Witches speak out after TIME Magazine posts an offensive article on their website maligning the growing masses of self-proclaimed witches with rhetoric that harkens us back to the propaganda of the McCarthy era.
Prejudice and negative portrayal of anyone that is different, especially of those in the occult or alternative world, is nothing new. From The Burning Times of old to the "satanic panic" of the 70's to hysteria over run-a-ways being kidnapped by imaginary vampire cults, the fear of the different and the unknown has always generated misunderstanding and often times leads to harassment, discrimination, and terrible violence as a result. This is a lesson that we should have learned from history all too well, which is perhaps why it is so shocking for many that in our modern times, a major news publication like TIME Magazine, that has been so well regarded in the past could be so offensive by using language in regards to witches that rivals that of days gone by; however, unlike the witch trials of the past, this time the accused are fighting back and they are demanding an apology from TIME Magazine and the writer responsible.
This story first broke on The Inquisitr a couple of days ago when I wrote about the article on TIME Magazine's website on the current trend of witches in the media (you can read that article here). That piece, "Why Witches on TV Spell Trouble in Real Life" by Jennifer Latson, included an especially troubling passage in which she uses a quote from historian Emerson Baker to compare witches to terrorists. Since then, witches everywhere have started speaking out about the TIME Magazine article and are demanding an apology. Latson's Twitter feed quickly received a number of complaints, including this one:
Meanwhile, Facebook was in a flurry in many witch and pagan centered groups. "What's next- burning people in the streets?" asked one commenter after reading the TIME Magazine article. Expressions of disbelief, anger, and fear inspired one community member to take action and start a petition that calls for TIME Magazine to "Apologize for the inflammatory article published regarding witches and comparing them to terrorists." Dozens of supporters rushed to sign their names within the first couple of hours of the petition alone, expressing their outrage and concern.
I asked the petition creator, Adam Osborne what inspired him to take action asking for an apologly from TIME Magazine.
"A lot of people in the Pagan community are still afraid to speak up. I feel like it is my duty as someone who isn't afraid to stand up, speak out, and strike back, to speak our truths..." he said.He spoke candidly, and bravely, about violence that he had experienced first hand as a result of the kind of fear and prejudices that misinformation like this can generate and said that those experiences inspired him to become an activist for the witch and pagan community.
"When I first caught wind about the article posted by TIME magazine, I was shocked...and upon reading it, I understood the message they were trying to convey...but they were very unsuccessful..." He concluded with what so many have been expressing through social media the past few days.
"My biggest issue was that they had the opportunity to advocate religious tolerance by including facts about Paganism and Modern Witchcraft and our basic tenets, instead they chose to leave the whole article as [a] disgusting, libelous (even if it was unintentional), and potentially dangerous piece."This comes right after another major upset for TIME Magazine after their recent cover of their print addition sparked outrage and another petition, this time from thousands of parents and teachers demanding an apology from TIME Magazine after their negative story about teachers and education in America.
As violence against those accused of witchcraft spread around the world, they may very well be good cause for concern. Currently the online petition asking for TIME Magazine to apologize to witches and other pagans is still gathering signatures and many others have sent letters of support asking for TIME Magazine to apologize. So far there has been no response from the writer's Twitter feed nor from the news site itself.
Image: From the petition at: https://www.change.org/p/time-magazine-apologize-for-the-inflammatory-article-published-regarding-witches-and-comparing-them-to-terrorists-and-we-request-a-publishing-of-an-article-that-puts-paganism-in-the-positive-light-it-deserves?just_created=true