Why would an initiate in Haitian Vodou support folkish Heathens? Why would an author on African Diaspora traditions associate with racists and anti-Semites? What diabolical plot is at work here? What dastardly scheme has been hatched? When is Filan going to awaken from his ether binge and murmur in a slurred voice “Alternative Who?”
Well, it started like this:
Not long after Annamaria’s birth I realized I had no V0d0u books on the back burner and little desire to write more on the topic. There were plenty of Haitians out there ready and willing to take on non-Haitian students. Aspiring Vodouisants needed me like the 1950s needed Pat Boone. Vodou remains an important part of my spiritual practice: every day I apply the lessons I learned in Sevis Gineh. One way I show that respect is by letting Haitians set the boundaries to their ancestral rites and holy places.
Parenthood also left me wondering about my own ancestral traditions. I was adopted at birth and have no clear idea of my biological ancestry. My adoptive parents, like other children of the Great Depression, had little interest in the language and culture of their ancestral homelands. But though my bloodline may be obscure my cultural roots are easy to follow. I was born a working-class White American.
That’s right. I’m a White male. I know that comes as a shock to some of you. I hope you won’t think less of me.
It was not as if there was a Palestinian people in Palestine and we came and threw them out and took their country away from them. They did not exist.
Race may be a biological fiction but it is a social fact. There are procedures by which I can change the gender labels on my state ID: neither operation, prescription nor wardrobe change will turn that “W” into a “B”. Whether as privilege or destiny, no one can argue that Whiteness plays a powerful role in my life and in the lives of other White Americans. And as I meditated upon its role, I came to understand that our Whiteness was something more than an absence of color.
I also came to realize that for my Left-leaning acquaintances Whiteness could only be a problem. This was true even for — hell, especially for — liberal Whites. They bragged about giving up their Whiteness in the interest of humanity; they agonized over their internalized racism; they cheered as antifa radicals attacked a peaceful Republican rally. The idea that White people might identify as White shocked them. The idea that we might wish to protect our self-interests filled them with a self-righteous horror.
Yet poor White America is desperately in need of help. My people are dying of overdoses; they are dying of meth abuse; they are dying of cirrhosis; they are dying of suicide. They are dying of fucking despair. And the reaction amongst wealthy White Americans has been snarky jokes about trailer trash, inbreds and Honey Boo Boo. (To be fair, there is a good bit of graveyard-whistling going on here. Most of those smug vegans are a check or two away from the payday loan center themselves).
Once upon a time the American Left fought for economic justice but that arena was long ago ceded to corporate interests. Today the big struggle is for “social justice.” Instead of fighting for a fair living wage or safer working conditions, we do battle against fat-shaming and offensive Halloween costumes. And in that fight poor Whites are expected to “check their privilege” and welcome the immigrants who depress their wages, to worry about gay marriages and bathroom bills while their children go hungry.
At Versailles the noble lords and ladies had immaculate cottages and neatly groomed pastures where they could play at being shepherds. Today’s wealthy students have workshops where they explore their privilege and absolve themselves of racism by “calling out” their fellow Whites. Instead of fixing problems, the focus is on alleviating White liberal guilt: it bears as much resemblance to real activism as those Versailles farms bore to actual peasant life. (And I trust my gentle readers know how that story ended and can draw the appropriate conclusions therefrom).
I feel no particular sense of “White Pride.” Writing books and raising children are accomplishments: European heritage is an accident of birth. But neither am I particularly ashamed of being White. I recognize that America’s ideals have often been honored more in the breach than in the observance. But I think that they are still fine ideals despite our inability to live up to them. I think our American constitutional republic is worth saving and have no interest in whatever proletarian paradise the Marxists are peddling this week. The Pagan community’s response to Kenny Klein’s arrest left me with a distaste for moral spinelessness in the name of “tolerance.” And so I found my political views drifting toward the Alternative Right.
Many of the Alternative Right’s foot soldiers get their cues from 4chan’s Politically Incorrect board: Kek and Shlomo “Happy Merchant” Shekelberg got their start where Pepe took his first redpill. Much Alternative Right discussion is loudly, even gleefully, racist and anti-Semitic. The Daily Stormer describes itself as “the World’s #1 Alternative Right and Pro-Genocide Website”: The Right Stuff created the (((Echo))) meme to show that “All Jewish surnames echo throughout history. The echoes repeat the sad tale as they communicate the emotional lessons of our great white sins, imploring us to Never Forget the 6 GoRillion.” (They also run a popular podcast called The Daily Shoah). It’s easy to dismiss the whole movement as Nazism for the 21st century. But whether or not you like their answers, the alt.right is asking some very important questions.
By 2023 the majority of American babies will be non-White: by 2042 there will be more non-White than White Americans. We must now redefine ourselves as part of a multicultural mosaic. But any effort to identify as White and to promote White interests is immediately dismissed as “racism.” Consider the ongoing harassment faced by the Asatru Folk Assembly after Gothi Matt Flavel wrote on the AFA’s Facebook page:
The AFA celebrates our feminine ladies, our masculine gentlemen and, above all, our beautiful white children. The children of the folk are our shining future and the legacy of all those men and women of our people back to the beginning. Hail the AFA families, now and always!
Today’s young White Americans face two competing definitions of Whiteness. One is the ritualized self-loathing of the Social Justice Warfare crowd: the other is the chest-thumping of the Mighty Whitey set. The former is only appealing to those with the financial and cultural resources to reject their whiteness. Secure in their academic echo chambers and safely ensconced in their lily-white progressive urban centers, these crusaders can play-act the rebel to their heart’s content whilst continuing to reap the benefits of their much-hated White privilege. Those outside their rarefied bubbles will look elsewhere for their answers.
For thousands of years Europe’s Gods were the axis around which Europe’s tribes coalesced: the boundaries of their worship marked the innengarth as surely as the cross marked Christendom and the crescent the Ummah. The Aesir and Vanir never showed the expansionist interests of imperial deities like the Roman and Yoruba Gods: their worship never went beyond the Roman Empire’s northwestern boundaries. Those who would treat Odin and Thor as Christ-figures out to redeem humanity have missed the point.
Today Europe’s tribes-in-exile are awakening once again. Like a stubby-fingered Charles Dexter Ward, Donald Trump has called up that which cannot be put down. White America is struggling to find its place in a leaner, meaner new world. Asatru offers a way by which they can encounter the ancestral Gods and redefine themselves as one tribe among many. Asatru provides an identity based not on hatred of an enemy but on love of one’s Kindred. Should we shut them out we will find many less savory voices all too willing to fill the silence.