Category: Race


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.

 

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.

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