Yesterday in one of the regional Heathen groups I am part of on Facebook, someone asked if anyone could recommend a more conservative Heathen group/kindred/space for ritual. Because all the groups they’d met thus far are too liberal. Too leftist. Too anti-Trump.
If you don’t know, Heathenry is one of the more conservative branches of paganism. Racism and bigotry have a significant role in the personal practices of a decent portion of the Heathen population of the United States. So that person’s comments about too liberal and too leftist people being hard to share a horn with hit the some of the folks in the group pretty hard. Lazily phrased or not, a dog whistle is still a dog whistle.
The person also made it clear that they’re unwilling to let go of the swastika just because some “mad man in Germany used it.”
Before you tell me that some Eastern European groups are trying to reclaim it, I need you to know that I don’t care. I live in Brooklyn, where one in four people is Jewish. My neighborhood is distinctly Jewish. The building next to mine is a yeshiva. There are five synagogues within walking distance from my home. My polling place is a Jewish Community Center.
The thought of the fear and anger that my neighbors would feel at the sight of that awful symbol on display is heartbreaking.
I don’t know most of the people in my building, let alone the people in my neighborhood. But I will absolutely stand between them and anyone who would do them harm. Not because the Havamal says to but because my mother raised me to stand up to bullies.
And that person in the Facebook group was a bully. A bully who proudly stated that they voted for Trump.
The regional Facebook group has just over 700 members, and I have stood in ritual space with at least 200 of them. I have shared meals with them and played with their kids. I have purchased their art and listened to their stories and songs around a fire. I have witnessed their tears and laughter. I have shared my wyrd with them. Some of them I barely know, but others are My People, my family.
So when I saw this person who I had never met post in the regional group for our community that they had voted for the man who hates a HUGE portion of our community and would do it again…well. I was taken aback.
My greater regional community is more conservative than they are liberal, and at times that frustrates me. I know that a lot of them likely voted for Trump. Some of them might do it again. But I hope that when they step into their polling places in November, they remember what I said to that person who didn’t want to share a horn with leftists and anti-Trumpers even as they demanded our hospitality:
There are disabled people in this community. There are LGBTQ+ people in this community. There are BIPoC in this community. There are people of Jewish backgrounds in this community. There are neurodivergent people in this community.
Like it or not the political is personal for most of the people in this community. Wyrd means something to a lot of us too.