A wise man once said that “the mind of the bigot is like the eye of the pupil. The more light you shed upon it, the more it contracts.” This thought came to mind after my incredibly brief appearance (perhaps ten minutes at the most) on a recent podcast hosted by the Black Atheists of Atlanta. (Gluttons for punishment can tune in to the show on Mondays at www.wain-tv.tv. Click on “live broadcasts” from 7:00 pm-8:30 pm EST.)
The sheer hatred that the hosts of the show directed at me was so thick you could have cut it with a knife. It was the kind of hatred I would expect to have directed at me by Tea bigots and their ilk. (In fact, the Black Atheists of Atlanta seem to be a sort of Black version of the Tea Party.) I wondered why Black atheists would be so hostile toward other Black atheists. Then it dawned on me that hate often knows no bounds. Hatred often takes people places they thought they would never go. It is never satisfied. It always seeks new victims. It is an insatiable beast that must be constantly fed by any means necessary. And when all other possibilities are exhausted, it feeds upon itself.
A great example of this goes back to the Nation of Islam (NOI) during the days of Malcolm X. Members of the NOI grew to hate Malcolm and other alleged “hypocrites” as much as they hated Whites (especially Jews), homosexuals and women. Indeed, though Louis Farrakhan never implicates the NOI in Malcolm’s assassination, he admits that he helped “create the climate of hate” that ultimately led to Malcolm’s murder.
Former talk show host Phil Donahue used to say that “racism is a lot like cancer. You don’t always know you have it.” It is indeed true that many racists cannot imagine that they could possibly be racists. However, the Black Atheists have not only expressed hatred toward me. They have also expressed it toward Ayanna Watson and her organization, the Black Atheists of America, the Black Non-Theists of Atlanta, and others. They are as hostile toward us as they are toward Whites and people that engage in same-sex relations.
If you can recognize the hatred of Black bigots, they are likely to accuse you of “thinking like White people.” Even worse, they are likely to accuse you of suffering from “Post-Traumatic Slave Syndrome.” Imagine that! You have crazy people trying to diagnose sane people!
I wonder how much this animosity has to do with arrogance, competition, and megalomania. After all, Black Son of the Black Atheists of Atlanta is the self-styled “King of Black Atheists.” (He also professes to be the “King of Electronics.”) From what I can gather, he seems to believe he is fit to be king because he has close ties with the NOI and members of a Black Israelite sect, two of the most reactionary (and religious!) Black groups in the U.S. In any case, perhaps Black Son is worried about pretenders to his imaginary throne. (Just for the record, I don’t want it.)
The Black Atheists of Atlanta seem to have very little complimentary to say about Black atheists, in general. They often compliment Black religious leaders such as Malcolm, Martin Luther King, Khalid Muhammad, and even the alleged sexual predator Bishop Eddie Long. Yet they never promote Black atheists in any substantive way.
When the Black Atheists of Atlanta first came to the fore under Black Son’s direction, I wondered, “why us?” Why do Black non-theists have to deal with this madness? But then it hit me with the force of a revelation. Practically every movement has its lunatic fringe. Why should we be any different? However, it is up to courageous, principled people to stand up and oppose this foolishness. We are confronted with the bigoted, reactionary lunatic fringe of atheism, and we must combat it before blind hatred makes victims of us all.