To our neighbors and friends, to the SCA as a whole, and to the wider world we inhabit and seek to educate,
The following represents our personal opinions. We are not empowered to speak on behalf of the SCA as a whole, but to the extent that they will allow us, we speak on behalf of our own family, and for the peace of mind of our own barony.
The Society for Creative Anachronism has a fifty-two-year history of being a place where lovers of history and the splendor, fashion, artistry and skills of history can thrive. As a pursuit founded by college nerds, it has a long tradition of being a welcoming place for people that are not popular in mainstream society.
We’ve recently been learning the extent to which others largely outside the SCA have been citing their European heritage and invoking the symbols of heraldry for the purposes of advancing nationalist, racist, sexist, homophobic or other exclusionary beliefs. Swords and shields, coats of arms, crusader iconography and even the word “medieval” have been besmirched by association to these groups and individuals. Chivalry is being used as a blunt instrument to enforce patriarchal norms. Tradition, religion and “nature” are used to justify oppressive hetero-normalization.
Moreover, some symbols which in earlier periods of history may have had one innocuous meaning have been deeply and indelibly soiled by association to modern fascism and other hate groups. To pretend that these events did not happen and that these symbols can be blithely used for their original intent is to turn a blind eye to all the suffering caused under those signs. Even at its least nefarious, it is callous of those harmed by that history, and provides a facade of respectability for unabashed bigots to obscure their intentions. Symbols such as the swastika have earned their places on the trash heap of history and should never be used, no matter the intent of the maker or wearer.
We are not going to sit idly by and be tarred with the same brush as the ignorant, hateful and xenophobic people who have co-opted medieval iconography to match their own twisted views of history. We will not allow our celebration of historical cultures to be killed by their hatred and fear of people who are different.
The Society for Creative Anachronism has passed its first half century, growing larger by the year, and becoming home to some of the most magnetic, admirable and talented people we have ever known. The pageantry, civility, inclusiveness, skill and grandeur of its events and participants continues to inspire us daily. It is the beacon we follow on a lifelong quest to be better husbands and wives, better parents, leaders of our community, and better people.
We’re proud of the SCA. It is our home. It is our family. And we will not allow the prejudices of others to tear down the walls of our home or harm our family. We intend to see that everyone, regardless of age, race, sex, sexual orientation or identity, or religious belief feels safe in our barony and that if they do not, they feel they can approach us to safely express their concerns. We stand with the warriors who don our armor and heft our swords to protect the innocent and the vulnerable.
Baron Jose Cabrera de Castilla
Baroness Iuliana de la Sara