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Friday, August 30, 2013

7 Days and Counting

7 days and counting until I leave for my trip.

Today, I was distracted by an article that T. Thorne Coye posted. The original link is here:
Bansheearts - Whose Ancestors?

It brings up some interesting conversations/ideas regarding Ancestors and cultural identity/spirituality. Almost the opposite side of the "cultural appropriation" and "purity" debate.

I was asked: "hat about Blacks' hatred (anger/jealousy) or Whites? Why is racism always accused of Caucasians?".

And responded with: "Because most of the loud and obnoxious racist groups are white? That's like asking why World of Warcraft players are always accused of being rude idiots compared to other gaming communities. There are more World of Warcraft players so of course there are going to be more idiots in that community - that's just simple math. Unfortunately, the idiots and bigots tend to be loudest and most distasteful That doesn't mean that other gamers aren't jerks, just that there aren't as many of them.".

RavenLyn more eloquently responded with: "I think it is about numbers, but it's also about power--racism by definition is the ability to determine, on a group level, which group has more access to resources--education, jobs, money, political power, religious resources--even social acceptance. Since in our part of the world the default group that gets those things and refuses them to other groups is white, we are the ones who are racist. Prejudice is different--it's a dislike or distrust of individuals by other individuals based on some demographic characteristic, such as skin color. So if this Asatru organization is controlling access to religious resources based on perceived race, the ones with the power compared to non-white people are the racists. Knowing this might tend to make me prejudiced about Asatru practitioners...except I know some non-racists Asatru practitioners who are just embarrassed by these people, so I know it's not all Asatru.".

To which, I added: "When we were located in Cambridge, we had a group of Asatru that would come in and they clearly used their Path as a way to have "power over". For them, it was about raising themselves up by lowering others. There was also another group of Asatru that would say, "We're so embarrassed. Asatru is about celebrating who we are, not about putting down others."

I guess that my point is that cultural identity and spiritual paths tied to cultural history should "lift up and celebrate" who the practitioners are without having to degenerate others in the process.

It's like the black, adopted Italian soccer star that was derided for "not being Italian: "http://www.theguardian.com/world/2009/dec/13/italy-racism-football-mario-balotelli"

Balotelli was born – and immediately abandoned by his Ghanaian parents – in the Sicilian capital, Palermo. He is an Italian passport holder and was brought up by adopted parents in Brescia from the age of two. He speaks with the accent of his region, but has received far more racist abuse than other black stars in Italian football because his Italian identity is seen by some as a provocation.

"The difference [from other black players] is Balotelli is totally black and totally Italian, and that has provoked a short circuit among fans," said Sandro Modeo, a correspondent for Corriere della Sera.

In my opinion, he is as much if not more Italian than some folks who claim Italian ancestry. He's part of the *living & growing* culture of what it is to be Italian. Racism is unacceptable in any form - ESPECIALLY in spiritual traditions.

Ciao a tutti,

---Vincenzo


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