How the Cracker Crumbles; or What Drove Kenaz Filan to the Alternative Right

Why would an initiate in Haitian Vodou support folkish Heathens? Why would an author on African Diaspora traditions associate with racists and anti-Semites? What diabolical plot is at work here? What dastardly scheme has been hatched? When is Filan going to awaken from his ether binge and murmur in a slurred voice “Alternative Who?”

Well, it started like this:

Not long after Annamaria’s birth I realized I had no V0d0u books on the back burner and little desire to write more on the topic. There were plenty of Haitians out there ready and willing to take on non-Haitian students. Aspiring Vodouisants needed me like the 1950s needed Pat Boone.  Vodou remains an important part of my spiritual practice: every day I apply the lessons I learned in Sevis Gineh. One way I show that respect is by letting Haitians set the boundaries to their ancestral rites and holy places.

Parenthood also left me wondering about my own ancestral traditions. I was adopted at birth and have no clear idea of my biological ancestry. My adoptive parents, like other children of the Great Depression, had little interest in the language and culture of their ancestral homelands.  But though my bloodline may be obscure my cultural roots are easy to follow. I was born a working-class White American.

That’s right. I’m a White male.  I know that comes as a shock to some of you. I hope you won’t think less of me.

It was not as if there was a Palestinian people in Palestine and we came and threw them out and took their country away from them. They did not exist.

Golda Meir

Race may be a biological fiction but it is a social fact.  There are procedures by which I can change the gender labels on my state ID: neither operation, prescription nor wardrobe change will turn that “W” into a “B”. Whether as privilege or destiny, no one can argue that Whiteness plays a powerful role in my life and in the lives of other White Americans.  And as I meditated upon its role, I came to understand that our Whiteness was something more than an absence of color.

I also came to realize that for my Left-leaning acquaintances Whiteness could only be a problem. This was true even for — hell, especially for — liberal Whites.  They bragged about giving up their Whiteness in the interest of humanity; they agonized over their  internalized racism; they cheered as antifa radicals attacked a peaceful Republican rally. The idea that White people might identify as White shocked them. The idea that we might wish to protect our self-interests filled them with a self-righteous horror.

Yet poor White America is desperately in need of help. My people are dying of overdoses; they are dying of meth abuse; they are dying of cirrhosis; they are dying of suicide.  They are dying of fucking despair. And the reaction amongst wealthy White Americans has been snarky jokes about trailer trash, inbreds and Honey Boo Boo. (To be fair, there is a good bit of graveyard-whistling going on here. Most of those smug vegans are a check or two away from the payday loan center themselves).

Once upon a time the American Left fought for economic justice but that arena was long ago ceded to corporate interests. Today the big struggle is for “social justice.” Instead of fighting for a fair living wage or safer working conditions, we do battle against fat-shaming and offensive Halloween costumes.  And in that fight poor Whites are expected to “check their privilege” and welcome the immigrants who depress their wages, to worry about gay marriages and bathroom bills while their children go hungry.

At Versailles the noble lords and ladies had immaculate cottages and neatly groomed pastures where they could play at being shepherds.  Today’s wealthy students have workshops where they explore their privilege and absolve themselves of racism by “calling out” their fellow Whites. Instead of fixing problems, the focus is on alleviating White liberal guilt: it bears as much resemblance to real activism as those Versailles farms bore to actual peasant life.  (And I trust my gentle readers know how that story ended and can draw the appropriate conclusions therefrom).

I feel no particular sense of “White Pride.”  Writing books and raising children are accomplishments: European heritage is an accident of birth. But neither am I particularly ashamed of being White.  I recognize that America’s ideals have often been honored more in the breach than in the observance. But I think that they are still fine ideals despite our inability to live up to them. I think our American constitutional republic is worth saving and have no interest in whatever proletarian paradise the Marxists are peddling this week.  The Pagan community’s response to Kenny Klein’s arrest left me with a distaste for moral spinelessness in the name of “tolerance.” And so I found my political views drifting toward the Alternative Right.

pepe-maga1.pngMany of the Alternative Right’s foot soldiers get their cues from 4chan’s Politically Incorrect board: Kek and Shlomo “Happy Merchant” Shekelberg got their start where Pepe took his first redpill. Much Alternative Right discussion is loudly, even gleefully, racist and anti-Semitic. The Daily Stormer  describes itself as “the World’s #1 Alternative Right and Pro-Genocide Website”:  The Right Stuff  created the (((Echo))) meme to show that “All Jewish surnames echo throughout history. The echoes repeat the sad tale as they communicate the emotional lessons of our great white sins, imploring us to Never Forget the 6 GoRillion.” (They also run a popular podcast called The Daily Shoah).  It’s easy to dismiss the whole movement as Nazism for the 21st century.  But whether or not you like their answers, the alt.right is asking some very important questions.

By 2023 the majority of American babies will be non-White: by 2042 there will be more non-White than White Americans.  We must now redefine ourselves as part of a multicultural mosaic. But any effort to identify as White and to promote White interests is immediately  dismissed as “racism.” Consider the ongoing harassment faced by the Asatru Folk Assembly after Gothi Matt Flavel wrote on the AFA’s Facebook page:

The AFA celebrates our feminine ladies, our masculine gentlemen and, above all, our beautiful white children. The children of the folk are our shining future and the legacy of all those men and women of our people back to the beginning. Hail the AFA families, now and always!

Today’s young White Americans face two competing definitions of Whiteness. One is the ritualized self-loathing of the Social Justice Warfare crowd: the other is the chest-thumping of the Mighty Whitey set.  The former is only appealing to those with the financial and cultural resources to reject their whiteness. Secure in their academic echo chambers and safely ensconced in their lily-white progressive urban centers, these crusaders can play-act the rebel to their heart’s content whilst continuing to reap the benefits of their much-hated White privilege.  Those outside their rarefied bubbles will look elsewhere for their answers.

For thousands of years Europe’s Gods were the axis around which Europe’s tribes coalesced: the boundaries of their worship marked the innengarth as surely as the cross marked Christendom and the crescent the Ummah.  The Aesir and Vanir never showed the expansionist interests of imperial deities like the Roman and Yoruba Gods: their worship never went beyond the Roman Empire’s northwestern boundaries. Those who would treat Odin and Thor as Christ-figures out to redeem humanity have missed the point.

Today Europe’s tribes-in-exile are awakening once again.  Like a stubby-fingered Charles Dexter Ward, Donald Trump has called up that which cannot be put down. White America is struggling to find its place in a leaner, meaner new world.  Asatru offers a way by which they can encounter the ancestral Gods and redefine themselves as one tribe among many. Asatru provides an identity based not on hatred of an enemy but on love of one’s Kindred. Should we shut them out we will find many less savory voices all too willing to fill the silence.

9 thoughts on “How the Cracker Crumbles; or What Drove Kenaz Filan to the Alternative Right

  1. One can care about the, completely valid, issues your article touches on (white suicide, poverty, drug-addiction, etc.) without in any way associating one’s self with the Alt Right and their, in part, racist ideology. I’m not saying you are racist, but I am saying that the Alt Right is full of racists….from Jared Taylor and American Renaissance to Richard Spencer and Radix, these people are not only concerned about the plight of suffering white people, they are often highly racists and anti-Semitic….though without the KKK and Nazi imagery.

    So, as far as I can tell you found refuge in the Alt Right because, in regards to social movements anyway, you feel you have nowhere else to go.

    Maybe you really don’t need an ideological home.

    Politically speaking, I don’t have one. I am certainly left of center and Liberal, but I often find myself butting heads with my political allies about issues of social justice, race, immigration and related issues….precisely because I haven’t bought into the Progressive ideology completely….but I don’t need to. If I wanted a new religion I’d go looking for one. I certainly wouldn’t look for it in a political ideology. I can be a Liberal without drinking the Social Justice Kool-Aid. One can accept the premise that social justice is important, while at the same time rejecting some (or many) of the solutions offered by those who are more ideologically driven.

    And I know for certain that Astatruar, as a faith, does not require a racialist mindset. Such an idea would have been completely foreign to our Germanic ancestors. They were tribally conscious, as were nearly all ancient peoples, but were not racially aware….or as they Alt Right would put it….they didn’t have a Dark Enlightenment.

    I get it, you shouldn’t feel guilty for being white….no one should. And there is, within a certain subculture, a kind of self-mortifying ritual that many of Caucasian decent participate in. It’s both noxious and obnoxious. I’m saying this as a biracial man who is personally tired of white Liberals condescending to African Americans and acting as if African Americans are all fragile, agency-less victims of society (no, most African Americans are not invested in the fainting couch hypersensitivity presented on, for example, MTV) when, in fact, this attitude is disempowering bullshit. Sure, they mean well, but they are doing great harm by pretending that some of the African American Community’s greatest wounds haven’t been self-inflicted over the last few decades. The reality is grim and blaming “whitey” isn’t going to change that. Many, many people of color, such as myself, know to be true.

    No small number of African Americans my age 45 through to my father’s age 65+ see through much of the superficial activism happening now. 75%+ of African American children are raised without a father and a noteworthy issue is…..representation in comic books or on Game of Thrones. Really??? This is the definition of slacktivism and it’s rampant both on social media and on clickbait articles and videos produced by the wretched, pandering Buzzfeed and its ilk.

    But, I think that associating yourself with the Alt Right is a big mistake and comes with the kind of dirt that may not easily wash off if you find yourself eventually desiring to get out.

    I understand your concerns, but I don’t agree with who you’ve allied with and do not embrace the politics that would allow you to ever support Donald Trump. You may find that getting in bed with these people will be, in the eyes of your peers, not a one night stand but an insoluble marriage.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Focusing solely on economic justice has never resolved racism in this country. While economic and racial oppression overlap, they are not interchangeable (which I am sure you know, but am stating it here in response to the article). I suspect the Astaru folks might have gotten some of the grief they did because of the use of the loaded word “white,” which is not in itself bad but is associated with whtie supremacy. People celebrating European heritage and calling it European (or a specific group or country) often do not receive any grief. I also don’t think people promoting white interests would be such an issue if it wasn’t for the long history of promoting that at the expense of others. That effort to promote white interests can be seen (and sometimes is) an effort to preserve the status quo along with the majority of social and political power.

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  3. Reblogged this on Gangleri's Grove and commented:
    I saw on fb today where some people are bitching and whining about this post. I wonder if they actually read it or just looked at the title, saw that it didn’t s support attacks on ‘whiteness’ and flipped the fuck out. In reality this is a very, very thoughtful piece. I may not agree with everything in it, but it raises questions that I think we should be considering. (and I’m getting really tired of people being unable or unwilling to read past their own prejudices).

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  4. This is not true about Asatru. This was a couple decades ago but the group I am familiar with in Michigan discriminated against non whites period.
    It’s entirely possible to be Scandinavian and non white. As long as you were 25% Scandinavian you could be 75% any other kind of white. If that 75% is non white you are bared from the group. That’s not honoring your heritage, that’s discriminating against non whites, even those who share your heritage.
    Minority or marginalized status is about oppression not numbers. After all the 1% is an oppressive force even though they are a numerical minority. The same occurred during slavery. Enslaved Peoples often out numbered whites in slave owning states. They were marginalized because of their status even when numerically in the majority.
    Also you fail to mention that whites have measurable advantages even as they lose their numerical majority. In the US white people live longer, earn more money for the same jobs are less likely to be charged with jail time when committing a crime, etc.
    You mention the meth issue but fail to acknowledge that white addicts are being treated with compassion. Heroine and meth are largely white drugs and addicts are seen as healthcare problems. Look at how crack was handled in the 80’s when it was viewed as a black issue and one of crime, not a health issue. Addicts were vilified and we were constantly bombarded with crack baby rhetoric. There’s no mention of heroine or meth babies.
    There’s plenty of European pride that’s socially acceptable in the US. We celebrate the Irish with St Patrick’s Day and many communities celebrate Highland games/fling to celebrate Scottish heritage. The problem is ‘white pride’ is about how non whites are defective, not how wonderful it is to be White. Pride in your European heritage is not only not discouraged, it’s embraced as a nation.
    I agree with you about liberal whites though, no good to man or beast. I always appreciate an open racist.

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    1. Thank you very much for your polite and well-considered response! While we may disagree on some points, I appreciate the effort you put into your reply and will do my best to address your points and concerns.

      I’d be interested in seeing your reaction to this post on why Black and White people need to work on common issues instead of perpetuating ongoing conflicts. I have no interest in Jim Crow 2.0 and think a “White Ethnostate” is a pipe dream which only keeps us from finding real solutions to the very real and very pressing problems we face. My primary interest is in avoiding a race war, not cheering for one.

      I’ve also asked on quite a few occasions why many Folkish Heathens seem so intent on preserving the “one drop” rule. I believe the Gods of Northern Europe are concerned primarily with those of Northern European ancestry. I would also note that most African-Americans have at least some Northern European ancestry and so I see no reason why Northern Europe’s Gods would reject them out of hand.

      That being said, I’ve also noticed that even the most loudly “inclusive” and “universalist” Heathen organizations are overwhelmingly White. I have a few theories as to what might be going on here. The misconception that “All Asatru are Racist” might be driving many prospective Asatraur of Color away; these “universalist” groups may be more interested in appearing non-racist than in being non-racist; given the Antebellum South’s history of White-on-Black rape many Black Americans may be reluctant to acknowledge and honor their European ancestry. I couldn’t tell you which of these are true and to what extent each factors into Asatru’s overwhelming Whiteness of Being. But I do know that for whatever reason European Gods are overwhelmingly being worshipped by visibly European-descended people.

      Everything else being equal, a poor White person probably has advantages over a poor Black person. But when your children are going to bed hungry on the last two days before your paycheck arrives, you find scant consolation in reassurances that there are poor Black children who go to bed hungry three days a week. I’d also note that the poorest Black American has opportunities which the poorest Africans would envy. Should we mention that every time we talk about the problems facing poor Black Americans? Or would that look uncomfortably like minimizing their pain and trying to deflect attention from their problems?

      America’s drug policy as a whole is a fustercluck. Wealthier White Americans may have access to rehab: most poor White Americans are still left to tough it out (or fail to tough it out) by themselves. And many of the same people who made jokes about crack-dealing Black thugs are happily mocking the meth-addled hillbillies.

      The situation you cite re: slavery is definitely true. On the other hand, I’d point to present-day South Africa. Wealthy White South Africans live in gated communities behind armed guards. Poor White South Africans are left outside the gates to suffer from an ever-increasing spree of racially motivated violence. Many of them are Afrikaners who have roots in South Africa dating back to the 17th century — longer than many Black South Africans who only recently came to the region in search of work. As White Americans become a minority in the US, the present-day economic inequalities are likely to continue. Wealthy White Americans will be able to hire guards and live in “safe” regions: poor White Americans may well find themselves facing the resentment of our new majority. A quick look at Jewish history will show that there are few things more dangerous than being a wealthy minority in a poor country, especially for the less wealthy members of that minority.

      Am I an “open racist” for caring about my disempowered poor co-ethnics? I bear no ill will to anybody who has no ill will toward me and toward mine. But neither will I sit back and cheer while my poorest cousins are left to rot, or try to justify their suffering by reminding them of their “White privilege.” If that makes me an open racist, so be it. My obligation to my Ancestors weighs more on my conscience than any epithets that may be flung at me in the course of doing what is right by them.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s totally possible to have white privilege and be marginalized and oppressed by poverty.
        All white privilege means is the color of your skin doesn’t hold you back. It doesn’t mean you aren’t oppressed in other ways.
        So you acknowledge that poor blacks ‘probably’ have it harder than poor whites. That’s an acknowledgement of white privilege.
        Privilege comes in many forms: race, wealth, education, ability, heterosexual, cis, Christian.
        Systems of bias can’t be dismantled without discussion. Pointing out that non whites struggle more than whites isn’t deflecting. It’s pointing out an issue. A valid issue that feels like deflection to you because it doesn’t impact your life. It greatly impacts mine and we as a nation can’t fix it if we don’t discuss it.
        Why would my issues as a black american be a ‘deflection’ of white american pain? However generalizing about poverty on the continent of Africa without discussing how European colonialism created that poverty is a deflection. After all we’re discussing America and issues here. What does the state of blacks in another place have to do with inequities I experience in my own country? So women shouldn’t fight for pay equality because women are even more oppressed in other countries?
        I hear your concerns about poor whites being scapegoated. I just don’t agree that it’s the issue you think it is. Did enslaved peoples attack poor whites when they outnumbered them? Nope. South Africa isn’t a good example due to the very recently legalized caste system. If folks you oppressed come for you I have zero pity for you. Zip, zero, zilch. Apartheid ended what a decade ago, 2 decades ago? How are you so sure these ‘attacks’ aren’t justified retaliation? The same whites who benefited from oppression during apartheid are being attacked quite possibly for actions they themselves personally took. Where’s the issue? Jews have been marginalized in Christian communities for centuries. White people have not. So I don’t think white people need to worry until they’ve been rejected globally.
        My actual lived marginalized status is a deflection from white concerns but you are concerned with theoretical future oppression/marginalization?

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