Yes, Enough. Racism Cannot be Tolerated

The discussion of racism has come up again within the pagan / polytheist communities. Especially with this appropriate statement by John Beckett as a response to this inappropriate article by Steven T. Abell.

As a result many pagan / polytheist groups are declaring their own statements against racism. I find this sad as in an ideal community there should be no need for a statement – as this is a matter of fact – a fundamental human right and decency granted to everyone. What is even sadder is my ideal is ultimately idiotic and naïve. Racism is very real and extends across all forms of communities. It is showing its ugly head as a result of humanitarian crises throughout the world, with not just laypeople speaking in racist terms but leaders and media.

Then within the microcosm of pagan / polytheist communities, it is not just Heathens, in the last few years within the Hellenic pagans as well, especially influences from The Golden Dawn fascist party in Greece that fashions itself after many concepts found in the Nazi Party. So far at least, Greece has been a European nation of humanity in aiding these poor refugees. Yet other European nations are threatening the state because they have demonstrated  a modicum of decency to mankind. I foresee the Golden Dawn jumping on this crisis at the best moment, spurring the hatred more in the near future, this will have an echoing effect within the Hellenic pagan/polytheist community.

This is why it is very important for us to address this now, to prevent the spread of hate and encourage our communities not to stand on the sidelines but actively encourage support and aid to those suffering in these awful times. To stand united against racism and xenophobia. To stamp it out whenever it shows it’s ugly head.

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7 thoughts on “Yes, Enough. Racism Cannot be Tolerated

  1. Actually, the Golden Dawn is only one of several Greek organisations that are entirely racist and has been around since the 80s, always associating in one way or another with the Greek polytheist movement. I wouldn’t say that the majority of Greek polytheists are racists/neonazis but that would depend heavily on how you define a Greek polytheist. Actively practising, organised polytheists are probably not but people who generally prefer the Hellenic Gods and have abandoned Christianity probably are or at the very least extremely nationalistic going on frequently about πας μη Έλλην βάρβαρος.

    While I do despise them, I can’t simply condemn every Greek polytheist who sees himself as a descendant of the Spartans as a bad polytheist because they’re not. Are they bad people? Absolutely. But native polytheism in our case is intricately linked with Greek nationalism, national pride, the naming dispute and all sorts of concepts that inside Greece are closely linked with racist ideals. And the people who espouse them aren’t entirely wrong to say that there have been precursors to all that among the ancients.

    But I wonder. Is there really any connection at all between the native community and the international one besides various people’s personal contacts? I haven’t found any other Greek Hellenic polytheists blogging in English so far. Which I’m starting to think is actually a good thing for a variety of reasons and not just to contain the bad stuff inside the country.

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    1. I don’t condemn Greek polytheists, native or international either. What I do not agree with and warn against is groups like the GD, and affiliated, entering the online Hellenic Polytheist community, this is especially evident on facebook.

      While often the administrators of the FB pages/groups remove the offending content there are some other members, usually naïve or young, that are falling into it. These people are often not Greek, they do not understand the context and history — and despite my attempts to help educate, my words falls on deaf ears or the people responsible become aggressive.

      In regards to Greek Polytheists, I have no idea of their stance on the subject, I won’t generalise the many groups that fall into the Hellenic Ethnic Religion – or whatever other names are used. (I have in the past referred to my own faith as Ἑλληνικὴ εθνική θρησκεία.)
      That said, I remember many, many years ago there was an Australian English speaking member of YSEE who expressed extreme views. This person and their website have now gone.

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      1. So the GDites are trying to worm themselves in international Hellenic Polytheism groups? What the hell for? Their connections are to some European pagan fascist groups but not run of the mill Hel. Polytheists. I don’t get why they’re doing that.

        Are you talking about ethnikoi.org? I remember the site and that person did not seem like a racist at all, if anything, he (they?) seemed left-leaning.

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  2. Honestly I can’t remember the name of the person I mentioned, it was through email correspondence.

    As for the GD, they appear to have no logic. They usually get banned instantly, the behavior is more along the lines of trolling. As I mentioned though, some others fall for it :/

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  3. A related sidenote, in Australia there has been a massive rise of anti-immigrant, ‘patriots’ groups. We have large numbers of Greeks here (Melbourne is the second largest Greek populated city in the world next to Athens) the GD has been trace to these “Reclaim Australia”, “Patriots” with first and second generation Greeks getting involved. They even dress as Spartans…

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    1. I have a certain amount of understanding for immigrants who turn super-patriotic even though they’re away from home, facing daily low-key racism can do strange things to you. I can’t abide by this ridiculous crap though. To be honest though I’m not surprised, the Diaspora Greeks are known to be supremely conservative, both politically and religiously, especially the older generations. There are certain Diaspora radio/tv/youtube shows that are so unbelievably racist and feature so many crackpot conspiracy theories that it’s probably a blessing most people don’t understand modern Greek. It’s kind of a reflection of the conditions back home but very distorted, it’s like someone took the worst of Greece and made them leaders of all the foreign Greek communities. The younger generations that I’ve met seem alright, probably because they get more integrated into foreign cultures and shed off all the provincial reactionary bullshit of their grandfathers. Obviously there are exceptions to all I’ve said, the guy in the photo being one. But you probably know what I mean better than I do if you have any connection with the Greek community.

      https://web.archive.org/web/20111227030353/http://ethnikoi.org/introenglish.html This is the site I was talking about. I didn’t know that YSEE had more than one member down under. You might think that the stance in there is extremely hostile to Christianity but it’s actually entirely justified if you learn the kind of reception and warfare even neo-pagans have faced by the Greek Orthodox Church. There’s a lot of difference between other Western countries and Greece, where we had compulsory Sunday schooling as recent as 40 years ago.

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      1. I had limited exposure to the Modern Greek culture when I was growing up, many of my school friends were Greek. Those of my generation had been fully integrated into the over-culture and really no different from other Australians: ie., most my friends didn’t speak Greek, or have limited knowledge of it. It’s different in other suburbs though, where the population is more heavily Greek. I tend to get on well with them all, and many assume I am Greek because of my looks and because I’m a Hellenophile.
        I’m not sure of the numbers of the “Reclaim Australia” crew, but they are a minority for now, so those who dress as Spartans are very few and don’t represent the Greek community by and large. I just find those protesting to hypocritical.

        Thanks for the link also. I’m not sure if that is the same person I was thinking about. The stuff I was talking about above happened maybe 12 or more years ago! I was in my late teens at the time.

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