On May 1, Vice.com published an article by journalist Rick Paulas titled "How a Thor-Worshipping Religion Turned Racist". Unfortunately, as is all too often the case with media coverage on anything outside of the everyday experience of its readers, the article is both sensationalistic and inaccurate.
Joshua Rood, a graduate student at the University of Iceland and founder of Odroerir: Heathen Journal, is a major source quoted in the article. Subsequently, Rood has issued a statement about the misinformation found in the article:
"There is so much factually wrong in this.
For my own part, there are a few huge things that I want to publicly make as clear as possible....and this is the only venue I really have to do that.
I do not 'teach an Old Norse Religion MA program'. Terry Gunnell does. I am a student of his.
Secondly, Ásatrú in Iceland is not a 'spinoff' of Odinism. It is its own movement.
Thirdly: The racist forms of Ásatrú described in the article are a MINORITY in the US. I told him specifically, a very small minority. People should not be afraid to wear a hammer out of fear being branded a racist. There are many many many Ásatrú groups that abhor racism and racial segregation and do not tolerate those who accept it. It is not fair to say that in America Ásatrú is racialised. Are there groups who are? Yes. As the article shows, clearly there are. But the US is a huge country with over 300 million people. I've been involved with Ásatrú in the US most of my life and the vast majority are amazing, loving, caring people who are well educated and have nothing to do with racism whatsoever. They don't deserve to be labelled like this with the minority. If your kid wants a hammer, maybe there are guys in prison wearing hammers...but they're also wearing crosses. There are also wonderful people around the world and a rich history of folklore and myth behind that hammer.
When I was interviewed, he wanted to know specifically about racialist forms of Norse Neo Paganism and specifically Odinism. I made all of the above and more very clear in the interview but then...
But journalists will take what they want.
-Josh Rood ..."
Some of issues with the article that Rood mentions, such as the article's description of Rood's background, appear to have been silently corrected by Vice. However, most of the issues that Rood mentions remain uncorrected at the time of writing.