We don’t have the luxury of ignoring Nazis.

Much has been written already about what happened in Charlottesville, VA a couple of weeks ago, so I feel no need to repeat a lot of that. But I would like to mention something that I learned from the incident.

The first place I encountered the slogan “blood and soil” was on a Heathen message board I used to frequent back when I was a newbie Heathen. The phrase was popular with some the regulars there. Sounded innocent enough. Blood = honoring the ancestors. Soil = honoring the land. Good stuff, right?

My skin crawled when two weeks ago I watched footage of Tiki torch wielding Nazis chanting those words, with the newscaster referring to it as “an old Nazi slogan.” So for the last fifteen years or so I thought it was a Heathen slogan. I’m just really glad I didn’t start using it myself before I found out where it was from.

This is why we can’t ignore Nazis, even though for most of my Heathen life, that’s what I’ve been told to do by other Heathens. “Ignore them and they will go away. They just want attention. Don’t give it to them,” they would advise.

But ignoring a problem doesn’t make it go away. Instead, it lets the problem grow and grow until you can’t ignore it anymore. Ignoring insect pests gnawing away at the plants in my garden doesn’t make them go away. Ignoring a cancerous tumor growing in your body doesn’t make it go away. Why would ignoring Nazis make them go away?

If you are ignoring your enemies, you aren’t learning about them. Hence my ignorance about slogans like “blood and soil” when I was a newbie Heathen. Nobody told me where that slogan actually came from, and it sounded Heathen-ish enough, so I thought it was fine. None of the more experienced Heathens on that board raised any alarm about it.

I’m sure if I asked my husband right now, “What are the fourteen words?” he would have no idea what I was talking about. I think that’s how it is with most people, or at least most ordinary, non-racist white people. We’d rather not give much thought to Nazis and the kinds of things they say. We’ve got jobs and families and hobbies to pay attention to.

But then something happens like what happened in Charlottesville, and those ordinary, non-racist white people are shocked that this happened! “You mean Nazis are still around? Where did these guys come from? Can you believe this is happening in 2017?”

I wasn’t shocked or surprised, but I kind of wish I was. I don’t like having to know about these people. I’d rather ignore them. I’d like to have no idea what they are talking about when they recite their slogans and dogwhistles. Recently I heard a clip of a talk Richard Spencer gave. Maybe it was when he was speaking at Texas A&M last year; I don’t remember for sure. Anyway, he referred to white people as “The Children of the Sun,” which also sounds poetic and vaguely Heathen-ish. If that phrase came to me in a different context, say on a Heathen message board instead of out of the mouth of a famous white supremacist, I might have thought it was a Heathen thing, maybe having something to do with Sunna or Midsummer or something nice like that. Now I feel a mixture of curiosity about where that phrase came from, and dread Googling it because I don’t want to know what dark corners of the internet such a search would lead.

Though it’s still pretty dumb. If any group of people are “Children of the Sun,” wouldn’t it be black people? They’re the ones whose skin and hair are adapted to high amounts of sun exposure. If I go out in the blazing sun without a hat and sunscreen on every square inch of exposed skin, the next day I will be in pain! But I’ve written here before about how white supremacists are terrible at biology.

But I digress. I’m glad that Heathen organizations like The Troth have given up on ignoring Nazis. Finally it seems like people have figured out that ignoring them isn’t working, and actually that’s what they’ve wanted us to do all along.

I wish Heathens had figured this out sooner, but I guess better late than never.

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4 thoughts on “We don’t have the luxury of ignoring Nazis.

  1. There´s a reason why I often look up the messageboards of these kinds of people. I want to remain able to sense their approach. So many times I helped a racist or a Nazi get caught in facebookgroups simply by asking them to explain certain things about a post or comment. ´´What do you mean by true Volk´´ ´´Why the purebred whites ofcourse, the only people worthy of being called human´´ BANHAMMER.

    • Right, because to the untrained eye, “Volk” might not seem that bad. A lot of Heathens like to pepper their language with German words. I encountered that word a lot when I was a newbie too. I guess that’s why they call them “dogwhistles.” Most racists aren’t blatant about it (until they gather together in a mob with Tiki torches), so you have to know the warning signs to look for. You can’t just let that stuff slide.

      • It also requires a bit of understanding in thought processes. You need to understand the context. Even if you yourself know what the prick in question is talking about, the important thing is not to show it to them, but to the ever present audience.

  2. You’re brave to admit your own mistake with a phrase thrown about by those creeps. It’s better to learn late than never learn at all. You’ve written some of the best objections to racism and it’s cohorts in Heathenry. I don’t think you would suddenly be on their side. You’re also right many well meaning white people don’t know either, and were shocked by Charlottesville. Those of us in Inclusive Heathenry knew, know the names, know the orgs, and continue to draw a line between them and our halls. We are always looking for the best methods too. Any ideas you bring to the table are worth consideration. Thank you for mentioning The Troth. We are the home of Inclusive Heathenry, and continue to strengthen our position.

    It’s good to see you write again!

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