All the religious fanatics and Christian and Muslim weirdos who criticize atheists can take a flying leap — and when Bill Donohue rants and raves about atheist billboards, it’s a vindication and a triumph. But when one of our own, the black atheist Sikivu Hutchinson, speaks out in criticism, it’s a message that must be taken seriously and addressed.
But AA’s ahistorical paternalistic approach to “secular” public service messaging is one of the main reasons why New Atheism is still racially segregated and lily white. Clearly AA doesn’t give a damn about the reality of urban communities of color in the U.S. vis-à-vis the institutional role of organized religion in a white supremacist capitalist context.
David Silverman, are you listening? I know this is not the message you want to send, but it’s what people are hearing. Fix this. Don’t tell people of color what they want, listen when they tell you what they need.
So is AA on the frontlines of providing prisoner re-entry resources—the real regime of 21st century “enslavement” for millions of African Americans—to families and communities that are permanently locked out of the so-called American dream due to the legal disenfranchisement of former convicted felons in employment, housing, and voting? Did AA even deign to consult with local interfaith and secular, humanist or atheist people of color about the cultural and psychological impact of the legacy of slavery in a nation where black bodies are still the primary targets of violent police suppression, racist criminal sentencing and capital punishment?
Why, I do believe there’s a hint or two in there about what would win people over to our side…