Monday, June 29, 2009

"Dark" or "Black" and Closet Racism in the Magical Community

I have to boggle at people that get angry when you point out that calling (African-American) spiritual work with a sharper intent as "dark or black" has racist implications that some may find hurtful and caution to the side of being considerate or attentive or mindful. They predictably attack the messenger on every occasion where this comes up and flip the issue around as the messenger being "rude" and completely project and deflect the entire issue off of themselves and their own words and the effects thereof. Folks who decry being "PC" in these contexts come across to me as wanting to justify lack of politeness or cover up their own unexamined racist attitudes and reactions. Closet racism is never pretty. "It's no big deal everyone says it." Not true at all! I do not and know many magical people who consciously avoid this terminology out of respect for where our work comes from and where we come from.

Darkness has many positive qualities, just as "Light" has many negative ones. The Earth our Mother is dark when she is fertile, darkness allows us to rest and recuperate, things about to be born grow in the dark, darkness extends our vision so we can see the furthest reaches of God's starry firmament and allows the brightness of the Moon and Venus to shine forth in all their beauty, please readers do not fall into that trap of equating darkness with destruction or evil intent, is it dark to focus a mirror and start a fire with a sunbeam? Is an erupting volcano dark? A lightning bolt?

I hope my readers check how their words sound especially when talking about a culture that has been oppressed for centuries over being "dark". Words have power and are the direct vehicle of our intent and our magic and our relationships between each other.