I think I'm safe in the assumption that anyone who reads this has a pretty good idea of HEMA and the politics and the drama. Part of me wants to go on a name and shame rant but I don't want to tell the racists where to learn how to hurt people.
I feel confident in stating racism because after coming back from class today I spent a while searching for things I knew were around a few days ago and all I can find now that a fucktonne of entries have been removed from Google under the Right to Be Forgotten and a well curated Facebook post not quite pleading innocence. To my eye, it appears to be a way to hide all questionable evidence and plead persecution. He's opened up a hole in the narrative that is tanatamount to an admission of guilt. That's what's informing my feelings, but mostly irrelavent to what happens next.
This puts me in a position I had hoped I never needed to consider. In fact the whole structure and running of our club is so that these questions should never come up- Equality, Fairness, and all of that is enshrined in our constitution. The response to our GAGAS event (driven by the members, I just had to nod authoritively once in a while) was overwhelming. We are inclusive and I will not, knowingly, teach a bully.
As an instructor I have a duty of care, to my students foremost but it is wider than that. I do not believe that we should teach fighting arts to anyone who wishes to oppress. Our students aren't the end of our world but the beginning. If someone is less fortunate, we help. You raise up, and yes you can raise up the world by helping one person- providing that all agree to lift eachother up.
If you are strong, pause and take time to explain how the weak can win.
There is no doubt that I have to take a strong stance for inclusivity. That's how our club works. It's what we were founded on. The sharing of knowledge and spread of ideas is so key to us that the new year will see me pushing to get as many of the guys capable of running a lesson on their pet subject as possible. It would be a massive source of pride for me if they were invited to teach elsewhere or able to step in if a Fight Camp slot would otherwise be cancelled.
I'm going to have to nail my colours to the mast, and now I am having to rapidly find the best way to do it.
I've never felt comfortable wearing the rainbow because I don't own it and never should. I only use pronouns when a name escapes me. I am not claiming to fight for others because I don't know their struggles.