Category: Race


Good afternoon. I am meeting with my spiritual family tomorrow to discuss racism among the pagan community and how we can make Wicca more inclusive for POC. Therefore, if I wanted to start making Wicca more inclusive for POC today, what could I do? The only ideas I can come up with seem like they would veer dangerously close to cultural appropriation, such as incorporating deities of other ethnic groups into worship in order to avoid the over emphasis on Greek and Celtic deities. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Blessed be.

-Jamie

This is literally no different than the guy from last month who asked “Is this racist? I’m making a character for my personal project”. It’s bad enough this person thinks I’m Wiccan when really I’m non-denominational Pagan/general Pagan.

As much as White culture likes to assume Black people are illiterate and lazy and like to rip on us about it – even if we have degrees in literature and we work endlessly (we’ve built nations, including the United States of America, while suffering terror and torture) – they sure dislike doing actual reading when it pertains to being less racist. Doesn’t matter how easy or accessible the info. They must be personally slow-walked by a random Black person, because that’s what they think Black folks exist for, as their assistants. I have 10 years of writings and a freaking Race category. How can a group of people be so stupid it’s almost groundbreaking? You’re on the internet, none of this is hard to figure out on your own, especially on my site.

White Pagans already are iron-dedicated to keeping Paganism, which is remarkably diverse, as White as possible. If they want to make things better for people that don’t look like them, they need to stop being lazy layabouts and do the leg work themselves.

Advice? Stop being so lazy and do the f*cking work – yourselves. If you can figure out occultism, which involves dead languages, missing documents and wide chasms of historical and cultural gaps due to time and war, anti-racism should be levels easier.

 

Is there such thing as body swap spell?

– Richard Lowe

Wow, that there is living proof the coronavirus is not killing the right people. I have said countless times how much I dislike body-swap spell askers. (inb4 “he was just asking!” – it usually starts there and then they show their trash selves afterwards) They’re just disgusting fetishists, usually. I already tracked one down and reported him to police because he mentioned a real person he wanted to “swap” with. This person is no different.

Hi there!

This is Melika and I am a qualified photographer.

I was puzzled, frankly speaking, when I came across my images at your website. If you use a copyrighted image without my permission, you must be aware that you could be sued by the copyright holder.

It’s against law to use stolen images and it’s so filthy!

Take a look at this document with the links to my images you used at thisblackwitch.com and my earlier publications to obtain evidence of my legal copyrights.

Download it right now and check this out for yourself:

[redacted link]

If you don’t remove the images mentioned in the document above within the next several days, I’ll write a complaint against you to your hosting provider stating that my copyrights have been infringed and I am trying to protect my intellectual property.

And if it doesn’t work, you may be pretty damn sure I am going to report and sue you! And I will not bother myself to let you know of it in advance.

– Mel

This is spam meant to spread a computer virus. Let’s go into this.

I do not regularly post photos on the blog, and usually they are reaction type pictures I found scattered across the world wide web or related to The Arts! features. I tend to veer from personal-looking photos because they’re not what I like to use. I never have gotten a “take this down” request before so of course, this caught my eye. If I get a request, I take them seriously. But it’s a fake one, in the end.

This person doesn’t know copyright law well

Here’s the thing: you can only be successfully sued by copyright holder for a picture if a) the person used the image without credit and for financial/personal gain – aka, passed the photo off for their own and used it to make money/obtain something and b) you can prove the photo is yours, preferably with a legit copyright certificate from the Copyright Office, and there was no standing contract or anything else a person could use as an excuse to slip out of responsibility.

Otherwise, it’s an empty threat. And note I said “successfully”. Copyright lawsuits happen all the time. Not all are successful. Visual artists contend with their works being stolen all the time, it is a frustrating experience.

I’m a little lucky that I formerly worked in the Library of Congress (which houses the Copyright Office) and that one of my friends works in the Copyright Office. That and, as a creative, I have read up on copyright law the best I can.

You can do letters to a hosting provider but they do not make it super easy and again, it cannot be done blindly. WordPress runs over 20-30% of the internet. If you have no proof, you have no case.

The emo in this writing

Here’s the thing: This is a very emotion-rife letter. It’s mean to cause alarm and “this is how upset I am!!11!!!!!!1!!1”. Folks like these lean on emotion because they don’t want you to use logic. They want me to click the link, not actively debate – which is what I did anyways, because if you don’t show me the image, I will ask about it. A lot.

I could get why this could scare a newbie blogger or someone who is not so secure, lawyer-wise. I get it very easily, no one wants their site taken down because of a simple skirmish. Unfortunately, I have three different lawyers (story of my life: prejudiced people never clean up their act until feds and lawyers get involved – and even then, they are remarkably slow learners. But quick criers). So a “I’ll sue you!” is not too scary to me.

The point is to click the link

It was a google Drive link, which is also reportable for nefarious use, such as trying to spread a virus. If it is a legit take-down request, I should not have to download anything. They should have had the time, date, etc of the photo (which, at this point, is safe to say doesn’t exist) in question in the text of their email. It is not in the text, it looks sketchy.

 

Oh! And I never got a reply ever when I asked for clarification. If this person was serious, I would have gotten a quick reply.

I have gotten a lot of stupid White folks writing in because White guilt always creates lack of intelligence. You can probably guess how:

“Can you eeeeeeeeeeducate me? I can most likely recite Shakespeare and Asimov but Dr. King is too commmplicaaaaaated.”

White folks regularly like to paint themselves at super smart, better than anyone even remotely darker (and if they do think another group is smarter – they gotta be weird, odd robots (Hi, Asian America)). They have the books, the colleges, all the smarties – White folks love cementing the idea “White = Smart. No exceptions. We will literally mod and edit history books to uphold this and viciously dismiss/murder all who disagree, no exceptions.” The picture of a genius is a White person, according to them.

Except when it comes to race. All of a sudden, it is next to impossible to understand and they need someone affected to literally slow-walk them through what they need to do and the very concept that a human is still a human, even if that human does not look like them. Because they’re too dumb to get it. Countless books, blogs, movies, documentaries, etc etc, on the subject but still Does Not Compute.

It’s not “Listening to Black people”, it’s the usual, stereotypical “I’m White and I don’t want to do any work, I’ll make someone else do it and benefit/take all the credit” bs that is at an all fever pitch right around now, but with a heavy sprinkle of White Guilt, chased with a gulp of White Saviorism.

For example, there is a 14 hour docuseries called “Eyes on the Prize”. Free to stream in all its entirety. I grew up with this series, it’s really well made. I remember it would play regularly on PBS – but, oh wow, technology! You can now see it whenever you want, as many times you want and for free, been that way for years. It follows the Civil Rights movement during the 1950s to the 1980s. It came out in 1987, the year I was born, so doesn’t cover the Rodney King Beating/LA riots back in 1992 (There is a Sublime song about that, “April 29 1992”), or the Texan hate crime murder of James Byrd Jr in 1998, who was snatched and dragged three miles behind a pick up truck by three White guys (all Klans members). It was considered “Lynching by Dragging”. Or the discovery of Black people hanging from trees in the past month (Robert Fuller. Malcolm Harsch), and the fact that’s been on a visible uptick in the past three years or so.

There is also this forum talk (wear headphones, it’s pretty quiet) where the makers talk about things that has happened between 1987 to 2016, when this forum happened.

 

All these facts, all this very accessible data. Not hard to find.

Before I go into this post proper, I would like to remind everyone (read: Americans) that we are still in a viral plague. Especially America. Here is a funny and lighthearted joke video about it called “Gas Gas Gas”:

Wear masks and maintain social distancing. Not that hard. Unless you are an essential worker, do not be out and about. If you are an essential worker (grocery store, food runner, warehouse worker), please try to stay safe – and learn your worker rights. Doctors and nurses are paid a lot but not the person stuck doing warehouse work at FedEx with zero hazard pay.

Alrightie then, on to the current fare.

There is a lot of attemptive co-opting and gentrifying of Black Lives Matter by, you guessed it, White folks. Basically, it’s the current go-to to hopefully look less like a horrible person because the mere fact it took the graphic and brutal death of some random guy they most likely did not know played in 4k by a racist officer to go “Wait, Black people … are, like, people? Like, human?” doesn’t make anyone look like a literal ice cold, sociopath already. Especially since I’m pretty sure they have ran into Black people in their personal lives, worked beside them, lived next/near them, so on and so forth and none of those lived experiences most likely shared by said Black people moved the needle in their brain. I’m not a psychologist, but I’m sure that if anyone needs a metric load of graphic deaths of particular groups of people to just to feel baseline human empathy towards them, that is a big problem. Especially when people like that want to “help”. And here, it is with the usual “White Man’s Burden/White Saviorism” zest. Because it is never actual help. Ever.

I call all that I see now, the posting of black squares on social media, the manicured “we stand with BLM” statements from companies and individuals alike, attending the marches, signing up to Black Witch *cough, cough, I definitely see this*: “Pulling a Weinstein”.

Named after big-name movie giant and serial rapist Harvey Weinstein, because this is one of his many go-to tactics: Show ’em that you care! He has donated to countless charities and causes focused on gender issues such as Planned Parenthood, supported feminist notables such as Elizabeth Warren and Hillary Clinton. He even tried to donate a scholarship fund to University of Southern California for female filmmakers but that was rejected because USC didn’t want to be in the headlines for that – otherwise they would have taken the money easily, academia isn’t that big on progress, just image.

This method is to serve as a counter-argument to every time someone called Weinstein a rapist. Which happened – a lot. It was no hidden secret that this was how Weinstein was and everyone around him pretty much okay’d it because the choice was either moral standards or paycheck and, well, electric companies and landlords don’t accept “moral standards” as a method of payment. Just make the actress he attacked feel confused and more like the perp than the victim, tell everyone she’s “difficult to work with”, donate to some big organization for women and call it a day. Remember, no guy ever had to wonder if Weinstein was going to ask him for a blow job in exchange for a role. Every time someone called Weinstein a rapist, out came the “He’s donated to xyz, he vociferously supports women, and all those girls are liars. Would a rapist donate to things that uplift women?”

If it kept him out of the legal hotseat – which it did for decades – then, yup. He would.

It’s a smart move, in a way: Look like a wonderful guy in the public eye, everyone gives you a pass to be a monster in private. Lawyers love this move, especially because donating to such venerable causes shows “character”. Even if it is about as phony as a styrofoam boat pretending to be a cruise liner. Everybody loves virtue signaling.

Annnnnnnd here we see it again. I expect years from now, I’m going to hear, “I marched with Black Lives Matters” when White people will be called out on their racism and prejudice. Their parents and grandparents already have worn out their version: “I marched with Dr. King”. Being there doesn’t give anyone non-Black a pass for being a horrible person. But, wow, will it be used that way.

Because all these acts now, they’re just “Weinstein Acts” – these acts look really nice and heart warming and sweet (they painted streets yellow! Awwwwww!) But it means literally nothing in all honesty (Instead of yellow lettered streets, how about work on red lining, liquor lining, block busting and gerrymandering?). The donations, the yellow letter streets, the black squares, the mass joining of Black influencers and creators on the internet, it’s all cute – but empty, pointless and absurd in the long run. Just White people in general, from individuals to corporations, pulling a Weinstein. Hey, it worked for Harvey Weinstein for literal decades, why not? Yeah, he fell and fell far but even the take-down was near herculean. And look at how many women who’s careers he affected and even killed during that very, very long time. It’s not like they’re all going to immediately bounce back like a spring. Some damage is simply irreversible. Time lost, opportunities lost, livelihoods lost. Weinstein donated loads of money and time to feminist causes. He didn’t do it because it was the right thing to do, he did it because he needed someone to tote out as a human credibility shield should people pick up on his heinous deeds. No different than what is happening now.

Here are four blocks of allyship, I found them floating about on social media. Made by Seerutkchawla:

Right now, I see a hefty amount of “Performative Allyship”. A loooooooooooot of it. This is why I say, “They don’t care, this is all for show.” Following Black influencers and creators (I got a payload of new subscribers for this blog, a staggering amount of them White – despite the glaring fact that this is a Black blog, for a Black Pagan readership), painting streets, so on and so forth, it’s for show. It’s to show off to other White people (“I’m better than you, nyah nyah”) and to be a credibility shield when called out by literally everyone else (“I’m not racist, I marched with BLM/read a single Black blog/follow Black people on social media.”). Even right now, on the personal level, Black folks are getting inundated by random White friends and acquaintances “checking in.” Because no other time mattered, whatsoever, including “Out of total friendship/genuine caring”. I know I can suck at keeping up with my friends but at least I don’t have to be prompted by a random brutal murder driven by prejudice to do it.

I have seen very, very little of “Authentic Allyship”. Because it is hard, there are no laurels to get and the only pedestal you’re probably going to be hoisted on is so people can throw rocks at you. You don’t get on the cover of any news brief or magazine, there’s zero limelight – if any at all (how many people know about John Brown or Jane Elliot?), it is a lot of private work and longstanding private work at that. It’s difficult and hard, but at least its the right thing. And its for anything in regards to working with groups that have suffered historical oppression. For example, how many times have I touted “LOVE GAY AND TRANS PEOPLE AND LGBT IS FOR ME. HATE DOESN’T LIVE HERE!!! I LOVE GAY AND TRANS PPL!!1!1!!11111!!!!!!” on this blog or any of my social media? I’m not gay or trans (I’m actually ace/demi but still, cis and not gay all the same). I definitely have gay and trans friends, as well as friends all across the LGBTQIA spectrum, but when Pulse happened, I didn’t flap them around for credibility, I didn’t become hyper-focused on LGBT issues during the time as if I was trying to replace OutLoud, and I certainly did not pester my LGBTQIA friends who were nowhere near Pulse when the mass shooting happened. I read their social media vent posts and listened when I could … but that’s what I generally do, literally to the point of annoyance, mass murder or no mass murder. Black Witch regularly features LGBT content to the point it’s regularly littered about on the blog, especially in The Arts! features. It’s not glitzy but Authentic Allyship is not supposed to be.

It is remarkably important for real change to occur because it is quite necessary. Weinstein donated a lot of money to good causes, but only because he was also the cause of the problems they’re fighting against. It was completely performative, he never cared to start with. He just wanted a cover so he could keep up his bad behavior, virtually unchecked. And it worked, for a very long time. It’s no different here. Performative is nice but only for the person doing the performance. For everyone else, it usually causes trouble down the line. But the performative ally generally does not care at all, because they hardly ever do. It’s all about them and, to them, that’s all that matters.

Due to recent events, I have been getting people – usually White folks – coming out the rafters with all these questions about race, prejudice and other things that exists in reading, audio-visual form on the internet for free and easy to find. PBS exists, documentaries exists (free ones), online museums exists (especially now, in the middle of a pandemic), Spike Lee exists, Ava DuVernay exists, countless pieces of media and creators.

Here’s a letter I got:

Hi, I hope you’re well with all the horrible stuff going on. I have a question as a white author trying to write a ‘black’ character. The character starts out as white, gets blessed by the fire goddess, and her skin turns black with orange crackles like lava, her hair like ash, her eyes orange. Shes the main character, conquers the world and kills dragons, has a happy love story, and her arc is all about coming to terms with your inner strength. She is a bit shunned after her transformation, but as a whole she becomes very positively seen. My question is, is it offensive to have her change skin color? Is it reminiscent of people who die their skin to try and pretend to be black? I’ve tried speaking to fellow authors, but I’d really appreciate your input as well. Thank you very much.

 

I replied with a pretty scathing response but let’s go into detail about why I went the caustic route instead of the “Hey, I am sooooooooooooooo glad you literally want to make sure you’re not being racist in your works, Random White Person” that this person probably was expecting.

Read the Air

I’m a creative writer myself and some of my works require a bit of digging. For example, I have a VR game about the Berlin Blitz (1943 Berlin Blitz), a regular video game about WWII Czechoslovakia that uses first hand accounts from the actual survivors (Attentat 1942), links to the US Holocaust museum and regular Jewish history that does not circulate around them being very, very dead or under severe threat of being very, very dead. And this is not the bulk of my research work, just a narrow pie slice because I have a very broad spread of research – another example, Japanese-Korean history. Which stretches centuries, from when they started as nations to now. And it is not a pretty history. But I know it! And I didn’t bother a single Japanese or Korean person about it.

Notice I never said, “I badger my Jewish and Korean friends about how they feel about the Holocaust and Japanese-Korean relations” or “I bother random Jewish people or Czech people about the Holocaust or random Japanese and Korean people about Japanese-Korean relations because I am interested in this, I ran out of silly shows on Netflix and my Instagram feed is dull – oh, I mean, because I lack deeeeeeeepth.” Because those are pretty painful points of history. I would imagine the random people would not be too nice because, dude, wtf? And the friends of mine would probably correct me to say “No, no, she means ‘former friends’ because, dude, wtf?” No one has that at the forefront of their mind, either. Not even scholars. Because it is depressing.

When it comes to painful parts of history, I can ensure you, dollars to donuts, that someone very well informed and eloquent has written about it, painted about it, made a movie about it, so on and so forth. No need to bother random strangers and go “Hey, you’re really bothered by the fact people who look like me still like killing people like you for sport, can you tell me if I’m being racist in a personal passion project of mine? It’s really important to me I get this right.” If you can’t somehow even remotely google “Blackface” (even on my site I have a search bar, I have talked about Blackface before. Try using it) and you’re not sure you’re “Doing it wrong”, then pick up another subject to write about. Everyone likes cats, go make literary art about that. Every time I came across a pretty rough portent of history, I researched it for myself. Watched documentaries, read articles, viewed interactive exhibits – y’know, work. I didn’t seek out the affected individuals and bother them because I neeeeeeed to know. If I need to know that badly, I will research it.

Learn to know when is the right time and wrong time to badger a random person on the internet about painful histories of their background. Don’t ask a queer person about if they agree or disagree with random people killing them after a horrendous death of a trans person hits the news. Don’t ask a Black person if something is racist or not when they’re busy dealing with strings of murders tied to racist people killing them simply for existing. If it is too hard to figure it out without a one-on-one 1st person account, just chalk up that you might be too stupid for the subject and pick something else to focus on. Like knitting.

Try Search Engines

When I was younger, back in the 90s and very late 80s, if you wanted to know something, you had to go to a physical encyclopedia. Hopefully it was up to date (you needed a new set yearly and they were expensive), a full collection (a set of encyclopedia could range the entire length of a classroom. Some sets, several times over), and written well (White academics really really suck at writing anything that had nothing to do with, well, White-focused history (Europe and the White part of America). And I mean, who-did-you-blow-to-get-your-degree awful. Fun fact: they still really, really suck at it). There were many ways information could slip through the cracks. Crappy libraries, racism-fueled poor research, closed down libraries, shoddy schools, bad and/or racist teachers and/or administrators – the possibilities of abysmal education are endless.

And then the internet happened. And then, of all the search engines to start out, Google climbed out on top.

I do have my snips about Google – oh, so many snips – but, for all intents and purposes, it works well for information procurement … assuming the person is not looking for biased info, because that’s confirmation bias and that’s exactly how you get people like Dylan Roof and the end result of nine innocent people very, very dead (Search it). All you need is the ability to have critical thinking skills. And the ability to take a wonderful, long and thoughtful sip from the Shut the F*ck cUp. That way, you can have all the feels you want to feel, good and bad, and you didn’t have to ruin someone else’s day about it. I have done this countless times, when learning about countless places and countless events in history. It is an arduous method but a very useful one.

No, Really Try Researching

There are blogs, twitter accounts, tumblrs, documentaries, encyclopedia entries, online museums, books. So many details and so many facts exist now. I bet if I dig hard enough, I will probably find a virtual reality game where I can sit and ask a hologram of Dr. King a bunch of questions in the middle of Alabama. They already have that for Holocaust survivors, where they sat in a seat, became digitized and answered literal hours of questions so to become a full, fleshed out hologram that can be asked the same questions again and again from scholars to regular curious people. Now, you don’t have to track down someone’s poor grandparent and badger them about why they have a weird arm tattoo and “was it as bad as they say? Because some random guy online that I follow said it didn’t even happen. I just want to be accurate.”

Again, all you need are critical thinking skills. And an ability to zip it.

If doing basic research is too hard, then maybe try a different hobby. Like paddleball. Simple and no intelligence required.

I have some free space for Ask Black Witch, I’ve gotten nothing but dumb questions recently. But as for current protests against the usual plague, anti-Blackness, some free tips:
No matter what, wear a mask.

A) Black Blocs are useful because the usual historical reasons

B ) There is still a viral plague outside, you don’t need the coronavirus on top of the usual plague. Not all racists wear badges, some wear scrubs and white coats.

C) Masks can be modified or specialized against tear gas, the internet is packed with tons of resources, as well as historical information

D) Don’t wear glaringly unique masks if possible. You’ll get targeted first.

Social distancing is still important

A) Again, you don’t want to catch a viral plague on top of dealing with the usual plague. Again, not all racists wear badges, some wear scrubs and white coats

B ) Bigger looking crowd, less dashing into each other when riot cops dart into the crowd, and harder to corral – you definitely want to stay out of holding cells and jails, especially during a viral plague

C) Easier to stay relatively safe when you have at minimum a 6 ft bubble to make quick decisions in, and see around you

Gloves are nice

A) You will be touching countless surfaces, not just your sign. Riot shields are probably not sanitized so in efforts of not getting binked by one, gloves are useful in case you have to grab or stop one

B) Better grip is always great

C) Easier to clean up and take off when need be. You can’t take off your skin but you can take off gloves

Alcohol in a med kit

I’m never going to suggest drinking – drinking is bad for you, especially in a plague (that one-two punch of suppressing your immune system and your sense of judgement is not a good idea). But it is useful for wounds and quick sanitation, among other historical protest uses.

For fellow Black folks, my core readership:

For everybody else:

Because you guys forget the most

What is it about pointing out racist tea brand names that makes people get emotional?

It’s, of course, about Amy Blackthorn’s tea line “Blackthorn Hoodoo Blends”. Made by a lady who is not:

A) Black

B ) Practices Hoodoo

C ) Participate with Black culture or identity

I have written about this twice in the past, including Blackthorn blocking me because she doesn’t like when people point out problems. Also, full disclosure: I know Blackthorn. Met her before, have mutual friends and associates.

Sometimes, my writing bodes well. Read this letter I received a long while back from Dear Darkling Magazine’s editor-in-chief:

Hello,
My name is Alex MoeHagen, and I’m the editor-in-chief of Dear Darkling magazine. We were recently contacted by Blackthorn Hoodoo Blends, and asked whether we’d like to sample their tea for review purposes. Knowing only that this brand was popular among the pagan community, we agreed.

However, as our writer was doing research for the piece, she grew increasingly uncomfortable with their usage of the term “Hoodoo.” She reached out to me, and I did my own research, which was when I found your blog post about the company.

Dear Darkling does not support or condone any sort of bigoted or racist behavior, including cultural appropriation. The more we learned about Blackthorn, the more we knew we would not feature their brand in our magazine. Not now, not ever.

I just want to thank you for being public about your experience with Blackthorn. Beyond their clear appropriation, their behavior during your interaction was inexcusable. I’m so sorry you had that experience, but I’m glad you wrote your post about it. It proved to us that Blackthorn was not a company we wanted anything to do with.

Also, I want to thank you for the list of POC tea companies. We aim to support and amplify POC voices whenever possible, and with it being tea season, we’re happy to have some new companies to drool over.

All the best,
Alex MoeHagen

Editor-In-Chief

Hooray, I was listened to! Notice how easy it was to simply pull up a rudimentary google search and go “Ehhhh, no”? Wow, it’s almost like there’s no excuse to be bigoted or pretend you’re not bigoted when you can literally fact check for free now!

Then you have people who knuckle down or get super defensive about this very fact. Enter metaphysical shop from Raleigh, North Carolina, The Holy Rose. I learned about this from an unwitting mutual. The Maryland Pagan circle is big in some ways, unbelievably small in others, what can I say?

I informed the shop of the problematic brand and the response was less than awesome. Granted, I literally did enter the convo with “I would not be too surprised to find disagreement” but still, they got defensive down the line. Which I will show later.

I will be honest, whenever I hear “Thank you for your opinion” in this framework, I always think of it as dismissive, as lip service. And we’re dealing with a fairly White Pagan ran store on the subject of racism. Boilerplate replies scratch me a little odd here.

And here come the excuses. Time to crack out …. The Derailment Bingo Board!

Here is a blank copy so you can play at home!

 

Hold on to this because we’re going to compare boards later! But first, before we continue, I want to bring up this fun fact: A thing doesn’t stop being racist simply because you surround yourself with tokens. Being “multi-racial” is not the same as being “Black”. It just can be code for “I’m all White with a teeny dash of native/latin/whatever”. Heck, I know Black folks who sincerely believe racism does not exist – didn’t protect them from being harassed unfairly by cops or passed over for deserved promotions. Racism is racism, whether you want to believe it or not.

Plus, how much you wanna bet they’re not going to read the post I linked? Given their dismissiveness, you could probably bet the bank. Especially if they read it only after being informed of this post.

Alright, moving on!

Apparently, The Holy Rose does not know the difference between “opinion” and “fact”. Opinions are derived by emotions, facts are proven displays of information. However, you can have an opinion based on fact.

As explained by website Key Differences:

Facts and opinions are often uttered in the same breath; the terms have a huge difference in their meanings. Whether a statement is a fact or an opinion depends on the validity of the statement. While a fact refers to the something true or real, which is backed by evidence, documentation, etc. On the other hand, opinion is what a person believes or thinks about something.

The site even provides a handy-dandy chart.

Saying “Blackthorn Hoodoo Blends is racist” can appear like an opinion but the difference is the fact that I provide proof and description in my past posts of why I reached that conclusion. I am not blindly assuming the brand is racist, I explain the issue of the racism. Over and over. It’s not an opinion when there are two whole posts (now, three, if you include this one) about this singular issue.

Also, The Holy Rose thinks I am trying to debate. I’m not. That’s being defensive. Saying I’m putting words in their mouth and “you don’t know me” is super childish at best – and defensive. Acting as if I am simply going to others because I personally don’t get along with Blackthorn instead of reading what is provided, is being dismissive. Based on the facts displayed from The Holy Rose, it gives me the opinion that they are as thin-skinned as Blackthorn herself.

They don’t draw conclusions based on someone’s opinion … because reading fact-displaying posts is hard? It’s not going off the opinion of others when they point you to a post you refuse to read. And it seems from jump they already drew a conclusion from their own opinion from the instant dismissiveness of first reply. And then followed up with their second when faced with a link. Like they tried to shut down the conversation before one could even start.

 

They constantly wish me well. I wish they’d listen.

 

Open minded doesn’t mean putting up a blank, dismissive attitude when someone brings a problem to your doorstep nor jumping to conclusions because the word “racism” was uttered and now you have to protect your feelings and your ego. That’s being close-minded.

Now, time for the Derailment Bingo board! This is what I marked out:

Holy cannoli, that’s a lot of picks! I half wanted to pick “I’m not being defensive!” as free space

Time to break down what I picked and why I picked it, starting from top left

You’re arguing with opinions, not facts

How many times did The Holy Rose say that I was spouting “opinion”? A lot for someone who goes by their own. Reminder: there is such thing as fact-based opinions, firstly, and, secondly, if you choose not to read something literally provided to you out of ego, that does not mean the person who provided it is spouting baseless claims – it means you wistfully ignore information avenues. It’s one thing if you call someone’s bluff and they reply with no receipts. It’s another when they provide receipts before a bluff can even be called.

Being dismissive of facts without reviewing them, to call them “opinions” means that you think the facts are “fake/baseless”, no matter what.

Heck, I wouldn’t be surprised if the store saw this post and then said “She twisted our words to make us look bad!” – despite posting the whole conversation from start to finish.

Your experience is not representative of everyone/I know another person from your group who disagrees/ But you’re not like others in your group

Remember, this person is “multi-racial” and “70% of my clientele are people of color”. This sounds like they’re trying to debunk the seriousness of my claim that Blackthorn Hoodoo Blends has a racist name. Because I feel like they don’t stand in the shop with a census in hand collecting ethnographic data day in and day out.

Also, “People of color” is not “Black”. Includes Blackness but is not synonymous with “Black”. And Anti-Blackness is very, very rife around Non-Black People of Color (NBPoC) so not exactly the statement I would run to as a blind defense.

Actually, if the shop is any strong percent of not-White, then shouldn’t the fact a racist brand getting in be a concern? I mean, don’t you want to keep your 70% of whoever is strolling into your store?

Besides, it doesn’t matter if their home customers do or don’t complain, it is still a problem. Let me share a teeny story from my life. I used to work in a martial arts weapon store. There were flags you could buy, including the Japanese imperialism flag (the version of the Japanese flag with the rays coming off it). We had Civil War stuff, both Union and Confederate. We had WWII stuff – wait, no … we had German WWII stuff so little chains that had a teeny tiny SS helmet on there and such. The person who owned the store is from Egypt so not tooooo versed with Western issues and flags. If it sold, it sold. They are goods. He was a soldier, not a scholar, before he became a shop-owner. I pointed out all the issues with the items. He, at first, went “No one complained” and I replied, “Do you really want to wait for a pissed off a Krav Maga teacher to express why this is a bad idea? We sell to fighters. This is bad!” And when I talked in depth about the terrible histories of what each item symbolized and how affected people (especially those with abilities to break bone) react, he quickly decided that something should be done. So I did some re-arranging and established a policy or two so there wouldn’t be too much discord. At minimum, divided the Japan/Korea flags so the imperialism Japanese flag wouldn’t sit all over the Korean flags. At maximum, kept the more troublesome stuff out of plain view and did a 50 Questions with anyone who selected it anyways.

It kept the peace and I had little to no crisis to worry about. Little things like that can prevent a lot. Part of running a business is problem prevention – trying to foresee an issue and stop or stutter it wherever possible. Sometimes problems happen anyways but at least you will only have five issues, in opposed to fifteen.

You’re seeing problems where they don’t exist

The Holy Rose dissolved my concern from being a pithy opinion to acting as if I am operating on a personal vendetta against Blackthorn to scorn her. At this point, I think Blackthorn is dull-minded, selfish and a total racist douche but I don’t exist simply to lay her low. She’s not the only dull-minded, selfish, racist douche I have ever met. Nor do I have time for all the dull-minded, selfish, racist douches that I have met, I’ve a lot on my plate. That’s why there’s only three posts on Blackthorn in the near decade of my blog.

Oh, and as a reminder, The Holy Rose person said this without reading anything in my provided link. So they think it’s a personal tiff when it actually isn’t.

I don’t find this offensive

See above where I mention The Holy Rose person says they are “multi-racial”. It doesn’t matter if you don’t find it offensive. It is offensive, plain and simple, for objective reasons.

 

Man, Derailment Bingo has been so useful for years.

Look, I get that The Holy Rose wants to be emo because actual accountability is difficult. The smart thing they should have done would be to be more receptive instead of offer a bland “thank you for your opinion”. That’s where they screwed up. Blackthorn likes making money off of the idea of Black experiences as a White person in Paganism, that’s her thing. As a shop, you can easily tell a product line you carry “Hey, I got some unsavory news about you. We’re not sure if we can still carry you because the name could cause fall out and we’re not Amazon or Walmart, maybe we could work this out?” This is a Pagan marketplace, finding tea sellers and makers is not that hard.

As per usual, here are a couple Black-Owned Tea Makers:

WyStone Teas

Ivy’s Tea Company

I’m pushing these two questions together because they pretty much on the same track

Hello! I would like to start getting into and educating myself on African religions, spirituality, and witchcraft but I don’t know where to start. Every book or article I come across is just giving me the whitewashed versions of what I’m looking for. Honestly, idk what I’m looking for. I live in New Orleans so I have the resources that I need I just don’t know what’s the real thing and where I could get it from. Can you help me out? Thanks in advance!

– Jessica R.

So I recently decided to make the jump and start practicing Paganism, but I have absolutely no idea about how or where to start. I feel as though this (Paganism) is the path I need to take to finally come into my own. I would honestly love it if I could find some kind of person with a first hand experience with the craft to give me a better understanding of what all of this entails. Any recommendations?

– C’ara B.

Firstly, for the person who lives in New Orleans:

  1. Walk into any Black owned/Black staffed metaphysical shop.
  2. Skim the books available
  3. Bug anyone who looks like you with questions
  4. Wash, rinse, repeat

For the second one: I have quite a few books littered throughout this site, I recommend poking about.

Onwards with the rest of the answer:

Now, it comes as no surprise to pretty much anyone that Western Paganism bears a very, very White face. Even on cultures that are extremely non-White or exist as a result of the horrors of European-based colonialism (examples: Voodun and Hoodoo, Santeria and Buddhism). It’s a major problem and one that is deftly ignored or responded to with pandering, patronizing lip service – if not met with declarations that, for some stupid reason, acknowledging that division exists and is quite pervasive “is divisive”. White Pagans like to steal from other cultures for the “Otherness” and to Whitewash them as if it was always theirs. That’s going to create conflict, whether they like to note it or not , given that most people don’t like being robbed from.

Paganism encompasses “nature-based belief systems” because it is Latin for Paganus, which means “country-dweller” because of the strong connotation that the person who lives in the country participate in folk/indigenous beliefs. This includes all indigenous faiths, folk religions, etc. These faiths didn’t start out in Europe and then spread everywhere else. They are from all over the world and should reflect that. Especially since Whitewashed versions of these faiths are simply not as legitimate. For example, I would not practice with a White person claiming to be a Voodun priest/ess, a loa, unless they had sincere and extreme in-depth knowledge about Blackness as a culture and an identity, pan-African history, the fact that it was their ancestors who caused the grief and turmoil that created some of these faiths (and not regard it as a good thing), etc etc. Oh, and was deeply involved in the Black community, even to their own detriment (meaning, giving up or rejecting their White privilege at every twist and turn). White folks like that are so few and far between, it’s probably easier to say they probably don’t exist except for nanoseconds at a time. Because it is a mindset, and very self-aware one. While the faith can have room for all, you have to acknowledge invaders and colonizers*. I’ve yet to meet a White person that practices with Voodun deities who knew more than five Black people. The face of indigenous and nature-based faiths should reflect that. But it doesn’t.

I have written about the White-washed Yemaya statue, for example. And my experiences at Pagan events.

This incessant racism also dribbles down to the books, you’re hard pressed to find diversity among the diversity of subjects. Especially Llewellyn, which, I should remind, legit sent me their book about the creator of Llewellyn and somehow deliriously thought it would get any glimmer of a good review from me. Apparently the dude was supposed to be a Champion of Justice just because he had one (1) Black friend and held some Uncle Tom/White Man Burden sector of the NAACP (who has not had a glowing repertoire when it comes to dealing with “well meaning Whiteness” (read: Rachel Dolezal) nor always being for Black folks (read: dismissiveness of Black Lives Matter)). For all the wonders this Random White Guy did(n’t) do, somehow, that glory for racial equality never made it into his publishing house in how he hired or who he published. Making whatever nonsense acts he did maintaining one Negro associate and shelling out money to a Black advocacy group with a checkered scorecard pretty much phony – just like him.

The problem is also that means there are few, decent researched books about Paganism. I always recommended Lauren Manoy’s Where to Park your Broomstick because it’s a good beginner book in general and she acknowledges that prejudice exists. She a White writer but at least she’s not a stupid one, hence why I always recommend her. Can’t say the same for most of the others I come across. New Agey books are really a disservice to those who actually want to learn and gain info. Not feel like they’re doing something because they burnt a stick of sage, wear Killstar or procured a drug habit. Paganism is a lot more than acting out The Craft or American Horror Story.

But in terms of books of culture-centered practices, it’s even harder to come by. For example, because of the pop “bruja/witch” phase, it’s going to be very hard finding reputable sources in Santeria because so many are going to be whitewashed and probably by people who have only know three words of Spanish, if even that. Add in the fact a lot of these cultures are not always in English and tend to be oral traditions, that multiplies difficulties.

I’ve made do with simply researching from an academic stance and mainly, if not only, selecting non-White (and preferably female) researchers. That has probably been the best way I have learned. They have bibliographies, they are fact checked, etc. These books exist in academic libraries and even normal libraries. As far as websites go, I would very much strongly suggest to make sure you’re not getting online screed peddled as actual fact. That means knowing the difference between a fact and an opinion, when you’re getting biased information and more. This is a multi-disciplinary skill but a useful one so you don’t accidentally turn into a Hotep.

Though, have you seen the Hertep skit from The Black Lady Sketch Show? It is comedic and a buoyant display of what not to listen to:

 

* For the whiners who claim “then Black people who practice Euro-centric gods shouldn’t be there, either.” Uhhhh, Black people were forced to literally follow Euro-centric beliefs. Like, actual death held over their heads. That and it isn’t the same because of that glaring fact. No one is forcing White people to practice Hoodoo or else be brutally murdered in the worst way.

Parade of Apologies

I’ve gotten a few apologies over the last spate of months. They’re all from folks who acted badly when we were better friends years ago. Two came out of the blue, one I got after poking them about their bad/racist behavior on social media. Two apologized for being racist and boneheaded about their actions. Years and years and years down the line.

To be honest, while the apologies are nice, I sincerely can’t feel them. The two who went “sorry I was racist and didn’t care, even when you pointed it out” (this includes the one I poked on their social media), it was nice they gave their apologies but I think this is a great demonstration of how being prejudice can follow you. And that just because you didn’t care about being bigoted, that doesn’t mean no one did.

The one I talked to on social media actually started the convo with, “Why are you bringing up something I said ten years ago, I did a toxic purge, I’m a different person now.” While the distancing is something I expect, especially since they were really gleeful to say the n-word several times, especially after I said, “Not cool” and used a defense of “I’m Jewish! It’s not prejudiced! Heck, the Holocaust doesn’t even bother me!” … because logic and a touch of internalized anti-semitism. Eventually, they apologized twice, and it was a short conversation after that because I really wanted to nail home why what they said was bad.

Every time I’ve gotten an “I’m sorry, I was racist and shouldn’t have been”, I don’t think I’ve ever sugarcoated my words. You feel bad – because you should feel bad, since you did a bad thing. I’m going to not simply hold you to it, I’m stapling you to it. And making sure it doesn’t become a Shakespearean “Woe is me, for I am the rogue that caused distress” conversation because there’s no need to elicit sorrow from me – I have none.  Especially if it took eons of time to say it/own up to it.

Some may say, “Be happy you got an apology, some don’t get even that.” Here’s the thing: they could have avoided the bad behavior altogether and no apology would have had to be said. They were all old enough to understand what they did. I even told them directly what they were doing wrong. And still they kept at it as if it was my problem and not theirs. They screwed up, they don’t get to evade consequences by being emo about it about a decade later. Oh, and we weren’t strangers on the internet. We were friends – that’s not how you treat friends, that’s how you treat someone you don’t like.

Look, I’m not a walking life lesson. It is also part of why I was agitated with the apologies. Hearing “You tried to tell me, but I just couldn’t listen. O woe!” makes it sound like I’m just an anti-racism AI out to help direct White people down the path of Righteousness.

Though I am a Black person who practices magick, I am galaxies away from being the “Magical Negro” stereotype. Many light-years away.

Nobody should have to go through such behavior. It is so common for me to hear in predominately White spaces this “I’m so awaaaaare now” thinking. Discard the people you went through to get this way and just champion yourself on the current end point of your behavior. Nah. You’re not noble, just faking.

That’s not how you treat the people you meet and if you think this is more acceptable to treat your friends, then maybe you shouldn’t have any because this is a pretty selfish mindset that leaves little to no room for them.

Everyone screws up, everyone learns but it’s how you do it that matters, too. Wearing a “Black Lives Matter” shirt and having a “Resist” bumper sticker on your car means nothing (besides garden-variety virtue signaling – and usually to other White people). Saying “I did a toxic purge” is just another way to say, “I don’t want to be held accountable”. Dealing with historically marginalized people should not seem like playing Watch Dogs 2: DLC in VR, no one is here on this planet solely to help a privileged person acknowledge their privilege. At all. Because that would be a waste of time, energy and space. I have watched paint dry and that was a better use of my time and entertainment.

Because we’re not walking simulations to learn from and put through misery. We’re individuals. That shouldn’t take almost a decade to figure out.

I decided to pass on posting The Arts! today for this teeny saga. Let’s start from the top:

A person on Tumblr, Child-Priestess (now changed to “Boy-Priest” since our convo) asked me to look at a site called “Blacks for Satan” – despite the fact that:

A) I’m not a Satanist

B ) The vast majority of Satanists I have ever met, I never liked. I have only met one (1) that was agreeable. That dude is the walking definition of “outlier” and “anomaly”.

C) Again, I’m not Satanist, I’m Pagan. They’re not the same. One is related to Christianity and the other existed way before Christianity (that would be Paganism who existed before Christianity, for the stupid ones who can’t follow.)

The site looked pretty terrible and full of hatred. Like, for a site that is “supposed” to be for Black people, it sounds penned by a White person from all the vitrol spat at Jewish folks. This isn’t to say that Black and Jewish communities don’t have rifts but it’s not “Holocaust denying” levels. Black people tend to not side with Nazis since they murdered us as well in the Holocaust. All a Nazi is to the eyes of a Black American is just a German-flavored Klanner. Same M.O., different place and language.

Originally, I wrote in the first draft, “Here are some screenshots, because I’m not linking this site. If anything, it needs to be taken down because it feeds into hateful beliefs which, in turn, inspire people like Dylan Roof or Rodger Elliot to commit mass murder.”

I got the sites taken down, three of them. More on that later. But here are the screenshots taken because I need to really go into why this site is super abhorrent. (And why site server, Lycos, shouldn’t have dragged their feet to take action.)

Wait, before I do, let’s look at this site called the “Dangerous Speech Project“. It explains how vitriolic words eventually become vitriolic actions.

Be sure to watch the vid, references to it will show up later and throughout.

But let’s begin with the hate sites and why they are perceived as such.

Let’s Start!

The website seems to not really talk about “What is Satanism” or anything, just “These are the people we hate.” Though Anton LaVey is a total joke to me, the site should have mentioned him at some point since he kicked off Satanism.

“Foundation”, eh?

This is a diamond point if you ever have to wonder if you’re running a hate site: if you have to pen “is [site] racist?” to defend yourself from the start, you probably are. By the way, the “Joy” site they are mentioning is pretty much the same as you see here, eye-bleeding layout and all.

There is a lot of misinformation on this site, especially in this blurb

The stupid, it burns

I think just about every Satanist I have ever met always had a nasty bone to pick with Christianity but couldn’t think outside of the rigors of it. This site is no different, but it can’t tell the difference between Satanism and Paganism because, if you go by (very incorrect) Christian rhetoric, there is no difference. This is due to the Christian gaze, where every religion that is not Christianity is demonic, therefore Satanic. This erroneous belief tends to come from the same people who think that Catholicism is a separate religion from Christianity when really it is an incredibly obvious denomination of Christianity.

Satan was never a deity, not even in Christian rhetoric. Angel, yes, deity, no. Angels tend to blindly obey God, angels that didn’t were considered “fallen”. Lucifer happened to be one of them. Still not a god, though.

Pagan deities were never demons, every one of them. Yes, there were deities for good and bad but that’s because nature has both good and bad and neither side is absolute. Then you have the fact there are thousands of these varied deities from countless cultures, it is both erroneous and insulting to just call them daemons/demons. Which is a really Christian thing to do. For one, it puts the Pagan deities at a lower status because godhood is not recognized. For two, the gods are there to do their own thing, not guide humankind – there are countless mythologies out there where the story basically boils down to “a deity got bored/annoyed/whatever and decided to play kickball with mortal lives for the lolz.” Entities are more inclined to work with humans but even then, it’s not in a servitude way. You gotta do something to get the help and the second you rip them off, things get pretty crappy. And somehow the backblown attempted scammer finds their way into my inbox, demanding spellwork like I’m a candy machine.

This version of “Satan is god” thing sounds very LaVey on the surface, but really, it’s a blurb that preys on the weak and vulnerable-minded, those who feel pushed around and want power but don’t know how to obtain it. That’s a problem. Fear is a very strong motivator because fear creates want from insecurity. Insecure want creates a hole that craves to be filled and if the person doesn’t care how it’s done, that can walk them down a pretty destructive path. That seems to be what this whole site is pitching.

The parts that are really troublesome are the links. Here’s a snapshot:

Yikes – Exhibit A

Yikes – Exhibit B

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So much Yikes. All the Yikes

And there’s more I didn’t screen grab: “The Lie of Christianity and Islam”, “The One True Enemy” and most alarmingly “Blacks and the Jews” (wait a minute – anti-Black content on a site supposedly for Black people to brew anti-semitism? How unsurprising). Anything that “exposes lies” about some random religion – especially religions that commonly are misconstrued, such as Islam and Judaism – it’s a dog-whistle approach to scapegoat.

Now, I mentioned Dangerous Speech a bit, as a snippet/reminder, here is “what is Dangerous Speech”, pulled from the site:

Any form of expression (e.g. speech, text, or images) that can increase the risk that its audience will condone or commit violence against members of another group.

Importantly, the definition refers to increasing the risk of violence, not causing it.

In the Dangerous Speech Project guide, it outlines how dangerous ideas such as hatred towards historically marginalized people can go from web space to actual spaces.

They outline the five ways this works, all cited in brief from Dangerous Speech Project:

Dehumanization: By describing other groups of people as something other than human, or less than human, speakers can persuade their audiences to deny other people some of the moral consideration they give to those who are “fully” human (Leader Maynard and Benesch, 2016, pp. 80-81). Dehumanizing targets prepares audiences to condone or commit violence, by making their targets’ death and suffering seem less significant, or even by making it seem useful or necessary

Accusation in a Mirror: The term comes from an anonymous manual for propaganda and recruitment found in Butare, Rwanda after the 1994 genocide. The document advises attributing to one’s enemies the very acts of violence the speaker hopes to commit against them. “In this way,” the author writes, “the party which is using terror will accuse the enemy of using terror” …. To believe that you, your family, your group, or even your culture faces an existential threat from another group makes violence to fend off that threat seem not only acceptable (as dehumanization does), but necessary. …. In Nazi Germany, for example, anti-Semitic propaganda repeatedly and relentlessly accused Jewish people of hatching a Mordplot (murderous plan) to eliminate all non-Jews (Streicher, 1934, p. 1). This assertion was especially preposterous since the Jews had no military or guerrilla force at all, yet it was apparently convincing.

Threat to Group Integrity or Purity: By portraying members of the target group as a threat to the audience group, this type of message reinforces fear. Moreover, these messages indirectly (and sometimes directly) instruct people to rid their group of the supposed contaminant, to preserve the health of their own group.

Assertion of Attack Against Women and Girls: Related to the previous hallmark is the suggestion that women or girls of the in-group have been or will be threatened, harassed, or defiled by members of an out-group. In many cases, the purity of women symbolizes the purity, identity, or way of life of the group itself…[I]t is difficult to ignore a warning of violence against members of a group who are traditionally viewed as vulnerable and needing protection. For most societies, this includes children (especially girls) and women; almost universally, men are instructed to protect women and children at all costs, up to and including killing an attacker.

(BW Note: Good ol’ racist strawman “feminism”, about as authentic as the concerns bigots actually have about women and girls – not at all)

Questioning In-Group Loyalty: Though Dangerous Speech usually describes members of the out-group or target group, some of it never mentions them, instead characterizing members of the in-group as insufficiently loyal, or even traitorous, for being sympathetic to the out-group.

Under all the links I mentioned, they all put sole blame on Jewish people. If it isn’t Jewish people, it’s Muslim people. Also, a thought struck me – a lot of Black folks are Muslim and Islam has benefited Black culture and identity several times in our history from politics to music. It’s deep-rooted, why did the webmaster think the average Black person is going to just super willingly walk that away? But they’re not looking for the average, they want the unhappy and downtrodden.

And here is this doozy:

My reaction:

Not gonna lie, I legit blue-screened when I saw that

That’s a problem. A major problem. Like, “Nazi Detected” problem. There is so much falsehood here I almost don’t know where to begin. Let’s try from the top and work our way down.

Christianity and Islam are not “evil” and “horrific” and they certainly are not “programs”. Yes, bad things happen in the name of these religions but it’s usually because some guy wants power and will twist the words of a holy text a la Man-behind-the-Curtain/Wizard of Oz style to get it. The same religion that gave the world Hitler also gave us Dr. Martin Luther King. The same religion that gave the world Osama bin Ladin also gave us Malcolm X. It’s not the religion that is the problem, it’s how it is used by people with power. To destroy or to help. And they’re religions, not “programs”. To call them “programs” implies that these religions are not real, it’s all a clever ruse. Here’s the thing: if they are “programs”, so is this site’s Satanism. Satanism is connected to Christianity so if Christianity is a fabricated program, then Satanism is a fabricated program, too. Otherwise, the logic would fall apart. I may have negative feelings about Satanism but I’m not going to start calling it fake. However, this site low-key did in a roundabout way. Religions aren’t programs, everyone.

Jewish people are the enemies of no one. They don’t hurt others. As a lot, they’re relatively decent. This whole, “Jewish people are eeeeeevil” is really getting old, it’s wrong to paint with a really wide brush like that. Are there bad Jewish people? Yes, because being a bad person is a pretty general trait. There are good ones as well – because it is a general human trait. You’re going to find bad and good people in every religion, that’s a fact of life, whether you like it or not. And how it is obvious this is Christian-based anti-semitism? They use the same tired lines of “they wanna take the world’s money, they wanna take over the world, etc etc”. Jewish people are not trying to become God, heck, they censor the name of God for the same reason Muslims do not portray the face of Allah: because they consider themselves under the purview of God, not on the same level. It is an act of showing respect to their divine creator and to not upset said divine creator. Duh.

The rest of that site is complete bull – and gone – so let’s jump to the next part.

Remember when I said in the beginning that I was pitched this site by Child-Priestess/Boy-Priest on Tumblr?

I tried to talk with the person and that went over pretty poorly. I’m not going to showcase the whole convo but there are some very glaring parts that I would like to talk about.

Blurred out the link, but I also notified the website’s abuse team about it. That’s ongoing.

Yeaaaaaaaah, this is considered minimizing, as if A) What they preach does not induce deadly real world actions and B ) as if it is just … venting? Here’s the thing: content like this is how you get mass murderers like Dylan Roof (hated Black people thanks to bunk he read on the internet) and Elliot Rodgers (hated women and minorities (including himself, who is biracial) thanks to bunk he read on the internet). Then there is the synagogue mass shooting in Pittsburgh, PA that happened in October 2018, six months ago. That left eleven dead and many more wounded. This guy was posting Anti-Jewish dribble on the internet and then went, “Gonna do the thing.” And if he was posting it, you bet he was definitely reading it. Oh, and let’s add the recent New Zealand mosque mass shooting. How did he get radicalized? Reading bunk like this on the internet. The dude even referenced American hate politics in his manifesto, he’s Australian.

How this type of speech works is that they just about never explicitly say “kill/murder this group of people” but they heavily imply it from saying things that carry the emphasis of “wouldn’t be nicer if [this group] wasn’t around?” That’s a problem.

There is an article online titled “The Online Radicalization We’re Not Talking About” where it discusses the ongoing instances of extremist radicalization in the Western world of White supremacist beliefs. The article hits on some very good points but my disagreement:

It’s been talked about for decades. White Supremacist extremism has long been a topic … in PoC/non-White spaces. From Nazis to the Klan to beyond and prior, it’s been a discussion topic. Just because you willingly had your head in the sand, doesn’t mean everyone else did. If anything, it’s like purchasing a bomb because it had pretty colors and everyone said “it’s a bomb!” but you waved it off with “Oh, everyone is so sensitive. It’s called decor,” and became awestruck when it exploded. Because you bought a bomb.

That aside, again, the article hits on some salient points, even though it is a bit clonky at times – the article referenced “NEET”, which is a Japanese concept. Japan doesn’t have mass shootings from NEETs, these mass shootings are a Western issue. Either way, it does point out how this stuff is pervasive:

These disillusioned men are perfect targets for radicalization, and it’s a surprisingly short leap from rejecting political correctness to blaming women, immigrants, or Muslims for their problems.

It appears here that Boy-Priest is under radicalization and thus spreading stuff that they think is true. They feel disenfranchised so this is what they think is apt.

They’re not White, they say they are biracial and that somehow, Nazis were/are cool with that. That history is way off kilter, but guess what? It is all learned from these sites and displayed as truth. Despite the fact that it’s not true or incredibly slanted, this kid (and many others) ate it up anyways. If anyone thinks Nazis were okay with people of different backgrounds if it was under the same cause, here’s some real history: Japanese soldiers were also sent to the camps if caught behind German war lines, tattooed with numbers and all – by the way, Japan was one of the nations tag-teaming with Germany during World War II. It’s really saying something when you yink your own allies because you’re that dedicated to nationalism. I’m no military strategist but you probably shouldn’t kill off your allies, at the bare minimum.

So, when I took down the first site “Blacks for Satan”, that took a phone call to the server host. I still remember telling the dude the web site name and how he remarked, “Welp, sounds like we’re off to a bad start.” He looked it over while I was on the phone and said, “Let’s get this trash off the internet.” And lo, it was done.

*cackles*

And I told Boy-Priest so:

Boy-Priest was not too happy about this and even told me that the webmaster was a Black woman – which I don’t care about. If you’re preaching the same hateful stuff I hear from White folks, we’re not on the same team. Not all my skinfolk is my kinfolk and that definitely applies in this situation. Besides, I piss off bigots pretty regularly, what’s one more to add to the pile?

Boy-Priest then started giving me all these links as a show of “ha, we’re still around.” Everyone, that was a bad idea, because it saved me so much time for curating. Like, I didn’t even know about the “Blacks for Satan” site until they showed me and then I got it shut down because of what I saw. Thanks for the assist?

Like, I said, I’m not posting the whole convo (the kid didn’t piss me off that bad, they’re just brainwashed) but here is how it ended before they blocked me and changed their name from “Child-Priestess” to “Boy-Priest”

Yah, not surprised

Exit Boy-Priest, Enter Lycos, because they actually tried to defend this drivel.

A little backstory about Lycos: they are a former internet giant, older than Google, I think. I remember when they first started and they were where you went to for lyrics, web searching, and music. Their logo is a black dog, a reference to the RCA dog, I believe. Their downfall is probably what Google and Facebook listens to when they want to hear a scary story. Now, Lycos is down to a teeny staff and owned by Korean company Daum/Kakao (which surprised me – I use Kakao, they have great games.) Though small again, this still is no excuse for their behavior.

It took me three weeks just about to shut down all three sites, the Lycos/Angelfire sites being hardest. I sent an email to Lycos Support and Lycos Abuse on Feb 24. I think they never check the Abuse inbox because no one got back to me, despite the fact the auto email said I would hear from someone in “24 to 48 hours”. Never happened. I sent another email to Support stating that I’m being ignored on March 5. In less than a day, I got this response from Lycos:

O rly?

My reply:

 

And I proceeded doing exactly that, including citing their ToS, which says:

Plainly says so on their site. Also, nothing in the ToS states the rules don’t apply if you’re a paid member. Their lawyers should probably check that.

It was about several pages of quotes and links I pulled from the sites, as well as remarks of my own. I ended it with:

This is just a smattering. If I get another “Eh, this doesn’t break the rules”, I’m just going to send even more of this to you guys…. Also, if this doesn’t count as “hate content”, what does? I’d like to know (heck, you can have one of the lawyers explain it to me) so I can point it out on these sites exactly.

And I got ignored by Lycos, again. I contacted on Twitter, nothing. Contacted on Facebook, nothing.

Then the New Zealand mass shooting happened. I saw the news and then I sent the same lengthy email again – this time emailing every single department Lycos had, from Abuse to Legal to Media to Permissions. I even included departments who have no part whatsoever in website content. If you worked at Lycos, you were getting this email.

On March 18, I got this email:

Sick Backpedal, Lycos!

Either way, the sites are down thanks to Lycos unbelievably shabby and obstinate team:

Isn’t there a saying about houses without foundations can’t stand?

Oh, and it didn’t take “A moment”, it took several days and several tries for Lycos to actually apply their Terms of Service as appropriate.

It blows my mind genuinely when companies, businesses, universities and jobs side with very problematic people. No one is perfect, sure, but there is a difference between someone who makes mistakes and someone who is just awful. Just like there is a difference between “We genuinely didn’t know” and “We genuinely didn’t care”. The latter of both cause more headaches, lawsuits and problems than fixes. Because enabling doesn’t make problematic people less harmful, it gives them a pass. Many websites wouldn’t have to go “Is the news gonna mention us?” every mass shooting if they handled the problem like a problem. These sites radicalize folks (usually White, usually male folk – which is partly why the problem is not effectively addressed) into committing grand atrocities. These sites infect minds with blatant hate as salves for their personal problems. It turns harmless individuals into living threats.

And that’s a problem.

I have talked a fair amount about having Dissociative Identity Disorder in the past. Several times. It is still a pretty commonly stigmatized disorder – how many times have you heard of “multiple personalities” in online jokes and media (the most recent one being “Split”/”Glass”)? Though I want to say “Despite aplenty resources on the disorder…” there is a lot of distracting bunk out there that still calls DID “Multiple Personality Disorder” (at term that got retired in 1994 because it is not a personality disorder, it is a trauma disorder (the different identities are dissociated identities from trauma, hence, “dissociative identity disorder”)) and even the bunk that doesn’t call it MPD still have nonsense in their writings.

I have seen everything from “magical beings” to “new race of human evolution”.  To the former, I think that’s ridiculous even for an occult practitioner such as myself. To the latter, nice to know to “evolve” a person, just add R. Kelly/ Michael Jackson/your local serial child abuser – like a horrific pokémon evolution stone. I don’t think that’s how evolution or magick works, everyone.

Then, overlapping that big problem is the fact that DID also has the same problem the depiction of mental illness has: it’s seen as very exclusively White. Outside of a Korean/Chinese drama with the exact same plot (Korean: “Kill Me, Heal Me”/ “킬미힐미”, Chinese: “Seven of Me”/ “柒个我”) annnnd the Nigerian penned book Freshwater, DID is usually seen as something only White people have. Only recently have there been another non-White DID character in media, Crazy Jane in Doom Patrol. After that, it’s a bounty of snow all across the screens and pages. Also, in regards to Doom Patrol, the creators of the show as well as the actress, Diane Guerrero, really did their research and both the show and the character portrays the mechanics of how DID works very well.

Not only does these issues make getting a proper diagnosis harder because racial barriers and deep cultural ignorance in Western psychology but it also makes it difficult for a non-White person with DID to find material and people to relate to. This also causes rifts in the DID community because it appears no one really wants to “talk” about racism because it’s a trigger (it isn’t in this sense ) but are fine with engaging in it – which renders the “racism is my trigger” argument moot. That and neurotypical (individuals without disorders or mental disabilities) White people have the exact same problem – the slightest discussion of racism makes them fall to pieces but doing it is perfectly fine.

There are unique traumas and issues for people of color/minorities who have dissociative disorders (DID, D-PTSD, OSDD, etc) such as structural racism, racism in general, police violence, being forced to be raised in violent, neglected communities, the list goes on and on. If DID centers itself on Whiteness, that ignores a lot of traumas that can also create dissociative trauma disorders like DID. That means there are a lot of people walking around with the disorder, don’t know that they have it, don’t know how to deal with it and no idea where to begin because “Well, I’m not White”.

I recently made a facebook group called “PoC w/ DID” for this very reason. It is currently small but it is there.

Looks like this

 

When I announced the group in a DID FB group I’m in (Not Alternation, I got booted out of that group and its respective Discord server for the exact subject of this post. So now I’m in a different DID group) it went about poorly as could be expected. I got some new members but here came the bevy of “you’re being divisive”, “this is [somehow] racism”, “Why can’t I join?” and other pretty frail and agitating reasons. Y’know, all the reasons why the group exists.

As for the PoC w/ DID group, it’s pretty simple to join: just be a person of color who has a dissociative trauma disorder.

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