"Paganing While Brown"

"Paganing While Brown"

Has anyone else ever encountered such racism in the pagan community?

The About Paganism/Wicca channel of About.com has always been a supportive, friendly community and a safe space for all pagans. Though I don’t really participate in discussions, I subscribe to them and get plenty of ideas, fun activities, and rituals to do at home from this website and appreciate all it has to offer.

Recently a highly bigoted person named Silvia commented that Wicca should be left to white folks only—and that it’s the only place where white pride can still happen. Seriously?? The lovely Patti Wigington, the About.com guide at the Paganism/Wicca space, handled this comment gracefully with humor and appropriate outrage here. I have never heard of such a notion in the pagan community; I really don’t know many pagans personally, but those I do are so accepting of everyone and open-minded that this, to me, is an even scarier notion. If white power prejudice exists in the pagan community at all (even in a small amount), how can we expect to eradicate the rest of the world from this very hate?

Has anyone else ever encountered such racism in the pagan community? I am interested in your stories. Please share them here at Pagan Journey. Though I’ve encountered (ironically, as I don’t think Jesus preached to hate people) plenty of hate and general meanness from Christians for my beliefs—particularly if I wear a pentagram!—I never would have thought of this kind of mentality occurring among pagans.

We are happy hippy pagans! We do joyous naked dancing around balefires! OK, not all of us do (now that’s ME perpetuating stereotypes!) but we are known as being one of the most accepting groups of people on earth. This has just really disturbed me.

Does this reader celebrate any pantheons that are non-white, after all—from Egyptian to indigenous peoples to Hindu gods and goddesses and more? Most include plenty of colorful deities, which has always been another attraction to paganism for me. Not only does it embrace the feminine spirit—unlike the Big Three religions—it also embraces a wide variety of colors, not being color blind but instead highlighting and celebrating each and every culture.

I’m really not sure why anyone with a white supremacist worldview would want to be a pagan. It just seems like a Mormon or another non-drinker by faith joining a Beer of the Month club and then chastising anyone who drinks from it.