Tag Archives: blacklivesmatter

Prioritizing the Trivial

Priority. keyboardSome people say you can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs. I know that’s not true because I make my omelets with tofu. But I might say that you can’t break systems of oppression without stepping on a few toes, and you can’t always eliminate cruelty in a way that the people who rely on cruelty will like.

There are a few different stories that I’m thinking of. The first is the story of Laquan McDonald and the protests/riots that happened once the video of his death was released. Then there is a story about forcefully weaning dairy cows, and another story about corporate reaction to an anti-dairy ad. The stories are all different but share one thing in common: they tell me that our priorities are all messed up. Continue reading

It Ain’t Over ‘Til It’s Over

www.keepcalm-o-matic.co.uk

Whether we want to admit it or not, the fight for civil liberties is far from over in the United States, let alone in other parts of the globe. We can see that by looking at the continuing saga/drama in Rowan County, Kentucky with county clerk Kim Davis. We can see that by looking at the BLM movement. If we open our eyes even a little, we can see that the fight for civil liberties, civil rights, is far from over. Continue reading

Come Together

It is all fine and good to address the hot-button issues as a community, but do we even connect over the basics? Do we even take advantage of what we have access to?

In my quarter century on my Pagan path I have seen and heard many stories and events that have made me stop and think, really take a look at what is going in my life and the lives of those around me. Everything from the “Witch wars” of the 1990s in the Midwest to the subtle and not-so-subtle racism expressed in the current community (as well as the battle against that racism). I’ve also seen a lot of “minor” things in the community that have made me take pause. Continue reading

Surrounded by allies

or, I love where I work.

The killing of Black women and men by police, and the treatment of protestors around the country, continues to make me heartsick. So many words and emotions come to the surface when I even think about what has been happening, what comes to light, and what may still be hidden from the public’s view. The words remain stuck behind lips for many reasons, mostly due to being sick and my desire to be a good ally by not getting in the way of Black and Brown voices.

In the meantime I want to share some images from my workplace. As many of you know, I’m a librarian, and I work in a graduate school library. While the students tend not to share in my being a pagan and polytheist, they do tend to be fairly progressive and even radical. They’re also predominantly White, and versed in awareness of privilege and issues around oppression. Most of these images have been taken in the last week but they have been happening all year. I feel it’s another reminder of the need to work together and not just sequester off with a small group of people exactly like us.

The Black Lives Matter car

(Car with a “Black Lives Matter” banner across the back windshield.)

Spotted in January.

EWSPlaque

(Plaque spray-painted with the words “End White Supremacy”)

I walked into one of the main rooms at the school one day in March to see this over the fireplace. It seemed to have gone up anonymously.

the following are from the past week:

BaltimoreRebellion

(“I Support the Baltimore Rebellion” flyer)

NYCRally

(Flyer for rally in New York City in support of Freddie Gray)

Townes quote

(Quote from theologian Emilie Townes: “Sacrifice is a dangerous notion. It is dangerous because we often ask those who are the most vulnerable to give the most.”)

Malcolm X quote

(Quote from Malcolm X: “We declare our right on this earth… to be a human being, to be respected as a human being, to be given the rights of a human being in this society, on this earth, which we intend to bring into existence by any means necessary.”)

Cotes quote

(Quote from Ta-Nehisi Coates: “When nonviolence is preached as an attempt to evade the repercussions of political brutality, it betrays itself. When nonviolence begins halfway through the war with the aggressor calling time out, it exposes itself as a ruse. When nonviolence is preached by the representatives of the state, while the state doles out heaps of violence to its citizens, it reveals itself to be a con.

Anarchism pamphlet

(Surprise anarchist pamphlet appears on a corkboard in the library!)

Racism, Rape Culture, and Pagan Events

3210478_xl–Shauna Aura Knight

Having just taught workshops at three of the big four Pagan conferences, and having attended a number of large Pagan festivals, I wanted to offer a bit of context for how some of these larger events have handled issues of social justice. While these events don’t represent the entire Pagan community, they do reflect issues and trends that ripple out to Pagans across the globe.

I’ve noticed a definite contrast in how specific events/communities are dealing with issues of racism, rape culture, harassment, cultural appropriation, transphobia, and other related issues.¬†Some communities and events are actively embracing dialogue, and others don’t address these issues at all.

Continue reading

I’m a Racist

iStock_000001291278XSmall–Shauna Aura Knight

Hi, I’m Shauna, and I’m a racist. No, not one of the ones clearly defined by the pointy hats and white robes. And not one of the racists clearly identified by hateful invective.

In fact, I’m in some ways the more dangerous kind of racist; or at least, I was. Once upon a time, I was the kind of racist who didn’t realize how¬†bigoted I was. I still struggle with my own blind spots and how much this impacts my thoughts and actions on a daily basis.

How did I come to be this way? This kind of racism is systemic. It’s ambient. If you’re raised in it, you can’t see it any more than you can see the air you breathe. But just because you can’t see the air doesn’t mean you aren’t breathing it in.

I used to believe I lived in a post-racial society, that I was “color blind.” And then…I used to believe that Pagans couldn’t be racist. Yet within the broader Pagan communities, we do unfortunately have problems with racism just like the dominant culture does.

But what do we do about it? Because #BlackLivesMatter .

Continue reading