Heathens for Social Justice

HfSJAs some of you may or may not know, I used to be an administrator over at Heathens United Against Racism.  I am no longer there, because the powers that remain there have decided to stop practicing what they preach.

On the fan page, they’re terming it a “internal restructuring“.  This is an understatement akin to calling a raging inferno a “sudden reaction to molecular agitation”.

You all know me; I’m not prone to name calling, but I don’t shy away from demanding accountability either.  On that note, the people who are currently running HUAR are people who are refusing any sort of meaningful accountability or transparency when it comes to their actions.  Not to the bylaws they helped write and voted in.  Not to the communities that they claimed to care about.  Not to the religion that claim to practice.  Nothing.

What you, the reader, do with my opinion regarding HUAR is completely up to you.  For those curious?  It is my strong and firm suggestion that anyone who believes in social justice in any meaningful way, shape, or form shoukd have nothing to do with HUAR whatsoever.  They’re not interested in fighting the good fight; they just interested in talking about how racists are bad, without actually having to involve themselves in any meaningful way.

HUAR has gone from being a force trying to make positive, social change within the broader Heathen community as well as the world at large…to a social club for people who wish to voice toothless complaints about bigotry.

The truth is they aren’t what they say they are.  Not anymore, at least.  I was the only cisgendered, heterosexual, white male removed from my position.  Of the nine people kicked out, eight of them were either apart of the GLBTQ+ community, ethnically non-white, or both.  Make of that what you will…but I will tell you that I find it incredibly telling of HUAR’s current motivations and priorities.

If that sounds like something you want to deal with?  More power to you.  However, it’s important that everyone gets a fully informed perspective about the organizations they’re looking to align themselves with…and you’re not going to get an honest discussion about HUAR from the people who currently run it*.

The administrators kicked to the curb over this ordeal have started new projects, to pick up and continue to carry the torch that HUAR once held.  Loosing HUAR hasn’t destroyed us; it is out belief that the lack of us has destroyed HUAR.  In either case, look us up under “Heathens for Social Justice” and “The Yggdrasil Assembly“.

In either case, that’s it for HUAR.  Feel free to ask any (constructive) questions below that you may have regarding the matter; I’ll answer anything asked to the best of my ability.

*But don’t take my word for it!  If you want to know why HUAR does not deserve your trust, look to documentation that showcases the words of the current administration for yourself!

7 thoughts on “Heathens for Social Justice

  1. caelesti says:

    I left the HUAR group a while back mostly for sanity reasons…it was so big that it really lacked focus, and after Ferguson there was a big influx of members, many of whom had a “flat” view of racism- as in “racism means individual acts of discrimination or violence- rather than systemic” and “reverse racism” against white people is A Thing. There was a huge gap between ordinary rank & file Heathens & an urban activist elite (by “elite” I mean their access to education & social justice terminology, not necessarily their overall socio-economic status) Anyway, I’m bad enough at following interpersonal drama that takes place with people I have met face to face, let alone online stuff with strangers. When I was a part of HUAR, it seems like their main focus as a group was making public statements denouncing racist Heathen groups & individuals and reporting racist Facebook groups so they would get shut down. (I compared that last one to a game of Whack-a-Mole) As much as I don’t care for the AFA & its president (let’s not give him more name recognition) they are a comparatively small part of why so many people of color are dying in the streets and in prison. They are symptomatic of broader problems, but they aren’t the root of it. I wonder what is motivating this “let’s only deal with racism within Heathenry” mentality- it seems suspiciously PR-motivated. You have my support.

    • Whack-a-mole is a good term for it. I do, broadly, approve of that tactic…because unchecked, these sorts only get more brazen and more widespred. The social media pool does need some chlorine to keep the algae in check, you know? Opposition of bigotry, however, cannot stop there….you know that and I know that.

      Some people either don’t know that or don’t care.

      Thanks for your support; it means a lot. 🙂

  2. caelesti says:

    Reblogged this on The Lefthander's Path and commented:
    I used to be a member of Heathens United Against Racism on Facebook- left them mostly because I found them too disorganized, but still supported them in spirit. Well, no more. I stand with Heathens for Social Justice instead. Read this to understand why. I’m bad enough at making sense of interpersonal drama with people I’ve met let alone people I only know on the Internet- but I think the facts here do speak for themselves.

  3. Like A Heathen says:

    Granted I’ve been living under a rock for awhile in regards to the heathen community so I don’t know the reputations of the respective people involved, but up until recently I would have said that I liked and generally respected both “sets” of admins at HUAR. So much of this seems to have happened in private that it’s hard to work out how the animosity got this bad and reading some of the wording and commentary used by both groups, it’s really hard to tell what’s spin and what’s not. I would have liked to see them all work out their differences, but that looks like it’s not going to happen.

    So, I’m not sure where I come down on this. I would like to support the goal of HUAR combating racism within heathenry and try to help facilitate the changes necessary to make it a more useful platform for that, but I’ve read enough about the other set of admins’ side of things to give me pause. I also would like to support Heathens for Social Justice in building a safe space for POC, LGBT, and other minority heathen voices that tend to get ignored, mocked, or discounted, but I don’t feel like the way it was being approached pre-HUAR blow up was necessarily the best way either (I say that as a LGBT person myself, but perhaps one with a longer fuse and more tolerance for dealing with people who aren’t there yet on those issues).

    I do tend to respect your input as being a particular voice of reason across the various groups I’ve seen you interact with, though, Harrison, so thanks for weighing in. How do you see things shaping up within Heathens for Social Justice? Do you think it has the bones and the productive potential to get some work done?

    • I do not think that it was any less sudden for those of us in administration then it was for those who were observers; the week before, I respected everyone involved. There was only one person who I could say that I distrusted to any degree…and even in that case, I was more than willing to put aside differences for the common good.

      Then, in less then 48 hours time, I saw respected peers turn vicious, two-faced, and dishonest. I saw threats to call LEOs and press charges for non-existant crimes…and these threats came from socialist potheads who (prior to this) voiced only contempt for those exact same LEOs. I saw a failed politician blame his inability to gain a nomination on his competition being a minority and a women…rather then being able to accept that maybe she ran the better campaign. I saw people taunt and mock over attempts to strong arm people they didn’t like out of the group.

      All of these people remain in HUAR. As I said above, everyone needs to make a choice for themselves as to what they will or will not accept…but the HUAR that exists today is an entity that I cannot recommended to anyone. I don’t like having to say that, because there are months and months of my own personal effort in that name…but I can’t honestly say anything else with a clear conscience.

      To answer your question, Heathens for Social Justice (HfSJ) is coming along nicely. We are basically just trying to pick up where HUAR left off, and get right back to an intersectional approach to social justice guided by Heathen perspectives and philosophies. It hasn’t been entirely smooth, as I think every single one of was both shocked and hurt by the entire ordeal…but we’re not giving up, and we are going to get our feet back under us.

      If we believed in our perspective enough to stand by the objection, we certainly aren’t giving up now, you know? 🙂

  4. Hi! I’m offering myself as a druid mediator to both HUAR and Heathens For Social Justice for this matter.

    Since I don’t use FB currently, I have no direct way of contacting anyone from Heathens For Social Justice and have only been able to pass along a message through indirect means, so I’ll leave my email address here:

    Be well, and thanks!
    –Rhyd Wildermuth

  5. […] about how things went down at HUAR, as well as how things are going forward with HfSJ, made me reflective about something that’s […]

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