Of course, an interest in heritage, culture, even ethnicity, is neither racist nor fascist. However, an interest in the purity of that heritage or culture or ethnicity, a desire to keep it from dilution and free of anything foreign to it, is the very substance of racism and fascism.
Purity is a corrosive antimoral value that reliably leads people to evil conclusions. Whether in matters sexual or spiritual or cultural, unless you're talking about refining chemicals and ores, purity is not a value or goal worth having.
I'm thinking of two otherwise unrelated things here. One, wishing an easy way to navigate the musically compelling but politically volatile pagan- folk- and black-metal scenes. Another, clashes over the immigration issue. At that debate (three months ago) between United for Social Justice and Utah Minutemen, the assertion there's no American identity to mold oneself to (sorry, forget the exact words) struck me as a good one. Of course one of the Minutemen vocally disagreed. I'm sure they think themselves just normal people wanting what's right (that's what's so insidious about cognitive frames), but their idea of what it is to be American is arbitrarily limited. I align more with Naomi Wolf who identifies being "American" with the attitude of speaking truth to power and willing to free all people from authorities and systems of control. By her account Americans need not have ever trod the soil of this continent beneath their sandalled feet, and probably not even lived while the place bears that name. It's an excessively idealistic, slightly sappy notion, argued specifically to lure those with narrow views of America to expand their horizons, but it's a desirable one that manages to embrace a broader humanity.
Frivolous Friday: Buffalo Wings
2 days ago