I posted on Black Lives Matter and immediately lost about 30 followers. No debate, no pissing match, no controversial opinion has ever lost me that many followers. The problem here is that this wasn’t a debate, a pissing match, or a controversial opinion. It was a post about a social necessity. I responded to the “all lives matter” crowd. And I was naive to think that the stereotypes about atheists weren’t true. Atheists are cis, white males with neck beards and fedoras they say. This I thought was attempt at insult, a distraction from our challenges to religion. Unfortunately, I found out that the stereotype contains a truth: atheists are predominantly white males.
Given that, I’m suggesting something controversial, but this doesn’t make it any less true. White atheists are not sympathetic to minority social movements. I am not saying you’re racist. Neither am I saying that you help proliferate prejudice and discrimination of minorities. What I am saying is that you’re disconnected from the reality Black Americans face; you’re disconnected from the realities Latino Americans face. I am a Latino American. I suggested in the post that perhaps that’s why I can identify with BLM. I get it. Police don’t racially profile you. You don’t have glass ceilings. Your name can’t disqualify you from getting a job. But some things atheists should be better than the average religious person at are relating to people, empathy, and a capacity to sympathize with the hardships of other people. Just because you don’t understand BLM doesn’t mean it’s wrong.
Or maybe the issue is that you think so called social justice has no place in atheism. Again, you show that you’re disconnected. It’s easier for some of you to break away from your own traditions. It’s much harder for minorities to part ways with the masters. In other words, it’s harder for us to break away from literal centuries of discrimination and oppression stemming from “the white man’s religion.” Our cultures were infiltrated, erased, and reconstructed in accordance to the colonialist’s image. We were given a suitable identity; we were given a system of morals, which stemmed from a religion they handed down to us. This religion was, to their minds, truer than our religions; their god realer than any of ours; their rituals more potent, their book better written, and their way of life more valid. A lot of us risk being disowned by our own family; we risk becoming homeless; we risk being physically threatened.
So there’s no doubt in my mind that social issues have a place in atheism. Feminism likewise has its place. The notion that atheism has a woman problem is very real, but this mass unfollowing showed me that atheism also has a minority problem. Atheism’s identity, like philosophy’s and like religion’s, is Eurocentric. Its face is a white man’s face; its voice a white man’s voice. One look at the Four Horsemen or any of the prominent atheists that followed them–Michael Shermer, Lawrence Krauss, Sean Carroll, Jerry A. Coyne, A.C. Grayling, Stephen Law–shows this to be true. The Black voice, the Latino voice, the voice of any non-white is secondary or entirely nonexistent. Atheism should not have taken in the dirty laundry of the religions it primarily opposes. We should not have adopted Christianity’s colonialism, Judaism’s group identity, Hinduism’s class hierarchy, or Islam’s patriarchy. Yet here we are!
If any more of you want to unfollow, feel free to do so. I’m a minority; I’m an atheist. I have proven myself as capable, if not, more capable than some of my white male counterparts. I do not need your validation. I don’t need your recognition or seal of approval. In short, if you don’t recognize the social ills adopted by atheists, I don’t need you.
Keep toting those old Steve Shives talking points and go back to your safe space. I thought you were rational at once. “Atheism has a woman problem” HOW?!
I tried to read this post and I went blind…. from boredom.
So… OP is angry that the atheist community isn’t SJW enough?
Unfortunately, I found out that the stereotype contains a truth: atheists are predominantly white males.
Given that, I’m suggesting something controversial, but this doesn’t make it any less true. White atheists are not sympathetic to minority social movements. I am not saying you’re racist.
No, you are saying that white atheists are racist… fucking own up to it. You want white atheists to completely submit to the SJW bullshit you happen to like, because… you like that stuff.
You are a marquee example of one of the White male atheists who miss the point. Other people who reblogged anticipated replies like yours. Maybe some White male atheists are racists. Maybe you’re a racist. That remains to be seen. I, however, never accused all White male atheists of racism. I accused them of lacking sympathy for minorities and women. That’s entirely different and when you go on about “SJW bullshit,” you serve as case in point.
The term “SJW” has been adopted by two groups who would otherwise be at odds: White male atheist and White male Christians. Doesn’t that strike you? Most of the so-called anti-SJW bloggers are White male Christians. What’s more is that the term “SJW” has been adopted to invalidate worthwhile social movements like Black Lives Matter and feminism. I’ve seen White male atheists reblog and make the same claim White Christians make: “BLM is a racist movement.” And I safely assume you think the kneeling protest in the NFL was a protest against the American flag and by extension, American values.
The point is simple: you lack sympathy for these movements because you don’t understand them. You prefer your perception of feminism and BLM over the reality of what each movement strives for. That doesn’t necessarily make you a racist or a misogynist, but it does make you inept and uninformed, and disinterested in standing corrected. I can walk you through what each movement strives for while asking you to keep in mind that feminism takes different shapes around the world because women in different parts of the world face different challenges from women here in the states.
A refusal to accept correction or listen to an explanation of what the movements strive for will only prove what I concluded at the onset: you and other White male atheists lack sympathy for such social movements. Do not pretend that I said anything else by putting words in my mouth. I don’t beat around the bush; if I had ample evidence proving that you are a racist or misogynist, I would call you out without hesitation, and I would work to have you removed from this platform. As far as I know, you aren’t a racist or a misogynist. I’m content with recognizing that you’re severely misinformed and all too comfortable with labels like “SJW.” You have abandoned Christianity, but not its way of thinking; so it’s no wonder you explicitly agree with White male Christians.