Whose Gods Do I Go To?

Recently I have seen a large movement particularly among Queer folk and women/femmes, returning to witchcraft practices. Which as almost a life time practitioner of witchcraft in some form or another is pretty exciting for me. Once not so long ago I simply referred to myself as “hokey” because I was worried about the stigmatization of being labelled “witch.” Now at the ripe old age of 23 I am becoming some what of a source among my friends and tumblr blog followers.

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.Celebrate. AHCA. The horsemen of death.

Isn’t it fucked that today I am glad I never reported any of the sexual assault I been through?

Aren’t I glad that a shitty white doctor thought when I was ten years old I was “faking,” my neurological disorders and never diagnosed me properly.

Ain’t I glad that Women of Color like me have attitudes and never depression, ptsd, or anxiety.

OH BUT WAIT I won’t qualify for coverage because I had a parent who physically abused me my whole childhood, and since it is court documented and counts as a “prior condition” no healthcare for me. Or my teenage sisters. Because somebody decided that trauma survivors and beaten children don’t deserve help. I am livid.

The Thing About Cultural Appropriation

Now listen I get that some many of you are tired of hearing about this, but let me be honest. It is still happening and being falsely justified so I will keep talking about it. Now that, that is out is out of the way here it is:

CULTURE HAS CONTEXT, the reason that is bolded is because it is important to understand for the following. When you take a practice from another culture and mold it to your own use you remove it of it’s context and therefore its actual sacredness. Corrupting the reason the tradition/object/practice exists. Making the theft not only immoral but also illogical.

Now a common rebuttal is that “WELL I APPRECIATE YOUR CULTURE!” again it is cool to have interests and read up and understand cultures outside of your own. However, if your are told that what you are doing is appropriative and racist, and your answer is the above you clearly don’t actually appreciate anything. It is nothing about your appreciation, it is about your ego. Someone who really appreciates knows when to stay in their lane. I appreciate oil paintings, I don’t go to Art Museums and mishandle and possible damaged the pieces within, there are docents, curators, and art restorers, they know what they are doing, can answer my questions, and also preserve art. Much like practitioners of closed cultures. This doubly offensive because many of us spend years, relearning cultures stolen from us, traditions that have be forcibly removed, ancestral traditions of people who suffered terrible things. The context of that history really matter. Also, please to be as self righteous as to think that people of color really need your help to preserve our culture, that a whole other issue really, but stop with the savior nonsense. For those of you who continue to appropriate after being confronted it’s about your ego, about wanting something for the title the person gratification. And that is fucking disgusting it honestly is. Actually appreciating something means that if you misuse or appropriate something you apologize, step back, and learn. So as to not damage the culture you appreciate, take a place that you haven’t earned and don’t deserve.

Another common rebuttal is “BUT IT’S BEEN USED AS FASHION/ ISSA TRADITION,” that means literally nothing guys. Just because something has happened in the past and been considered okay doesn’t mean anything, mostly because POC have only recently had the right to even speak up about offensive things. Being forced into silence for hundreds of years in order to survive does not make previous appropriation okay. I am sorry but your crappy war bonnets for fashion and sports ball aren’t traditions they are bastardizations of actual thousand year old traditions. Make up your own stuff stop stealing ours. This clever tactic of taking from other cultures and then stripping them of their sacredness is a literal symptom of oppression. You reduce, barbarism, and mock a culture long enough, and you stop taking the people who are a part of it seriously. Their humanity is reduced and after being constantly dehumanized, that is when violence against minorities populations  becomes acceptable. Let People of Color be PEOPLE.

Stop making bullshit excuses for your harmful shitty behavior, none of the excuses you make for appropriation make any logical sense. Removing the context makes no spiritual sense, as without the context the sacredness is gone. Get over your ego, stop stealing things that don’t belong to you. Grow up.

Accountability????? Culture.

This comes as a reflection of my past year of experiences, culminating into one facebook comment…..

“I think the recent influx of “accountability culture” especially when it comes to rapists and physical abusers, has simply become a way to prioritize the abuser, our own selfish need to think everyone we associate with is good and by proxy ourselves. Thus still reinforcing misogyny and rape culture, but painting it with pastel colors”

I meant what I said too. I think and have witnessed, that accountability does not actually lead to anything, someone apologizes in public, is briefly embarrassed and then gets to carry on with their lives. Often times just to repeat offenses. They are rarely obligated to leave the scene, never have to negotiate terms with their victims, and basically get to feel “healed.”

As someone who is a survivor of various abuses one of which is rape, I know that this falsified sense of forgiveness is of no comfort. Those of us in the DIY scene who have survived being sexually assaulted never ever feel safe again in spaces where rapists are forgiven and thus prioritized.

Now, I strongly believe in transformative justice over the prison, however we need to prioritize the needs of those who, having already fled to the DIY scene are again pushed into the margins and left unsafe. So if a rapist apologizes good, but don’t be so happy to self soothe yourself and allow them right back into home and hearth until you have addressed the needs of the survivor. The whole truth is, sometimes people we like are rapists, and sometimes people we don’t like are raped. And it is still never the survivors fault. Creating a magically loop-hole so that your problematic friends can escape the consequences of their actions isn’t “alternative,” “transformative,” or “punk”. It’s bullshit.



And Other Millennial Tragedies

I am a millennial. Frankly I love it, we live in a faced paced era where news spreads fast, revolutions are home grown, and pick up speed in time spans that used to take months to years. The tragedy that is attached to the title of my generation is that just as fast as information and movement spread so does blame. I have seen many complaints made about people of my age group, that if you put about two seconds of thought in, are fucking ridiculous. Headlines like: Millennials are Ruining Traditional Gender Roles, Millennials Care Too Much About Political Correctness, Millennials Cause the Downfall of Golf! Let’s be honest; those constructs and the things that enable them are deadly and oppressive. Even while Gen X’ers and Baby Boomers incessantly complain about our failings, I will be the first to remind you that I, and many like me, haven’t even been alive long enough to fuck the world up as much as it is currently fucked.

However, in the short period of time we have managed to claw an impoverished, debt ridden living out of our Romanesque and collapsing society, we have been kicking ass. Especially the Brown/Black folk. I will remind you know that in a few short years Millennials, many of whom are Brown/Black and Queer, have been dragging the constructs that our parents and grandparents were complacent in attacking, out into the street and back to hell where they belong. Black Lives Matter, Idle No More, Dreamers, and what I will call the Siege at Standing Rock, all have leaders predominantly of the Millennial Generation, and often are women or femmes. So, no, I will not quiet down, or falsely admit shame while I wage a political and social war to protect the generations that come after me, rather than blaming them for being stuck in the mire I mixed. We are the reason that there is less silence on Mass Deportations, the Genocide in Palestine, the legal police open season on Black people, and continued occupation of Indigenous identities and land. We are the pushers for reasonable healthcare. You are welcome by the way, – you and your crusty racist granddaddy who is about to have his chemo taken away. My generation didn’t do this, but we are actively fighting against it.

And no shade to those who came before me, but the fact that you managed to live and possible out live me, doesn’t make you my elder. It means you got lucky. The title of Elder is earned and I will default to those who are wiser and older than myself when they actually are, not when someone gets lucky enough to grow gray hair.