Friday, 29 March 2013

Remember Their Names

For the next thirty days the Advocacy Against Witch Hunts will be focusing on a truly distressing facet of humankind : violent domination and suppression of the "other" , whoever and wherever they are perceived to be.

All over Africa, as well as India, Micronesia, the Middle East and parts of the so-called "first world", the poor and marginalised in society are targeted as "witches" and tortured or killed under certain circumstances, which include but are not limited to hard economic times. The Other we blame for all our misfortunes.

Frequently, those targeted are women; probably because women often bear the brunt of poverty in every country on this earth, but also because, well, this is the Patriarchy we've been living in for the last half-dozen millennia after all.

Scapegoating? Sure it is. But giving it a name doesn't excuse it one whit.
Neither does understanding at least some of the mechanisms behind the phenomenon.

This cosmos is, indeed, a work in progress. But that doesn't mean that we can sit back and watch it unfold. We have many things to learn, as we continue to create this living universe, and one of them is the nature of  polarity. 

Our atrocious behaviour towards other living beings whom we are quick to "other" is an object lesson for all of us: one we can learn the most from by becoming engaged with it, recognising the inherent wrongness of it , and trying to address it.

You can do several things:

Sign the petition against witch hunts in South Africa.

"Like" the Facebook advocacy page.

Place a banner on your website or blog.

Join the Pagan Rights Alliance, especially if you are in South Africa.

And, mostly, when the time comes, remember their names.


  1. It would help if the Collective actually decided to *concentrate* and go after the ones making their livelihoods off of Othering the Other. Instead we make it about how much Othering the Other can take.

  2. Isn't that true? We're at all sorts of different stages down here. And besides, it's so rewarding to dump your fears onto another.

    T in J

  3. I find it more and more common to see people assigned to "other" labels. I am distressed to see more and more language that basically consigns women to the label "rapeable", for instance. And in official law, we "other" entire populaces and nations forcing them into "rogue" status by declaring that common, ordinary actions are "aiding terrorism". And with states asserting the right to have "official" Christian religions? Well...I can't see that going well for any heterodoxy.