 age range to just do the research themselves, they’re just getting introduced to the skill. Plus, I would expect these kinds of questions from a middle schooler, they’re just starting to learn complex subjects such as social studies/current events. A high schooler, I would still answer as is but include tips and tricks that would be helpful such as “here is how to make the questions better to get an even meatier answer/better interview” and more because, again, they are still honing the skill. They shouldn’t be brand new (that’s middle school) to it all but they are still a work in progress. It takes years to build the skills and there are way more resources now than ever to better acquire it. Free resources at that. No expensive, heavy encyclopedias. No restrictive paywalls. Lots of info, all at the ready.

But college? As I tend to say to students “it’s college, not kindergarten”. Unless the issues you are facing are institutional/systemic (such as racism, sexism, etc, from micro-aggressions to overt, blatant displays of prejudice) and/or underlying (dealing with learning disabilities and/or mental illnesses, known or not) issues, then there should be few excuses and problems as it pertains to developing a half-way decent research and academic skill set. I get that these skills are super boring in procurement, as are the classes, and the teachers, and the books and all the other things these students signed up for. Though obscenely boring, these skills are quite useful. They may not get you millions of followers and subscribers but they will help you not look like a single dolt.

Some tips:

Reading is Fundamental

The main reason I’m not really staggered into an astonished quiet by these questions is because I always wonder Did they actually read my blog or just skim? I have never been that big a fan of skimming. Since in skimming, you miss things. Important things. Things that can help you not embarrass yourself or make the reader wonder if you ever knew the subject at all. I am a Black person, yep. Because that is a point many fixate on, I get a lot of questions about race – to the point that I can basically take a post I made five years ago, apply it and the answer will still appear seamless. This means I am going to treat the student like they already made the search and did all the appropriate reading. At this point, I kind of dislike questions on race because I already answered them before and I have a functional search bar on my site. I guarantee you basic, rudimentary, rabbit food-type questions will just get pointed to my search bar. Since that’s where the student should have gone to first. Direct questions to the creator should be saved for things the blog can’t answer, things that require genuine input.

Note that several of the questions above were not simply “rabbit food” level, they were outright lazy. Asking “What is [???]” should be answered by the student, not the person they are interviewing unless it is part of a ream of useful interview questions (“What is Blackness/Paganism/Womanism/etc to you?”, not plain “What is Blackness?”). Questions like those basically smack of “I want an easy A but I don’t want to work for it, can you basically write my paper for me?”

For example, if you ask me “How do you feel about Black Lives Matter?”, the student should be able to make a fairly educated guess based on the posts I already have penned about race in general and BLM itself. It literally would not be hard and would thus be declared “rabbit food questions” because it takes zero brain cells for me to dredge up an answer – therefore annoying. If the question was “How do you feel Black Lives Matter parallels or contrasts with other Black social movements in the past such as the Civil Rights Movement or even the Abolitionism movement?” I would be happy to answer that question since it actually requires me to use more than three brain cells to muse and mull on a good answer. It is not a question that can easily be searched or gleaned from my writings and is thus not a certified waste of my time. Better question? “How do you feel about Modern’s paganism changes over the years, if any? How about media’s depiction of Paganism in general?” (Note the lack of race questions. I appreciate these, because it means my opinion matters in general on the subject, not simply as “The Negro’s Perspective, Now Back To The White People – I Mean ‘The General Topic’s Automatic Experts’.”). Sometimes, it’s ok to not automatically go with bias. Sometimes, it’s ok to work with logic. Try logic. Leave bias home. Abandon it at a bus station, preferably. Or out in the desert to die an excruciating death and picked away by buzzards and vultures.

Questions about Afrocentric religious practices are ok … as long as the student is fully aware that they are not asking someone who participates in those Afrocentric religious practices. I don’t practice Santeria (gotta love that song, though), Hoodoo, Voodoo, Ifa, etc. I have a deep understanding of them as a Black American Pagan person who sat down and sought to learn about these practices but I am not an actual practitioner. I mean, hey, I have a very in-depth understanding about Christianity and I haven’t needed that knowledge personally for roughly twenty years. Knowing a thing or two about your subject helps both people in the long run. Otherwise, it’s like asking an automotive mechanic how they feel about the changes in airplane mechanics over time. Yes, the person asked is a mechanic and yes, they are familiar with the existence of airplanes but no, a person that works on cars can not talk about their non-existent experience with fixing airplanes. Opine their life away, sure, but that still would not make them a decent person to ask at all.

Good Questions Can Lead to Great Answers

Basically part of what I was mentioning above but a well thought out questions can lead to some really great answers. Avoid leading and loaded questions like how one should theoretically avoid the plague (by the way, still wear a mask, wash hands and maintain social distancing, even if you have a vaccine. We’re still in a pandemic). My favorite interview is Good Company’s interview with rock band P.O.D.’s vocalist, Sonny Sandoval. There’s is some audio-visual mismatch but is still a good listen.

The great questions! The respectfulness! It almost sounds more like a conversation than an interview. It is obvious the asker, Scott Bowling, did his homework and thus, asked really good questions. He basically presented a question and let Sonny reply as is. No leading questions. No questions that have been asked five billion times prior (if you are a P.O.D. fan, you already know quite a few). Questions back by great research leads to awesome answers and an interview that benefits both people. It is always important to do genuine research, not just skim and ask a bunch of questions that implies you probably didn’t do your due diligence.

And that has been my recent experience with academic inquiries! I really would like for them to get better, honestly.

Double Feature today since The Arts! was supposed to be last week. So next up is Ask Black Witch in a few hours.

Let’s get into it!

These two creators have very good channels about academic and cultural discussions of race, gender and culture, especially the problematic parts. They go in to various topics, such as Cancel Culture (the history, why it exists, etc), the history of blackface and the current culture of digital blackface, even a discussing the major difference between African American Vernacular (AAVE for short, a cultural dialect) and Imagined Black English (to see quick examples of IBE, look up anything Lily Singh and Awkafina says. For an international flair, add RM from Korean idol group, BTS. Don’t feel like searching? Just go anywhere on the internet where White people are and you’ll see IBE and digital blackface in full spectrum).

Khadija Mbowe

She talks about various topics, including their researched histories, how they proliferate in modern society, why they can be helpful/harmful and more with a humorous flair.

Watch more on her channel

Tee Noir

She gives a very informative outlook from queer identity as a pansexual Black woman to how media treats Blackness, Queerness, Queer Blackness, and how Black Cultural media treats and perceives the Black identity and how limited the perception can be (also can be aptly name: You’re Black … Unless You’re Not Straight, Not Normal, Not Neurotypical, Not…). Sometimes she can bleep out words that I would suppose be bad for the algorhythm or trigger-prevention purposes and sometime that can make it hard to understand, especially if they are crucial words. I wish she wrote them on the screen or something so the viewer can play less “Fill in the Blanks” but you can still understand the entire point of what she is saying.

Watch more on her channel

Ah, it is Black History Month. The wonderful time of year where White people pretend they don’t participate, facilitate or have anything to do with racism of any sort because they posted a black square back in the summer and an MLK Jr quote recently for the selfish sake of virtue signaling/moral grandstanding. It’s less about actually amplifying Black voices, it’s more about amplifying themselves while they use Black folks as a pedestal to stand on (so, business as usual, basically). It’s pretty obvious because by the end of the month, they’re no less prejudiced than when the month started. And they go back to drowning out Black voices unless it’s Black pain, misery or trauma – then they try to put a price tag on it or chat about it to chalk up some awards. Basically, the ye olde White Man’s Burden concept, but the 2020/2021 Edition. I usually like Black History Month – for me. Instead, it gets hijacked by “well-meaning” (read: self-serving) White people. Which makes me dislike looking at anything to do with Black History Month more and more. I just want to engage in Black history in peace.

What many look like right now

Here is one very good example – Google:

Google likes to pretend they care about Black voices and Black people. For example, the bottom of Chrome would have little tickers that makes them look like they want you to learn about Black people, history, culture and more. Even the Youtube logo is something in reference to Black folks everyday. Then there’s the lip service note they posted back during the summer [link] from Google’s current CEO Sundar Pichai (inb4 “He’s not White!” You’re right, he’s is a South East Asian man – funny though that Non-Black PoC love being anti-Black or ignoring anti-Black issues … even when talking about Black issues). There’s other things Google has done since the summer that is basically lip service touring meant to make Google look good, not improve the Terrible Plight of the Modern Negro, as they no doubt see it:

“Google to launch internal anti-racism training programs by early 2021” (HR Drive)

“Black Googler Creates Anti-Racism Resource Guide for All” (Colorlines)

“You can’t be anti-poverty without being anti-racist” (Google Fiber)

Google says it will hire more black workers at senior levels (Fortune)

There are more and other examples but we would be here all day if I were to list all of Google’s racist shortcomings. I remember when I was younger and Google showed a video of what is it like to work at Google when I was in school (back when Google was just starting to become important) and everyone was White – except for the security team, which was all Black. (By the by, that’s usually a pretty good sign a company or place of work is pretty prejudiced, when Black folks are always in security and janitorial (and usually contractual) positions – no matter how many “anti-racism” efforts they say they have. Ditto with Brown folks being put in these positions as well.) So Google’s bias is pretty deep seated. For a super quick overview, just watch Watch Dogs 2 version “Noogle”. The basic by-line of Google for Black workers is “Just because you’re finally in the door doesn’t mean we won’t look for endless ways to shove you back out of it”.

Here is Google being more honest than they think:

Google ouster of top AI researcher Timnit Gebru draws sharp new scrutiny of how it treats Black employees  (USA Today)

#SiliconValleySoWhite: Black Facebook and Google employees speak out on big tech racism (USA Today)

Second top Black female Google employee says she was recently ousted (NBC News)

Diversity, HBCU Recruiter Allegedly Fired At Google Over Her Baltimore Accent (HBCU Buzz)

That last one is pretty important to me: I’m a Black Baltimorean with an extensive background in tech (I even previously worked at NIST Library and my mask is self modded with fans and a voice amplifier). I always knew this was how Google was so I’m not surprised that they would go as far as say an accent was a disability. These issues also sprang up since the summer but have been forever long standing. Nice to know that I could rebuild a Hadron Colider in my basement and I still wouldn’t be allowed in simply because I have a regional accent. I wonder what Pichai’s accent is to get to the CEO position – super aggravating Valley accent? The kind that makes you sound like an extra from Clueless? Nice to know Google are worried about accents, because that’s somehow super important to technology, where most of it is text based. I hope they can one day explain how spoken regional accents affects the act of sitting down and writing code and how dialect is a disability. And wait, Google doesn’t like hiring or keeping people with actual disabilities? Do job interviews at Google include speech tests to see how you pronounce “Arduino”? Funny, despite my accent, the robots and inventions I build still run and my 3D printer works fine. And I have actual disabilities, none of which are the dialect I was born in.

Google likes to present itself as a forward-thinking company but they’re just as bad as all the others. They just dress it up as “oh, it’s just no big deal”. That’s why it is always weird when they support young Black projects – it’s not like they would hire any of those kids later or want to keep them.

They’re not the only company that acts like this – there’s Facebook, Twitter, Electronic Arts (especially as it pertains to The Sims series), Twitch, etc etc. They all have long, marked histories of being very anti-Black, even when they say they are standing beside Black folks. Nah, not really, they’re just grandstanding to make themselves look better and make money. It’s also part of why they rush to donate to Black places when Black focused tragedies occur, I mean, it worked for Harvey Weinstein when he donated to feminist and pro-women projects to cover up that he’s a serial rapist.  Didn’t change the fact that he’s a serial rapist, he just kept donating and harming women. These companies posting squares and donating doesn’t change the fact they participate in harming and undermining Black people, whether individually or as a group. For example, Facebook likes reprimanding Black users who speak out about anti-Black issues or simply vent that dealing with racism sucks. It’s been a long standing problem.

For those going “That’s Instagram, not Facebook” – guess who owns Instagram?

And these are large companies, not individuals – which is what companies, big and small, are made of. If non-Black people want to participate in Black History Month, do it quietly. No point in pretending there isn’t a prejudiced bone in their body by basically showing the “nice” version of it everywhere they can. Besides, they’re already showing it by waiting for a single month in a year to get out all their performative allyship. You can tout Black people you want to tout any time of the year, even when we’re not being brutally murdered in 4k definition or in a special designated month.

I was going to talk about the Great Conjunction that happened on Christmas/Yule, buuuuuuuuuut the Capitol got attacked.

Now is a good time to lay out some points, especially since the Inauguration is really fast upon us here in the US (Wed, Jan 20th):

  • Claims from National Security about not being able to foresee the attack is a phony call. It was remarkably obvious that an attack of some sort was going to happen on the 6th. The 6th is a significant day for the electoral votes to be counted officially, what a great time to have a “last hurrah” – next to the Inauguration itself. Angry White folks are very good at being violent, especially en masse – check any history book from the Tulsa Massacre to general policing in America, to anti-abolitionist movements, anti-civil rights movements (or just read how Dr. King was murdered, or Medgar Evans, or general lynchings). Non-angry White folks are also very good at enabling the angry ones – check any history book of White abolitionists, suffragettes, participants of the civil rights movement (or just look at the White folks who bought Twisted Tea as “allyship” but never used it on their MAGA relatives because “they’re not that bad” – (why buy if not use? Otherwise, it’s pointless virtue signaling)).
  • The core & target readers of this blog are Black so here’s a word: stay home, stay out the way. This is not about race, let the White folks happily punch each other because their favorite racist didn’t win. If White: Stay home. Seriously. The National Guard and Capitol Police aren’t going to play around like they did prior, I think a good chunk of them are not applying the “White is Right” rhetoric they usually do – and got them caught with their pants down on the 6th.
  • Stay home, bears saying twice. Stay home. I remember the Baltimore riots of 2015, the National Guard does not play around. If they have a shoot-to-kill order, even White privilege isn’t going to nullify that like it usually does. And no one ever knows if the insurrectionists are going to try to pre-game by attacking Black folks or other PoC that they find around them. That’s how it usually is, since forever.

Now, does the Capitol deserve to have its jewels ran? Yes, but not in favor of White supremacy. The Capitol already is rife with that. Now, my only concern for the attack was for the people in the Library of Congress because the LoC is across the street from the Capitol and violent people are violent. I worked at the LoC, so I personally know people there. The only people who should be most upset that the Capitol was busted up are the Architect of the Capitol, just about no one else. The Capitol is a building, it can be revamped and rebuilt. Windows break on a regular day, doors fall on a regular day, that is a 200+ old building for you. Given how much I hear White tears over buildings in the face of riots or protests, unless you are an architect or the owner of said building, there is zero need to be upset. Even the World Trade Center in NYC was rebuilt. The 3,000+ people who died in the attack still very much dead, though.

Speaking of things that are commonly mentioned in conspiracies, I still do not get QAnon. It just sounds like a turducken of every flimsy conspiracy theory slapped together with the usual glues of racism, misogyny, anti-semitism and Christian fervor. Is the media biased? Yes, but usually for prejudiced reasons (race and journalism historically makes for a poor mix, especially when a lot of outlets still steer along “White is Right” rhetoric, ditto with gender). Do slimy things happen in the entertainment industry? All the time, usually for greed and prejudiced reasons. The idea that there is an illuminati trying to control people using Katy Perry and Beyonce is ridiculous at best. I have already written about this, several times. I have spent years around the music industry, it’s a plain industry. Does pedophilia/ephebophilia happen? Surely does, including among non-rich people. Most abuses happen in families and with friends of the family (from siblings to literal friends of the parents). Also, the abuses tend to go on for long periods of time because, welp, no one likes to listen to kids thanks to adult ego (also known as “if your kid doesn’t want to hug someone, stop forcing them  – you’re teaching the kid that a) their boundaries don’t matter and b ) you probably wouldn’t care or believe if they did tell you”). The feelings of another adult tend to hold a lot more weight than the feelings of a child and children do not have the mental or verbal capability to just out and say “that person molested me. Yes, they are your best friend but that’s who they are”. Then there’s the issue of believing the child or believing the accused adult – by the way, the accused adult has a bevvy of abilities to make any accusation from any kid look phony. And, guess what? They work pretty darn well. There are countless writings online from adults who are CSA survivors (Child Sexual Abuse) that have definitely talked about it. Or, you can just read the accounts of rape and sexual assault victims of any age. Also, throw in race and gender, it gets a lot worse. And these are with normal, regular people who are not under 24/7 scrutiny from media, fans, handlers, etc and TMZ always sniffing at their door. It is amazing to hear the force behind accusing celebrities but when it comes to the plain people around them, it’s more “ehhhh, kid’s probably lyin'” or “kids are wild nowadays”. At least apply the same gusto to regular people … wait, wait, the concept of “ehhhhh, [the victim]’s probably lyin” shows up even in celebrity rape/sexual assault cases, just look at R. Kelly’s case, and Weinstein’s case – and there was overwhelming evidence in both. QAnon didn’t pop the lid off those cases, it took countless years from the victims’ side, complete with documentaries and news articles, to get anything to happen. While QAnon mentions things that could potentially sound bad – it all falls on its face when given longer than a cursory glance. There are reasonable explanations for everything they suggest, granted the explanations are less nefarious sounding and world-rocking but they are there.

Back to the inauguration and security.

Remember, stay home.

The FBI is worried of an insider attack, even removed two people in the National Guard who have connections to White extremist groups (but were not involved in any plots, they were just members). That’s great … except, it’s pretty pointless. The FBI, secret service and the US military have literally no ability to see their own blindspots. They have ghostskins by the payload. “White is Right” is basically how they hire in general, trying to find a racist is like wading through a cranberry bog, not a needle in a haystack. They can only pin-point ones that have actively gone through the motions of joining far-right groups. Speaking as a Black person, I can very much assure you I have met maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaany hateful White people and I would say a solid 99% were:

A) not part of any far-right groups

B ) would shun the existence of far-right groups

C) still hateful, they just aren’t card carrying members to “Random Hate Group & Co”

D) didn’t mind curbing their hatred because:

D1) they’re pretty enabled by society, which already has pro-White racism cooked in – to the point that the person of color affected is blamed and ignored

D2) they use other methods that is not outwardly violent, such as micro-aggressions, law-making, dog-whistling, and (kind) appeals to dehumanization

D3) when they did get violent, the Person of Color is usually told what they should have done to avoid the aggression. And they feel pretty privileged to be aggressive to anyone about anything, even other White folks

D4) love to virtue signal to other White people (such as posting a black square or buying Twisted Tea) because they genuinely believe they are not racist because they don’t know how to tie a noose or never owned a slave or dragged a Black person behind a car – basically, the good ol’ “because people worse than me exist, that must mean I am Very Good”

Looking for card carrying members of hate groups means most are going to be missed or ignored – kinda like the Trump supporters who planned out in the open to raid the Capitol … and succeeded. Apparently, White people toting guns, bombs and homemade napalm while waving racist symbols are “less threatening” than, ohhhhhhh, Black people carrying signs about civil rights. Even when BLM protests dissolved into riots, they were already met with over-passionate, militaristic force – even buzzed by helicopters winds. In Trump’s crowd, there were actual members of the military and police stretching across the USA. Gotta admit, though, for a very “Blue Lives Matter” crowd, they were really okay with killing and beating police officers. How … unsurprising.

If the FBI & military was sincere in their searching, the inauguration protection force would probably dwindle down to twenty five people and a Capitol Hill squirrel.

While I would usually say it takes one to know one, I don’t think the FBI & military are good at spotting racists in an effective way. That would take unhinging the deep seated concept of “White is Right, Everything else is Suspect”, and they have been working on that since, what, the 1960s? 1970s? It’s 2021 (or as I like to call it “2020, Pt 2: The Reckoning”).

Just stay home. If something wild happens during the Inauguration, it’s going to happen.

I really wish I got better questions. The most recent batch is just trash asks from annoying people.

This one was absurd. Came from an email with the subject header “hello Goddess Witch:)” because if you want to talk to me, talking like this is a dating site is always a good idea (it isn’t, I’m snippy to guys on dating sites who greet like this. Try having a normal conversation with a normal greeting, they actually do work).

I despise this kind of behavior because they never bode good things about the person saying them. Ever. To me, anyone who tries to charm and butter you up is always up to something, otherwise they would have a normal approach.

“YES i would absolutely date, and adore a witch:)..know of any single ones? LOL…trust me, i’ve been looking

(oh, i’m white, male, and 45 , handsome:)”

A) Black Witch is not a dating site. At all. He’s not the first idiot to try this. Black Witch is a regular blog. As I always say, if you wouldn’t do this to a guy, don’t to this to women. Because it is insulting.

B ) I literally do not care of his dating preferences. And dating a witch really is not that different from dating literally anyone else who does not practice magick. At all.

C) His humor is stupid and reeks of “old bachelor”. I like comedy but not bad comedy.

D) I don’t date White (Though demi/ace, I stick to men of color. They are already a headache enough, no need to tack on the 400+ years of historical problems to that. Actually, the existence of straight men in general should be proof enough that no sexual orientation is a “choice” because have you seen how straight guys act? Add a STEM, Finance/Business or Medical degree and they get worse)

E ) I don’t date old guys. Dude is almost 15 years my senior, I stick to guys within 2-3 years senior of my actual age and rarely date anyone even a year my junior


My reply:

You sound disgusting. Please off yourself. You are literally everything I DON’T want in a guy.



Inb4 “you told him to commit suicide!”: I have learned from existing on this planet as a girl that plain “no” literally. Does. Not. Work.

Guy: Can I walk you home?
Me: Nah, I’m good.
Guy: It’s ok, it’s not too much trouble for me. I’ll walk you to your house

They blow past a very plain “no” as if it never happened. Upgrade it to awful insults and they tend to get the picture.

Guy: Can I walk you home?
Me: Nah, I’m good.
Guy: It’s ok, it’s not too much trouble for me. I’ll walk you to your house
Me: Bro, get lost. I’m good. Go to your house, away from me. No one wants you, ever. I can protect myself, no need to drag along Sir Dead-Weight if trouble does occur.
Guy: How does anyone even like you? *storms off*

Yeah, it’s not nice but I wanted the guy to leave since the start so Mission Accomplished? It would be nice if guys took the original and plain “no”, I don’t enjoy ripping into people but hey, it is usually the not-nice version that tends to work the most with the least amount of back-and-forth.

So, yeah, maybe guys should use better listening skills, might spare their emotions more.


The reply:

what the flying FUCK is your problem?? I paid you a DEAR compliment,and you come back with your angry hate filled remarks for NO REASON??  if you ever, ever tell me to “ofF” Myself again, you will be sorry..i can promise that much.
 
 
And we are off to the races, folks.

Pretty much what happened



Complete with flying anger, a threat (which is very FBI-notifying- worthy*) and pretty much all the behavior of a violent wife-beater without a target. No surprises to as why he’s still single at 45 and so lonely he bothers random women on the internet. Note he calls me “angry” but he’s the one cursing, screaming and threatening. That sounds pretty angry.

Oh and he sends another email right after this one:


ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh..iS it because i’m WHITE??? RACIST AT ALL?? fucking hypnocrite…

Note that I literally never mention race in my first reply. This dude jumped to the conclusion in a single bound. Though I don’t date White for reasons stated above, that’s my own privacy and I easily could have rebuffed him for his age and super off-color approach. I have ripped on countless Men of Color for the “off-color” stuff most. Seriously, straight guys suck at communicating. Like toxic masculinity shuts off the logic parts of the brain or something. Also, that atrocious spelling. Hypno … crite?

Also, me not really wanting to date White is not exactly racist. Though it is a personal and personally recognized bias that I apply only to my dating life and not others, isn’t racist. Here is how: the structures of racism doesn’t do me, a Black woman, any favors (actually, it can get pretty deadly for me) and it super extends to dating. I have to worry about being dehumanized, hyper-sexualized, stereotyped and demeaned simply for my skin, nothing else. These structures came from White supremacist thinking of “what is ‘good’ feminity” (which is, you guessed it, a White woman. Preferably a blonde one) and that if you don’t count as ‘good’, you can be treated like trash. White men show this behavior excessively in the dating realms. Basically, I avoid White guys as possible dates because they tend to be walking racist problems, ranging from fetishizing Black women to being haplessly clueless that racism exists and expecting the Black girlfriend to slow-walk them through it to parading the Black girlfriend around as an example of how “not racist” he is – even when he is being very blatantly racist. Do decent ones exist? Of course, but in remarkable short supply and vastly out-numbered by the rest. But it is pretty racist and sexist to assume that because he is White, he has to be a viable dating partner to anyone he talks to, no matter what.

Yeah, no. That’s a lot of headache for me. Like I said prior, already Men of Color are headache enough. They come with their own batches of problems. I have yet to come across a White person who refuses to date (as in “have a meaningful, mutually beneficial relationship with”) Black people or anyone else not White with the same reasons I stated above. I mean, White folks are not being oppressed, fetishized or dehumanized like everyone else, especially not in the dating world. I’ve never come across a story from White folks I know who have said “He dated me because he wanted me to explain how White people exist. Like, why our hair doesn’t curl like tight springs and if all of us are homicidal mass killers.” If anything, I’m usually helping my White (actually, all my non-Black) female friends steer clear of trash Black men who hover around them because internalized racism and simply “Black women are already wise to my bullsh*t. Hopefully, you are not.” Mainly, they, like me, want to date someone decent, not someone they’d soon regret, regardless of race. 
 
Oh, and in case anyone is going “How dare she not want to date White because she doesn’t want to!” – I also don’t date Christian or Atheist guys … of any race. Though they have different beliefs, the guys in these faiths morph into a special version of batty when they encounter the fact that A) I’m Pagan and/or B) I’m simply not of the same belief system (or lack thereof) as them and I’m not interested in changing. Plus, both seem to think “let’s poke fun at her ‘weird’ religion in a way we would literally fly into a rage about if we got the same treatment” is a great idea of courtship. It isn’t. There are literally thousands of other faiths I’d rather be with that handles the concept of Paganism better. 

My reply to both statements (both emails compiled together):

My blog is not a dating page. Do you contact the New York Times this way? I don’t think it’s a compliment for anyone to approach me in such a sleezeball way. And you should go for women your age – actually, given how you (predictably) exploded, try a therapist.
 
Yep, you need a therapist. It’s because of literally EVERYTHING. Please disappear or get some freaking help instead of pester random women on the internet, old guy.
 
Threw in a touch of “it’s probably your age, my dude” just to throw dust in the water a bit and see what he does with it or will he fasten himself to “it’s cuz I’m White, right?”

His reply:

TRUMP DERANGEMENT SYNDROME, combined with ANTI WHITE hatred, makes you a very angry woman…LOL….you really need to seek help for your mental illness…..


I have no words. This was my reply

You are exploding like fireworks. I haven’t resorted to using all caps, that’s you. I haven’t even cursed, you’re already screaming and swearing. I didn’t bring up race, you did. I’m not the angry one here, you are.
 
No wonder you bother random women on the internet, no one would want you via the normal routes. And nothing is wrong with being mentally ill, as long as you work on the problem. I seriously envy all who has never met you, lol. You shouldn’t be trying to date anyone, get your anger issues out the way. Calm down and go away.


And that was the whole convo. I did some research on this guy. His name is Jason Taylor (huh, shares a name with one of my lawyers. Won’t Lawyer Jason find that hilarious?) and he’s situated in Lane South, South Carolina and has an aol email of “jayyce004” So if you meet this guy, you already know he’s a furious wackjob.

Now, let’s break out the bingo boards because they are the only efficient things I have to break down bs like this. Let’s get started.





The words are probably a little hard to read



This is what I managed to fill out.

 
I just noticed the highlighter I used might be a bit light for some to see so let’s point them out. 
 
Bingo Board 1
 
– I’m a nice guy
– Is way older than you
– Has never met you in person
– Attempted negging
– Casual sexism & racism
 
 
Bingo Board 2
– Little to no social skills
– Racist, sexist and/or homophobic to an extent
– Thinks sexual harassment is a complement
– When rejected, always blames his weight, face or another body characteristic that was never brought up
 
Let’s break this down, starting with Bingo Board 1:
 
I’m a nice guy
Here’s the thing about “nice guys” … they’re never nice. The “sweeter” they try to be, the more vicious they are underneath. They’re not actually nice, they just want something. And if they can’t get it, they explode. This guy did exactly that. Plus, I already said I find “hyper-sweet”/super-overt flirting behavior insulting. Because, to me, it is. Talk to me like everyone else or don’t talk to me at all. 
 
Is way older than you
Like I said before, this dude is literally almost 15 years older than me. A decade and a half. I have zero interest in guys that old. Because they are, in terms of dating, very old. You are half way to your 50s, a half century. Ew. A man that is 45 should stick to women who are in their 40s, minimum. 
 
Has never met you in person
Never. I think I would remember such a nutjob if so. This person is deep down in South Carolina, so yeah, never met. Nor would I want to.
 
Attempted negging
Negging” is emotional manipulation, created by pickup artists, intended to make the “negged” target feel bad and thus try to vie for the manipulator’s approval. Basically the “Oh, is it because I’m White?” (as well as other parts but let’s stick with this one). Because I never brought up race and oh geez, I would not want this random person on the internet to think that *gasp* I am not interested in them because they are White. Because we all know White people get it the worst in the world because of their race. Lack of opportunities, institutionalized and structured lack of access to resources in health, wealth & education and in dating, hyper sexualized and dehumanized, even to the point of being compared to animals and food – oh, wait. That’s Black people. Yeah, this flare-up doesn’t work on me. At all. Since I’m pretty sardonic about dating, it gives me a better range of view to spot guys who try to go at emotion and not logic. 
 
Casual sexism & racism
Pretty much everything that came out this dude’s mouth. Started off insulting, finished off super crazy. Good thing no one is dating them because I bet he’s the type to fly into a rage at the drop of a hat and break things, even over the slightest problems. No one needs to date anyone like that. Ever. They need therapy, not relationships. 
 
 
 
On to Bingo Board 2!
 
Little to no social skills
Guys (hi, straight men), this dude’s approach is not smart. Firstly, don’t approach random women through their official channels of communication looking for a date. She is most likely not going to be thrilled. Just like how I wasn’t. Dating websites and apps do exist. Try finding a date using a dating site or app. And should you approach, try to go for “cordial”, not “sleezeball”. Yes, I probably am saying all that is opposite of what usual guy websites have for “how to chat to girls” but I thiiiiiink I would know how I like to be approached a lot more than someone who is probably a closet incel. If the girl turns you down, it happens. Rejection happens. Women get rejected, too. Also, please don’t go on a killing spree. Seriously. Get help instead. And don’t threaten the girl for turning you down. You’ll just go from “Not my type” to “homicidal maniac” in a snap. Get help instead.
 
Racist, sexist and/or homophobic to an extent
Read above for “Casual Sexism & Racism”. No homophobia occurred but I seriously would not be surprised if this person harbored homophobic sentiments. I’ve never met a bigot with emotional problems that magically was pro-LGBTQIA. Not even in actual LGBTQIA circles (the amount of racist White folks in queer circles is baffling. Can they not somehow apply that racism is bad the same way homophobia is bad instead of trying to use their queerness as a flimsy shield to be racist?)
  
Thinks sexual harassment is a complement
It isn’t. Unwanted attention such as this is indeed sexual harassment. It isn’t a complement. At all. It is harassment, plain and simple. That’s why I didn’t reply with hearts and joy but with sharp vitrol instead.
 
When rejected, always blames his weight, face or another body characteristic that was never brought up
He flew straight for “It’s because I’m White, right?” even when I never brought it up. It is no different than when Harvey Weinstein would try to guilt-trip his victims with “it’s because I’m fat and ugly” when they would reject his attempts of sexual assault. (Guys, if you want to discuss movie/book/music deal details, try to keep your clothes on. You’ll be respected more and called a “potential rapist” less). Does it matter what type of men the scores of women he assaulted would personally pick? No. They may like big guys, skinny guys, tall guys, short guys, etc etc. But none of them like rapey guys, which is exactly what Weinstein is. It wasn’t his weight or looks – which he brought up, not the women – it was his behavior. It’s not your physical form, many different women like many different guys, it is your behavior. Even handsome guys get rejected for acting like douchebags. There’s a reason women in my circles tend to say “He was really cute … then he started talking.” 
 
 
This dude’s behavior was way off the wall. I don’t like being chatted up through my blog, ever. It used to happen at the start of Black Witch from various guys, including Men of Color. I ripped on them the exact same way as I did this guy because I don’t appreciate that kind of behavior. Ever. Heck, I don’t even like being approached, I rather do the approaching myself. And even if I do approach, I still rather interact with a guy who has his head screwed on straight versus one who thinks “She’s talking to me! That means she wants to date me! Literally no other reason whatsoever. Even though she just told me I am on fire. She did that because she wants me, not because I’m turning into a candle stick out in public. Absolutely no other reason.” 
 
What should have this guy done? Google “local therapy clinics near me” and never bother anyone for anything remotely related to dating until he has his head sorted out. And never talk to me unless he has more normal subjects to talk about. Or anyone else. 
 

*Though the FBI literally lets countless Angry White Men slip through their fingers (The Majory-Stoneman Douglas mass shooting is a perfect display of that) because they’re so busy keeping tabs on Black and Muslim Americans activists. Because the greatest harm to America is not a mass shooting or another Timothy McVeigh, it’s people marching for their rights, as guaranteed by the Constitution. Oh well, at least I have lawyers as back up.

I’m a little late on The Arts! but I had to beat the rest of Rhythm Heaven and then Contagion finally released on Steam (I am considering a feature on them, as well, it’s a really good game).

“Ro-Na”

An Outkast “Hey Ya” parody about the current viral plague. It is humorous as it is very accurate.

Wear a mask, stay home, maintain social distance if you have to go outside.

“How Cop Orientations Must Be Like”

I thought this was humorous but what I liked most was how straightforward it was

– How concepts of being okay with brutality and oppression is passed down from seasoned officers to newer officers, pretty much indoctrinating hatred instead of actual law enforcement

– How when newer officers try to do the right thing (and basically their jobs and proper training), it is “corrected” by more seasoned officers because “this is how things are done” and if any make a fuss or correction, shamed and off the force they go. Guess what happens when you fire good cops for being good and keep (as well as laud/promote) bad cops for being bad? Not a decent police force, that’s for sure. And a lot of dead minorities. Oh, and ensuing protests and even a police department that gets torched like a Guy Fawkes wet dream. By the way, did you know you can make a s’more nacho dish? Just take some graham crackers, marshmallows, candies or chocolate, arrange nachos style, place on heat and done. Hard to eat with a mask on but quite delightful. Also available at Target. lol.

– The difference between how non-Black & belligerent individuals are treated (waved off and let go) and Black & reasonable individuals are treated (with great risk of being pretty dead)

Gotta love the Rhythm Heaven reference.

In the past few weeks, I have received a handful of interactions from White pagans or White people in general about the current events. None of them are talks that are what one could call “fruitful” because I certainly got zero out of the conversation (actually, probably less than zero – I really could have done without those interactions) but it’s the usual suspect: White folks who want to be slow-walked through “how racism works” or plain rather pretend to be your friend, even though you have never met them before. Basically the “Kind douchebag/douchebag with a smile” type.

Look, as far as readership goes, I have two relatively consistent White readers who I reasonably like because they are reasonable people, Mark and Calysta. Everyone else White and interacting are usually a major bother and those people are quite agitating because this is a Black blog, meant for Black Pagans, such as myself. There are countless Pagan blogs and media made by White Pagans but no, got to be over here, bothering spaces that they are not welcomed in because they are unwelcoming, themselves.

One interaction was on Twitter, when I posted about “Eyes on the Prize”. Read below:

Here is why I, and probably others, find this annoying:

I have many academic friends, one of them talks pretty regularly about the Holocaust. It’s is their diamond topic, they know it forwards and backwards. They like to talk about media and the Holocaust – mainly how the Holocaust is depicted, who is focused on, etc. Now, they don’t mind having talks about the subject, it is what they do. They have an insightful tangent on the movie Schindler’s List that is really interesting to hear. However, they still would not want to deal with someone who just walks up and go “Schindler’s List, I know about that movie. I love that movie,” and that’s it. Yeah, the movie has great cinematography, buuuuuuuuuuuut in a somber discussion about the Holocaust and how media makes people perceive it, that is not the appropriate time to bring it up. Long story short, if you don’t have anything useful to say then:

Same thing here. The dude could have kept his trap shut and all would be fine. Instead of interjecting pointless bullsh*t that mainly is for self-pandering reasons (“Look at what a good person I am! I’m a good White person!”). I have never been a fan of virtue signaling. Ever.

And why are White folks “thanking” Black people now for “opening their eyes”? I have gotten that quite a bit lately and I’m not the only one. Soooooooooooooooooooo … they still think we’re NPCs in their lives, huh? Walking life lessons and not humans, huh? How unsurprising. They kill us, we bring up killing us is wrong and we get thanked (no actual change, just phony, flimsy words) for … pointing out they are killing us. But should something happen to them, like a suburban mass shooting, they want the whole world to stop & care. It is already appalling that they lack so much empathy that it takes several murders, accompanied with HD photos and film, complete with sound, to figure out that there might be a problem and that racism might still be around. Now they treat those very same people who simply are talking about their lived life experiences (usually to people who share those same experiences) like that person’s traumas exists to educate White folks of how to be “better people”.

I’m cis and hetero-romantic (ace/demi but still het-romantic). I have heard queer and trans friends talk about their lives, good and bad. It did not take me the Pulse mass shooting to figure out that my friends are actual people and that murdering them for who they are is inherently wrong. I came to that conclusion without scores of people dying in very brutal ways. When they vent to me about the difficulties of dating, existing or, heck, how the mass shooting still alarms them to this very day, I don’t reply with “I never thought of that, thank you for sharing!”

‘Thank you for sharing?’ That’s pretty tone deaf and it would be beyond reasonable that they would probably not want to be my friend anymore because they’re talking about their lives and concerns and the best they got in reply is a “Thank you for your input, I will find this data most valuable to me”-type reply. They don’t feel heard, they feel used. I don’t think I have ever thanked any of them for talking about their lives as human beings because they were not offering me anything, they were simply talking about their day or their date. Nobody likes to feel like a science project when they’re just being themselves. It is completely one-sided. Doesn’t matter if they are a friend, doesn’t matter if they are a stranger.

But a lot of that is definitely going on. Have my queer & trans friends taught me new perspectives and ideas? Yeah, but so have my friends who are not very different from me. Friends teach you things, that’s part of friendship. Strangers teach you things, that’s part of living on a planet with other people. However, thanking someone for teaching you how to change a tire the right way is different from thanking someone for teaching you why you should not murder them or that they are, indeed, a human being. The former is reasonable and the latter is a sign that there is a sociopath in the room.

Racial murders of Black people are not new, they have been around for literal centuries. So has anti-Black racism. So have been people who have been talking about it at length. Trying to pretend to be a friend is not helpful, it is agitating. It’s borne from trying to look good, not from actual desire to learn and/or self-improve. This “pretend friend” thing is coming from people who are late to the party but still want it to be about them. If anything, instead of feigning allyship, it is simply better to zip it. If you have nothing of value to add – then do what the game says and close your yap. You don’t even have to press a single button.

 

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