(Originally posted on 21 March 2007)
Yesterday I was asked a legitimate question as a part of an eMail response to another issue. It was, essentially, whether or not I understood the difference between "Folkish", as in the practice of the old Norse faiths, and "racist".
I discussed the Folkish perspective in previous writings, but to reiterate, it is the bond which exists between a people and their deities. It is tied to a land, and the people of that land, through the blood of that people.
In the case of Folkish Asatru, it is the bond between Thorr, Odhinn, Frey, Freyja, Tyr and the other holy ones and the indigenous peoples of northern (and central) Europe and their heirs. It is like the ties between us and our ancestors in the familial sense, stretching down from Ask and Embla to us. Our gods have been there along with us, with our People.
But for me, that wasn't the real issue. I think we're in agreement about folkishness in faith.
The question I need to ask is, do people completely understand the difference between "racism" and "racialism"? If not, please let me give you my point of view.
To be a "racist" means that you hold the blanket opinion that your own people are, in every way, superior to others. It implies domination and control of others, subjugation and inherent violence. I reject that. Each race and ethnicity has strengths and weaknesses. Some are unique, others overlap.
"Racialism" means placing one's own people at the center of one's life in the most positive sense. It is directly akin to feelings about our immediate family. We don't go to school sporting events to cheer for other peoples' kids. We don't love other families as much as we love our own. There is no implication of "hatred" in that. In loving our own families most, we do not disparage the families of others.
In like fashion, as I clearly state on my profile, loving my own Kindred doesn't mean "hating" anyone else's. Our racial group, like ALL racial groups, is a direct extension of our family. All native Europeans and their kin are one people, as are all native Africans, native Chinese and native Arabs.
It all works quite well when we have our own contained spaces in which to live. It works poorly when, as groups, we are forced to live among people whose group goals and survival methodologies are quite different, and often antagonistic (in the sociological sense) to our own. They too, rightfully, are looking out for their children, their families and their kindred.
Where our goals and theirs diverge and become diametric, there is conflict. In my opinion, there is only one peaceable remedy for that frictional interaction, and that is physical separation. Neutral corners, if you will. Good fences, as the poet Robert Frost said, make good neighbors.
I hold no malice toward most people, as individuals. However, in group dynamics, I must and will support the survival, advancement and security of my own People first. If we do not look after our own, surely we can not expect others to do it for us.
So, while I respect the spectrum of perspectives on racialist thought which those of our People may hold, a "folkish" faith, to me, requires a racialist foundation.