On an unseasonably warm mid-September Friday I learned that I was a dangerous racist White Supremacist transphobe. I discovered this third-hand. My friend Aden Ardennes, editor of Horns magazine, got the information straight from some part of the horse’s anatomy. So did pretty much everyone else involved with Horns. I have a regular column in Horns, “FagGods” wherein I give a short biographies of noteworthy gay male occultists like Leo Martello and Lige Clarke. Given that my last name is not “Röhm” this would seem an odd place to find writing from a racist White Supremacist transphobe. But I suppose you never know where my kind will pop up.
Everybody seems to agree that there is no objectionable content (at least not that kind of objectionable content) in Horns. Even the folks at Sodomy & Witchcraft say “Do we, at Sodomy & Witchcraft believe the editors of Horns are in fact racist then? Not in the least!” (They even acknowledged that “it’s unlikely that [Filan] actually espoused any of their personal beliefs of this nature in [“FagGods]”). But the foul funk of BadPolitik lies so thick around me that my very byline is enough to forever give a publication Fascist Cooties. As S&W puts it sternly if ungrammatically, Horns is
… walking a treacherous, crooked path, by allowing such person to contribute. Much like in the missing stair analogy surrounding sexual predators who many people know who cannot be trusted, but who, rather than shunning, residents of the household rely on word of mouth to warn people rather than shunning or fixing the structural integrity of the household, Horns is complicit in abetting systematic racism.
So what horrible things did I say? S&W provides an excerpt from my entry “Wotan” as an example of “Racialist and anti-Islamic sentiment.
In 1970 California was 80% White; in 2000 less than half of all Californians were White; by 2014 Latinos outnumbered Whites in California. Ethnic Swedes may be a minority in Sweden within a few generations or less. Within a century Europe may be majority Muslim thanks largely to the drop in White birth rates. Yet we are expected to cheer our demise and abase ourselves for things we never did in hopes of an absolution that will never come. When we talk about the ongoing attacks against South African Whites we are told “Payback is a bitch,” when we worry about our children’s future they say the same thing.
Those statements are backed up by references to sources like The Guardian, the Los Angeles Times, and the Atlantic Monthly: those who don’t believe me are welcome to check the links and see for themselves. Today’s ethnic Europeans have ties to Europa stretching back over 35,000 years. That population is being replaced in a way we have not seen since the horse-riders came pouring in off the steppes, maybe not since the passing of the Neandertals. And when we look at history — and current events — we see that the passing of power from one ethnic group to another is not infrequently accompanied by violence. My critics are tarring me as a racist not for hateful lies but for inconvenient truths.
They also point to a paragraph within my August 2016 blogpost, “Deities and Demagogues: for Rhyd Wildemuth” as proof of my “further racialist opinions.” Once again everything I said in that excerpt is supported by linked documentation. It is telling that they neglected to include the following paragraphs, or the screenshot of the conversation which they referenced.
Nowhere in this post does Matt Flavel call out for violence against transgender people or “mud races.” He simply states his opinion as current head gothi in charge at the AFA and uses the word “white” to describe the AFA’s membership. For Rhyd that is all we need: their tainted ideology is enough to condemn them. Given that G&R members like Alley Valkyrie have advocated violence against those who use “violent rhetoric,” we can see just how far G&R is willing to go to protect us from those who would celebrate gender essentialism and “beautiful white children.” And how can we blame them? After all, Flavel is claiming to speak for the Gods and, as Rhyd reminds us, “If the gods declared it, then any person faithful to the gods must accept this, lest they go against their will.”
Except that Matt Flavel didn’t say “the Gods declare it.” Flavel said “The AFA… [believes].” If you disagree with his ideas you’re free to choose from many other Heathen organizations. Once again we see that sleight-of-hand John Michael Greer pointed out. We started out with a picture of a smiling White family and within a few sentences we’ve got brainwashed Heathen Nazis ready to fire up the ovens for Odin. And of course the only cure is to question the Gods and challenge authority.
Do we really need to no-platform people who love beautiful White children; people who defend people who love beautiful White children; publications who run articles by people who defend people who love beautiful White children? When did beautiful White children become so all-fired threatening anyway?
They finally link to an earlier blog entry of mine, “What Makes a Woman? or Birth of a TERF” as evidence of my “Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminism and Gender Essentialism.” Interestingly, they provide no links to any specific statements within that piece — not even the final paragraph (emphasis added).
And so once again we come to the same question we faced in the first paragraph: what makes a woman? I still don’t have an answer. But that doesn’t make the question any less pressing: neither does it make the “gender is all in your head” claim any more convincing. I’m happy to support equal employment opportunities for trans people; to use preferred pronouns; to fight for stronger laws against hate crimes and gender-based violence. I’m not at all interested in guilt-tripping lesbians to widen the translesbian dating pool. Neither do I think it acceptable to offload the risks of our social experiment onto our most abused and disempowered. And if that makes me a bigot so be it: I can only express my sympathies if the facts turn out to have a transphobic bias.
I didn’t turn away from Liberalism, Liberalism turned away from me. I’m an old-school Progressive who thinks that an honest day’s labor deserves an honest day’s pay; that what consenting adults do with or to each other is nobody else’s business; that freedom of speech and freedom of the press is vitally important in any just society.
For all their avowed dedication to social justice my critics seem little concerned by issues like this:
My people are in rural Pennsylvania. I grew up after the steel and coal industries turned the heartland into the Rust Belt. On May 1 I will be 52. And rural Pennsylvania is still the fucking Rust Belt. Things haven’t improved for them in half a century. Post-Roman Europe was able to support prosperous skilled artisans, traveling musicians, and town guilds: even the barbarians of the wild northwestern Europa understood the importance of protecting kin and community. But when my people complain of their plight they’re told the manufacturing jobs are never coming back, that they need to get an education and join the tech boom, that they need to move away from their family homes and their ancestral graves in search of something better.
As I noted in “Same Shit, Different Demagogues,” purges are aimed not only at dissenters but at those whose support is something less than unqualified. Purges teach members the harsh cost of crimethink. Every convict in the gulag inspires a thousand disgruntled comrades to stay silent: every “no platformed” junior academic leads to hundreds changing their thesis subject or round-filing their research. If successful it leads to positions filled by dogma-quoting hacks and suck-ups more concerned with ideology than facts.
And there’s the problem. We all know 1984‘s infamous “2+2=5” scene. But if you are an architect 2+2 had damned well better equal 4 or buildings will crumble. And if you send that architect to Room 101 when he protests,you’ll find the architects who come after him will fare no better. If your ideology can only exist by suppressing facts and silencing criticism, your ideology will fail.
In closing, I give you Captain America. He took a break from punching Nazis to state my position more eloquently than I ever could.