Keltoi Rising: Reflections on Whiteness

Keltoi Rising Reflections on Whiteness

For some time now, the Left has been encouraging people to abandon whiteness. While the Left is correct in asserting that whiteness should be abandoned, this is often delivered in platitudes that very few, if any, in the general public understand. Historically, this declaration has been made without offering alternatives. This has a tendency to entrench pale-skinned individuals into whiteness or, worse even, forces them into appropriating other myths. In the United States, this has largely taken the form of white people appropriating the mythology and symbolism of the indigenous peoples of North America. Meanwhile, on the other end of the political spectrum, junk food theology peddling pop-culture Christians offer a life of material poverty for the many in exchange for a utopian afterlife. A message that has certainly resonated more with the white working class than the existential void of mythlessness offered by the Left.

With this analysis, I seek to compel those who are interested in the abolition of whiteness to 1) offer white individuals a compelling counter narrative (that, broadly speaking, is the myth of the living Earth via *open* European traditions) and 2) offer white individuals a reason to exit the mythologies that give rise to the double edged sword of white privilege. Myth has taken on a negative connotation in the modern world. By “myth”, I do not mean something that is simply dated or untrue. I am using the term “myth” to refer to collective stories that a society and it’s individuals operate within.

What is Whiteness?

Whiteness can be hard to define across the board because it takes many different forms that largely depend on the region in which one resides. However, whiteness can be broadly defined as a socioeconomic class of privilege that seeks to other and oppress all those that are excluded from it.

Race can only be perceived through oppression. All manifestations of whiteness are white supremacy.

Despite exhaustive efforts to demonstrate the contrary, race is not a scientific concept. It is entirely based on ones standing within society. An individual is not born of a respective race, they are racialized via the experiences in their life. Policing, prisons, the neighborhood you grow up in, and how you are treated by your neighbors can all be forms of racialization.

Nor has whiteness been “offered” across the board equally to all pale-skinned people. In fact, white supremacists often have very heated conversations (that generally end in someone being stabbed) about what actually constitutes a “white” people. Historical example of pale skinned people that were later accepted into whiteness includes Irish, Italian, Finnish, Slavic, and many other peoples. The fact of the matter is, there is no ethnic definition to whiteness. The closer white supremacists get to accomplishing their goals the narrower that definition gets.

It should be stated, however, that not being white does not equate to being black. The struggles that the Irish, for example, faced in the US were distinctly different than those of black people. Comparisons are ahistorical and generally rooted in racism.

It’s important to note here that race is a collective construct. One does not simply escape whiteness by individual practices. Individuals are not exempt from white privilege simply because they practice what is advised by this project.

Whiteness and Mythology

Whiteness has nothing to do with culture and everything to do with social position. It is nothing but a reflection of privilege, and exists for no reason other than to defend it. Without the privileges attached to it, the white race would not exist, and the white skin would have no more social significance than big feet.” ― Noel Ignatiev, Race Traitor

Many have defined whiteness in the past to be European culture centered. I would argue that this is not a sufficient criteria. To become white is essentially to have ones culture put through a very fine filter. Anything that causes issues for the state and the Capitalist class is caught in this filter; all that remains is token bits and pieces. This can include, but is not limited to, indigenous ancestry, anti-imperial history, and united struggles with oppressed peoples. Irish-Americans are a prime example of this phenomenon.

What do we learn about what it means to be Irish in the United States? Drinking green beer? Wearing green clothing on Saint Patrick’s day? We learn nothing of the atrocities committed against the Irish people by the British. We learn nothing of Irish people taking up arms with people of color in their struggles for equality; let alone our indigenous ancestors in the region. However, in Ireland, where there was a struggle against whiteness, Irish culture (and, to a limited extent, Celtic culture) remains as a result of this struggle. It is not a coincidence that the two last Celtic hold out regions are still under imperial occupation.

Whiteness is not the preservation of culture. Whiteness is the destruction of culture to the benefit of the state and the Capitalist class. It is the transformation of a collective myth into the mythologies of nationalism and Capitalism. Whiteness is submission and servitude to the state.

Conclusion

We exist at a pivotal moment in history. Dominant mythologies, Capitalism, Nationalism, and whiteness are showing their cracks. As material conditions of society worsen we will all have to decide whether we jump ship or dig in our heels. Myth mediates all the actions of humanity. The actions of our ancestors are no exception. Embracing new mythologies, out of free will and not moral imperatives, will transform our consciousness and create different outcomes.

The destruction of whiteness will not be complete without the proliferation of a new mythology and a new mythology cannot be complete without the destruction of whiteness. Keltoi rising

For further reading on this topic: The Lost Tribe: A proposal

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1 thought on “Keltoi Rising: Reflections on Whiteness

  1. Emrys says:

    Hi, I don’t respond a lot to people a lot on Twitter, so let me start by saying you’re one of my favorite accounts to follow. This is a good topic, and I of course agree with the premise.

    I have a few quips with some of the grammar, the key one being that Black and Indigenous should be capitalized. The uses of these adjectives in this form has in recent years served to identify them as distinct cultures rather than skin-deep identifiers (as opposed to white), and utilizing grammar in this way can only strengthen your argument.

    I also want to strongly urge you to reconsider using “Abrahamic” in this sense, unless you yourself were raised Jewish, considering the history Semitic peoples have had themselves with Christian colonialism. I myself was raised atheist and have very little concrete religious knowledge of The Big Three, so if you have more background than me, take what I’m about to say with a grain of salt.

    From Jewish people, I have often seen the frustration raised in the phrasing “Abrahamic religions” as a pan-euphenism to blur the distinctions between The Big Three, and it is often used to justify anti-Semitism by Big Brain atheists. I think this can only harm your narrative because it ignores what in my (admittedly narrow) knowledge is a teaching common in many Semitic circles of their Indigenous and polytheistic roots. I would love to hear more from a Jewish writer on this topic from the lenses you establish in your article. I think it is possible for Judaism to be a powerful religious presence for white people alongside Celtic and other Indigenous mythos.

    I like what you have to say in the article, but I’m super annoyed by the organization methods you use. I’ve spent the last few hours analyzing it section by section only to erase what I’ve written because you address the point later on, and it’s doubly frustrating because I know you know this stuff, I just don’t think you’re explaining it the best way. I don’t like critiquing people on what they already know because I don’t want to give the pretense that I’m smart and certainly don’t want to come off as pretentious.

    As an example of one of the things that frustrates me. Frankly, I hate the section “What is Whitenes?” When you say it like Whiteness capital W (I recognize this might just be grammatical titling of the section), you frame Whiteness as a culture or ethnicity rather than a race, and you switch out the usage of “ethnicity” and “race” so haphazardly that you confuse your point. The section discusses race only to basically end with “Race is such a vague and meaningless term that it’s useless as an argumentative rhetorical device.” Honestly, the discussion of race has no place in your topic (though it is no doubt an important one) when the topic is about CULTURE and as it applies to skin-tone — ie, ethnicity. Of course, we both agree that Whiteness isn’t a culture and isn’t an ethnicity, but you don’t touch on this until your next section, so your section “What is Whitenes?” is too vague about answering what whiteness actually is. Your analysis of historically “white” ethnicities is better grouped with the point that whiteness isn’t an ethnicity. You can do some really clever analysis juxtaposing those two points, and you do kindaaaa with the elaboration of the Irish, but I’m not seeing evidence that distinguishes modern Ireland as Celtic rather than Catholic.

    Also, I disagree with the earlier statement that there is a lack of myth offered by the Left. Perhaps I’m being pedantic by the usage of your word “myth,” especially when you recognize pop-culture as an extension of the Christian theology, but I think the Left does have myth. I think atheism *is* a religion, and I’ve followed you long enough to think maybe you understand this too, so I won’t go into details about how it is. However, the reason I bring it up is because the Left is long overdue for an analysis of how the atheist religion came to be concepted with its roots in late Middle Ages Enlightenment Era/rationalism and more notably — capitalism. Way too many people on the Left are obsessed with a type of religious technocracy, and I’m tired of no one examining those colonial roots. If we don’t, we can never appreciate how much we need to reject atheism and thus embrace exactly what you are proposing.

    If you want organizational tips, it would be this:

    “What is Whiteness?”
    This section should combine your two sections and answer these questions:
    – What is ethnicity, why do POC get assigned ethnicities, and why doesn’t whiteness?
    – How come Christianity is or isn’t white ethnicity/culture?

    Your next section should then be
    “Neo-Paganism”
    – Why do we need the religious movement you’re proposing? If you didn’t mention in your last section, you should elaborate on how Christianity cannot provide what you propose.
    – How does this help white people reclaim a sense of identity?
    – What current mistakes are neo-pagan movements recreating as “unconscious” colonialism? What is appropriation and how are you not appropriating? How can we avoid the colonial mistakes of our neo-pagan predecessors?

    I’m sorry if this at any point becomes unreadable. A big reason why I don’t like commenting on people’s stuff is because I’m pedantic, and I’d rather just have a discussion than waste hours of my time writing out something you know already or potentially have you misunderstand something I say that lacks the context of my character. If having more direct conversations interests you, add me on Twitter @emrys_ky, and I can DM you my discord. My friends can’t keep up with me anymore, and I agree with almost everything you say, which is agonizingly rare. It’d also be rad to play Valheim with you.

    Alsooooo, I highly, highly recommend following @gindaanis. She says all this stuff with an Ojibwe perspective, and she has an incredible podcast that she does Tuesdays on Twitch. I think you might especially appreciate last week’s episode on Storytelling.

    Reply

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