Yessss…come over to the Dark Side! »« Word.

Spanking Scofield

Oh, this just made my meeting-attending, class-preparing, paper-grading afternoon to see Be Scofield scorned on the Black Skeptics.

When the Scofields and Karen Armstrongs of the world talk about how the new atheists just aren’t aware of the liberal, tolerant, sativa smoking, feminist, genderqueer god concept, my response is “I don’t believe in that motherfucker, either.” She’s just as poorly evidenced as the old fashioned patriarchal god. She’s also not the predominant god concept impacting the African American community.

That felt soooo gooooood.

But now, back to the papers…

Comments

  1. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    I won’t hold my breath for a substantive admission of error on Scofield’s part. But it would be enormously amusing if he had the chutzpah to whitesplain why he’s right. How much “intentional” listening to what people of color are saying about this will he do?

  2. otrame says

    The satisfactions are small in these things, but more precious for all that. I remember when he was claiming he “listened” to “people of color” and thus knew we gnu atheists were meanie-poos, I had a feeling some person of color was likely to say “You think all persons of color think the same things, do you?”

  3. Brownian says

    How much “intentional” listening to what people of color are saying about this will he do?

    However much he does it will be more than Greta Christina, or so he will decree.

  4. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart, liar and scoundrel says

    “Spanking Scofield” conjures up some, ah, unpleasant mental imagery.

    I don’t believe in that motherfucker, either.

    Is the best take-down of accomodationist bullshit ever.

  5. platyhelminthe says

    What the hell is this “people of colour” bullshit? I mean – dQdBebwkYIrPseriously, I know you all mean well and all, but in what world is such a term not pathetically blatantly racist?

    I’m not American (my spelling of “colour” may have been a clue), so I accept the vagaries of culture may play a part here, but I am truly at a loss to see how “people of colour” is not synonymous with “coloured”.

    It seems achingly banal to point it out, but none of us are colourless, y’know.

  6. Gregory Greenwood says

    Josh, Official SpokesGay @ 5;

    I won’t hold my breath for a substantive admission of error on Scofield’s part. But it would be enormously amusing if he had the chutzpah to whitesplain why he’s right.

    From what I have seen on the other thread, Scofield is more than self-righteous, arrogant and oblivious enough to do exactly that, while at the same time whining about the awful, awful profanity and how it just isn’t helping.

    I have a bad feeling that he might try to claim that the Black Skeptics don’t represent the real opinion of people of colour, and that they are simply rallying to the cause of gnu atheism out of some knee-jerk, misplaced solidarity toward fellow sceptics.

    Thus, of course, leaving the heavy burden of speaking to the true views of people of colour on the conspicuously white shoulders of Scofield himself…

    Why, one might even call it his white man’s burden

  7. Gregory Greenwood says

    platyhelminthe @ 10;

    What the hell is this “people of colour” bullshit? I mean – dQdBebwkYIrPseriously, I know you all mean well and all, but in what world is such a term not pathetically blatantly racist?

    I’m not American (my spelling of “colour” may have been a clue), so I accept the vagaries of culture may play a part here, but I am truly at a loss to see how “people of colour” is not synonymous with “coloured”.

    I understand where you re coming from; the term ‘people of colour’ sounds… unfortunate to my British ears as well, but those Americans I have known have explained that in the US this term is not considered offensive, and so when communicating woth a group with a large compliment of members from across the pond I sometimes find it easier to employ the phrase to make my mening clearer.

    Language can be extremely tricky in situations such as these. As an example, in the US the phrase ‘African-American’ is generally considered inclusivist, but I think most people in the UK would not wish to adapt the term to ‘African-British’ because it might come across as exclusiory because it subdivides ‘Britishness’ rather than simply keeping ‘British’ as an indivisible term for any UK citizen – as you say, it is a difference in culture and its impact on language.

    It seems achingly banal to point it out, but none of us are colourless, y’know.

    I don’t think anyone here is likely to be a fan of such labels – it is not as though ‘white’ and ‘black’ have uncomplicated histories as words – it is a failure of language and a disparity of culture that could easily led to misundersdtanding. Perhaps some sort of effort should be made to consult the Horde to come up with a univerally acceptable lexicon?

  8. No One says

    …while at the same time whining about the awful, awful profanity and how it just isn’t helping.

    Be is complaining about profanity?

    “People of color…” (Scofields words) YO that’s rascism you silly fuck. You are the pimple on the pustule found on the hemorrhoid of a syphilitic camels anal orifice.

  9. truthspeaker says

    Gregory is correct that “people of color” is not considered racist here in the states. But this white guy doesn’t use it because it does sound a lot like “colored people” to me, and I spent years of my childhood trying to get my grandmother not to use the term “colored people”.

  10. Gregory Greenwood says

    truthspeaker @ 15;

    But this white guy doesn’t use it because it does sound a lot like “colored people” to me, and I spent years of my childhood trying to get my grandmother not to use the term “colored people”.

    I know the feeling. My late father used to employ the incredibly offensive term “ethnics” to refer to any non-white people. I spent years trying to get him to stop doing it, but never succeeded.

  11. says

    “Spanking Scofield” conjures up some, ah, unpleasant mental imagery.

    Especially since the subject of whether spanking children turns them into adult kinksters is being discussed at length in TET… it was kind of WTF to come from that discussion and see this post title.

    As far as “people of color” goes, that seems to be the term preferred by most Americans of color. If an individual prefers to be called something else, I will call them that. Remember that racial situations can differ vastly between different countries, even abutting ones, so what sounds odd or even racist to your ears may actually be acceptable in the country where it’s most used.

  12. Brownian says

    My late father used to employ the incredibly offensive term “ethnics” to refer to any non-white people.

    Yikes. I used that very word in this comment, though I was lampooning a certain someone.

    Man, it’s getting harder and harder to find a term that crypto-bigots might use but don’t actually.

  13. Gregory Greenwood says

    No One @ 14;

    Be is complaining about profanity?

    I don’t know. It just seemed the kind of thing that he might do given his propensity for lecturing us awful Gnus on how terribly racist we all supposedly are – you know, ignore what the people from BS are actually saying, and instead focus on the naughty words as if that is somehow more important on the basis such such language may ‘hurt the cause’…

    ——————————————————————

    Brownian @ 18;

    Yikes. I used that very word in this comment, though I was lampooning a certain someone.

    Man, it’s getting harder and harder to find a term that crypto-bigots might use but don’t actually.

    Parodying racists is always difficult – no matter how outrageous a term you dream up, you just know that someone, somewhere has probably used it in earnest.

    Poe’s Law strikes again.

  14. F says

    Josh, Official SpokesGay #5

    But it would be enormously amusing if he had the chutzpah to whitesplain why he’s right.

    I think Be already did that in the original article. And accused teh atheizmists of doing it. Practically playing the Revelation 22:18-19 card.

  15. F says

    Brownian #7

    I’m almost certain Be will do it way more than Greta, if what I suspect is true; that “intentional” is of the New Agey/Alt Med baggage-carrying variety.

  16. Ariaflame, BSc, BF, PhD says

    The problem with trying to find a word to distinguish those who do not match the majority inhabitants of an area in appearance, from the majority (or at least those who have power), is that even if you are doing so to point out the problems they have by dint of their mere appearance that their appearance should have no bearing on, is that the distinction itself separates the people into two groups. And you just know that someone from the powerful is going to use the word or phrase used for those with less power due to their appearance as an insult.

  17. Pen says

    My late father used to employ the incredibly offensive term “ethnics” to refer to any non-white people.

    Though ‘ethnic’ or ‘ethnicity’ are used pretty often instead of ‘race’ in Britain, probably because the diversity of origins and culture of people in the various broader racial groups still seems relevant.

    Ethnic to refer to non-white people or any of their attributes is both stupid and offensive of course.

  18. briancoughlan says

    You know what struck me about that?

    The christian God is – according to their own mythology – an actual honest to … erm … God motherfucker.

  19. KG says

    As an example, in the US the phrase ‘African-American’ is generally considered inclusivist, but I think most people in the UK would not wish to adapt the term to ‘African-British’ – Gregory Greenwood

    I’ve even heard Americans thoughtlessly refer to black British people as “African-Americans”! Like Ms. Daisy Cutter, I follow the general rule of referring to people by the term they prefer themselves, if I know what that is.

  20. Gregory Greenwood says

    KG @ 25;

    I’ve even heard Americans thoughtlessly refer to black British people as “African-Americans”!

    That is the power of force of habit for you.

    Like Ms. Daisy Cutter, I follow the general rule of referring to people by the term they prefer themselves, if I know what that is.

    That is definitely the best way to go, in those circumstances where you have the information in question.

  21. says

    What about the ritualistic function of religion? In a next step, this would become a “purely cultural religious background”.

    In my experience, in communities where religion was an important part of the (often a minority) identity, it looked like most people were actually not too interested in the theological details, whether god was a patriarch, or that “liberal, tolerant, sativa smoking, feminist, genderqueer god”, it mattered more to partake in the community experience, which meant following behavioral rules (say dietary restrictions) and participating in rituals.

  22. Irene Delse says

    F #20:

    Josh, Official SpokesGay #5

    But it would be enormously amusing if he had the chutzpah to whitesplain why he’s right.

    I think Be already did that in the original article. And accused teh atheizmists of doing it. Practically playing the Revelation 22:18-19 card.

    Pretty close. In this article, Be Scofield tried to enrol Sikivu Hutchinson in his denunciation of the gnu atheists. He even quoted a text where, after talking about the need for atheists to confront the racism in their ranks, she concluded: “Liberation is not a matter of fighting against white racism, sexism and classism but of throwing off the shackles of superstition.”

    Apparently, Scofield didn’t read that last part. Or, if he did, he failed to understand.

  23. Brownian says

    Apparently, Scofield didn’t read that last part. Or, if he did, he failed to understand.

    He egregiously title-mined Greta Christina on Ophelia Benson’s blog in defence of his thesis that Greta Christina is an atheist imperialist (You can read her actual words here.)

    He is at worst a shameless liar and at best a dilettante. My guess is that he’s a bit of both, but like Josh, I would not turn my back on him for a second.

  24. Irene Delse says

    So, we have: title-mining, quoting out of context, trying to enrol a black atheist, Huntchinson, in a feud against atheism in the name of the people of colour… In addition to chosing Greta Christina, oddly, as his poster example of imperialist white privilege, there’s also the bit where he uses the suffering of the gay community during the early days of AIDS to claim that they could at least find solace in… religion! And then he cites the Metropolitan Community Church (MCCSF) in San Francisco.

    Fine. If one searches for examples, examples will be found. But for one inclusive and humane church who was ahead of society at that time, how many religious groups today are still actively and fervently homophobic? Here again, Frederick Sparks is usefully giving us the other side of the coin.

  25. says

    I’ve even heard Americans thoughtlessly refer to black British people as “African-Americans”!

    “So you fight vampires?”
    Jefferson Twilight “I’m a Blacula hunter”
    “…So you only fight African American vampires?”
    Jefferson Twilight “No, I fight black vampires. Some are British. They don’t have African American’s in England”

  26. says

    What the hell is this “people of colour” bullshit? I mean – dQdBebwkYIrPseriously, I know you all mean well and all, but in what world is such a term not pathetically blatantly racist?

    1)it’s selfchosen
    2)it’s designed specifically to refer to all ethnic/racial minorities, and uses the adjective as a distinguishing not a defining attribute (compare: “ethnics” vs “ethnic minorities”, or “the disabled” vs. “people with disabilities”)
    3)the alternatives to PoC aren’t any better: non-whites defines people by what they’re not, and “ethnic/racial minorities” just confuses the fuck out of people because it doesn’t always refer to numerical minorities (and also, referring to yourself as a “person who is a member of an ethnic minority” is a mouthful.
    4)PoC is not synonymous with “black” or “African-American”

  27. David Marjanović says

    I’ve even heard Americans thoughtlessly refer to black British people as “African-Americans”!

    On the unsearchable language blog, someone once posted an anecdote about this kind of thing happening in Russia.

    uses the adjective as a distinguishing not a defining attribute

    You mean “puts the attribute as a noun, not an adjective”, right?

    …Oh. It’s “as a noun, not as a participle” – “colored” implies the result of a process, while “of color” implies just a state. That makes sense.

  28. says

    You mean “puts the attribute as a noun, not an adjective”, right?

    …Oh. It’s “as a noun, not as a participle” – “colored” implies the result of a process, while “of color” implies just a state. That makes sense.

    not quite. basically, the preferred phrasing puts the emphasis on the human part, instead of on the modifying attribute, regardless of how the effect is achieved. for example, “illegals” is a term that uses only the modifying attribute, making it the sole (and thus defining) attribute. the precise grammatical formation is not the point here, the relative emphasis is.

    It’s a bit subjective of course, and will probably be subject to drift, but as long as such terms are required to be able to have conversations about the kyriarchy, such subtle distinctions and self-labels will have to exist and be used mindfully

  29. David Marjanović says

    (“Colored” as in “dyed”, I mean, implying “white” as the default.)

    So the emphasis is on “people” this way? That makes, sense, too…