Open Letter to the Editors of Vice.com

May 5th, 2015 by

To the Editors of Vice.com,

 

Recently, Vice.com decided to talk about some of the darker, insidious, and bigoted philosophies within the Heathen faith. The article recounted a quick, down and dirty time-line of racialist philosophies, their origins, and the progenitors. This is where such articles shine. It ended on a rather dark, cryptic point however, bringing the entire religion low due to the actions and words of people like Casper Crowell, Frazier Glenn Cross, and Ryan Giroux.

The phrase “Not all [blanks]” has been common apologia over recent years, and its use is always flawed; it portrays that a group misrepresented in the media is a bigger victim than those targeted for terrorism, assault, and murder by the “few bad apples”. Heathens United Against Racism understand that lesson well, and has no interest in using such rhetoric. In point of fact, we have rejected it wholesale in matters involving police violence, in matters of sexual crimes and related misconduct, and crimes of all sorts against folk of all races, creeds, and identities. As the actions of our organization and other grassroots Heathen groups shows the racialist elements in Heathenry are vastly outnumbered by those like HUAR who have taken a stand for justice whether it is in taking to the streets with #BlackLivesMatter, raising just shy of $4,000 for the victims of Frazier Glenn Cross’s rampage, or denouncing racist Heathen organizations.

 

No, when we oppose the broad labeling and misrepresentation of the Heathen faith? The reasons are much more subtle.

 

Look into the history of some of the big names of racialist Heathenry, and you will find men and women well practiced in semantics and apple pie words. Even the Vice article was duped by the semantic games of Stephen McNallen. While Mr. McNallen has never utilized the truly bigoted rhetoric of some of his peers, his resume is not a tolerant one. He has written “Metagenetics”, a document which turns matters of faith in a spiritual equivalent of the “separate but equal” so readily used in the Jim Crow South. His involvement in the “Kennewick Mann” fiasco was not only an insult to the First Nations people involved in the ordeal, but to anthropology and archaeology as well.

 

Is Stephen McNallen about to start a segregated prison religion any time soon? Probably not. Is he about to try and instigate a racialist shooting rampage? I would be highly surprised if he even considered it for a moment. Does he promote stances that divide humanity on racial fault lines, and then offer nice and pleasing sounding explanations for all of these racialist stances? Yes, he’s been doing it for decades, and he is not alone; he is but one of many. There are peers of his in both the Odinic Rite and the Troth, as well as in his own organization, that have been doing the same thing for a long time and they are very good at misrepresenting bigotry as spirituality.

 

When articles like this focus on the darkest shadows, the are effectively throwing the rabbit in the briar bush; soft-sounding racism has thrived under these low expectations, indignant condemnation of the sloppy guilt by association, and high charisma of a handful of their speakers. When he keep our eyes low and to the “ground” of the prison faiths and loud and proud hate groups, we are allowing the polished, approachable, and charismatic bigots a free pass by conceit.

 

Hate groups do not always wear hoods and swastikas. Racially divided faiths don’t live exclusively in the bunks of high security prisons. It is for this reason that HUAR is humbly asking that Vice revise and reframe it’s article. We are glad that they’re shining a light on some of the murkier elements of the Heathen faith, because these are villains that need exposure.

 

But all the villains needs to be exposed for what they are…not simply the ones that go on murder sprees and engage in domestic terrorism. The problem is much more complicated than that.

 

Sincerely,

 

Heathens United Against Racism

 


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