Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Latest Media Kerfuffle

When you are a member of a minority* religion (or "race" or gender, for that matter), you come to expect people mischaracterizing your ideas and culture. You expect bigotry and misinformation spread about you. It sadly comes with the territory.

You especially expect to have that bigotry come from people with a specific political agenda, like Fox "News". This is a network that literally invents news that fits its agenda, edits video to make people say the exact opposite of what they actually said, and adds constant right-wing commentary while delivering alleged "news".

So it was no surprise that Fox and Friends, the network's "Wake Up, America! It's a New Day to Hate!" program decided to rant for a few minutes on "Wiccans".

What do I think about all this? As I say, I am not surprised. I am not outraged either, considering the source. Anyone who takes Fox seriously is so far gone that reason will not aid them.

The reason Fox brought up the news item was that colleges are starting to recognize minority religions and our holidays in their academic calendars. The University of Missouri asked professors not to schedule exams on holidays listed on the calendar. It is a win for religious minorities everywhere and people who believe in pluralism and equality. The Fox "News" reaction is some of the expected backlash. It is simply small, scared people who are currently entrenched in power getting mad that others are being given a place at the table. It scares them.

What I am more concerned with is the reaction I see coming from the greater pagan community. Outraged petitions being spread on Facebook (that will not do a thing, as it is falling on deaf ears- Fox itself).

And of course, it was only a matter of time before one of our resident media whores decided this was a great opportunity to get more attention for himself. We have among us "Warlocks" (groan) that use every opportunity to get in front of the camera for personal ego stroking and profit (is it a surprise this dude not only owns stores, but  mentions them in a press release supposedly about media bias? He sells the Craft to the highest bidder and then gets "outraged" that someone else gets to defile us? Puh-lease.)

People like Day make our community look like a bunch of buffoons. (And no, I am not talking about the excessive eyeliner here.) I am far more concerned about how we come across - OUR voices, not the voices of those outside wishing to mock us. People who are constantly posturing and pimping are the ones that we, as a community, need to worry about.

To the non-Witchy world out there reading this: Despite what Day says in his press release- not all Witches are Wiccan, and not all of us act like him (thank the gods). We do not posture and profit from ill gotten gains.

*When I say minority, I always mean political minority. Women, for example, make up more than half of the world's population- but for the most part have far less political power over their own lives and the lives of others. Same with Muslims and Witches in this country. We are a minority- in population, but when I use the term, I specifically mean political minority.

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