At the very beginning of this, I want to emphasize that this take is MINE and not related to that of any Hellenic Polytheist organization that I am part of — because I will not have it said that I spoke for them even if what they would say would closely resemble what I have to say.
That being out of the way, I initially posted some of my thoughts about race and racism in my blog back in 2013 in a post entitled Racism is ANATHEMA to me. The Gods are not racist. and my views on racism have not changed. What happened in Charlottesville not only did not need to happen, but should have been ACTIVELY PREVENTED from happening by not emboldening the racists into believing that it was acceptable in any way.
In Hellenic Mythology, Apollon (and in point of fact ALL of the Olympians) were said to have loved the Ethiopians because of their piety. This was a BLACK community of worshippers that the Theoi were said to have loved, not just a community of Europeans. Add that to the fact that “Blood and Soil” was a slogan of the Nazi party of infamy, I am reminded that most of us in the United States are NOT descendants of the indigenous people of this land and our “claim” to the soil is shaky at best.
I myself am the first-generation child of two immigrants to the US — one from Greece and one from Quebec. My father was born IN Europe and, despite being here for over 300 years, my mother’s family was from Europe as well. I was told that I “wasn’t really” Greek as a child because my mother wasn’t ethnically Greek, I know what “acceptable” racism and ethnocentrism feels like when it’s aimed at you. It hurts, and it’s flesh-and-blood people who suffer.
What happened in Charlottesville was an act of terrorism directed at those of us who feel the kinship of all humans. It was an act intended to intimidate people into being silent about injustice. I refuse to do so when my father had a cousin in Greece that was shot in the head because of opposition to the Nazis of the 1940’s. I refuse to give into my horror that we’re still having incidents like this over 70 years later. My daughter deserves better than to see that her mother neither said nor did anything to prevent the spread of this despicable philosophy.