No one has said life is easy or perfect. In fact, Heathenry is drowning in struggles and failures, and even winning can look like losing at times. If life were simple, Round One would be a TKO to the entire premise of Stephen McNallen's terrible, no-good, awful video and all the views contained therein. Remove the very basis of all his arguments about race and one should see the rest of the fragile, ego-stuffed Tower of Racism doing exactly what should've happened decades ago...
We can let him do it gracefully, but he's still going to fall.
But life isn't that simple, and I'm a glutton for punishment (and arguments!). So let's get back into it, shall we?
(Cued to line up with the topics discussed in this post)
(03:41 - 03:43)I'm going to take this opportunity to make some observations in general about racism and how it warps and twists itself to fit within the worldview that the racists and "racialists" want it to.
"Point Number Two: Race is Important."
The driver of this worldview is one thing: fear. Gods, it's so cliche, isn't it? Oh noes, the racists are really just scared, so they can't be all that bad, right? It's worse because of that. Fear makes people stupid, and sometimes violent. Fear is not an excuse.
Someone get him off the console!
The world is shifting, on culturally tectonic levels, and for the first time in history, everyone knows it. In times past, when shifts of this nature occurred, it could take weeks or months to percolate through the populace, even in times of war. That's simply not the case any more, when YouTube can bring us schoolteachers from the middle of a war zone and social media streams live the visceral reality of an unchecked police state, whether the the people of world want to actually watch it or not, WE KNOW.
Middling-wise should each man be,
for he lives the fairest life of folks
who knows not over-much.
Middling-wise should each man be,
for he lives the fairest life of folks
who knows not over-much.
Translation - Andrew Orchard - Penguin Classics
Now we're all drowning in information and awareness of the world around us. Everyone has different coping mechanisms, and the racists see the horrors visited upon minorities of every stripe and wonder when they'll be on the chopping block (you'll see this in the oft-repeated justification of population projections - we'll see McNallen mention this in the final round of this series). It's a natural fear, really. Cowardly to act upon, but natural. So they circle the wagons. They pick winners and losers, choosing who will survive and who can be sacrificed on the modern altar of "Not my problem."
The old school racism and violence was about maintaining power and keeping those viewed as inferior "in their place." Now racism is about survival. You see it in the phrase, "Race is family writ large."
That's the core of this fight, really: Who is "family"? I'm not asking who is blood relation, or who is counted among your chosen tribe. Heathenry has no Tower of Babel or sons of Noah to explain why there are different languages and adaptive traits among geographic locales. We only have Ask and Embla, given breath, life, and thought, then sent on their way to live in Midgarð, and all people are descended from them. And that's only applicable if someone is looking for an orthodoxical (finding truth in text) reasoning for racism. Heathenry has no Holy Text. The Havamal is a rough sketch to set us on the right path, not a detailed instruction manual.
So when a racist tells you "Race is Important," what they're trying to say, in their horrible, incorrect way is: "Family is Important." It is important, they're just being assholes about how they define family. It doesn't make it okay how they act, but there is a sad logic at work.
We are all human, and we are all worthy of respect.
(03:43 - 04:07)As I pointed out in my previous post, the study he's citing here looked at instinctual reactions among infants with extremely flawed controls and subjective examiners. So from that shaky and cracked foundation of how babies act, McNallen would have us believe deep psychology, spirituality, and values are shaped by these same instincts, not by rationality, wisdom, parenting, society, environmental factors like poverty, chemical exposure, etc.
"If race only influenced skin color, hair type and obvious physiology, it wouldn't matter so much. But that's not the case. As noted above, it affects deep psychology, hence spirituality, values, and to an extent our worldview as a whole. Essentially, races shape our cultures."
There are far more interesting examples of the "nature versus nurture" debate, but most of them focus on specific traits like addiction in individuals, not 'races' and cultures on a whole, which is what McNallen needs in order to reinforce his argument. He's not only arguing predestination on a global scale by picking winners and losers based solely on genetic lottery, he's reinforcing stereotypes, both gendered and racial. It's a rather clever direction to take the argument, if I'm being honest.
With this, he can claim not only that religion can be tied to genetics (Metagenetics again), but also heteronormativity to a degree that would make a Southern Politician happy. It's a pseudo-scientific re-packaged argument, leaping illogically from actual science into the realm of nonsense, like most of the discriminatory practices today.
It's also a very ignorant take on history and the external forces that shape cultures across the ages. To my knowledge McNallen offers no explanation for how the mass conversions done over the centuries to a monotheist bent work within his argued worldview. Unless monotheism is some kind of actual virus, rewriting the spiritual bits of DNA? That's a heck of a pseudoscientific stretch, even for him.
It's hard enough for modern Pagans to argue that the Gods "went quiet" until they could re-emerge. It's a factor more difficult to argue that a recessive genetic trait (paganism) stayed recessive in everyone for millennia before activating, but only in people so different in both reasoning and genetic history that none of them can agree on how to make use of this trait "correctly." There are Heathens within the same kindred who can't agree on whether the Gods in the Lore are "actual" Deities, or Deified Ancestors, and we're supposed to believe this is all just genetically driven?
I get it now. He is secretly Heathen Magneto. If you ignore that in the Marvel X-Men universe, where actual genetic science backs up their condition, it fits. There are people "awakening" their "genetic potential" across the world, and he wants a select group to join him in protecting themselves from the outside world, excluding those who are different or don't agree, and constantly dog-whistling for violence as the only logical end-game. All the while continuing to act like he's somehow the logical one in the argument.
The only valid response, really.
(04:08 - 04:40)Nicholas Wade, a former science writer for the New York Times, apparently tried to hijack dozens of genetic and population studies to further his own racist viewpoints. We're going to just slap this down in bullet form because it's insane how terribly these books held up to scrutiny:
"Nicholas Wade, science writer for the New York Times, has summarized recent work of scientists who study how genes and cultures interact. He has two books: one is Before the Dawn: Recovering the Lost History of Our Ancestors, the second is A Troublesome Inheritance: Genes[sic], Race, and Human History. They are invaluable in this regard, and I give links to them in the description to this video. Race basically influences everything that we are."
- "Wade juxtaposes an incomplete and inaccurate account of our research on human genetic differences with speculation that recent natural selection has led to worldwide differences in I.Q. test results, political institutions and economic development. We reject Wade’s implication that our findings substantiate his guesswork. They do not.
We are in full agreement that there is no support from the field of population genetics for Wade’s conjectures." - Mutli-author letter to the NY Times by the people whose studies he used.
- "Wade’s approach is particularly dangerous because his argument is that he is just a defender of scientific truth and that a cabal of left-leaning academics is obfuscating reality with oppressive, even fascistic, denials of the truth about race. Unfortunately, he is either ignorant of the actual data and diversity of research or he is willfully avoiding them." - Augustin Fuentes - Professor of Anthropology
- "Wade weaves a bunch of yarns about how natural selection could have affected some phenotype using the language of modern genetics. But genetics is a science, not a series of fairy tales. Wade ignores the the fact that geneticists have developed a sophisticated set of approaches and tools designed specifically to answer the kind of questions he is raising – approaches and tools that have failed to uncover evidence for the kind of things Wade is trying to convince us must have been true. He can not have it both ways – he can not wear the mantle of a geneticist, but reject its precepts when they are inconvenient." - Michael Eisen, Biologist at UC Berkeley
- "The fact that some groups have found justification for their racist beliefs in Wade's book does not, of course, invalidate his thesis. Wade himself would be the first to point out that science, like journalism, requires those who are willing to risk controversy and follow the truth wherever it leads them. "Whether or not a thesis might be politically incendiary should have no bearing on the estimate of its scientific validity." That is correct. But when a thesis is known to be politically incendiary it is the responsibility of both scientists and journalists alike to ensure that the evidence is, in fact, valid before it is presented to the public. False scientific conclusions, often those that justify certain well-entrenched beliefs, can impact peoples lives for decades to come, especially when policy decisions are based on their findings." - Eric Michael Johnson - Scientific American
- "Wade says in this book many of the things I've been saying for the last 40 years of my life. The ideas for which I've been relentlessly vilified are now becoming part of the mainstream because of the irrepressible movement of science and genetics." - David Duke, former KKK Grand Wizard
(04:41 - 04:47)
"Point Number Three: I Love My Race."I guess "Pride" is a little too loaded even for you, huh? Still, love is a strong emotion, very closely tied with fear (as any parent can tell you). Love also makes people do irrational things, and sometimes violent things.
It's a heavy thing to admit to loving something as vague as "race," especially since he hasn't really defined it other than "white," "European," or "mine." I'm beginning to suspect that like many exclusionary practices, it really means whatever it needs to in order to keep "undesirables" at bay.
Pretty sure this is how it looks.
This concept of "loving my race" can justify almost any action, and that's really where the rubber hits the road with racism. If you love something fiercely enough, you want to protect it at all costs, up to and including violence. Can it justify domestic terrorism?
“I did what I thought would make the biggest wave,” the then 21-year-old white supremacist [Dylann Roof] wrote, “and now the fate of our race is in the hands of my brothers who continue to live freely."Yet again it's about privilege and it's loss. Losing that privilege to many feels like an outright attack. Attacks must be defended against, and warrent retaliation. We've all seen enough Law and Order to know it's not that far from "love" to "they had it coming."
(04:48 - 05:27)Accepting the science that the variations we know of in human genetic diversity is a fraction of a percent of the whole across the entire world, but ignoring what that actually, logically concludes. Quelle suprise. His first two sentences in this statement are really saying, "I know we're all connected, but I just want to recognize my connection to who I want to."
"I understand that, ultimately, all life and in particular all human life is interrelated. But my race is made up of people like me. We not only look more alike, we think more alike. We perceive the world in ways that are more alike. I am more closely tied to men and women of my race than I am to any other group on Earth. Whether you call us Europeans, White People, Aryans, Hyperboreans, or whatever is irrelevant."
What he's describing, the similar worldviews and mindsets and logic, is Western Culture, not race. There's a reason most of the "white people" in Northern Europe who follow Heathenry think the North American racists are despicable human beings: different cultures. Anyone who tries to tell you that someone from Boston, Massachusetts tracing their heritage back to the Revolutionary War isn't going to have a completely different worldview from someone in Trondheim Norway, even if Photoshop can't tell their skintones apart, is full of it. It doesn't help that the typical American hubris means there's a lot of "Do You Even Heathen, Bro?" coming from the west side of the Atlantic. Those in the "homelands" are also sick and tired of being held up to that or any other Romantical notions of heritage by these assholes.
You're embarrassing the rest of us.
Once again McNallen is twisting and warping ancestor veneration to further a racist worldview. There is nothing wrong with honoring those who gave you life. There's also zero basis for equating my great-grandparents who emigrated from Germany with the local German restaurant owner who's grandmother emigrated 15 years later from a town on the other side of the country. Ancestors are not "race," they are blood. This shit needs to stop.
(05:28 - 05:52)
"This is the race of my ancestors. The long line of men and women, who, despite famine and war and disease, passed the torch of life from one generation to the next down through the millennia to me. This unique genetic heritage is something I treasure above all else. My race gave me life, and I give the members of my race love in return."
Any time now.
(05:53 - 06:09)Oh? Oh, really? What did you say just one week later?!
"How can anyone think there's anything evil about this? It's a positive thing, not a negative thing. Race is just family writ large. It doesn't have anything to do with hating other races or of thinking of other races as inferiors."
We are higher life, right there on the front of the evolutionary process. We are the race that will colonize the galaxy. We are the Ever-Becoming Ones. And as we serve our destiny, we cannot help but serve all peoples and all life on Earth.I don't need any more rebuttal on this point. Schmuck hung himself with his own words.
(06:10 - 06:15)
"Anyone who knows my history, knows I have risked my life alongside people of other races."
Tokenism is alive and well, kids.
(06:16 - 06:22)Let's cap today's video breakdown of with another common racist talking point, not that there's been any shortage so far. "Apologize for being white." This is a very common theme across the AltRight and Racist corners of the web. The phrase is a reaction to the premise of "white guilt" that has grown in notoriety of in the last few decades.
"I don't need to apologize for being white. Or for having a special love for my race."
As more and more "whites" are becoming aware of systemic problems and racism, there have been many attempts to verbalize the realization that one has not only been blind to the privilege inherent in the system, but to express a sympathy and the desire for better understanding with those oppressed. Some of this goes a bit extreme, like people chaining themselves up to apologize for slavery, and the racists quickly saw this as a direct attack not on the systemic oppression being protested, but against the very concept of "whiteness."
"I don't need to apologize for being white" is another example of masterwork messaging. It appeals to a "white" person's pride in Self. This plays rather well into the American "by my own bootstraps" and "I earned it, I didn't need handouts" mentality. There's a deeply ingrained belief in the American psyche that help, even help never asked for (like getting a leg up due to winning the genetic lottery in an oppressive system) implies weakness. This is especially offensive to American Heathens, who have embraced this narrative wholeheartedly, tying it not only to Pride and the Self, but dunking it in religious overtones with the "Self-Sufficiency" bit from the Nine Noble Virtues (early Heathenism's attempt at a 10 Commandments equivalent). We can't have weakness.
No siree. No weakness here.
By shielding systemic oppression in the Self, anyone who argues otherwise now must argue against the very Identity of the speaker. Now any counter-argument is on the back foot, already conceding ground, "I'm not saying you're a bad person just because you have white skin, but..." If there's a more sure-fire way to make things get heated and devolve into a complete lack of real discussion quickly, I can't think of it off the top of my head. It's a rhetorical land mine with a hair trigger.
I won't fight on their battlefield. They can have that racist bog. You are correct, Stephen. You don't need to apologize for being white. You need to apologize for thinking there's a "white" at all.
No scope pwnage.
Thank you for sticking with me thus far.
There's just one more post about this joke of an authority after this,
then we can get back to talking about actual Heathen things.
(Part One Here)