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Mar 12 2012

Ouch — American Atheists gets a slap that hurts

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…

413 comments

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  1. 1
    joed

    Tim Wise and Robert Jensen, UTexas Austin,
    speak profoundly and eloquently about the White Privilege Society of America.
    These guys are worth listening to if one is concerned about Justice and equality in the U S.
    If the U S population is about 15% “black”
    then why is the prison population about 50% “black”. Is there something wrong with “blacks”.
    Sikivu Hutchinson brings to our attention a major real problem in the U S.
    The elite use the fear, anger, hatred of “white” people to keep them separated and seemingly above the “black”.
    99% of “white” people I ask about white privilege don’t have a clue or say they like being privileged–why would they want to give it up!
    Awareness is not white folk best asset.

  2. 2
    Porco Dio

    Here’s the thing about blacks: whites came on their boats from Europe and lied to the whole of Africa while either exterminating them with guns or subjugating them in slavery and the lies of religion…

    Slavery is mostly history now and most of Africa is free of external impediment. Racism in general is on the decline… but the disgusting influence of Christianity remains a poison to all of it’s followers.

    Christianity is still a way that blacks can be kept in check by their white masters…

    One of the biggest strides we could make in the eradication of religion is making atheism inclusive to the cultures that took up Christianity the latest…

    Africa and South America (and the descendants of these continents) should be our main focus to help us in our work to rid the world of lies…

  3. 3
    llewelly

    Couldn’t they have at least sent it to “Yo, is this racist?” before putting it up?

  4. 4
    strange gods before me ॐ

    porcodio wants to believe, and therefore does believe, that

    most of Africa is free of external impediment.

    but,

    «Most (if not all) of the African continent continues to bear the scars of generations of colonial occupation – understanding this fact is as easy as recognizing the fact that national borders were drawn by European powers, not the population. In fact, a new kind of non-state colonialism is the reality for much of the continent today, with large multinational corporations holding control over not only the land, but much of the political system. While people cluck disapprovingly about the “corruption” of African leaders, they conveniently omit the fact that the destabilization of African leaders is a consequence of the influence of these corporations, which sell their products to us. We may not have created Joseph Kony, but we certainly fund the system that makes him possible.»

  5. 5
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    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?

    Of course not. That would be too political.

    Porcodio:

    Slavery is mostly history now and most of Africa is free of external impediment.

    ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME.

    You’re as aggressively stupid and ignorant about race as you are about gender.

  6. 6
  7. 7
    joed

    Stephen Jay Gould’s book titled The Mismeasure Of Man. 1996. is a wonderful history of the creation of “race”.
    Basically revised and expanded as a refutation to a white supremacist book(disguised as a scientific study by professors at a major university), titled The Bell Curve.

  8. 8
    joed

    @5 Ms. Daisy Cutter
    Porcodio certainly does sound ignorant about the exploitation of Africa. Unaware of the massive Neocolonial takeover by white people in the last 10 years.

  9. 9
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Ms. Daisy Cutter :)

    +++++
    porcodio,

    Racism in general is on the decline…

    Where, and by what measures? I can think of measures by which it seems better, but then others by which it worse:

    CPAC: White Nationalism Shunned in 2011, Welcomed in 2012

  10. 10
    danthering

    Maybe I’m missing something here… why is he angry and accusatory right off the start? Does AA have some kind of secret history of actively choosing to ignore minorities? Right now I see this as a case of ignorant white man vs. angry black guy, and I’m generally unimpressed.

  11. 11
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    Danthering: First of all, Sikivu Hutchinson is a woman. Check your gender assumptions.

    Second, your need to scold African-Americans for being “angry,” as if that were a wrong thing to be in the face of ignorance and oppression, is noted. As is your assumption that ignorance doesn’t deserve anger because there was no ill intent. Intent isn’t magic.

    Finally, nobody with anything intelligent to say on this matter gives a flying fuck about your lack of being impressed.

  12. 12
    Porco Dio

    Where, and by what measures? I can think of measures by which it seems better, but then others by which it worse:

    True, too true…, but there are many many things we are not doing now that we have done to each other for too long… and there are not many new creative racist ideas that have replaced them.

  13. 13
    Reginald Selkirk

    lily white.

    Why the botanical ignorance and bigotry?
    Black lily

  14. 14
    strange gods before me ॐ

    More than five million Americans, disproportionately people of color, likely to be disenfranchised this year by new anti-voting laws.

    (Definitely getting worse.)

    +++++
    Beyond Fair: The Decline of the Established Anti-Immigrant Organisations and the Rise of Tea Party Nativism

    (Apparently getting worse.)
    +++++

    Author of The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, Michelle Alexander speaks.

    (Laws got much worse from the 1970s through the 1990s, and aren’t getting better now. Enforcement is still getting worse, since it’s cumulative and ongoing.)

  15. 15
    danthering

    Gynowhatever,

    It was a woman, okay. I don’t care. The name sounded male to me; what’s with your whining? If I were writing an opinion piece, I would’ve checked our who the author is more closely.

    I’m not sure where AA did anything wrong. I don’t think the article even articulates that well. I see a person of color, trying to tell people that those of another skin pigment can’t portray them. Does inversion hold here? What about art? Should black artists be forced to consult with white people, before drawing or painting them?

  16. 16
    Porco Dio

    Porcodio certainly does sound ignorant about the exploitation of Africa. Unaware of the massive Neocolonial takeover by white people in the last 10 years.

    You are probably referring to someone else… Having been born and bred in Africa and having been there to witness the progress without having to read it second hand and through the white-masters media…

    As far as your made-up concept of “neocolonialism” is concerned I have 2 points to mention:

    First: there is no massive white influx to africa… or are you just talking about companies that are being bought up by white masters?

    Which connects to the second point: if there is any type of neocolonialism happening you’d need to mention “chinese people” before you mentioned “white people.”

    Frankly I don’t think you’ve ever been to Africa so prolly a great idea not to have an opinion on it…

  17. 17
    pelamun, the Linguist of Doom

    danthering,

    Should black artists be forced to consult with white people, before drawing or painting them?

    great job ignoring the power imbalance here. You don’t seem to understand the first thing about racism…

  18. 18
    pelamun, the Linguist of Doom

    porcodio,

    joed has in the past shown a tendency to rely on their news from media with certain shall we say ideologically extreme agendas, as you can probably see from their post.

    And yes, as my own specialty lies in East and SE Asia, I’ve been following what the Chinese are doing in Africa with growing concern.

  19. 19
    The very model of a modern armchair general

    Danthering,

    The author is making a slightly subtler point than “for a white person to depict a black person is racist.” Try reading the article again. Pay particular attention to the following:

    “It’s cartoonishly pro forma when white folk, ignorant of these historical traditions, swaggeringly insist that atheist discourse is implicitly anti-racist, anti-sexist and anti-heterosexist because one, we white people say so, and, two, hierarchy is something only those knuckle-dragging supernaturalists do.

  20. 20
    danthering

    pelamun, I don’t think the guy who designed the AA sign has any black slaves chained up. Do you? The image was a wood cutting of a black slave, black slaves really actually existed. How is acknowledging that black slaves existed, in reference to a bible verse about slavery, racism? Why should people of color be outraged? It’s not like they pinned up a white guy in black face, shackled.

  21. 21
    danthering

    “The very model of a modern armchair general”
    I read the article. I disregarded the straw man, and I thought others would have the sense to as well.

  22. 22
    pelamun, the Linguist of Doom

    danthering,

    your response is so stupid on so many levels I just can’t respond.

    Maybe someone else will be more patient here.

    Or else, go read the several threads people have been discussing the topic here, including this one here

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2012/03/08/kylie-doesnt-get-it/

  23. 23
    The very model of a modern armchair general

    Danthering,

    What straw man?

  24. 24
    Porco Dio

    You’re as aggressively stupid and ignorant about race as you are about gender.

    PZ will be able to confirm that I registered to post here 2 minutes before writing that bit up so you are just making stuff up… So just wondering which of us is stupid and ignorant here?

    But as far as you question is concerned about whether I am kidding you or not please see my post at #16.

    Posting random links on the interwebs does nothing to bolster your world view and I wonder if you have ever left your home continent (and if you’re from the USA then Canada, Mexico and Hawaii don’t count)…

    After reading through some of your other posts I’m sufficiently convinced that although you posses a brain and a vocabulary you posses neither the logic nor the articulation to make a valid point.

  25. 25
    pelamun, the Linguist of Doom

    But porcordio,

    do you disagree that the global system is asymmetrically stacked towards the western world, which is also DUE to the history of colonialism and exploitation?

    In that sense saying that Africa is free of external impediment is probably not tenable, because these constraints don’t go away just because the age of colonialism is over.

  26. 26
    Rutee Katreya

    pelamun, I don’t think the guy who designed the AA sign has any black slaves chained up. Do you? The image was a wood cutting of a black slave, black slaves really actually existed. How is acknowledging that black slaves existed, in reference to a bible verse about slavery, racism? Why should people of color be outraged? It’s not like they pinned up a white guy in black face, shackled.

    Did you actually read what Sikivu read, you blithering idiot? There’s that, and the fact that it’s only caring about racism against black people when it is useful for white people to score points with (Which Sikivu also says).

  27. 27
    SallyStrange

    I don’t feel that danthering is deserving of anybody’s patience. It’s not like this hasn’t been explained over and over again. His ignorance can only be willful. His objections are hackneyed and cliche. I mean seriously–criticizing a woman of color for being angry right off the bat? What is this, 1980?

    I’ll leave it to Greta Christina who spoke so eloquently about anger:

    Because anger is always necessary.

    Because anger has driven every major movement for social change in this country, and probably in the world. The labor movement, the civil rights movement, the women’s suffrage movement, the modern feminist movement, the gay rights movement, the anti-war movement in the Sixties, the anti-war movement today, you name it… all of them have had, as a major driving force, a tremendous amount of anger. Anger over injustice, anger over mistreatment and brutality, anger over helplessness.

    I mean, why the hell else would people bother to mobilize social movements? Social movements are hard. They take time, they take energy, they sometimes take serious risk of life and limb, community and career. Nobody would fucking bother if they weren’t furious about something.

    So when you tell an atheist (or for that matter, a woman or a queer or a person of color or whatever) not to be so angry, you are, in essence, telling us to disempower ourselves. You’re telling us to lay down one of the single most powerful tools we have at our disposal. You’re telling us to lay down a tool that no social change movement has ever been able to do without. You’re telling us to be polite and diplomatic, when history shows that polite diplomacy in a social change movement works far, far better when it’s coupled with passionate anger. In a battle between David and Goliath, you’re telling David to put down his slingshot and just… I don’t know. Gnaw Goliath on the ankles or something.

    I’ll acknowledge that anger is a difficult tool in a social movement. A dangerous one even. It can make people act rashly; it can make it harder to think clearly; it can make people treat potential allies as enemies. In the worst-case scenario, it can even lead to violence. Anger is valid, it’s valuable, it’s necessary… but it can also misfire, and badly.

    But unless we’re actually endangering or harming somebody, it is not up to believers to tell atheists when we should and should not use this tool. It is not up to believers to tell atheists that we’re going too far with the anger and need to calm down. Any more than it’s up to white people to say it to black people, or men to say it to women, or straights to say it to queers. When it comes from believers, it’s not helpful. It’s patronizing. It comes across as another attempt to defang us and shut us up. And it’s just going to make us angrier.

    So feel free to take your aggressive ignorance and fuck off somewhere where no pesky people of color are proclaiming their anger about yet another display of cluelessness from the overwhemlingly white national atheist organizations’ leadership. Do you call yourself an atheist? A skeptic? Well, people like you are part of the reason the movement is so very white. Your attitude is alienating and I don’t want it in my movement. Please pipe down and let the grown-ups talk.

  28. 28
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Here’s one of your many problems, danthering:

    Why should people of color be outraged?

    You pose this as a prescriptive question, to which there is no certain answer. There were some people of color who were not bothered by it, and no one here suggests that they ought to have felt differently.

    Here is a descriptive question which will be more useful for you to ask:

    Why were many people of color upset by this?

  29. 29
    danthering

    “pelamun, the Linguist of Doom”
    Do you usually toss in snide comments when you back out of a debate? Link disregarded until someone of substance verifies that it’s relevant.

    “The very model of a modern armchair general”
    That the makers of the billboard are asserting that atheism is implicitly not bigoted.

    It’s a wood cutting of a slave, beside a verse about slavery; no overt statements are being made. I’m not sure why people are flipping out about it. By worrying about the color of their skin, you’re just driving the wedge deeper.

  30. 30
    strange gods before me ॐ

    PZ will be able to confirm that I registered to post here 2 minutes before

    Are you not the same Porco Dio? Or did you forget that you’ve commented here before?

  31. 31
    danthering

    “life is like a pitbull with lipstick ॐ”

    I’m asking for an ethical justification. I thought maybe someone of color could tell me what was offensive, and why others should be too. If there is no justification that can be presented, why validate it?

  32. 32
    danthering

    should be offended too*

  33. 33
    Porco Dio

    But porcordio,

    do you disagree that the global system is asymmetrically stacked towards the western world,

    Only a fool could say to you with a straight face that the playing field is level.. so we agree here at least.

    In that sense saying that Africa is free of external impediment is probably not tenable,

    This is a non sequitur… just because Africa has been fucked by history does not mean that it is and will always be fucked by the present and the future

    because these constraints don’t go away just because the age of colonialism is over.

    Here I must object…, not because you are wrong but because the angle of attack would be wrong…

    We cannot spend our short lives crying over the proverbial spilled milk even if the bottle really is empty and the floor really is wet and white.

    I can certainly say that “constraints” and “impediments” are generally gone and no longer prevent progress. Sure, Africa is waaaaaaay behind where it could be but is now, more than ever most definitely capable of progress…

  34. 34
    pelamun, the Linguist of Doom

    danthering,

    some people are just not worth everyone’s time here. The link is a blog post by PZ on the very same topic, shit for brains.

  35. 35
    strange gods before me ॐ

    I’m asking for an ethical justification. I thought maybe someone of color could tell me what was offensive

    Sikivu did, and there’s some more quoted in this link, already provided:

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2012/03/08/kylie-doesnt-get-it/

    If you want to be taken seriously then you should spend some time catching up.

  36. 36
    danthering

    “pelamun, the Linguist of Doom”
    PZ wrote the article, that doesn’t mean the discussion was good. If you were in it, I’m sure it was next to worthless. Good day.

  37. 37
    SallyStrange

    I’m asking for an ethical justification. I thought maybe someone of color could tell me what was offensive, and why others should be too. If there is no justification that can be presented, why validate it?

    That is, for the record, exactly what Sikivu Hutchinson did. Why not hie your ignorant ass over to her post (the linky is at the top of this page) and ask her directly? Generally you’ll get a quick response. (I’ll be waiting with popcorn.)

  38. 38
    pelamun, the Linguist of Doom

    danthering,

    your refusal to educate yourself is noted.

    And stick the flounce. Most trolls unfortunately come back.

  39. 39
    Porco Dio

    Are you not the same Porco Dio? Or did you forget that you’ve commented here before?

    Actually, “Porco Dio” is literal Italian for “Pig God” and not an uncommon expression outside Italy either so I thought it would be a great handle for an atheist blog but unsurprising if it was already in use. So you really haven’t ever left you continent either, have you?

    On a point of order – and if you consider yourself a free thinker: you should measure the validity of the argument based on its contents not on some perception you might have of its author.

    And on a point of interest it’s amusing to be greeted in such a manner on a “free thought” blog.

  40. 40
    danthering

    “SallyStrange: bottom-feeding, work-shy peasant”
    I found Siviku couldn’t impress her point upon me with several paragraphs, I thought someone else might have a better perspective. I’m having enough fun with you lot avoiding even a one to two sentence summary of the issue, let alone fans of the writer.

    Was a short summary of the point too much to ask for? Was it really easier to just insult me? Very well, I was open to reason, but now I’ll just carry on with whatever bigotry or ignorance you might think I have.

  41. 41
    pelamun, the Linguist of Doom

    Was a short summary of the point too much to ask for? Was it really easier to just insult me? Very well, I was open to reason, but now I’ll just carry on with whatever bigotry or ignorance you might think I have.

    No, not after this topic has been discussed at length for four days now in the atheist blogosphere. You’re just an ignorant bigot.

  42. 42
    SallyStrange
    In that sense saying that Africa is free of external impediment is probably not tenable,

    This is a non sequitur… just because Africa has been fucked by history does not mean that it is and will always be fucked by the present and the future

    It’s so obvious that this doesn’t even hold together… I’m not an expert on the history of Colonialism in Africa and how that history affects present-day disadvantages held by African nations in geopolitics, but obviously, the case you should be trying to respond to is not that Africa “will always be fucked by the present” nor that it “will always be fucked by the future.” What do those statements even mean, anyway? The case you should be trying to argue against (if that’s really what your ego compels you to do) is that Africa was fucked by Colonialism in the past, and continues to retain some of that fucked-up quality in the present thanks to that history of Colonial fucking-over which bequeathed large advantages to certain countries and large disadvantages to other countries in terms of present-day strength, stability, rule of law, human resources and so on. Regardless of what the future potential of African countries might be, this is the reality of the past and present. And that bright potential will not be achieved by pretending that the past and present didn’t and aren’t happening.

    If you’re interested in looking like an intelligent interlocutor, it behooves you to first comprehend the argument you allege to disagree with.

  43. 43
    SallyStrange

    I found Siviku couldn’t impress her point upon me with several paragraphs, I thought someone else might have a better perspective.

    So your lazy ass is too dumb and lazy to bother comprehending what you’re complaining about. If you can’t be bothered, why should anybody else? Your lack of consideration and effort does not constitute an obligation on my part.

  44. 44
    danthering

    “pelamun, the Linguist of Doom”
    It’s been out longer than four days, and I still haven’t gotten a good justification. You can call me more names if it helps you feel better.

  45. 45
    danthering

    “SallyStrange: bottom-feeding, work-shy peasant”
    Or maybe the lot of you have absolutely no point, but your in-group browbeats anyone who questions the standard. You sure seem willing to dedicate time to attacking me, but not to explaining. This tells me enough about you.

  46. 46
    SallyStrange

    I was open to reason,

    Liar.

    but now I’ll just carry on with whatever bigotry or ignorance you might think I have.

    Yes, use the anger of people of color and anti-racist activists as an excuse to go on being a bigot. That will show us!

    Confess: that’s what you were looking for all along, isn’t it? Because if you really cared about eradicating any racism or bigotry from your consciousness, you’d have taken the time to understand what you allege to be unimpressed by in the first place.

  47. 47
    SallyStrange

    Didn’t you have a flounce to stick? We’re not worth your time, remember? I’m going back to bed.

  48. 48
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    Way to go, Dan. Can’t get a commenter’s name right (what, is your Copy ‘n’ Paste key not working?), don’t give a fuck that you run on the assumption that male is the default; think that writing a blog comment means you don’t have to check any facts; don’t understand the power differential between black people and white people; don’t understand that racism is more than just its most extreme manifestations. Total fail.

    I thought maybe someone of color could tell me what was offensive, and why others should be too.

    Hutchinson did. Your refusal to listen to her doesn’t mean it wasn’t explained to you.

    Porcodio:

    We cannot spend our short lives crying over the proverbial spilled milk even if the bottle really is empty and the floor really is wet and white.

    It’s not your floor that’s wet, nor your bottle, so I guess it’s okay.

    On a point of order – and if you consider yourself a free thinker: you should measure the validity of the argument based on its contents not on some perception you might have of its author.

    Lived experience as a person of color provides perspectives that lived experience as a white person does not. The idea that you can perceive everything via “pure logic” doesn’t hold up. We are all swimming in a vast sea of influences, of most of which we are blithely unaware. Refusing to acknowledge them is not skeptical.

  49. 49
    A. R

    Hmm, this does raise the issue of AA’s scope. That is, should AA focus solely on religion, or should it also focus on the problems religion causes in minority communities? I personally think that the latter is more tenable. However, AA is not the ACLU, and we need to remember that when discussion its mission and actions.

  50. 50
    chigau (違う)

    You’re just an ignorant bigot.

    Very good short summary.

  51. 51
    SallyStrange

    Didn’t danthering say that Sikivu’s post constituted a straw man? The onus is on you to explain whose argument she was misrepresenting, and how.

  52. 52
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Actually, “Porco Dio” is literal Italian for “Pig God” and not an uncommon expression outside Italy either so I thought it would be a great handle for an atheist blog but unsurprising if it was already in use.

    Yes, see, that’s all perfectly obvious, which is why I asked about both honest options:

    “Are you not the same Porco Dio?” (Honest option 1, you are not the same person)

    “Or did you forget that you’ve commented here before?” (Honest option 2, you are the same person but you forgot that you’d commented before)

    Because I did remember that Porco Dio, who had some problems with sexism, etc.

    So you really haven’t ever left you continent either, have you?

    Obviously doesn’t follow from the fact that I offered both honest options. I’m tempted to answer, but I’ll decline, since the question is implicitly classist. A lot of US Americans can’t afford to travel intercontinentally, and so this ought not to be an insult.

    On a point of order – and if you consider yourself a free thinker: you should measure the validity of the argument based on its contents not on some perception you might have of its author.

    Unless you consider yourself a freethinker who has some grasp of Bayesian reasoning, in which case you’re justified in discounting somewhat the unevidenced claims of someone who is known to have rampant biases that severely interfere with their own rationality.

    Now, I’ve been perfectly civil to you thus far — perhaps you have me confused with someone else — but if you’d like me to change that, I can.

  53. 53
    danthering

    “SallyStrange: bottom-feeding, work-shy peasant”
    I find you irrational and insulting enough, that I have no desire to continue talking to you about this issue. I’ve been in enough debates to know an internet rage-a-holic when I see one.

  54. 54
    The very model of a modern armchair general

    Danthering,

    You ask for a more succinct explanation of what Hutchinson thought was wrong with the poster. Very well. I supplied you with one quote, comment 19. You replied that you saw through that “strawman” (21), to which I replied “what strawman?” (23).

    Ball’s in your court as far as I’m concerned.

  55. 55
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    I’ve been in enough debates to know an internet rage-a-holic when I see one.

    /snicker

  56. 56
    danthering

    “The very model of a modern armchair general”
    Post #29

  57. 57
    SallyStrange

    internet rage-a-holic

    Gee, you say that like it’s a bad thing. Why aren’t you outraged? Haven’t you been paying attention?

  58. 58
    keenacat

    Not everyone is careful enough to remove themselves from a discussion when they get internet-rageaholic. Well done, danthering. We’ll be sure to welcome you back when your rage has subsided.

  59. 59
    Rutee Katreya

    I found Siviku couldn’t impress her point upon me with several paragraphs, I thought someone else might have a better perspective. I’m having enough fun with you lot avoiding even a one to two sentence summary of the issue, let alone fans of the writer.

    This is, by a wide margin, the dumbest reason I’ve seen to continue to be an ignorant jackass in the last week. “You couldn’t compress it into a soundbite, therefore I will ignore everything you have to say on the matter.” I hope to christ you are not USian, because if you are, you are a (small) part of the reason why our politics are so fucking stupid.

  60. 60
    danthering

    “SallyStrange: bottom-feeding, work-shy peasant”,”keenacat”
    Whine more.

  61. 61
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    I’m going to copypasta what I said on the other thread about racism.

    To wit:

    Here’s the thing about racism:

    If you are not part of the oppressed group, you have to defer to the oppressed group when they say that something is racist.

    Why?

    Two reasons. Firstly, it’s easy for even the most well-meaning anti-racist white person to not really get what it means to be a PoC. Therefore, it is easy for said well-meaning anti-racist white person to “not see” that something racist is, in fact, racist.

    Secondly, there is a history of white people denying that racism exists, or is that bad in this country. A long and ugly history. Many of these white people did so out of malice, many others did so out of blindness (see point #1). However, these two motivations can be difficult to dissect from each other without knowing the speaker very well.

    Accordingly, if a PoC says that such and such is racist, it is best not to argue that it isn’t, because it is more probable that it is and you’re just not seeing it. Also, by arguing, you make yourself look like an ass (and a bad ally, and – here’s the kicker – a racist).

    Is this fair? Don’t white people have opinions, and don’t we deserve to speak them? Aren’t there PoC who are irrational and willing to blame every little thing as racist?

    Yep. Doesn’t change a damn thing.

    It isn’t fair. It never is fair. But here’s the thing – racism isn’t fair.

  62. 62
    SallyStrange

    Lazy, lazy, lazy…

    danthering says that post #29 explains why he thinks Sikivu Hutchinson’s long post was a “staw man”.

    It’s a wood cutting of a slave, beside a verse about slavery;

    Trivial statement of reality.

    no overt statements are being made.

    That’s not true. Overt AND covert statements are being made. If no statement is being made then why would AA bother paying money for it in the first place? That would be a big waste.

    I’m not sure why people are flipping out about it.

    This is just a proclamation of ignorance, not an explanation of anything regarding Hutchinson’s argument.

    By worrying about the color of their skin, you’re just driving the wedge deeper.

    And this is an unevidenced and irrational assertion. It does not follow that discussing racism, whether intentional or unintentional, worsens racial tensions. History has shown that bigotry does not go away when people pretend not to notice it.

    So, again: what exactly was Hutchinson’s post strawmanning, and how?

  63. 63
    SallyStrange

    It’s a wood cutting of a slave, beside a verse about slavery;

    That was from danthering’s post, it should have been blockquoted.

  64. 64
    danthering

    “Esteleth, Who is Totally Not a Dog or Ferret”

    Thank you for your post, I appreciate it. I’m going to try to understand what you mean a little better, as I’m guessing you don’t mean that everyone should defer to the group 100% of the time. For instance, I am part native. If I say the post you gave is blatantly bigoted against natives (obviously it’s not) how would you proceed?

  65. 65
    SallyStrange

    Danthering, you come in here complaining that nobody is willing to provide you with a 30-second soundbit of an argument, and then you accuse other people of whining? That’s rich.

  66. 66
    danthering

    “SallyStrange: bottom-feeding, work-shy peasant”
    I’m not debating with you; I don’t think you’re worth it. Whine more.

  67. 67
    karlvonmox

    I dont get it either. Why is american atheists being criticized for pointing out something that is unequivacly true? The Bible supports slavery and it was used to justify oppression against african americans for centuries. I read the critique and beneath all the rhetoric couldn’t find a coherent point to address this, other than the fact that it hurts a lot of peoples sensibilities – but since when do we care about offending theists.

  68. 68
    A. R

    karlvonmox: As I understand, some individuals see the imagery, but not the message as being somewhat racist (anyone is free to correct me here). I don’t see it either, but like Esteleth said, we don’t get to choose what offends other people.

  69. 69
    keenacat

    karlvonmox, the PUA asshole, is not “getting” racism.

    SURPRISE!!

  70. 70
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    Karl the Nosepick Artist is ignorant on yet another front, I see.

  71. 71
    SallyStrange

    I’m not debating with you; I don’t think you’re worth it. Whine more.

    Debate (noun):

    1. a discussion, as of a public question in an assembly, involving opposing viewpoints: a debate in the Senate on farm price supports.
    2. a formal contest in which the affirmative and negative sides of a proposition are advocated by opposing speakers.

    Sikivu Hutchinson and many others have made the case for why the AA bilboard was offensive and racially insensitive.

    You appear to think that is was not. However, you have failed to make a case for you position, apart from alleging, without explaining, that Hutchinson’s post was a straw man, and demanding that someone provide you with a Cliff’s Notes version of the argument, and asserting that failure to provide such a bowdlerized version of the argument meant that you are justified in dismissing it without attempting to understand it.

    So, I agree, danthering: you aren’t “debating” me. In fact, you aren’t “debating” anybody at all.

  72. 72
    Porco Dio

    Now, I’ve been perfectly civil to you thus far — perhaps you have me confused with someone else — but if you’d like me to change that, I can.

    prolly confusing you with somone who called me

    aggressively stupid and ignorant

    my bad

    but apparently confusing “porcodio” with “Porco Dio” (I have now capitalized but you can see the atomic non-capitalised version before these posts) means we’re even ;)

    someone who is known to have rampant biases that severely interfere with their own rationality.

    yeah…, whatever…, so your summary judgement of one persons view on one subject means that person couldn’t possibly have a correct view on ANYTHING else…

    I’ve been watching the “banter” here with interest in the case of “danthering” and it’s clear to me that anyone appears not to agree with this blog’s author or with his PC hordes of commenters is a troll or fool or whatever the insult of the day is…

  73. 73
    danthering

    “SallyStrange: bottom-feeding, work-shy peasant”
    I didn’t even read your last post; that is all the fuck that I do not give about your opinion. Feel free to keep whining, though.

  74. 74
    karlvonmox

    The imagery is only pointing out a historical truth about oppression and the bible. The truth hurts. This seems to be a classic case of shooting the messenger. What is the solution here? Don’t talk about it? Again, since when do we censor ourselves because religious people get offended?

    keenacat, nice ad hominem.

  75. 75
    A. R

    karlvonmox: keencat didn’t use ad hom.

  76. 76
    strange gods before me ॐ

    A link: What Not to Say to Radical Atheists/Humanists of Color,

    and some quotes from last thread:

    +++++
    «I’m all for confrontational, but I’m really fucking uncomfortable just dragging out the support for slavery in a void. If someone specifically says “The bible is all about freedom”, sure, that’s a passage to bring up in opposition to that. But just bringing it up on its own? Feels appropriative as shit.»

    +++++
    «I was of course also looking at it from the perspective of an atheist, and the reaction to it that it could be some kind of white power thing didn’t even occur to me.»

    +++++
    «and the picture of the slave looks too much like a 18-19 th century caricature of an African.»

    +++++
    «I’m kind of annoyed at the fact that it’s not even questioned that a bunch of white people can just go ahead and snatch up the struggles of black people to smack around their ideological opponents. Are we really so hard up for shitty biblical verses that we need to appropriate the struggles of others? Really? Because you know, it’s an ocean of shit. Can’t we use, for instance, the exhortations to stone unruly children?»

    +++++
    «I am saying that you don’t really have a right to be ‘racially provocative’ with other people’s racial issues, least of all when you perpetuate them. Let the black atheists do it, if it needs to be done.»

    +++++
    «Slightly less collapsed, atheism as a movement has been fucking stupid at race, and is dominated by white people who continue a lot of racist ideas and institutions, both intentionally and unintentionally. Yet suddenly, atheists care about race when they can hammer Christians for their collective racefail? Yeah, no. Yes, Christianity perpetuates racist bullshit, and when they’re doing it, you should speak. But your random, off the cuff attack on religion had better not fucking be “OH LOOK GUYS RELIGION IS RACIST”; it means you’re just using race as a cudgel when it suits you, and ignoring or exacerbating racial issues the 99% of the time you’re not using them as a weapon.»

    +++++
    «t’s unethical to only give a shit about people when they are useful for you»

    +++++
    «This is not hard to understand. Atheist organizations reaching out to black communities should unambiguously communicate that “we are on your side.” This billboard does not do that. Instead, we get an African American atheist explaining, “I had to think for a while before I concluded that this predominantly White atheist organization at least meant well.” And that’s from an atheist, someone who’s already accustomed to atheist critiques of the Bible.»

    +++++
    «There’s almost no non-white people in Atheism, and atheists demonstrate the same general fucking cluelessness as the rest of the motherfucking racist population on matters of race. You’re living in a racist culture, same as the rest of us, so I don’t exactly expect greatness, but I do expect (and can trivially find) that it is, as usual, a majority white movement that is most concerned with white people, and primarily run by white people. As usual, non-white people are disproportionately in the margins. [...] you’re fucking human and in your fucking racist culture. Unless you’d like to contend that atheism frees you from your cultural blinders (Which is fucking laughable), the atheist movement has problems with race, gender, sexuality, etc, same as everyone else.»

    +++++
    «“That image, that was my ancestors. That represents their struggle and all the pain they went through,” [Aaron Selvey of Harrisburg] said. “I don’t think a lot of people understood how offensive that is. Schoolchildren will just see that black face and the words. They don’t understand the context.” He hopes the billboard’s coming down is the first step toward understanding and progress on a host of problems.

    The NAACP didn’t advocate taking the sign down, “but, boy, was I pleased it was done,” said Greater Harrisburg Branch President Stanley Lawson. “It caused a lot of hurt and a lot of pain in the community. I’ve gotten more phone calls about this than I have about any issues in the past three or four years. It wasn’t just elderly people, it was young people, across the board.”»

    +++++
    «We’ve advocated atheism confrontationally for years and the NAACP has never gotten involved. Because atheism is not their concern. The fact that the NAACP have spoken up now, on the issue of race, ought to make us pay close attention and realize that this is a mistake, this is racially insensitive.»

    +++++
    «“FUCK YOU, ASSHOLE! Black people don’t just exist when you need to get one over on theists”»

    +++++
    «AA’s whole line of reasoning is somewhat racist, since it presumes that the best way of talking to black Americans about atheism is to talk about slavery, while the best way of talking to white Americans is to just say generically, “don’t believe in God? neither do we”, but there’s no question that the example in #62 [of the previous thread] is far less bad than this.»

    +++++
    «I’m all for pointing out the hypocrisy/immorality of biblical scripture. I’m all for doing it in big, bold font on big bright billboards that will offend the fuck out of religious fundamentalists. But I fucking hate this billboard. It’s poorly designed, confusing and makes light of slavery/racism in a snarky way to score a not very important rhetorical point against Christians. Using racist caricatures of African slaves in advertisements is generally not an effective way of making your point.»

    +++++
    «the billboard demonstrably does not communicate that atheists are positively disposed toward black communities and thus has become racially divisive; is mildly racist in its treatment of black Americans as unsuited for AA’s more respectful messages like “you know it’s a myth”; and demonstrates ignorance, even apparent mockery, of black Americans’ bread-and-butter issues. The damnedest thing is that there are unambiguously respectful ways to reach out to black communities.

    Now imagine a black atheist planning to tell his family about his disbelief. Today one of the African Americans for Humanism billboards goes up in his neighborhood, and his task becomes slightly easier; he can point out that group as a source of information. Or, today this American Atheists billboard goes up in his neighborhood, and his task becomes that much harder; now not only does he have to explain why he’s an atheist, he also has to explain that he doesn’t in any way identify with this racially inflammatory group. This billboard simply does not support the people we ought to support.»

    +++++
    «“As apologies go, this one was horrible. [Brian Fields] apologized for the fact that others supposedly misunderstood what the billboard said, and in the process completely ignored the fact that many African-Americans found the billboard itself offensive. Obviously, the concerns of African-Americans are absolutely secondary to this groups desire to fight the year of the bible. The fact that driving by the billboard may have been triggering, or that the billboard amounted to gross appropriation — pales in comparison to the seriousness of the atheist agenda. No matter how worthy you believe your cause is, invoking an experience outside of your own personal background amounts to appropriation. It cheapens events like slavery and turns it into a cheap talking point.”»

  77. 77
    SallyStrange

    As it turns out, karlvonmox encapsulates the phenomenon that was erroniously ascribed to Porco Dio.

    Danthering has the magical superpower of looking at words on a screen without reading them.

    Amazing! This is going to be the best thread ever, I can tell right now.

  78. 78
    keenacat

    Chopstick jeebus.
    Why is everyone misusing poor ad hominem? I’m INSULTING you because you’re a misogynist and, obviously, blind to racism (goes together like milk and cookies). An insult is not an ad hominem. Get your fallacies straigh, fuckwit.

  79. 79
    danthering

    “life is like a pitbull with lipstick ॐ”
    So do you want to figure out the common themes of objection, and talk about those? Would you like responses to each of those quotations? Where do you want to go with this?

  80. 80
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    Danthering,

    I’m guessing you don’t mean that everyone should defer to the group 100% of the time.

    Why not? That is in fact what I mean.
    I bet you have a strawman for me!

    For instance, I am part native. If I say the post you gave is blatantly bigoted against natives (obviously it’s not) how would you proceed?

    There is a saying I’m fond of.
    “If one person tells me I smell bad, I ignore them. If two people tell me, I start to wonder. If three people tell me I smell bad, I take a shower.”

    It is not one black person who is complaining that this billboard is racist, or two. It is dozens. Hundreds. That should give you pause, at the least.

  81. 81
    Porco Dio

    Lived experience as a person of color provides perspectives that lived experience as a white person does not.

    Would this comment correctly be interpreted as meaning you are not white?

    Would the corollary therefore apply that I am white? Or is there anything I have posted that is evidence of my skin colour? And therefore that I am unqualified to participate in this “debate”?

    The thing I am beginning to notice about this blog (and I could well be a little off the mark but certainly not too far from it at all) is that many posters here (whatever their race/creed/religion/viewpoint might be) are from the most backward of the developed countries – the USA – and, consequently, have a cock-eyed view of life and little to no world view at all.

    Please remember, you are a lot less significant on this planet than you might imagine and that your opinions are tainted by the backward environment and education system in which you were raised.

  82. 82
    strange gods before me ॐ

    And a few more:

    +++++
    «Another problem, as someone might have pointed out already, is that while the target audience is presumably liberal religious people, many who’ll see it aren’t very solidly liberal or at the least have illiberal leanings. I’m not sure it’s a good idea to remind people of biblical support* for oppressive social relations, discrimination, genocide, beating children, and so forth in this way in a context in which Biblical approval is still very much actively used as a basis for bad practices. You can’t be sure that the message people – especially the sort of people who are OK with a Year of the Bible – will read will be “The Bible approves of this terrible thing and so the Bible is immoral” rather than “The Bible approves of this thing, so maybe some forms of it aren’t so terrible or immoral.”
    »

    +++++
    «It’s a fucking racist advertisement, because atheists only seem to care about black people to score points on Christians. I couldn’t care less about the fact that it’s confrontational. Yes, the bible is fucking racist, but given that atheism sucks at race that should not be your fucking opening argument.»

    +++++
    «I don’t expect you not to get mad at things like the bible being used for racism. It makes me pretty fucking angry, as the recipient of a lot of it (On a totally different vector). I expect that not to be a thing you reach for right off the damn bat, or really one that you don’t raise if race and religion are not already on the table.

    There’s too much other shit for you to attack in religion for you to need to grab up black people’s problems. IF someone says “Christianity/religion restrains our racism”, then it might be appropriate to intervene. If someone says “Christianity/Religion restrains our baser urges”, perhaps you can find your own culture’s criticisms of that instead. I promise you, they exist.»

    +++++
    «You care about slavery and racism now, to score ideological points on theists, but when this thread is over you will go back to perpetuating it happily and not giving two shits about the problems black people face.»

  83. 83
    danthering

    “Esteleth, Who is Totally Not a Dog or Ferret”
    So we should just concede to ad populum of any oppressed people, without questioning?

  84. 84
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    Danthering, if a group of oppressed people say that something their oppressors are doing is hurting them, why shouldn’t we listen?

  85. 85
    strange gods before me ॐ

    The thing I am beginning to notice about this blog (and I could well be a little off the mark but certainly not too far from it at all) is that many posters here (whatever their race/creed/religion/viewpoint might be) are from the most backward of the developed countries – the USA – and, consequently, have a cock-eyed view of life and little to no world view at all.

    You overestimate, but even if your perception was true, there’s still a bit of a problem with your participation in this thread.

    See, this incident happened in the USA. It was done by US Americans, to US Americans.

    Your opinion here is a lot less significant on than you might imagine, and your opinions are tainted by the here-irrelevant environment and education system in which you were raised.

    If you want to berate some of us for being US Americans, that’s great, and we have an open thread where you can do that and not be off-topic.

    Here, in this thread, about US American racism, you are off-topic. Please stop derailing.

  86. 86
    simonsays

    The concise response from AA is here (dated March 9): http://atheists.org/content/moving-next-project

    We want to thank everyone for sharing their opinions with us about the “Slaves, Obey Your Masters” billboard. While we certainly respect the opinions of those who disagree with our tactics, we respectfully disagree with that opinion. We are unapologetic about the billboard and stand behind it 100%. There will be no apology from American Atheists for saying what needed to be said: sometimes the truth is offensive.

    By all means, continue to talk about it and hash it out among yourselves, but we have said all there is to say on the issue and will say no more.

    We are moving on to our next project and look forward to putting up more billboards!

    Thank you for your support!

  87. 87
    Rutee Katreya

    Madoka forbid that in the face of many, many people telling you that you have offended them on a racial matter we concede the fucking point. No no, we shall fight them on the beaches, on the internets, we shall fight on the fora, we shall fight in the comment threads, we shall fight in our blogs, and we shall never surrender.

  88. 88
    danthering

    “Esteleth, Who is Totally Not a Dog or Ferret”
    Yes, we should absolutely listen. We should probably also ask ourselves why it hurts. Being hurt, isn’t the same thing as being justified. Entire cultures can feel hurt for unjustified reasons.

  89. 89
    Rutee Katreya

    @simonsays: ‘preciate it. Now I know to put AA on my shit list.

  90. 90
    danthering

    “simonsays”
    Wow, thanks for posting that. I’m a bit disgusted with how they’re shutting down opposition, rather than creating an ongoing dialogue.

  91. 91
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    Danthering,
    I am confused. Are you seriously asserting that black people in the US have no justification to be hurt and offended by slavery?

  92. 92
    Porco Dio

    Here, in this thread, about US American racism, you are off-topic. Please stop derailing.

    I think not…. are you so stupid as to think that the USA was the only country that ever held slaves?

    This is a thread about whether it is right to promote the anti-Year of the Bible initiative of the AA with a bible verse and a wood-cutting of a slave…

    So, this thread is not about racism as you would so dearly like it to be but is rather about stupid, white, ignorant atheists with their heads up their asses making a grave mistake and how the consequences of their actions lead to alienation rather than inclusion.

    See, this incident happened in the USA. It was done by US Americans, to US Americans.

    This is precisely what I mean by all the Yankee-Doodles with their heads up their asses… it’s not just “all about you,” people… it’s an international issue with international consequences. If the same thing happened in Australia (could you even find Australia on a map?) then that would have as much to do with the USA as this issue has to do with Australia… Ans all y’all would have as much to say about it as you have to say about this issue…

  93. 93
    Steve LaBonne

    Increasingly I am convinced that until people like danthering become a lot more marginal in the atheist movement than they are now, the progress of atheism in the US is going to hit a pretty hard ceiling, because until then it will continue to come across as primarily a concern of pasty geeks with dangly bits.

  94. 94
    Rutee Katreya

    The thing I am beginning to notice about this blog (and I could well be a little off the mark but certainly not too far from it at all) is that many posters here (whatever their race/creed/religion/viewpoint might be) are from the most backward of the developed countries – the USA – and, consequently, have a cock-eyed view of life and little to no world view at all.

    oh, I so love it when international readers assert this on race relations. Every single time I’ve looked into a majority white country that let in non-white immigrants *At all*, I’ve found that those communities express serious misgivings about racial matters because of how they’re treated by the majority. Their objections might not be voiced the same, but they exist.

  95. 95
    danthering

    “Esteleth, Who is Totally Not a Dog or Ferret”
    Oh wow, no, definitely not. Black people who have been effected by slavery (the vast majority of African Americans) definitely deserve to object and be heard in their objection. They have reason to be hurt and offended.

    What I’m trying to communicate is that I don’t see racism in that billboard. I don’t know how to reasonably make this billboard an instance of racism, taking it purely at face value. I will say, however, that being open to so many implications makes it a poor choice of billboards to put up. Even if that billboard were 100% right, that doesn’t make it 100% good advertising.

    Now in context of the AA statement just posted, I think there needs to be a big wake-up call. It’s one thing to not see a point, it’s another to disregard objections that need to be taken seriously.

  96. 96
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    Increasingly I am convinced that until people like danthering become a lot more marginal in the atheist movement than they are now, the progress of atheism in the US is going to hit a pretty hard ceiling, because until then it will continue to come across as primarily a concern of pasty geeks with dangly bits.

    QFT.

  97. 97
    Rutee Katreya

    So, this thread is not about racism as you would so dearly like it to be but is rather about stupid, white, ignorant atheists with their heads up their asses making a grave mistake and how the consequences of their actions lead to alienation rather than inclusion.

    ….

    …….
    Okay I’ll bite. On what planet is this not about racism, exactly, given that it is the majority population fucking up a matter of race and alienating people on those grounds?

    This is precisely what I mean by all the Yankee-Doodles with their heads up their asses… it’s not just “all about you,” people… it’s an international issue with international consequences. If the same thing happened in Australia (could you even find Australia on a map?) then that would have as much to do with the USA as this issue has to do with Australia… Ans all y’all would have as much to say about it as you have to say about this issue…

    But we wouldn’t say it was provincial of Australians to care about Australian shit either.

  98. 98
    danthering

    “ruteekatreya”
    So you’re saying that you can nationalistically profile racists?

  99. 99
    danthering

    “Steve LaBonne”
    Are you expecting some kind of reply, or were you just bashing on me because it’s the popular thing?

  100. 100
    Rutee Katreya

    @Danthering
    Are you illiterate?

  101. 101
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Dan Thering,

    Entire cultures can feel hurt for unjustified reasons.

    Okay, that’s fundamentally a racist statement. Cultures don’t feel things; people do; and people have different experiences. Your lumping here is an instance of out-group stereotyping.

    Yes, we should absolutely listen. We should probably also ask ourselves why it hurts. Being hurt, isn’t the same thing as being justified.

    You really aren’t interested in listening to black people, though, because if you were you’d slow the fuck down and read what some of them wrote.

    Renee pointed out that tossing up a caricature of an African slave into a black American’s view can be triggering of their own personal experiences being the target of racism.

    What are you going to say, “no, it can’t be triggering”?

    Your other option is “well you should have to endure being triggered, because a predominantly white atheist group decided you should, when and where they decide.”

  102. 102
    danthering

    “So, this thread is not about racism as you would so dearly like it to be but is rather about stupid, white, ignorant atheists with their heads up their asses making a grave mistake and how the consequences of their actions lead to alienation rather than inclusion.”
    Now that makes more sense. Regardless of whether the objections to the billboard on charges of racism are valid, obviously AA is screwing up bad with their publicity.

  103. 103
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Why do I keep getting the feeling that danthering is a liberturd? All I see is arrogance, ignorance, lack of empathy, and arrogance.

  104. 104
    Anthony K

    Increasingly I am convinced that until people like danthering become a lot more marginal in the atheist movement than they are now, the progress of atheism in the US is going to hit a pretty hard ceiling, because until then it will continue to come across as primarily a concern of pasty geeks with dangly bits.

    Even those of us who have dangly bits (but aren’t all that pasty, have an understanding of social science as well as math, physics, biology, and chemistry, are socially functional—even popular and charismatic—and don’t need to lie/trick women into sleeping with us) are increasingly finding it hard to care about the concerns of pasty geeks with dangly bits.

  105. 105
    strange gods before me ॐ

    I think not…. are you so stupid as to think that the USA was the only country that ever held slaves?

    This is a thread about whether it is right to promote the anti-Year of the Bible initiative of the AA with a bible verse and a wood-cutting of a slave…

    … in an African American neighborhood, in the United States of America, by a predominantly white group called American Atheists.

    If you want to talk about that, okay, but don’t keep derailing the thread off to your preferred topics, because this isn’t about you, it’s about Sikivu Hutchison’s commentary on a US American incident.

  106. 106
    Crommunist

    Ye gads. The comments thread of this post is groaning under the weight of danthering’s idiocy.

    There’s a parallel discussion happening on a Gnu atheist Facebook group forum, where people are scrambling to ignore every criticism by saying “I don’t get it” and then ignoring every attempt to explain.

    Here’s the 30-second soundbyte argument for the dantherings of the world: if you don’t ‘get it’, it’s because you’re not listening. You are using arguments that are, in the world of race discussion, basically akin to ‘then why are there still monkeys?’ You don’t understand, and that’s fine. But don’t say that you don’t ‘get it’ and then refuse to listen to people who are trying to explain it to you. That’s what we deride theists for.

  107. 107
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    Danthering,
    Because African-Americans, as the descendants of slaves who are still, 150 years later still enduring the aftereffects of slavery (together with the rest of American society, I should point out), they are more qualified than other people to speak on what is, and is not, an appropriate use of the imagery and language surrounding pre-Civil War American slavery.

    They just are. Deal with it.

  108. 108
    Ingdigo Jump

    We want to thank everyone for sharing their opinions with us about the “Slaves, Obey Your Masters” billboard. While we certainly respect the opinions of those who disagree with our tactics, we respectfully disagree with that opinion. We are unapologetic about the billboard and stand behind it 100%. There will be no apology from American Atheists for saying what needed to be said: sometimes the truth is offensive.

    FFS when will they acknowledge that the complaints aren’t about their message persay but that they present it in profoundly inefficient and stupid ways.

    With their shitty billboards they might as well just putone up in Purple and yellow that reads

    “American Atheist
    Purple Monkey Dishwasher
    Bannana ramma Cup holder
    Leeeeeeerooooooy Jinkins”

    And wind up conveying roughly the same as every one of their fucking fail ads

  109. 109
    danthering

    “Okay, that’s fundamentally a racist statement. Cultures don’t feel things; people do; and people have different experiences. Your lumping here is an instance of out-group stereotyping.”

    Cultures are made up of people, either living or dead. All members of a culture can be unanimous; this is a possibility. People can be offended for unjustifiable reasons; I think we all know this. Why is it impossible for the totality of a culture, to be offended unjustifiably? Find me a Christian who likes the idea of their denomination taking on the catchphrase, “Holy cocksucking ghost!”

    “You really aren’t interested in listening to black people, though, because if you were you’d slow the fuck down and read what some of them wrote.”

    I’ve been trying to read all I can. I read all the quotes from previous threads posted, and offered to give my opinion quote by quote if it was desired.

    “Renee pointed out that tossing up a caricature of an African slave into a black American’s view can be triggering of their own personal experiences being the target of racism.”
    I agree, it can be triggering. Someone felt emotions about something. Does this validate their emotions as appropriate? No. However, a multitude of these reactions means that posting the billboard probably wasn’t a good publicity move. I’m not arguing popularity or approval here; I understand that AA botched the whole thing. They should have known about a possibly unreasonable reaction, which is what I see the backlash as.

  110. 110
    Porco Dio

    … in an African American neighborhood, in the United States of America, by a predominantly white group called American Atheists.

    If you want to talk about that, okay, but don’t keep derailing the thread off to your preferred topics, because this isn’t about you, it’s about Sikivu Hutchison’s commentary on a US American incident.

    Picture this…. same ad campaign, different billboard with:

    If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death – Leviticus 20:13

    Insert pic of Matthew Shepard here

    Now, would this thread then be about homophobia and hate-crimes or about stupid AA?

    All that Sikivu has done is point out WHY it was racist… not that it WAS racist…

  111. 111
    danthering

    “Esteleth, Who is Totally Not a Dog or Ferret”
    “they just are” Is not a concise argument; it’s a bare assertion. I respect that they have more experience with the issue; this does not make them instantly correct, however.

  112. 112
    pelamun, the Linguist of Doom

    American Atheists need to change their name, stat.

    I mean a group like HHC, other than Harvard atheists (sorry ‘Tis) other atheists can just happily ignore them (though they will get call out if they give the impression of speaking for all atheists, as jfigdor seemed to imply in that one thread). But AA have American in the name, and the public will readily assume they speak for all American atheists.

    This is a disgrace.

  113. 113
    strange gods before me ॐ

    All members of a culture can be unanimous; this is a possibility.

    It is a logical possibility, but it is not a real thing that happens. You are employing racist thinking.

    Find me a Christian who likes the idea of their denomination taking on the catchphrase, “Holy cocksucking ghost!”

    I recall a recent story here about divinity students having a huge joke about “Jesus Fucking Christ” visualized as Jesus having sex with his clone or something like that, so it’s not at all implausible.

    I agree, it can be triggering. Someone felt emotions about something. Does this validate their emotions as appropriate? No.

    What the fuck? This is completely indefensible bullshit from you, Dan. Your premise isn’t valid. There isn’t such a thing as an “inappropriate” or “appropriate” instance of trauma triggering. It is just a thing that happens in the world.

    Now the only question is whether you want to promote more or less of it, what costs are you willing to inflict upon others and what supposed benefits do you believe they deserve to suffer for?

  114. 114
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    Danthering,

    I respect that they have more experience with the issue; this does not make them instantly correct, however.

    It makes them much more likely to be correct.

  115. 115
    chigau (違う)

    danthering

    They should have known about a possibly unreasonable reaction, which is what I see the backlash as.

    “unreasonable”
    wow.

  116. 116
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    Holy crap, I completely missed danthering’s “unreasonable triggering” comment.

    Wow, what an asshole.

  117. 117
    Ingdigo Jump

    All that Sikivu has done is point out WHY it was racist… not that it WAS racist…

    We are getting Soliphcism the likes of which even God has never seen!

  118. 118
    Ingdigo Jump

    Sorry correction.

    All that Sikivu has done is point out WHY it was racist… not that it WAS racist…

    We are getting Sophistry the likes of which even God has never seen!

  119. 119
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Porco Dio,

    Insert pic of Matthew Shepard here

    Now, would this thread then be about homophobia and hate-crimes or about stupid AA?

    Uh, both?

    I assure you, that is certainly a billboard that would promote homophobia. The notion that Matthew Shepard deserved to die is quite popular around here. It is also quite likely that it would result in a local increase in anti-gay hate crimes in the neighborhood where the billboard went up.

    All that Sikivu has done is point out WHY it was racist… not that it WAS racist…

    There’s a breakdown here either in your English or your logic. Pointing out why something is racist includes pointing out that it is racist.

  120. 120
    Anthony K

    were you just bashing on me because it’s the popular thing?

    Even if this were the case, such ‘popular bashing’ would be an effective teaching tool for someone who doesn’t understand systemic discrimination, provided the student has the capacity to empathise and apply what they’ve learned.

  121. 121
    Ingdigo Jump

    Insert pic of Matthew Shepard here

    Now, would this thread then be about homophobia and hate-crimes or about stupid AA?

    It would still have the issues of their shitty design and how they don’t get their thoughts across.

    Basically it would be like someone running into a room saying “MATHEW SHEPARD DESERVED TO DIE. AMERICAN ATHEISTS K BYE!” and running out.

    What idea do you think people would take away from that?

    You can’t have nuanced discourse in a fucking billboard.

  122. 122
    danthering

    “It is a logical possibility, but it is not a real thing that happens. You are employing racist thinking.”

    Accepting the existence of a logical possibility, without insisting that instances are common or well documented, is racist? Entertaining a logical possibility, is racist thinking?

    “I recall a recent story here about divinity students having a huge joke about “Jesus Fucking Christ” visualized as Jesus having sex with his clone or something like that, so it’s not at all implausible.”

    There are atheists in divinity schools; I know a couple.

    “What the fuck? This is completely indefensible bullshit from you, Dan. Your premise isn’t valid. There isn’t such a thing as an “inappropriate” or “appropriate” instance of trauma triggering. It is just a thing that happens in the world.”
    So you’re arguing against the existence of inappropriate emotions? I think you should go argue with the writers of the DSM IV on that one. Here’s one instance: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disorganized_schizophrenia

    Unreasonable emotion is unreasonable, as such it may be triggered by anything. I cannot be culpable for people who break down in tears because I wore a triggering pattern of plaid. I can, however, avoid putting plaid on a billboard if I know this to be a common affliction.

  123. 123
    Woo_Monster, Sniffer of Starfarts

    I agree, it can be triggering. Someone felt emotions about something. Does this validate their emotions as appropriate?

    How many people of color do you need to tell you that this billboard is racist before you accept their response as “appropriate”? You can put your fingers in your ears and complain that you “don’t get” why people are upset, or you can stop being an ass and try to comprehend the argument.

    The image is a offensive caricature. It is an appropriation of anti-black racism by a predominantly white group. It is triggering. Anytime you are ready to actually reply to any (or all, preferably) of these real concerns, we are ready to listen to your argument.

    Please try, just one, to actually argue with the critiques of this ad that are actually being made. Or just go away, no one here likes the company of racist fucks like you who thinks that being triggered is an invalid/inappropriate emotional response.

  124. 124
    Ingdigo Jump

    So you’re arguing against the existence of inappropriate emotions? I think you should go argue with the writers of the DSM IV on that one. Here’s one instance: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disorganized_schizophrenia

    Hey I can strawman too

    So you’re saying blacks are mentally deficient?

  125. 125
    Porco Dio

    There’s a breakdown here either in your English or your logic. Pointing out why something is racist includes pointing out that it is racist.

    It doesn’t take a genius to realise it was racist… but some people need a little schooling on the “why” part of it to understand the “was” part of it…

    Sikivu was doing the “why” part and not the “was” part.

    So, no breakdown in my english or logic but clearly a lack of your comprehension ability…

  126. 126
    Ingdigo Jump

    You are entitled to your opinion and emotions…but disagreeing with me does show that you’re crazy and irrational

    *dangles keys in front of face*

  127. 127
    danthering

    “Brownian”
    I have no problem understanding discrimination. I don’t think crying the word makes it valid, or that any objection to it makes someone a horrible racist. I’m not empathetic enough to change my mind due to the social bias of a forum; that’d be less em and more pathetic.

  128. 128
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    or with his PC hordes of commenters

    Thanks for showing that hand, Porcodio.

    So, this thread is not about racism as you would so dearly like it to be but is rather about stupid, white, ignorant atheists with their heads up their asses making a grave mistake and how the consequences of their actions lead to alienation rather than inclusion.

    False binary, party of one?

    it’s not just “all about you,” people… it’s an international issue with international consequences.

    Racism works differently in different countries, cupcake.

    Now, would this thread then be about homophobia and hate-crimes or about stupid AA?

    Stupid AA. You really think it wouldn’t be an asshole move to put up a billboard in a predominantly gay neighborhood showing the battered body of a young man who was killed for being gay, just to score a rhetorical point off the oppression faced by the locals? Of course you wouldn’t.

    And in a conservative neighborhood, as “life is like” says at #119, it would work to reinforce hateful attitudes toward GLBT people.

  129. 129
    Ingdigo Jump

    I’m not empathetic enough to change my mind due to the social bias of a forum; that’d be less em and more pathetic.

    Empathy==Pathetic?

    Diagnosis complete! Problem Identified!

  130. 130
    Porco Dio

    Basically it would be like someone running into a room saying “MATHEW SHEPARD DESERVED TO DIE. AMERICAN ATHEISTS K BYE!” and running out.

    What idea do you think people would take away from that?

    You can’t have nuanced discourse in a fucking billboard.

    So then, you do get my point then… We agree then…

    That analogy was in response to accusations of me “derailing” the thread and going OT…

    But my contention was that this thread is about AA stupidity and not racism…

    The billboard went up because of stupidity…, NOT racism…

    AA is stupid…, not racist…

  131. 131
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Dan Thering,

    Accepting the existence of a logical possibility, without insisting that instances are common or well documented, is racist? Entertaining a logical possibility, is racist thinking?

    Le sigh. You dishonest fuck. You presented it as a thing that happens in the world; you even gave the example of Christians:

    Cultures are made up of people, either living or dead. All members of a culture can be unanimous; this is a possibility. People can be offended for unjustifiable reasons; I think we all know this. Why is it impossible for the totality of a culture, to be offended unjustifiably? Find me a Christian who likes the idea of their denomination taking on the catchphrase, “Holy cocksucking ghost!”

    So yes you are claiming it really happens, and regarding the topic of this thread, you are claiming that it’s happening here with black Americans.

    That is racist thinking.

    Nothing good is coming from your participation here. Maybe you would actually learn more if you shut the fuck up and go read the other linked threads more while this thread continues without you for a while.

  132. 132
    strange gods before me ॐ

    The billboard went up because of stupidity…, NOT racism…

    AA is stupid…, not racist…

    No, American Atheists did a racist thing here, not just stupid.

    You admited as much, just a moment ago:

    It doesn’t take a genius to realise it was racist

  133. 133
    Woo_Monster, Sniffer of Starfarts

    We want to thank everyone for sharing their opinions with us about the “Slaves, Obey Your Masters” billboard. While we certainly respect the opinions of those who disagree with our tactics, we respectfully disagree with that opinion. We are unapologetic about the billboard and stand behind it 100%. There will be no apology from American Atheists for saying what needed to be said: sometimes the truth is offensive.

    And apparently, AA is just as clueless about this issue as danthering. You are in good company AA…

    More polite about their dismissal of PoCs’ concerns, but just as ignorant.

  134. 134
    Ingdigo Jump

    The billboard went up because of stupidity…, NOT racism…

    AA is stupid…, not racist…

    Moronic. The billboard is entirely supposed to TRY to ensure favor by playing on people’s revulsion to racism. It is obviously about racism in some way.

  135. 135
    Porco Dio

    Racism works differently in different countries, cupcake.

    waaaaaaaaaaaaaahahahahah so in the USA you have a different flavour of racism from the racism in Australia?

    Dumbest thing I heard the whole week…

    No, in my life.

  136. 136
    pelamun, the Linguist of Doom

    Porco Dio,

    it might have been stupidity more than racism. But consider their unwillingness to listen and attempt to shut down debate, dismissing the voice of black atheists speaking out against the billboard in this haughty manner. In my book, that goes beyond mere stupidity.

  137. 137
    Porco Dio

    Moronic. The billboard is entirely supposed to TRY to ensure favor by playing on people’s revulsion to racism. It is obviously about racism in some way.

    I get that…., you get that…, we would have both got it if we were on the campaign staff but we would both have torpedoed it as stupid and if we didn’t then WE would have been stupid.

    ergo AA is stupid.

  138. 138
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    so in the USA you have a different flavour of racism from the racism in Australia?

    Um, yes? Different flavors of history will do that.

  139. 139
    Porco Dio

    Porco Dio,

    it might have been stupidity more than racism. But consider their unwillingness to listen and attempt to shut down debate, dismissing the voice of black atheists speaking out against the billboard in this haughty manner. In my book, that goes beyond mere stupidity.

    Ergo AA is beyond stupid…

  140. 140
    pelamun, the Linguist of Doom

    Porco Dio,

    I’m neither African nor African-American, so I’m an outsider to this debate. But you should consider that African Americans might have a different emotional response to the billboard than Africans.

    And that’s probably the gist of what “life is like” was saying.

  141. 141
    Woo_Monster, Sniffer of Starfarts

    No, American Atheists did a racist thing here, not just stupid.

    You admited as much, just a moment ago:

    But only racists do racist things. AA are not racist, therefore they couldn’t have done a racist thing.

    Do I get it, Porco Dio?

    Intent is all that matters, right?

  142. 142
    danthering

    “Ing: I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream So I Comment Instead”
    How was it a straw man? I clarified my premise with my understanding of what you were saying. If that wasn’t what you meant, then I’ll try again. No need to get snarky.

    “Woo_Monster”:
    “How many people of color do you need to tell you that this billboard is racist before you accept their response as “appropriate”? You can put your fingers in your ears and complain that you “don’t get” why people are upset, or you can stop being an ass and try to comprehend the argument.”

    I’m doing the best I can to listen. If you don’t think I’m trying to see your point (or that of others), then why on earth would you waste your time with me? Either way, you have decided that this is a good idea, so…

    “The image is a offensive caricature. It is an appropriation of anti-black racism by a predominantly white group. It is triggering. Anytime you are ready to actually reply to any (or all, preferably) of these real concerns, we are ready to listen to your argument.”
    As I saw it, the image is common of all historical portrayals that I have seen of slavery. The nation’s history reflects Christian enslavement of blacks. The bible is the book that endorsed it. There are prominent Christians today who still endorse slavery; check out Douglas Willson’s “Southern Slavery as it Was”.

    “Please try, just one, to actually argue with the critiques of this ad that are actually being made. Or just go away, no one here likes the company of racist fucks like you who thinks that being triggered is an invalid/inappropriate emotional response.”
    Sure, which ones do you want me to reply to? You give me the specific criticism(s) that you want a response to, and I’ll give them. I don’t want you running off and saying, “Oh you took an easy one.” Give me a hard objection.

    Also, I don’t think you understand racism; you’ve just decided to validate all complaints of all minorities that have experienced suffering. This will harm you in the end, but I’m not going to tolerate your irrationality just because you scream ‘racist fuck’.

  143. 143
    Steve LaBonne

    Are you expecting some kind of reply, or were you just bashing on me because it’s the popular thing?

    I’m using you as a handy example of a prototypical clueless moron. I couldn’t care less what you have to say about that. So bite me.

  144. 144
    pelamun, the Linguist of Doom

    Porco Dio,

    what’s your point in arguing against saying the billboard was racist? Even if someone did not intend to be racist, their actions/words can ultimately be racist.

    But so we agree it’s beyond stupid.

  145. 145
    davidbieganek

    I thought the entire point of the billboard was to be offensive. It was to serve as a reminder to the black christian community that the bible they clutch, so closely to their chest was the very same book which allowed them to the trod under foot for so long, and has been used to justify their oppression to this day. I can see why they’d find it offensive, but then I’d have to ask them ‘WHY’ is this offensive? Is it wrong because of the history caused by the bible? Is it wrong because of the present conditions of the world caused by the bible? Is the statement “slaves, obey your masters” not found in the book they cling to for comfort? Is it not one of the many phrases used to justify the hell they were put through? Is it not more of a reason to throw that book down, and walk away from the god which gave the order?

  146. 146
    Porco Dio

    Um, yes? Different flavors of history will do that.

    I think the point that The Baker was trying to make was that never the twain shall meet… which is so insanely stupid it broke the stupid-meter

  147. 147
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    Ah, I see that danthering has revealed his true colors. Those damn black people keep complaining about racism, and it is totally harshing his buzz.

  148. 148
    Woo_Monster, Sniffer of Starfarts

    you’ve just decided to validate all complaints of all minorities that have experienced suffering.

    The horror!

  149. 149
    Anthony K

    “Brownian”

    What, you don’t know how online pseudonyms work?

    I have no problem understanding discrimination.

    Oh, that’s good. Thanks for the evidence. I was worried before. Now I’m not.

    I’m not empathetic enough to change my mind due to the social bias of a forum; that’d be less em and more pathetic.

    While I’m sure the little orgasm you had while writing that clever little play on words was worth it, do you really need me to point out that inserting the term “social bias” to excuse you from having to reconsider your position is just that, an excuse?

  150. 150
    danthering

    “Woo_Monster”
    So all complaints are valid, so long as suffering has been experienced. Or were you just trying to be a prat by taking any amphiboly you could find?

  151. 151
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    waaaaaaaaaaaaaahahahahah so in the USA you have a different flavour of racism from the racism in Australia?

    Uh, yeah, you might say that. You didn’t have plantation slavery employing aboriginal people, did you?

    Danthering: “Also, I don’t think you understand racism….” And you do, I presume. You just think about it with your Logickal Unirrashunal Thots, and it all becomes clear to you, with no input whatsoever from people still affected by the historical aftermath.

  152. 152
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    davidbieganek,
    That was probably the intent, yes.

    Also, while every single factoid in your comment is true, it is also true that many abolitionists were motivated in their abolitionism by their faith, and many of the slaves found comfort, solace, and inspiration in Christianity.

    The one (slave-owners justified themselves using Christianity and the Bible) does not cancel out the other (abolitionists justified themselves using Christianity and the Bible), of course – from either direction. But both facts must be remembered, if for no other reason than because forgetting one makes us look like idiots.

  153. 153
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    You know, David Bieganek, there’s an entire post that PZ linked to that would explain why. It’s by an African-American blogger. You might want to read it before you start blithering about how you have no idea why African-Americans might find it offensive.

    Porco Dio: Who is “The Baker”?

  154. 154
    danthering

    “What, you don’t know how online pseudonyms work?”
    I’d better for how long I’ve been on here. I was putting the full-sentence nicks in quotes, I just kinda carried over to you and others without thinking.

    “do you really need me to point out that inserting the term “social bias” to excuse you from having to reconsider your position is just that, an excuse?”
    Read my previous posts; I’m looking for opposing viewpoints and explanations. I’m simply saying that ad populum is an idiot’s argument.

  155. 155
    danthering

    “Ms. Daisy Cutter, Gynofascist in a Spiffy Hugo Boss Uniform”
    Angry declarations and insults do not make a cogent argument. Whine more.

  156. 156
    Woo_Monster, Sniffer of Starfarts

    Danthering, I gave you the specific arguments to respond to, but I will re-list them,
    1) The image is a offensive caricature.
    2) It is an appropriation of anti-black racism by a predominantly white group.
    3) It is triggering.
    You kind-of responded to the first criticism,

    As I saw it, the image is common of all historical portrayals that I have seen of slavery.

    So, I take it you just flat out reject that it is a caricature. And you, as oppose to African-Americans, are the authority on that matter, right?

    Answer the other two criticisms.

  157. 157
    pelamun, the Linguist of Doom

    Ms. Daisy Cutter,

    while I agree with your overall point, Australia did have something similar (though most of the forced laborers were taken from Pacific islands, but some aboriginal people were too)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackbirding#In_Australia

  158. 158
    Woo_Monster, Sniffer of Starfarts

    Whine more

    Stop trolling

  159. 159
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    danthering, for fuck’s sake please learn how to use blockquotes.

    thank you

    signed everyone reading this thread.

  160. 160
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Dishonest davidbieganek,

    It was to serve as a reminder to the black christian community that the bible they clutch [...] I can see why they’d find it offensive

    But you aren’t interesting in asking why any black non-Christians, including atheists, find it offensive. Even though there have been several links provided in this thread.

  161. 161
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    Pelamun: Thank you; I did not know that.

    Danthering: When you bring a coherent, intellectually honest argument to this thread, you will stop being insulted. Your move.

  162. 162
    Woo_Monster, Sniffer of Starfarts

    So all complaints are valid, so long as suffering has been experienced. Or were you just trying to be a prat by taking any amphiboly you could find?

    I have no reason to think that when a number of people from a disenfranchised minority explain how something is bigoted that they are being irrational or that their concerns aren’t valid.

    What info do you have that allows you to dismiss their experience?

    You throw out the hypothetical that the response from PoC who claim that this is a racially insensitive ad is possibly inappropriate. Ok, now, do you want to give any reason to believe that the response IS actually inappropriate, rather than that it just may be?

  163. 163
    chigau (違う)

    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    danthering, for fuck’s sake please learn how to use blockquotes.
    thank you
    signed everyone reading this thread.

    Amen!
    (why am I now reading “danthering” as “dithering”?

  164. 164
    Porco Dio

    Porco Dio: Who is “The Baker”?

    Why, it’s the one baking cupcakes ofc…

    Uh, yeah, you might say that. You didn’t have plantation slavery employing aboriginal people, did you?

    So the fact that blacks were plantation slaves whereas Aboriginals were merely shot on site and relegated to a life of alcoholism and non-inclusion in society either stemmed from different causes or had different results – or both – which makes them incomparable and that an Aboriginal or slave descendants cannot share emotions and that our approach to their situations should be different?

    That is what you implied….

    Laughable.

    Racism is racism is racism… show me a dictionary or scholarly work that exposes anything but minor differences in racism and I’ll eat your cupcake…

  165. 165
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    I’m so. Fucking. Sick. Of white guys. Empathy-deficient, privileged, belligerently defensive and unwilling to listen because OMG I’M THE ONE WHO TALKS NOT THE ONE WHO GETS TALKED AT. You can’t be toppled from your pedestals as the spokespeople and public face of atheism and secularism fast enough. Hopefully the generation that comes after you won’t be steeped in the toxic patriarchal bullshit you are. We need lots of someones who are anything but white guys in a lot more positions of influence.

    Oh, and Horde? You can probably get danthering to shut the fuck up if you refuse to communicate with it until it learns how to use blockquote.

  166. 166
    danthering

    Woo_Monster,

    Thanks for putting things in point form. Sorry if it seemed like I wasn’t engaging all of them. Here are full responses:

    1) The image is a offensive caricature.
    Does using an offensive caricature make the statement racist? This wood cutting is exactly what you find from the Christian culture that was enslaving these people. Putting up an example of how Christians of the time viewed slaves seems like an excellent point of the mindset involved with engaging in slavery while following the bible. So then, can’t a racist charicature be used in a non-racist message? One that, in fact, shows the bigotry of these individuals by providing evidence within the drawing?

    2)It is an appropriation of anti-black racism by a predominantly white group.
    How is it an appropriation? The bible condones slavery, and those ethics had an obvious historical outcome. The billboard was a criticism of making it, “the year of the bible”. How is historical fact of an atrocity, appropriation?

    3) It is triggering.
    Being triggering is not the same thing as being racist. People can be triggered by all kinds of things; this does not mean that we are responsible for their emotions. If it is racist, then being triggered emotionally by it makes one a justifiable victim of wrongdoing. If the sign is not racist, then their emotions are not appropriately directed at the makers of the sign. Be upset that you got screwed, don’t be upset that everyone recognizes that it happened as an atrocity in history.

  167. 167
    Anthony K

    I’m so. Fucking. Sick. Of white guys. Empathy-deficient, privileged, belligerently defensive and unwilling to listen because OMG I’M THE ONE WHO TALKS NOT THE ONE WHO GETS TALKED AT. You can’t be toppled from your pedestals as the spokespeople and public face of atheism and secularism fast enough. Hopefully the generation that comes after you won’t be steeped in the toxic patriarchal bullshit you are. We need lots of someones who are anything but white guys in a lot more positions of influence.

    QFFT.

    If you think the biggest issues facing people are why women won’t fuck you unless you lie and trick them and how much you don’t like paying taxes on the money you make writing iPhone apps, you aren’t fucking relevant.

  168. 168
    Kengi

    Fuck you Josh, Official SpokesGay.

    I’m white.

    I was (mainly) agreeing with the criticisms of the board, and trying to stay out of the arguments, but I just won’t sit here and have you tell me what I am or am not. You don’t know me.

    I refuse to sit by and be vilified for the color of my skin rather than for who I actually am.

  169. 169
    danthering

    Rev. BigDumbChimp,

    I’m familiar with how to use them, I just didn’t think anyone cared about the formatting.

    There, I block quoted while speaking as myself. Was that sufficiently obnoxious?

  170. 170
    Porco Dio

    I refuse to sit by and be vilified for the color of my skin rather than for who I actually am.

    I lolled at this black guy….

    oh wait…., he’s white…

    I lolled harder…

  171. 171
    keenacat

    Does using an offensive caricature make the statement racist?

    It is offensive because it is racist, not the other way ’round.

    So then, can’t a racist charicature be used in a non-racist message?

    Probably. This billboard, however, does not communicate this.

    Being triggering is not the same thing as being racist.

    No. But this is triggering because it is racist.

    If it is racist, then being triggered emotionally by it makes one a justifiable victim of wrongdoing.

    Smart cookie. This is precisely what everyone and their moms have been saying all along and what fuckwits like you don’t seem to get.

  172. 172
    Anthony K

    I refuse to sit by and be vilified for the color of my skin rather than for who I actually am.

    It’s nice to have that choice, isn’t it?

  173. 173
    keenacat

    I refuse to sit by and be vilified for the color of my skin rather than for who I actually am.

    Well, you just provided evidence of “who you are” by posting this stupid comment, and it totally seems to indicate you fall squarely into Joshs characterization of “white guys who are being assholes”, basically.

    So, congratulations I guess.

  174. 174
    philmagnus

    Sorry for being yet another ignorant white guy, but I don’t get what AA did/didn’t do here? Can anyone get me caught up on the issue? Is there an older article/story this relates to?

  175. 175
    danthering

    keenacat,

    You still haven’t covered WHY it’s racist; that’s been my main point all along. I’ve addressed the rest, as people constantly bring it up. Would you stop whining if I called you names back or something? Is that what you want?

  176. 176
    Kengi

    @Brownian

    It’s nice to have that choice, isn’t it?

    Actually, I don’t have that choice. Thanks for pointing out my flaw in logic. I did have to sit here and be vilified by Josh.

  177. 177
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Kengi, I would like to call your attention to Josh’s punctuation, because I think you’ve misinterpreted it.

    I think you read:

    I’m so fucking sick of white guys.

    But this disregards the meaning of all the other periods interspersed throughout the sentence. They’re meant to act as pauses, for emphasis, longer pauses than folks usually read commas aloud as.

    The whole first sentence, though, is properly understood as this:

    I’m so fucking sick of white guys, empathy-deficient, privileged, belligerently defensive and unwilling to listen because OMG I’M THE ONE WHO TALKS NOT THE ONE WHO GETS TALKED AT.

    That is, if you aren’t also empathy-deficient and belligerently defensive and so on, he isn’t sick of you.

    You can be sure that’s the whole sentence, because regardless of punctuation, “empathy-deficient, privileged, belligerently defensive and unwilling to listen because OMG I’M THE ONE WHO TALKS NOT THE ONE WHO GETS TALKED AT” isn’t a sentence all by itself; it lacks a predicate.

  178. 178
    pelamun, the Linguist of Doom

    philmagnus,

    did you follow the link in the OP?

    There is also

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2012/03/08/kylie-doesnt-get-it/

  179. 179
    joed

    @18 pelamun, the Linguist of Doom
    “And yes, as my own specialty lies in East and SE Asia, I’ve been following what the Chinese are doing in Africa with growing concern.”
    And what is your concern here sir, that the Chinese will exploit a people, country resource that the U S/Europe consider theirs.
    Certainly the Chinese will be infinitely more fair and just with the African people than the “whites” were,are or will be.
    Perhaps your concern is for the African People and how to help them retain and control the vast wealth of resources in African.
    Certainly the recolonializing of Africa by U S/E U corporations concerns you.

  180. 180
    keenacat

    Damn, danthering.
    Did you maybe miss the point where the whole argument about why it is racist was covered in Hutchinsons post?
    I guess you didn’t but rather not let a black person speak about how stuff is racist.

    You know what? I will absolutely let a black person speak about how this shit is racist. So I can only recommend you read the inital Post by Hutchinson again and start to get a grip. I would be just following her reasoning and not adding anything substantial, precisely because I am not black and my insight is confined to empathetic understanding rather than personal experience.

  181. 181
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    I’m familiar with how to use them, I just didn’t think anyone cared about the formatting.

    The fact that nearly everyone was using blockquoting wasn’t a hint?

    Well at least it shows you know how to do it. Makes reading whatever you’re replying to much easier to parse.

    good job

    *clap clap

  182. 182
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Or something. I know it lacks something. I was never all that great at talking about grammar. I just know it when I see it.

  183. 183
    Kengi

    @keenacat

    Well, you just provided evidence of “who you are” by posting this stupid comment, and it totally seems to indicate you fall squarely into Joshs characterization of “white guys who are being assholes”, basically.

    So, congratulations I guess.

    I’m someone who also thinks the billboard was racist, and agree it was due to not thinking about how other people would perceive it. I also understand I come from a privileged group and may have made a similar mistake (although probably not that exact one).

    How does that make me “Empathy-deficient” or “unwilling to listen?

    Josh is doing exactly what, I’m sure, he would attack in any other situation. Insulting all white guys with a blanket statement certainly doesn’t make Josh sound reasonable.

    I understand he may be upset by the actions of the majority of us white guys, but, contrary to what he believes, we are not all the same.

  184. 184
    chigau (違う)

    joed

    Certainly the Chinese will be infinitely more fair and just with the African people than the “whites” were,are or will be.

    *mind boggles*

  185. 185
    pelamun, the Linguist of Doom

    joed,

    you should really try some other media for information some time and see news reports about how Chinese corporations have been treating African workers. Also, how the word “Namibia” was banned from Chinese search engines for a period of time (though this was more about corruption and Hu Jingtao’s son).

    But this is off-topic, so I’ll stop here.

  186. 186
    Anthony K

    Actually, I don’t have that choice. Thanks for pointing out my flaw in logic. I did have to sit here and be vilified by Josh.

    Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t realise you were the stupidest, most clueless asshole ever. Let me assist you with this choice: up at the top right of your browser screen there should be ‘close’ button. Simply click it, and you’ll be free of Josh’s oppression forever.

  187. 187
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    I refuse to sit by and be vilified for the color of my skin rather than for who I actually am.

    That’s a classic demonstration of why White Guys don’t get it. Guess what sugarpie, I’m white too. The difference is I know that comes with some baggage that I can’t just wish away by saying I’m a Good Guy and that I need to make an effort to listen.

  188. 188
    pelamun, the Linguist of Doom

    Hu Jintao.

  189. 189
    karlvonmox

    Im glad someone posted the American Atheists response.

    “We are unapologetic about the billboard and stand behind it 100%. There will be no apology from American Atheists for saying what needed to be said: sometimes the truth is offensive.”

    Perfect. Thats all that needs to be said.

    I must say, having a constructive dialogue with some of you clowns is impossible. If you really want atheists to seem more welcoming you can start by treating people who comment on this blog with different opinions with little less vitriol. Of course that statement will fall on mostly deaf ears, but maybe someone will listen.

    Keenacat, wether it was meant as an insult or not is irrelevant – by saying that just because I hold a different point of view than you do on an unrelated topic, that my point of view on THIS topic is therefore wrong, is the DEFINITION of ad hominem.

  190. 190
    Kengi

    @life is like a pitbull with lipstick ॐ

    I certainly did take all of the commas (are they called periods in this usage?) to be a list of attributes following the first part of the sentence:

    I’m so fucking sick of white guys,

    Followed by a list of attributes. If I were to write it as you suggest the meaning is, I would have said:

    “I’m so fucking sick of white guys who are…”

  191. 191
    Rutee Katreya

    That is what you implied….

    You’re a self important little fuckwit, aren’t you? No, that’s not what it means. It means that the character of racism and the precise marks left vary by location and race. The racism that strikes out at USian hispanics is not even the same as the racism that manifests itself against black people. The descendants of Japanese and Chinese people here suffered in a very different way from native americans. And that’s just within a single country. There’s comparisons to be made, sure, but I’m not going to draw any; I don’t feel very comfortable doing so even where my knowledge is more solid, let alone somewhere else’s.

  192. 192
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    I must say, having a constructive dialogue with some of you clowns is impossible.

    You forgot:

    “Echo chamber”

    “Groupthink!”

    “Cult”

    “You’re just as bad as religionists!”

    “Why u so angry?”

    “You’re not helping!”

  193. 193
    Anthony K

    I understand he may be upset by the actions of the majority of us white guys, but, contrary to what he believes, we are not all the same.

    Actually, saying nothing at all until you are attacked is a pretty standard white guy behaviour. I’m not sure what makes you think you’re a white Rosa Parks, but nothing you’ve written on this thread indicates you are. But, you probably have all sorts of black friends and are all sorts of racism fighting in your spare time (though people who actually do that tend not to get all bent out of shape when someone suggests letting actual minorities have a turn at the driver’s seat.)

    You don’t know me!

    That’s what all the secret freedom fighters say.

  194. 194
    Kengi

    @karlvonmox

    AA has dug themselves into a hole and are just digging deeper. How the billboard was perceived is certainly something that AA needs to consider. “Perceived”, of course, shouldn’t be a word in any apology if they ever do come to their senses. Otherwise it will be a notpology.

  195. 195
  196. 196
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Followed by a list of attributes. If I were to write it as you suggest the meaning is, I would have said:

    But you didn’t write it. I did. And I meant it. You are, in fact, displaying the kind of behavior I was thinking of. You’re so much more upset that I’m “vilifying” you (which is bizarre—why do you think this is about you at all?) than you are at the huge fail that White Guys have been displaying. You feel vilified? So fucking what? Boo. Hoo.

    I hope this pisses you off so badly you flounce or throw a fit. Then either you’ll reconsider your priorities and start to get it, or you’ll shut the fuck up and leave.

  197. 197
    keenacat

    karlvonmox, I made an observation of your view, basically just repeating what YOU said: That you were “not getting” racism. You being a PUA asshole has been established elsewhere. I pointed out how this was utterly unsurprising – marginalising assholes being marginalising assholes, after all.
    I didn’t even point out you were wrong (this is quite self-evident, to be honest).
    I’m gonna repost it so you can practise reading comprehension:

    karlvonmox, the PUA asshole, is not “getting” racism.

    SURPRISE!!

    Also, he’s not getting fallacies, either.

  198. 198
    Kengi

    @Brownian

    Yes, I should have spoken up sooner here. I tend to lurk, and certainly the personal attack was the reason I broke silence this morning. I’m sick of both extreme views and my personal privilege is certainly showing in my choice of when I spoke out.

    Does that make the blanket condemnation of all white guys legit?

  199. 199
    chigau (違う)

    The American Atheist billboard was more offensive for reasons they did not intend than for the reason they did intend.

  200. 200
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    I tend to lurk, and certainly the personal attack was the reason I broke silence this morning.

    Christ on toast! Where the hell are you getting “personal attack?” Step back for a minute and look at it as though you were someone else—do you see how oddly, inappropriately “me-centered” that is? It’s bizarre.

  201. 201
    Ingdigo Jump

    That is, if you aren’t also empathy-deficient and belligerently defensive and so on, he isn’t sick of you.

    You can be sure that’s the whole sentence, because regardless of punctuation, “empathy-deficient, privileged, belligerently defensive and unwilling to listen because OMG I’M THE ONE WHO TALKS NOT THE ONE WHO GETS TALKED AT” isn’t a sentence all by itself; it lacks a predicate.

    One place of business I knew made up of mostly African Americans actually used the term White (uppercase) to label that attitude, as opposed to lower case white.

    For added humor, if you are so inclined there were two people with the same name, one was dubbed White Julie, the other Black Julie. White Julie was black and Black Julie was white. Just thought that might be an interesting anecdote.

  202. 202
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Josh is doing exactly what, I’m sure, he would attack in any other situation. Insulting all white guys with a blanket statement certainly doesn’t make Josh sound reasonable.

    So it is a reading comprehension fail, but a worse one than I figured.

    Followed by a list of attributes. If I were to write it as you suggest the meaning is, I would have said:

    Yet you are apparently unable to recognize other valid sentence constructions. It can be a list of attributes specifying a subset of white guys, not necessarily one applying to all white guys.

    Let’s try this sentence:

    “I’m so fucking sick of cats, incontinent, senile, aggressively territorial and unwilling to move because OMG I’M THE ONE WHO SITS ON THE CHAIR NOT THE ONE WHO GETS PICKED UP.”

    It’s the same construction, but do you read that as meaning all cats are necessarily incontinent and senile?

    (So we’re approaching the time where you can say “alright, I misunderstood, never mind” and let it go, since Josh has made his meaning more than clear at this point; or you can dig in your heels and insist that you’re the victim here. Since everyone else knows you’re not the victim here, one of these options ends relatively pleasantly and the other doesn’t.)

  203. 203
    Ingdigo Jump

    Does that make the blanket condemnation of all white guys legit?

    On some level, yes. Your ancestors prospered by exploiting black people. If you’re not even willing to take a sore toes by being reminded of that you are probably part of the problem.

    Not talking about racism and racial relations is very convenient for White people, but not so for others.

  204. 204
    Anthony K

    Does that make the blanket condemnation of all white guys legit?

    When there’s a thread about the terrible racism (or sexism) white guys suffer, then you and I can talk about this.

    But your derailing of this thread to make it all about you most certainly isn’t, and it’s one of the oldest tricks in the privileged’s book.

    You want to convince everyone that you’re different than the bigots? Then don’t behave exactly the way they do, no matter how egregious a crime it seems now that you’re suddenly facing discrimination.

  205. 205
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    Does that make the blanket condemnation of all white guys legit?

    What blanket condemnation of all white guys?

    I sure as hell didn’t see one.

    The lady cupcake doth protest too much!

  206. 206
    Porco Dio

    If you really want atheists to seem more welcoming you can start by treating people who comment on this blog with different opinions with little less vitriol.

    Unfortunately this blog seems to be filled with vitriolic name-calling that makes me wonder just what type of person is aligning themselves with progressive atheism these days…

    Of course that statement will fall on mostly deaf ears

    I’ll give it a few more days of reading the comments here and if that is the overriding type of person commenting then I’ll just stop participating in the banter – or even reading it…

    Sadly, there will then be others like me which will leave a skeleton of nasty commenters and very little discussion…

    Kind of what happened to the RD forums a few years back which made Dawkins pull the plug on it…

  207. 207
    Ingdigo Jump

    I’ll go on record again saying that if “white shame” makes white people aware of racial privilege, think twice about racial issues and deferential to POC on issues of racism it is a good thing.

  208. 208
    Kengi

    Fuck off again, Josh.

    I’ll rearrange my priorities based on a logical argument such as Brownian presented to me. I won’t do so because some bigot likes to insult me for being a white guy.

    I deserved the dressing down from Brownian, but not the blanket insults from you.

  209. 209
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Josh is doing exactly what, I’m sure, he would attack in any other situation

    Actually, no, I wouldn’t attack the behavior in all other situations, and this is an important point in understanding my position. Power and privilege make for political imbalances. Making insulting or critical statements against a privileged class of people is not ethically equivalent to a privileged person insulting the oppressed. It’s just not. It isn’t. Deal with it.

    One of these things is more justifiable than the other:

    Straight white guy-”I’m so sick of gays flaunting their sexuality in front of me.”

    Gay dude-”I’m so sick of straight people walking around acting like they deserve a fucking medal for reproducing.”

    Can you tell which one?

  210. 210
    Ingdigo Jump

    I won’t do so because some bigot likes to insult me for being a white guy.

    Oh honey, not one is insulting you for being white. They’re insulting you for being a typical Proud Stubborn Self Important White Guy.

  211. 211
    Ingdigo Jump

    Black people are expected to be statistically less well off economically, socially and be arrested at a greater rate by virtue of inheritance

    White people are asked to put up with some insults from black people

    Clearly racism hurts everyone exactly as much.

  212. 212
    pelamun, the Linguist of Doom

    Porco Dio,

    that’s part of the culture here. Except for discriminatory slurs, swear words and insults are accepted here.

    I mean the points you make stand on their own merits, the tone shouldn’t have anything to do with it.

  213. 213
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    I’ll rearrange my priorities based on a logical argument such as Brownian presented to me. I won’t do so because some bigot likes to insult me for being a white guy.

    Belligerently defensive, unwilling to listen, more offended at privilege being challenged than actual injustice. With a healthy dose of bizarre narcissism. It’s not all about you cinnabun.

  214. 214
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    not the blanket insults from you.

    Wait – I thought it was a personal attack. Now it’s a blanket insult? Which one? Maybe it’s both, like new Shimmer?

  215. 215
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    I find the white guy defensiveness tiring yet predictable.

  216. 216
    Anthony K

    I’ll rearrange my priorities based on a logical argument such as Brownian presented to me. I won’t do so because some bigot likes to insult me for being a white guy.

    I deserved the dressing down from Brownian, but not the blanket insults from you.

    Then you’re still being a privileged ass. Josh’s points are good ones. The fact that you like them less has no bearing on the reality of the power imbalance to which he refers.

    Gay dude-”I’m so sick of straight people walking around acting like they deserve a fucking medal for reproducing.”

    Hey, I say that, and I’m straight. (Actually, I say it in a much funnier albeit offensive way, but the sentiment is the same.)

  217. 217
    karlvonmox

    “How the billboard was perceived is certainly something that AA needs to consider. ”

    The Dave Silverman response to any of these billboards has always been this: We know some people are going to be offended, but we are trying to reach the closet atheists. A direct billboard like that will be effective at reaching certain people. Any billboard directly pointing out the ugly truth about religion will always be recieved with lots of emotional turmoil from theists. This has never been a concern before, and I don’t think it should be a concern now.

    Keenacat, I have nothing more to say to you. That your ego blinds you from seeing the truth about this silly argument is not my problem. You should work on doing things other than insulting random strangers on the internet though, its problably not good for your mental/emotional well being.

  218. 218
    strange gods before me ॐ

    I deserved the dressing down from Brownian,

    Alright, well, this would be a good time for you to stop derailing, then.

    Thanks in advance.

  219. 219
    Ingdigo Jump

    Gay dude-”I’m so sick of straight people walking around acting like they deserve a fucking medal for reproducing.”

    I’m personally sick of the media acting like a straight person finding a mate and/or reproducing is enough grounds to justify portraying them as sympathetic figures regardless of their public actions.

  220. 220
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    pitbull—I’m still giggling over the OMG I’M THE ONE WHO SITS ON THE CHAIR NOT THE ONE WHO GETS PICKED UP. It’s perversely true chez SpokesGay.

  221. 221
    Ingdigo Jump

    The Dave Silverman response to any of these billboards has always been this: We know some people are going to be offended, but we are trying to reach the closet atheists. A direct billboard like that will be effective at reaching certain people. Any billboard directly pointing out the ugly truth about religion will always be recieved with lots of emotional turmoil from theists. This has never been a concern before, and I don’t think it should be a concern now.

    And they suck at that.

    The message of their billboards typically boils down to “Atheists are artistically blind assholes”

  222. 222
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    I’m personally sick of the media acting like a straight person finding a mate and/or reproducing is enough grounds to justify portraying them as sympathetic figures regardless of their public actions.

    Word fucking up. We’re not, of course, speaking of anyone like Kengi, or anyone he knows/likes/is-wont-to-identify-as-in-his-circle-of-concern. We’re above making blanket personal insults.

  223. 223
    Kengi

    OK, this has derailed the thread, which is bad.

    I certainly made a mistake and, as Brownian has pointed out, did so because of my privilege. I’ll bow out and go back to lurking.

    Fuck you Josh. Thanks to everyone else who demonstrated how I was really thinking. I’ll try to let the experience change me for the better. Please, after one last dig at my stupidity, go back to the core issue.

  224. 224
    Porco Dio

    You’re a self important little fuckwit, aren’t you? No, that’s not what it means. It means that the character of racism and the precise marks left vary by location and race.

    No, it doesn’t mean that at all…., the original quote (post #85) was that

    See, this incident happened in the USA. It was done by US Americans, to US Americans.

    Your opinion here is a lot less significant on than you might imagine, and your opinions are tainted by the here-irrelevant environment and education system in which you were raised.

    Allow me to translate: Racism in the US is different from racism anywhere else in the world. The fact that I am not from the US means I cannot participate in this discussion.

    Which is kind of funny to read as the point I was making is that yanks have their heads up their asses…

    Which, also, would make YOU the fuckwit, not me.

  225. 225
    chigau (違う)

    I’ll just stop participating in the banter – or even reading it…

    Will anyone notice?

  226. 226
    Ingdigo Jump

    @Josh

    I’m thinking of one recent corpse in particular.

    It is funny how the media was worried about sullying HIS good name…but had no problem helping him destroy the career of a black woman as a favor to him. No one seemed to care that she had a family and convictions she fought for. We can’t even mention the crime committed against her because that would sully the name of a White Man Who Married And Had Children.

  227. 227
    Anthony K

    I find the white guy defensiveness tiring yet predictable.

    In 208, Kengi scores two more common derailing techniques:

    You’re Being Hostile

    You’re Arguing With Opinions Not Fact

    I’m not seeing a lot of support for his “You don’t know me! We’re not all alike!” hypothesis.

  228. 228
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Fuck you Josh

    You’re sweet, little cheese danish.:)

  229. 229
    Ingdigo Jump

    Fuck you Josh. Thanks to everyone else who demonstrated how I was really thinking. I’ll try to let the experience change me for the better. Please, after one last dig at my stupidity, go back to the core issue.

    No fuck you. You were wrong. You apologize when you were wrong. You don’t get mad at the person who corrected you.

  230. 230
    keenacat

    You should work on doing things other than insulting random strangers on the internet though, its problably not good for your mental/emotional well being.

    Sweet, sweet irony of accusing me of insulting people on the internet while you yourself are insulting people on the internet. There is a Xzibit-meme somewhere in there.

    To be honest, I just attended the first part of a webinar on radiology in preparation for my exams for the last 2.5 hours. I am now able to diagnose the shit out of a chest or abdominal x-ray, CT or MRT. So I actually managed to insult people nosepick artists online WHILE doing other things. I’m quite proud of myself, being such a multitasker.

  231. 231
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Kengi—Frankly, while I’m ridiculing you now I didn’t set out to insult you personally. I don’t even know who you are. I’m doing so deliberately now, because of how you’re acting.

    I get that you don’t like being ridiculed, obviously, but I don’t care. Not because I have anything against you personally (well, I kinda do now, but that could change) but because I think you have it coming. Once you get over your wildly weird and disproportionate anger at me (it is bizarre how personally you took this) I actually hope you’ll think about what happened and why. I’ve had similar wake-up calls when my own douchey self-centeredness was getting in the way.

    No, don’t bother telling me you’ll sit and put and refuse to understand anything I say because your Offense Lobe prevents you comprehending things said in an insulting way. That isn’t true, and we both know it, even though I don’t expect you to say so publicly.

  232. 232
    joed

    @185, pelamun, the Linguist of Doom
    Sir you’re not going to argue with me about the U S being a White Privileged society are you.
    Certainly you are aware of your white privilege. my assumptions being you are in U S, or white Europe and a white guy.

  233. 233
    Anthony K

    I’ll bow out and go back to lurking.

    Probably a good idea for now, Kengi.

    I’m thinking of one recent corpse in particular.

    It is funny how the media was worried about sullying HIS good name…but had no problem helping him destroy the career of a black woman as a favor to him. No one seemed to care that she had a family and convictions she fought for. We can’t even mention the crime committed against her because that would sully the name of a White Man Who Married And Had Children.

    It’s fucking disgusting is what it is.

  234. 234
    Ingdigo Jump

    We should all quickly marry Brownian and have his gay sex babies. That apparently will shield us from all criticism.

  235. 235
    Porco Dio

    I mean the points you make stand on their own merits, the tone shouldn’t have anything to do with it.

    Yes, they do. Or, they should.

    But this blog seems to me to be just an echo-chamber of name-callers and PC yes-men.

    This means that there comments section will tend to be filled with more of the same and prohibit entry to new and informative guests.

    So the points will grow old and stale or go unread or both.

  236. 236
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    We should all quickly marry Brownian and have his gay sex babies.

    Girl, I will cut you. Nothing gets between me and my Brownian.

    Secks pleze.

  237. 237
    strange gods before me ॐ

    It’s perversely true chez SpokesGay.

    Sicut in caelo, et in terra. :)

  238. 238
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    But this blog seems to me to be just an echo-chamber of name-callers and PC yes-men.

    BINGO!

    Caine, git yur punk ass in here and gimme mah toaster!

  239. 239
    keenacat

    Something happened to my tone troll lecture for Porco Dio. *sadface*
    I’m not gonna repeat all of it, but this:

    Porco Dio, we dislike whining about tone because we care about points made. Whining about tone is a form of trolling because it derails from the actual points.
    Some blogs prefer to keep a polite atmosphere and police accordingly, but PZ is not particularly interested in politeness. Don’t like it? Go elsewhere.
    Upside is, at Pharyngula people don’t take kindly to discriminatory shit. So it’s a safe place for me as a woman. People will jump in if I’m being shamed for being female. I will, however, need to deal with the occassional “asshole” or “dumbfuck” or whatever, but that’s fine.

  240. 240
    A. R

    This has probably been mentioned somewhere upthread (I tried to skim, but I’ve not enough time to read in detail), but would it not be agreeable to state that the fact that most atheists are white males is the primary factor in the creation of this type of clusterfuck? So perhaps we should be actively deconverting minority groups to correct this imbalance and prevent this type of incident? I should think it would be more productive than an endless stream of -gates.

  241. 241
    Ingdigo Jump

    This has probably been mentioned somewhere upthread (I tried to skim, but I’ve not enough time to read in detail), but would it not be agreeable to state that the fact that most atheists are white males is the primary factor in the creation of this type of clusterfuck?

    Yes that is very insightful perhaps I misjudged yo-

    So perhaps we should be actively deconverting minority groups to correct this imbalance and prevent this type of incident?

    …Oh dear sweet Glob. Yes that’ll be so much better. Bunch of white people coming in telling the ethnics that they should change their culture. That’s a great image for atheists to have! Because this is a group that has never had problems with white people coming in and claiming to know what’s best for them! It’s not like we already have problems of trust with public health or programs like that specifically because of a long history of broken trust and abuse.

  242. 242
    Anthony K

    No, don’t bother telling me you’ll sit and put and refuse to understand anything I say because your Offense Lobe prevents you comprehending things said in an insulting way. That isn’t true, and we both know it, even though I don’t expect you to say so publicly.

    Thanks to this imagery, I’m now going to refer to any member of a privileged group demanding that shklee be recognised and praised for being an ally in the fight against racism, sexism, ableism, or other -ism as “looking for oo-mox”.

  243. 243
    Anthony K

    But this blog seems to me to be just an echo-chamber of name-callers and PC yes-men.

    Hypocritically enough, that’s the second-least original comment one can possibly make on the internet.

    Of course, the weasel words “seems to me” are a dead giveaway that the writer is even more spineless than the PC yes-men shklee decries.

  244. 244
    Anthony K

    Blockquote fail. The first paragraph above is a rather weak and tepid emission by Porco Dio.

    Better have a doctor look at that, Porco.

  245. 245
    Anthony K

    So perhaps we should be actively deconverting minority groups to correct this imbalance and prevent this type of incident?

    I call dibs on Kony!

  246. 246
    Porco Dio

    Porco Dio, we dislike whining about tone because we care about points made. Whining about tone is a form of trolling because it derails from the actual points.

    should read:

    Mindless vitriol is a form of trolling because it derails from the actual points.

    There, fixed.

    If you want to create and maintain an informative theater of ideas then the best way to achieve that would be to watch your tone. Yes it would.

    And someone with a dissenting view doesn’t always need to be shouted down immediately. Good ideas will be drowned out by the noise and good new guests will soon tire of of the oppression and move on.

    And, more importantly you will miss many opportunities to get through to people and win them over to your point of view.

    Sure, the merits of the argument should stand or fall on their strengths or weaknesses but it’s tiring to have to filter out the good stuff if half of the contribution is meaningless belligerence.

    Someone from the Balkans once taught me that “it’s better to poison your enemy with honey,” which is an invaluable lesson to learn if you ever get into business – especially if you find yourself in a management position.

  247. 247
    strange gods before me ॐ

    So perhaps we should be actively deconverting minority groups to correct this imbalance and prevent this type of incident?

    Alright, but any substantial success at this will require creating alternative institutions, because

    When poor people of color need shelter, utilities’ assistance, computer access, etc. they don’t trot down to the local “inner city” humanist foundation of reason and science or, for that matter, the local community center. The former is an oxymoron. And due to the systematic dismantling of social welfare resources in urban communities of color the latter doesn’t exist. [...]

    Homelessness, reproductive justice, educational equity, and prisoner re-entry, and scholarship development are all intersectional issues that secular humanist groups can get involved in if they simply got up off the privilege of not seeing these as pressing daily bread and butter concerns.

    Proselytization is not enough. There are structural economic reasons why secularism and atheism exploded in Europe earlier than it did in the USA; similarly there are structural economic reasons why it’s exploding among the most privileged US Americans, while relatively less so among others.

  248. 248
    A. R

    Ing: Probably not the best way to go about bolstering the numbers of minorities, but how else can we accomplish this?

  249. 249
    Porco Dio

    Of course, the weasel words “seems to me” are a dead giveaway that the writer is even more spineless than the PC yes-men shklee decries.

    Nah… using phrases like “the evidence seems to” or “the evidence suggests that” are standard ways to convey ideas in scientific and business arenas.

    It really says plenty about someone who thinks that polite discourse is “spineless.”

    See my post #246 above

  250. 250
    Anthony K

    If you want to create and maintain an informative theater of ideas then the best way to achieve that would be to watch your tone. Yes it would.

    Sounds great. Where have you achieved this, and what are some indicators of its efficacy?

    And someone with a dissenting view doesn’t always need to be shouted down immediately. Good ideas will be drowned out by the noise and good new guests will soon tire of of the oppression and move on.

    You’re still here. You’re either not a good commenter, or your argument is flawed.

    And, more importantly you will miss many opportunities to get through to people and win them over to your point of view.

    This is conditional on your previous points being true. So far, you’ve shown no evidence for this.

    Are such evidenceless assertions typical of what happens in your theatre of ideas?

    Sure, the merits of the argument should stand or fall on their strengths or weaknesses but it’s tiring to have to filter out the good stuff if half of the contribution is meaningless belligerence.

    You’re still here, filtering. Is it really so tiring to follow multiple conversations and ignore those commenters whose ideas are meritless? If so, how the fuck do you expect to sort the wheat from the chaff in your grand theatre of ideas?

    Someone from the Balkans once taught me that “it’s better to poison your enemy with honey,” which is an invaluable lesson to learn if you ever get into business – especially if you find yourself in a management position.

    As a Balkan by ethnicity myself, I’ll just point out that the Balkans employed a number of strategies for dealing with their enemies, and not all of them came tasting of honey.

  251. 251
    keenacat

    Porco Dio,

    I’m trying to help you out by explaining Pharyngula culture. I’m not actually interested how you think things would work better if everybody was nice, because you are not going to change this culture. This is important. At this point you take it or leave it.
    There are a lot of blogs where politeness is being encouraged, even here on FTB. Go see Libby Anne at Love, Joy, Feminism for example, she has a strict policy on that. I love her blog, and it provides the commenting environment you seem to want.

  252. 252
    Woo_Monster, Sniffer of Starfarts

    Porco Dio @246

    If you want to create and maintain an informative theater of ideas then the best way to achieve that would be to watch your tone. Yes it would.

    Tone-trolls are boring. This claim has been made many times, but no one making it has bothered to provide evidence for it.

    And, more importantly you will miss many opportunities to get through to people and win them over to your point of view.

    Citation needed. Perhaps some opportunities are lost, perhaps more are gained.

    Sure, the merits of the argument should stand or fall on their strengths or weaknesses but it’s tiring to have to filter out the good stuff if half of the contribution is meaningless belligerence.

    Self-censoring honest expression is tiring. I see no reason to go to the trouble of toning it down just for the sake of the pearl-clutchers.

    Grow the fuck up. I bet you can get over your fee fees being hurt by the naughty language. People have a reason to be angry, and to express their anger honestly and passionately. Don’t attempt to silence them with tone-trolling.

  253. 253
    Louis

    But this blog seems to me to be just an echo-chamber of name-callers and PC yes-men.

    That’s “yes-persons”, you shit gobbling fuck-knuckle.

    Louis

    P.S. Too obvious?

  254. 254
    A. R

    life is like a pitbull with lipstick: Yes, we also have to consider the centuries of religious indoctrination imposed on these groups. My mother for example, has two Masters degrees, and is one of the most insightful people I know, but she is a devout goddist and woo-believer. The reason, I suspect, is the patriarchal tradition of subjugation via religion.

  255. 255
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Well, I’m not sure what all AR was asking about; Ing’s response might or might not be appropriate.

    It’s possible for white atheists to assist in these matters, by forming coalitions even with non-secular orgs, being there and letting people of color direct the decision-making, as well as by funding efforts like the African Americans for Humanism billboards.

  256. 256
    Anthony K

    It really says plenty about someone who thinks that polite discourse is “spineless.”

    It was patently clear from your comment that I was referring to deriding your critics as PC yes men and an echo chamber as “spineless”.

    Is dishonesty what you mean by actually mean when you say polite discourse? Or is it this sort of duplicitousness what you meant by poisoning your opponents with honey?

    Nonetheless, by your lack of integrity, you’ve now totally alienated me from your cause. By your own standards, is that a loss for you, or are you going to handwave me away as a member of the hive mind?

  257. 257
    A. R

    life is like a pitbull with lipstick: ^^ I wasn’t really talking about goddist mission-type work, but something more along the lines of what you were talking about. Missionary type efforts aren’t all that successful from a social standpoint anyway.

  258. 258
    Anthony K

    I’m trying to help you out by explaining Pharyngula culture

    Oh, he knows. He’s not new, he’s just a blowhard.

  259. 259
    Porco Dio

    I’m not actually interested how you think things would work better if everybody was nice,

    I’m not asking everyone to be nice…

    I’m saying that

    awetg ryujyuk sdash asasgarg iktrukyu sDFsd tgyjkguj sdfgsdf here is my amazing point sdfsdf fghfj sdfsdg sdgdfg khukfgh sdsdfsdf

    is a lot more tiresome than

    here is my amazing point

  260. 260
    keenacat

    Oh, he knows. He’s not new, he’s just a blowhard.

    Aw man. Every time I try to be nice and non-alienating it’s futile.

  261. 261
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    And, more importantly you will miss many opportunities to get through to people and win them over to your point of view.

    Actually that happens more than you think because we get in people’s faces, and they start to re-evaluate their presuppositions due to the vitriol.

    They only ones who you can convince with quiet words is those who are already in your camp, but can’t admit it.

  262. 262
    Porco Dio

    That’s “yes-persons”, you shit gobbling fuck-knuckle.

    Louis

    P.S. Too obvious?

    Well, if you want to insult yourself by including yourself in the “stupid category” then go right ahead.

    P.S. Take a course in english – it will stand you well in the real world.

  263. 263
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Porco Dio, you’re definitely trolling at this point, and apparently have been for a while now. The world will be a slightly better place if you stop it. Please.

  264. 264
    Porco Dio

    Tone-trolls are boring. This claim has been made many times, but no one making it has bothered to provide evidence for it.

    If you ever get out of your basement you will realise that it’s a valuable skill to learn if you want to get anywhere in this world.

    It might be fun on an anonymous forum and you might feel better for being able to vent but I’ve never met a successful manager who didn’t know how to say the harshest possible thing in the sweetest possible way.

    On the contrary I’ve seen plenty belligerent fools fail because they couldn’t find it in them to figure out a better way to deal with people.

  265. 265
    chigau (違う)

    How long was Pharyngula around Before Porco Dio?

  266. 266
    Anthony K

    P.S. Take a course in english – it will stand you well in the real world.

    See what I mean?

    Anyone actually interested in elevating civil discourse wouldn’t stoop to the sorts of attacks he derides others for making, and anyone who uses idiocies like ‘hive mind’ and ‘yes men’ clearly doesn’t understand the first thing about people and how they act in groups.

    If you ever get out of your basement you will realise that it’s a valuable skill to learn if you want to get anywhere in this world.

    Are mirrors non-existent where you live, Porco, or are you actually incapable of self-reflection and self-awareness?

  267. 267
    Anthony K

    It might be fun on an anonymous forum and you might feel better for being able to vent but I’ve never met a successful manager who didn’t know how to say the harshest possible thing in the sweetest possible way.

    I have to go manage a meeting now. I trust the rest of you will be able to point out Porco’s hypocrisies without me for awhile?

  268. 268
    Porco Dio

    Actually that happens more than you think because we get in people’s faces, and they start to re-evaluate their presuppositions due to the vitriol.

    Several people have asked me for a citation as to where my theory can be proved. Allow me then to ask you to prove yours.

    It can’t. The evidence should suggest that both approaches will show different success in different instances. But just try shouting at real people in the real world and let me know how much success that has. Do it to your teacher. Your principal. A judge. A cop. Your representative. Your colleague. Your boss.

    In any case, it seems that there is a consensus here that reads a little like this: WE LIKE TO SHOUT AND THAT’S THE WAY WE DO THINGS HERE AND IF YOU DON’T LIKE IT YOU ARE A TONE TROLL AND CAN JUST FUCK OFF.

    Ok. fine. Please enjoy getting mad on the internet.

  269. 269
    Anthony K

    Well, if you want to insult yourself by including yourself in the “stupid category” then go right ahead.

    And that’s how you win friends and influence people.

  270. 270
    Anthony K

    Several people have asked me for a citation as to where my theory can be proved. Allow me then to ask you to prove yours.

    So much for the theatre of ideas.

  271. 271
    Anthony K

    Ok. fine. Please enjoy getting mad on the internet.

    Thanks for the lesson in ineffectual communication strategies.

  272. 272
    Anthony K

    Jesus, I usually have to do at least a little work to find the petards on which people hoist themselves.

    Thanks for all the gimmes, Porco.

  273. 273
    Porco Dio

    P.S. Take a course in english – it will stand you well in the real world.

    See what I mean?

    Anyone actually interested in elevating civil discourse wouldn’t stoop to the sorts of attacks he derides others for making

    is EXACTLY THE SAME as

    you shit gobbling fuck-knuckle

  274. 274
    Louis

    Porco Dio, #262,

    I’m very hurt. Well, okay, I’m not.

    But I should have put money on you not getting the joke en route to your fainting couch and unearned sense of superiority. I guess the answer to my question was “No, not obvious enough”.

    Enjoy your time with the regulars, I’m sure it will be really edifying. After all none of us have ever heard/read the tone arguments before. Oh wait we have.

    Louis

  275. 275
    A. R

    Porco Dio: Firstly, not all of us use vitriol, but when we do it is often deserved. Secondly, I suspect that very few of us are anything like you think we are. We have several PhD scientists, a lawyer or two somewhere, graduate students, etc. Have you considered that you might be very, very wrong, and you’re just frustrating people? Anyway, I’m due back in my lab to change over some flies onto test medium.

  276. 276
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    Karl, #217:

    That your ego blinds you from seeing the truth about this silly argument is not my problem. You should work on doing things other than insulting random strangers on the internet though, its problably not good for your mental/emotional well being.

    Keenacat, watch out, I think Karl is trying to neg you.

    Josh, #220:

    OMG I’M THE ONE WHO SITS ON THE CHAIR NOT THE ONE WHO GETS PICKED UP.

    Wait, what/when/where was this…?

    Ing, #226: Same sentiment, with more rhetorical flourishes:

    Of course, nobody was asking fretful hand-wringing questions about children when it was time to throw a sop to conservatives and pillory ACORN and Shirley Sherrod. Nobody asked how many children had been given a better life for having their parents rescued from predatory lending. Nobody asked how many children’s lives were improved by the good offices of Shirley Sherrod. In the last few days, nobody’s asked how many lives will not be affected for the better because we’ve lost their contributions. And for all the talk of his children, nobody’s asked what kind of America they stand to inherit from their father—whether black kids on the playground with them will endure a wider world of fear, wary of a country so easily whipped into a furor of suspicion of them, their motives, their peer groups, their voices.

    Brownian #227: Three, actually. He wrote, “I’m sick of both extreme views,” scoring a “You’re as bad as they are!

    Josh, #238:

    BINGO!

    Swine God was blithering about “PC hordes of commenters” way up there at #72.

    A.R, #240:

    So perhaps we should be actively deconverting minority groups to correct this imbalance and prevent this type of incident?

    I don’t even.

    Probably not the best way to go about bolstering the numbers of minorities, but how else can we accomplish this?

    Our need to get more atheists of color <<<<<<<<< the need of PoC not to have their lives fucked up through white people’s supposed “good intentions” any more than is already the case.

    Swine God, #273: The only difference is that the first is passive-aggressive and the second is honest in its aggression. Also, more imaginative.

  277. 277
    Woo_Monster, Sniffer of Starfarts

    The evidence should suggest that both approaches will show different success in different instances

    Shit-for-brains, you were asked for evidence. You didn’t supply any besides going with the cliche troll response “if you just got out of the basement…”. Now you say that different approaches will show different results in different situations. You do realize that contradicts your earlier assertion that being rude/vitriolic/whatever you want to call the naughty language we use, is counterproductive, right?

    I don’t think being aggressive and confrontational will work for everyone, all the time. But it certainly works for some, sometimes. So, given that I do honestly feel passionate about these issues, I’ll go on to speak passionately about them.
    In some situations, I will tone down my rhetoric. I see no reason to here. This is a blog of vocal atheists. People who want, or could benefit from, the confrontational approach can come here. Mealy-mouthed pearl-clutchers are also welcome to come here and get their ass handed to them.

    I won’t stop you from making polite criticisms of bullshit, a lot of commenters here prefer being professional and polite in their comments. But don’t tell me not to be confrontational. Fuck off with the ton-trolling already.

  278. 278
    Woo_Monster, Sniffer of Starfarts

    Back on topic,

    AA’s doubling down on the harm they caused via their proud refusal to apologize deserves much more derision. Their privilege and ignorance explains (but does not excuse) their thinking this billboard was a good idea. What explains them digging their hole deeper after the issue of the ad being racially insensitive has been explained to them thoroughly.

    Either its more privilege-blindness and arrogance or it is explicit dismissal of PoC’s concerns. I don’t see another option.

  279. 279
    gv1482

    OK, I certainly see how that billboard is racist in the light of people with a history of being oppressed and are still being oppressed. I can also see how easy it would be to miss that aspect when creating a message surrounded by people who all have the same culture and heritage. This incident, more than most, is a great reason to strive for more diversity in our atheist tribe.

    But is there more than just being insensitive and blind to minority perspectives? Why does AA keep digging their heels in?

    The atheist community often stresses the point that logic and reason are the most important things in an argument. In effect, we tell everyone that logic and reason ARE more important than perception.

    Perhaps AA’s misguided defense comes right out of this thinking. I see it kind of as “I don’t care how something is perceived, what it really says is what is important.” In that light, AA is correct about the billboard, while also being wrong about it. It’s only correct, of course, if you strip away the entire world and just leave the bare logic of AA’s argument.

    Yes, AA is correct that the message is about discrimination in the Bible. They are wrong, however, to dismiss the racist aspect of how that message was delivered.

    I kind of wish PZ had been more forceful in this respect when he talked about this billboard on March 8. Perhaps “Please don’t do this AA! (Oh and Kylie doesn’t get it either)” would have been a better title for that post.

  280. 280
    Porco Dio

    Porco Dio: Firstly, not all of us use vitriol, but when we do it is often deserved.

    I would assume you are correct on both counts.

    Secondly, I suspect that very few of us are anything like you think we are. We have several PhD scientists, a lawyer or two somewhere, graduate students, etc.

    I wouldn’t expect this to be far from the truth either. But there would obviously be a higher incidence of vitriol spewed by the young and uneducated than the mature and professional among you. I just had a free day today but I would assume that the vast majority of folks that “hang out” here have too much free time on their hands and are therefore not lawyers and PhD’s.

    Have you considered that you might be very, very wrong, and you’re just frustrating people?

    two things:

    First, yes, I have considered that and obviously wouldn’t say that I’d be very very wrong otherwise I wouldn’t be arguing the point.

    Second, judging by the enthusiastic response to my “tone trolling” it seems that too many people here are more intent on defending their right to be obnoxious than they are on promoting discourse.

    Shout and scream all you want… I won’t lose any sleep over it… Break some balls when teh stupid rears its head… That’s a good thing.

    But while I am not losing any sleep over it, this blog might be losing participants and potential “converts” because of it.

    I might be wrong though.

    But I’m not.

  281. 281
    Woo_Monster, Sniffer of Starfarts

    But is there more than just being insensitive and blind to minority perspectives? Why does AA keep digging their heels in?

    I think the reason is that they are responding they same way Ichthyic and John Morales did in the original thread. They treated the criticism as if it were about the ad being confrontational, rather than about racial insensitivity.

    AA gets a lot of shit for being “offensive” and “confrontational”, and they are right to not give two shits. They are wrong to not care about being told their ad is racist however. Be confrontational all you want, but please refrain from perpetuating racism. Easy really.

    I’d like to think this mistake was made because of blindness to minority perspectives, but that not-pology is making it hard.

  282. 282
    Porco Dio

    But don’t tell me not to be confrontational. Fuck off with the ton-trolling already.

    Be confrontational when the need arises… That’s a good thing.

    But it seems that the ethos on this blog is that “attack is the best defense.”

    Good luck with that.

  283. 283
    Porco Dio

    I’d like to think this mistake was made because of blindness to minority perspectives, but that not-pology is making it hard.

    My guess is that they think that an apology will do two things: 1. Show that the logic behind the bible being responsible for slavery is incorrect and 2. Allow the issue to fade into the forgotten realm.

    They are probably hoping that the people that object to the billboard will eventually “get it.”

    I’m wondering how that will all turn out.

  284. 284
    Therrin

    I might be wrong though.

    But I’m not.

    That’s not very skeptical of you.

  285. 285
    A. R

    So I suppose the question is: “How can the position of oppressed groups in societies be improved?” Clearly attempts by oppressors (current or former, unintentional or intentional oppressors alike) (I’m generalizing here) are not often successful, or at least that would be the impression given here. Internal efforts can either go well (the MLK-style civil rights movements are an example) or very badly (the Black Separatist movements go here), depending on their relationship with the other group. Thoughts?

  286. 286
    Porco Dio

    “How can the position of oppressed groups in societies be improved?”

    by removing the oppression ofc.

  287. 287
    A. R

    by removing the oppression ofc.

    Yeah, because it’s that simple.

  288. 288
    pelamun, the Linguist of Doom

    joed,

    Sir you’re not going to argue with me about the U S being a White Privileged society are you.
    Certainly you are aware of your white privilege. my assumptions being you are in U S, or white Europe and a white guy.

    Wrong. Irrelevant anyway. And no, I won’t argue about off-topic stuff with you here. There’s now two TETs, mainland and south, to do that if necessary.

  289. 289
    Woo_Monster, Sniffer of Starfarts

    My guess is that they think that an apology will do two things: 1. Show that the logic behind the bible being responsible for slavery is incorrect and 2. Allow the issue to fade into the forgotten realm.

    Wrong again. First, they explicitly said they would not be apologizing for this, read what they said:

    While we certainly respect the opinions of those who disagree with our tactics, we respectfully disagree with that opinion. We are unapologetic about the billboard and stand behind it 100%. There will be no apology from American Atheists for saying what needed to be said: sometimes the truth is offensive.

    Second, no one is questioning if the Bible’s support of slavery is wrong. We are saying/people in a position to say so, have been saying, that it is fucking racist. Appropriative, triggering, a caricature… If their response is trying to make the point that slavery is wrong, then no shit. How about they respond to the claims of racial insensitivity?
    Third, proudly saying that there will “no apology from AA” and that they are “unapologetic about the billboard” is NOT going to help this issue fade away.

    My opinion of AA has been severely tainted by this, and more so by their doubling down after having an opportunity to reflect. They can help me forget about this issue by addressing the actual criticism of their billboard, and fucking properly apologizing for their racist ad.

  290. 290
    Woo_Monster, Sniffer of Starfarts

    They are probably hoping that the people that object to the billboard will eventually “get it.”

    Yeah, when will all those dark people realize that their offense is insincere? When will they “get it” that their concerns are simply made up?

    Keep white-splaining it to them, I’m sure they will come around eventually and realize you know more about what is offensive to them than they do.

  291. 291
    Pteryxx

    A.R: You’re drawing a false dichotomy by comparing the privileged group operating in isolation to the oppressed group operating in isolation. Why didn’t you even think of working in collaboration?

    Generally speaking, oppressed groups can’t un-oppress themselves, but if you want to help as a member of the empowered group, you use your power in the service of the oppressed group, not by plowing them over with it. Listen, learn, and be ready and willing to take a back seat and yield the initiative to those with less power but more knowledge than you.

    Look what PZ did in the OP. “Here is what Sikivu Hutchinson wrote about this. Go read it.” He didn’t rewrite it in his own words or apply his own spin, or flood it with PZ-ness. He amplified the message, to his own, much greater readership than Sikivu’s piece would probably get otherwise.

    Direct quote from OP:

    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.

  292. 292
    Porco Dio

    Woo_Monster… how strange…., you appear to agree with me but say that I am wrong…

    I gave the reasons that I thought they would not apologise.

    Read it again. Then let’s discuss.

  293. 293
    juice

    Don’t tell people of color what they want, listen when they tell you what they need.

    Is it now acceptable again to call people “colored”? GD, I can’t keep up with the ever changing range of politically correct terms anymore.

  294. 294
    Porco Dio

    My post #292 was in resonse to your #289

    and for your #290:

    Keep white-splaining it to them, I’m sure they will come around eventually and realize you know more about what is offensive to them than they do.

    Yes, that was my point EXACTLY. /hence the quotes used with the “get it.”

    Get it?

  295. 295
    A. R

    Pteryxx: True, very true. In fact, the Civil Rights movement was a collaboration after all.

  296. 296
    Eristae

    You know, I wish that we (white people) could get to the point where if a minority group (like black people) told us that we had done something racist/offensive, we could all say something like, “Oh. I didn’t mean to be racist/offensive. I was trying to say [whatever it is I was trying to say]. How could I say that in a way that wasn’t offensive/racist?” and not, “OMFG how dare you say I’m racist there’s nothing wrong with what I said I’m right and you’re wrong!”

    It’s just . . . so stupid. If you’re pissing off your target audience when you’re trying to be empathetic, if you’re ignoring the words of the people you are professing to be speaking up for, you have a problem, no matter what you said. Own it so that you can deal with it.

  297. 297
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    It can’t. The evidence should suggest that both approaches will show different success in different instances.

    That is our point here here at Pharyngula. WE get in people’s faces and make them think. We keep getting anecdotal evidence from those who do start thinking (what is your excuxze for not thinking?). Others who are more polite like the intersection do the clean up. What part of that aren’t you getting tone troll? Have a porcupine for your tolling efforts.

  298. 298
    Woo_Monster, Sniffer of Starfarts

    I gave the reasons that I thought they would not apologize.

    It is not my fault that you can’t write clearly.

    Ok, now that I see what you meant to say, you are still an idiot. They don’t want to apologies because they are afraid people will think that the Bible does’t support slavery if they do? And because they want this issue to just fade away?

    This issue is not going to fade away by refusing to apologize. And no one is going to take an apology to mean that AA doesn’t disapprove of the Bible’s support of slavery.

    Yes, that was my point EXACTLY. /hence the quotes used with the “get it.”

    Get it?

    No, I don’t fucking “get it”. If my sarcasm at 290 misses the point you were trying to make, explain what your point actually was, in clear, unambiguous language.

    It sounded like you were saying that the PoC who objected to this billboard somehow “don’t get it”. If this isn’t what you wanted to say, then try again.

  299. 299
    Woo_Monster, Sniffer of Starfarts

    It’s just . . . so stupid. If you’re pissing off your target audience when you’re trying to be empathetic, if you’re ignoring the words of the people you are professing to be speaking up for, you have a problem, no matter what you said. Own it so that you can deal with it.

    Well said.

  300. 300
    Woo_Monster, Sniffer of Starfarts

    Porco Dio,

    You are an un-empathetic, dense, trolling idiot.

    Get it?

  301. 301
    Anthony K

    is EXACTLY THE SAME as

    No two things are exactly the same, fool.

    You’re terrible at this.

  302. 302
    keenacat

    Keenacat, watch out, I think Karl is trying to neg you.

    This, dear Daisy, is what I meant when I said you were a constant source of awesome.

  303. 303
    juice

    No two things are exactly the same, fool.

    Bose-Einstein Condensate, sucka.

  304. 304
    Anthony K

    What’s funniest about this is that Porco Dio, Self-Appointed Grandmaster of English communication, read this:

    That’s “yes-persons”, you shit gobbling fuck-knuckle.

    Louis

    P.S. Too obvious?

    …managed to miss the “P.S. Too obvious?”, and then suggest Louis—Louis of all people!—needs to take a course in English.

    Porco, my dear:

    You’re already the punchline of jokes that have not yet been written.

  305. 305
    Anthony K

    Bose-Einstein Condensate, sucka.

    Yeah, I saw that coming, and I raise you location and velocity as differentiating features.

  306. 306
    joed

    @288 pelamun, the Linguist of Doom

    “And no, I won’t argue about off-topic stuff with you here.”

    Seems the White Privilege that is so unjust, hurtful and immoral in the U S is at the heart of this article. Not off topic at all. WP is germain to the awful past, present and no doubt future that picture represents.
    Gee dad what is that thing ’round his neck.
    This is the same White Privilege that is soooo very difficult for white folks to see, hear, talk about, admit to. And it is hurtful to all humanity.
    White folks must start dialog about their privilege. With out acknowledgment of WP there will be no justice, no fairness in American society. It’s an uphill battle but acknowledgment and dialog must happen or the U S will just become more and more shitty.
    Who ever in AA authorised that picture obviously doesn’t acknowledge his/her white privilege And this is a big part of this article –don’t you agree now.

  307. 307
    Porco Dio

    So, I will accept your invitation to politely paraphrase near perfect English even after your unwarranted insults:

    My post in full read:

    My guess is that they think that an apology will do two things: 1. Show that the logic behind the bible being responsible for slavery is incorrect and 2. Allow the issue to fade into the forgotten realm.

    They are probably hoping that the people that object to the billboard will eventually “get it.”

    I’m wondering how that will all turn out.

    Which means:

    AA thinks that if they apologise two things will happen.

    The first thing that will happen is that doubt will be cast on the view that the bible was responsible for slavery. That is to say, there will be discussion in the black community on whether or not the bible was responsible for slavery. Due to an apology/retraction by AA the religious leaders will be able to claim that AA NO LONGER BELIEVES that the bible is responsible for slavery praise the lord jesus and the holy spirit and atheists are evil.

    The second thing that will happen after an apology is forgiveness. Yes, those evil atheists will be forgiven for being dick-heads and the issue will be forgotten. AA DOES NOT WANT the issue to be forgotten.

    AA wants the issue to remain in the publicity AS LONG AS POSSIBLE until them thar negroes eventually “get it” if they would only listen to all that white-splainin’ that’s coming their way. If them black folk would only just listen to their white masters then they would eventually understand what this is all about.

    ——————

    Do you understand now my challenged friend?

    Do you understand now that my #294 was a positive response to your sarcasm in #290? That I agree with you about AA’s stance on the white-splainin’?

    Do you understand that we have the same view-point now?

    Oh, you’re a fucking idiot. Sorry, I lied about the politeness but I’m a little frustrated that I needed to spell-it-out-for-you.

    Fuck you.

  308. 308
    juice

    Yeah, I saw that coming, and I raise you location and velocity as differentiating features.

    Well….ok. What about a BEC of photons? At least a few of those should be in the same location. And they all have the same velocity.

    http://blogs.physicstoday.org/update/2011/01/a-bose-einstein-condensate-of.html

  309. 309
    Anthony K

    Oh, you’re a fucking idiot. Sorry, I lied about the politeness but I’m a little frustrated that I needed to spell-it-out-for-you.

    Fuck you.

    And that’s how you elevate the level of discourse and convince others of your argument.

  310. 310
    Anthony K

    Well….ok. What about a BEC of photons? At least a few of those should be in the same location. And they all have the same velocity.

    Well played, my knowledgeable, tenacious, and much-too-literal friend. ;)

  311. 311
    Porco Dio

    No two things are exactly the same, fool.

    You’re terrible at this.

    Read my #273 again and you will realise that I was comparing my “insult” of

    P.S. Take a course in english – it will stand you well in the real world.

    as being “EXACTLY THE SAME” as the insult

    you shit gobbling fuck-knuckle

    that was leveled at me.

    Just a hint here fancy-pants: the ALL CAPS should have alerted you to the, how do you call it?, oh yeah, SARCASM.

    They are not exactly the same, fool.

    You are terrible at this.

    But I lolled though

  312. 312
    joed

    @296 Lyra

    Exactly! White folks just can’t seem to understand the White Privilege they take advantage of every day.
    Acknowledgment and dialog by white people is the key! But they find it almost impossible to admit that U S society is set up as a White Privilege society. They just can’t go there. And these are truly concerned, educated, compassionate adults. And they just can’t say, yes, American society is a White Privileged society.
    They just cant even get that far.
    In the 1st comment of this article I wrote about Tim Wise and Robert Jensen, UTexas Austin, both speak profoundly and eloquently about the White Privileged society of America.
    These guys are worth listening to if one is concerned about or a victim of U S Justice and equality.
    Also, Stephen Jay Gould’s book titled The Mismeasure Of Man. 1996. is a wonderful history of the creation of “race”.
    Basically revised and expanded as a refutation to a white supremacist book(disguised as a scientific study by professors at a major university), titled The Bell Curve.

  313. 313
    juice

    Well played, my knowledgeable, tenacious, and much-too-literal friend. ;)

    To be honest, when you brought up location and velocity, I didn’t know that atomic BECs had a velocity distribution until after I looked it up. I assumed that their wavefunctions had literally coalesced into a single wave so that they literally became the same thing in the same place. Because of you I learned otherwise. In the course of googling, the story of the photon BEC came up, so I was all like “ah hah!”

  314. 314
    nms

    I’m calling it.

    Horde 1, Porco Dio 0

  315. 315
    Porco Dio

    And that’s how you elevate the level of discourse and convince others of your argument.

    Yeah, I was hoping someone would pick up on that real fast… Thanks.

    What has happened here is that so much shit has been hung on me for “tone trolling” that Woo has lost all hir faculties and failed to comprehend relatively basic English.

    It seems that Woo thinks I’m the enemy because all y’all think I am the enemy… Talk about an echo chamber.

    So, if people are getting shouted down on this blog for little or no reason and others are munching away at the confirmation bias fed to them by the upper echelons then I guess my point is proven.

    This is no place for discourse…, just a place for hanging with the in-crowd.

  316. 316
    Anthony K

    Take your time, Porco. Use blockquote to set off the parts of comments you’re quoting.

    And thanks for the explanation of sarcasm, but it was unnecessary. You see, sarcasm, parody, and satire aren’t always set off by CAPS LOCK. Can you find an example in this very thread where that might be the case? (Hint: read Louis’ comment 253 again. See it now? There you go. Good boy.)

    After you’re done educating everyone here, perhaps you might consider giving schoolchildren lessons in gun safety. I think you’d be a natural.

  317. 317
    Anthony K

    What has happened here is that so much shit has been hung on me for “tone trolling” that Woo has lost all hir faculties and failed to comprehend relatively basic English.

    Yes, that’s clearly what happened. And God Bless You for being such an upstanding martyr and taking all of this undeserved crap.

    It seems that Woo thinks I’m the enemy because all y’all think I am the enemy… Talk about an echo chamber.

    Yes, you’ve mentioned that term, or variations of it already. Be sure to thank the fourteen-year-old you cribbed it from.

    So, if people are getting shouted down on this blog for little or no reason and others are munching away at the confirmation bias fed to them by the upper echelons then I guess my point is proven.

    Hmm. I know you’re really having a lot of fun with confirmation bias, but can you think of other reasons why someone might disagree with you, even if they only think they are?

    No?

    Then you go right ahead and take that conclusion home with you. It’s the one you showed up with, after all.

  318. 318
    A. R

    Pharyngula is an Echo chamber like Rick Santorum is straight.

  319. 319
    Alethea Kuiper-Belt

    so in the USA you have a different flavour of racism from the racism in Australia?

    Yes. Duh. Because the AA discussion is pretty well done, here’s a little something for anyone who’s interested:
    * The situation of Australian indigenous people is much more closely analogous to that of Native Americans than African Americans. Dispossession, massacres, reservations, missionaries, life expectancy gap, horrific levels of alcoholism, imprisonment etc.
    * We did, in fact, have plantation slavery employing black people, in the Queensland sugar farms. But it was not the local people, it was kidnapped polynesians (“kanakas”). (I see Pelamun mentioned this already.)
    * We also had a certain amount of Jim Crow style racism, especially in country areas, with things like swimming pools being marked “whites only”. The US Freedom Rides were copied by Australian activists.
    * We actually have very few black people here. Indigenous people are about 1-2% (it’s hard to measure), and then there’s a recent scattering of Somali and Ethiopian refugees. The bulk of modern Australian racism is directed against south east Asians and Middle Easterners. There are very recognisable anti-immigrant waves, These days it would seem very stupid to be prejudiced against the Greeks and Italians, but that was the case in the 1950s & 60s.

  320. 320
    Anthony K

    Pharyngula is an Echo chamber like Rick Santorum is straight.

    No, no: we might very well be one.

    But Porco Dio is about as competent to identify it as one as the Pope is to recognise an actual life-affirming contraceptive strategy.

  321. 321
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    It seems that Woo thinks I’m the enemy because all y’all think I am the enemy… Talk about an echo chamber.

    Only enemies call this an echo chamber. Those in the know, realize there is a bunch of individuals thinking for themselves. And maybe we have the same ideas because we aren’t followers of your tone trolling bullshit, and realize the value of explicit discourse. I agree with most of the other regulars, and hate those who don’t like our discourse. So, given your fuckwittery and failure to fade into the bandwidth, I now give the honor of KILLFILE. If you ever say anything cogent (highly doubtful), the responders will say so.

  322. 322
    ChasCPeterson

    Stephen Jay Gould’s book titled The Mismeasure Of Man. 1996. is a wonderful history of the creation of “race”.
    Basically revised and expanded as a refutation to a white supremacist book(disguised as a scientific study by professors at a major university), titled The Bell Curve.

    lol
    Gould’s polemic was rhetoric, not science. Also, he lied.
    And most of The Bell Curve had nothing to do with race, let alone white supremacy.
    But don’t let reality get in the way of your ideology or anything.

  323. 323
    Anthony K

    But don’t let reality get in the way of your ideology or anything.

    Aww, now there’re two Pharyngula Rebels. You guys should start some sort of “I’m the only one here free of dogma” club.

  324. 324
    Porco Dio

    Yes, that’s clearly what happened. And God Bless You for being such an upstanding martyr and taking all of this undeserved crap.

    You’re welcome. But it’s only because the good folks here are intent on crucifying a “tone troll” which, obviously means that said tone troll can’t possible have anything correct to say on absolutely any other topic.

    Yes, you’ve mentioned that term, or variations of it already. Be sure to thank the fourteen-year-old you cribbed it from.

    Actually got “echo chamber” from Josh in #192 never heard it before today but it makes a lot of sense… Pray tell which “variations” I have used? I simply can’t recall any but will stand corrected if you can mention any.

  325. 325
    chigau (違う)

    Nerd
    I don’t have a killfile, I have a martyr complex.
    I’ll let you know when piggypuff gets banned.
    (as long as I’m not in your killfile)

  326. 326
    Porco Dio

    I agree with most of the other regulars, and hate those who don’t like our discourse.

    I’m going to go out on a limb here and accuse you and the rest of the “in crowd” in this thread of being your run-of-the-mill loudmouth, overbearing and verbose Americans whose attitudes don’t go down particularly well with the majority of the rest of the world’s cultures.

    So, if we are not too partial to your loudmouth, overbearing and verbose discourse the you just hate us?

    m’kay… fine… nice way to exclude other cultures, people and ideas… frankly, it’s an honour to be in your killfile.

  327. 327
    feralboy12

    This is no place for discourse…, just a place for hanging with the in-crowd.

    Whether it’s an in-crowd, out-crowd, or just a regular old crowd, the fact remains that this is a large group of regular readers & commenters who have been holding discussions such as this for years.
    What exactly gave you the idea that you could come in to such a place and immediately set rules regarding tone? If you want to have “discourse,” you don’t start by issuing edicts that everyone has to follow.

  328. 328
    Weed(less) Monkey

    But it’s only because the good folks here are intent on crucifying a “tone troll” which, obviously means that said tone troll can’t possible have anything correct to say on absolutely any other topic.

    It’s a description of your behaviour. Stop tone trolling, you’ll no longer be called a tone troll. Quite simple.

  329. 329
    A. R

    Porco Dio: I take considerable offense at your statement, firstly as not everyone here is American, and secondly, because I personally am by no means a “loudmouth American,” and find that stereotype does not hold true in the social context I find myself in.

  330. 330
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    (as long as I’m not in your killfile)

    And why would that be? You say things of interest, and try to help the dialog.

  331. 331
    Cipher

    But while I am not losing any sleep over it, this blog might be losing participants and potential “converts” because of it.

    And gaining others. Not every place is for everybody, and this one serves well for those of us who don’t feel the need to cloak our opinions in fake politeness.

    So, if we are not too partial to your loudmouth, overbearing and verbose discourse the you just hate us?

    If you feel the need to whine about it? Have fun elsewhere.

    m’kay… fine… nice way to exclude other cultures, people and ideas… frankly, it’s an honour to be in your killfile.

    People I’m okay with excluding: tone trolls, bigots, and insipid whiners.

    Comment 7:

    Stephen Jay Gould’s book titled The Mismeasure Of Man. 1996. is a wonderful history of the creation of “race”.
    Basically revised and expanded as a refutation to a white supremacist book(disguised as a scientific study by professors at a major university), titled The Bell Curve.

    Comment 312:


    Also, Stephen Jay Gould’s book titled The Mismeasure Of Man. 1996. is a wonderful history of the creation of “race”.
    Basically revised and expanded as a refutation to a white supremacist book(disguised as a scientific study by professors at a major university), titled The Bell Curve.

    Stop it, joed.

  332. 332
    Woo_Monster, Sniffer of Starfarts

    It seems that Woo thinks I’m the enemy because all y’all think I am the enemy… Talk about an echo chamber.

    Oh FORGIVE ME* for thinking that you are not on my side on this issue. I wonder why I might have thought that. Hmm, couldn’t have been for any of these comments:
    On the lingering effects of colonialism and slavery in Africa,

    Slavery is mostly history now and most of Africa is free of external impediment.

    We cannot spend our short lives crying over the proverbial spilled milk even if the bottle really is empty and the floor really is wet and white.

    Not understanding how racism works,

    So, this thread is not about racism as you would so dearly like it to be but is rather about stupid, white, ignorant atheists with their heads up their asses making a grave mistake and how the consequences of their actions lead to alienation rather than inclusion

    But my contention was that this thread is about AA stupidity and not racism…

    The billboard went up because of stupidity…, NOT racism…

    AA is stupid…, not racist

    (itallics added)
    An unintentional racist act, or a racist act done in privilege-induced ignorance, is still a racist act.
    Wait, now Pigshit does get that it is racist,

    It doesn’t take a genius to realise it was racist…

    Which is it?
    People “on my side” of this issue do not waffle about the shittyness of AA’s action, nor try to wave off peoples’ concerns about the racial insensitivity of the ad. Which is what you were doing by saying this is about stupidity and not racism.

    Your complaints of “echo chamber”, “pc yes men”, and your tone-trolling is another matter.

    *sarcasm is fun

  333. 333
    Porco Dio

    What exactly gave you the idea that you could come in to such a place and immediately set rules regarding tone?

    Immediately? I was in this post right from the start and it took more than 200 posts before the tone here became a little tiresome…

    If you want to have “discourse,” you don’t start by issuing edicts that everyone has to follow.

    As stated I didn’t start off this way but it’s clear to me now that there is very little discourse here until someone starts tone trolling and then the post count hits a massive spike…

    My bad…, there is discourse here…, but it’s only about tone trolls

  334. 334
    Porco Dio

    Which is what you were doing by saying this is about stupidity and not racism.

    You really have no brain.

    I didn’t say “this is” I said “this post is”

    Implying that if you were capable of reading the original post by PZ – and understanding it – then you would understand that PZ is not complaining that AA is racist but he is complaining that AA is stupid by not being inclusive.

    Go back to school please.

  335. 335
    'Tis Himself

    Having read the entire thread through post #334, I have two comments:

    David Silverman is an arrogant ass who doesn’t like listening to objections concerning his pet projects.

    Porco Dio is a tone troll who’s derailed the thread into a discussion of himself.

  336. 336
    Cipher

    Good assessments, Tis Himself. I’ll add mine:

    joed is an obnoxious spammer who has copy-pasted the same lines not only twice in this thread but also at least once over at Black Skeptics.

    Sikivu Hutchinson is a badass whom I, at least, ought to be paying better attention to.

  337. 337
    Pteryxx

    @porco: Compared to the years over which this community’s developed, yeah, 200 comments is “immediately”. Pff, it hasn’t even been a full day and night. That’s nothing. Let’s see if you’re still complaining after 1000 comments or so.

    Also, while whining about insults (if they’re directed at you, natch), you’re ignoring the Pharyngula Standards and Practices:

    This is a rude blog. We like to argue — heck, we like a loud angry brawl. Don’t waste time whining at anyone that they’re not nice, because this gang will take pride in that and rhetorically hand you a rotting porcupine and tell you to stuff it up your nether orifice. If you intrude here and violate any of the previous three mores, people won’t like you, and they won’t hold back—they’ll tell you so, probably in colorful terms.

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2011/08/01/pharyngula-standards-practices/

    Porco Dio is a tone troll who’s derailed the thread into a discussion of himself.

    The term hoggling keeps coming to mind for some reason.

  338. 338
    chigau (違う)

    Nerd #330
    Paranoia and low blood-sugar.
    and thank you.

  339. 339
    FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!)

    Porco Dio, I’m not an American, the US is neither the country of my birth nor the country of my current residence, and I’m not particularly verbose. And yet, I find myself agreeing with the regulars here far more often than I do with tone trolling assholes like you.

    Assertions of false universality are no less stupid coming from atheists than they are coming from the religious.

    Here, have a shovel. I’d suggest caution though, the water table here is pretty close to the surface.

  340. 340
    A. R

    I think pork pie here is forgetting the first rule of holes.

  341. 341
    FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!)

    A.R. Shhhhhh….. I know I shouldn’t encourage the derail but I do so enjoy watching ‘em go under.

    [Way, way OT]
    ‘Tis, if your still lurking on this thread: have you figured out the trick to a one handed bowline? I’ll throw an explanation up on TET if you’re still interested.

  342. 342
    Woo_Monster, Sniffer of Starfarts

    Porco Dio,

    I didn’t say “this is” I said “this post is”

    Implying that if you were capable of reading the original post by PZ – and understanding it – then you would understand that PZ is not complaining that AA is racist but he is complaining that AA is stupid by not being inclusive.

    In this post, PZ tells David Silverman to listen to Sikivu Hutchinson, who is articulating the “message” that some are getting from AA’s billboard. PZ’s post, in addition to generally being about how AA could be more inclusive, is also telling us to go read and listen to Sikivu’s perspective on this issue. PZ:

    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.

    Lets look at Sikivu’s message. In pertinent part:

    leadership, slapped up a billboard in a Harrisburg, Pennsylvania neighborhood featuring a picture of a shackled naked black slave and a bible quote that said “slaves obey your masters.” The ad was intended to protest Pennsylvania’s boneheaded declaration of 2012 as the so-called “Year of the Bible.” Much to the “astonishment” of AA reps, the billboard was reviled, defaced, and labeled a hate crime by some in the African American community. Apparently offended black folk just weren’t intelligent enough to grasp the sage lesson that American Atheists, prominent champion of anti-racist social justice, was trying to teach them. Instead, some “misconstrued” the message as racist, concluding that, in a country where white nationalists have issued a clarion call to take back the nation from the Negro savage/illegal alien in the White House, “slaves obey your masters” probably still means them.

    This is the point Sikivu makes, and the OP directs us to it and endorses it. Unless you also think that “black folk just weren’t intelligent enough to grasp the sage lesson”, then you will agree that at least some portion of the African American community construed the AA billboard as racist (which should be all that is necessary for you to accept it as racist*). PZ’s post, which was about Sikivu’s post, is about AA’s sign being racist as well as stupidity.

    And with that, I am done wasting my time with you. Wait, one more thing. In hopes that you may faint thus be rendered unable to post more inanity… Tone-trolls are fucking pearl-clutching derailers.

    *This stance has repeatedly been met with some push-back. Is it too hard-lined? I can’t think of any exceptions in reality…

  343. 343
    joed

    @322 ChasCPeterson
    “Gould’s polemic was rhetoric, not science”

    Actually, I thought Mismeasure was a book about the history of how white people created the modern everyday view of “race”. And a wonderful history book about how white people created the modern view of “intelligence”.
    And how these views were used to show how white people are the best at almost everything. Certainly the most beautiful race and the best intelligence.
    Mr. Peterson that’s what I though the book was about. Seems you took a different view. And seeing how this article is about White Privilege in U S society I thought the book was appropriate. But I can see how you have a different view and are not able to address the White Privileged society in America.
    But that’s fine as strong opinions really help us at times.

  344. 344
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    Juice, #293: It’s generally considered polite to call people what they want to be called, as individuals and as members of an ethnic demographic. I’m so sorry this seems to be a problem for you when the people in question are different from you.

    Keenacat, #302: :D

  345. 345
    Cipher

    Juice, #293: It’s generally considered polite to call people what they want to be called, as individuals and as members of an ethnic demographic. I’m so sorry this seems to be a problem for you when the people in question are different from you.

    I’m especially baffled by the fact that juice has apparently noticed people object to being called “colored,” but apparently has not noticed that “people of color” is not only not the same word but in fact a completely different construction.
    *esplodes*

  346. 346
    Rey Fox

    “People of color” has been around since the ’70s.

  347. 347
    Jadehawk

    I’m especially baffled by the fact that juice has apparently noticed people object to being called “colored,” but apparently has not noticed that “people of color” is not only not the same word but in fact a completely different construction.
    *esplodes*

    such details of language construction and language use are just toooooo difficult for pooor pooor juice to take note of and remember. his brain is simply not equipped for such nuance. it’s what privilege does to you, you see: it makes you too stupid to understand linguistic nuance, too stupid to be trusted with not fucking up doing the dishes/laundry/dinner, too stupid to comprehend arguments about privilege. that’s why all of this is the responsibility of the non-privileged to do and to explain in small words, over and over.

  348. 348
    Jadehawk

    anyway, I wrote up my 2 cents on this topic on my blog. mostly it boils down to: not knowing how your target audience will read something makes you inept at advertising; insisting that you were right and that your audience is somehow deficient because they didn’t respond like you wanted them to makes you privileged; and, giving a fuck about the existence of African Americans and their history only long enough to use that to score points against religion makes you racist.

  349. 349
    carlie

    Comments by Porco Dio:

    Frankly I don’t think you’ve ever been to Africa,

    So just wondering which of us is stupid and ignorant here?

    After reading through some of your other posts I’m sufficiently convinced that although you posses a brain and a vocabulary you posses neither the logic nor the articulation to make a valid point.

    many posters here (whatever their race/creed/religion/viewpoint might be) are from the most backward of the developed countries – the USA – and, consequently, have a cock-eyed view of life and little to no world view at all.

    Please remember, you are a lot less significant on this planet than you might imagine and that your opinions are tainted by the backward environment and education system in which you were raised.

    are you so stupid as to think that the USA was the only country that ever held slaves?

    This is precisely what I mean by all the Yankee-Doodles with their heads up their asses…

    So, no breakdown in my english or logic but clearly a lack of your comprehension ability…

    Dumbest thing I heard the whole week…No, in my life.

    which is so insanely stupid it broke the stupid-meter

    Sadly, there will then be others like me which will leave a skeleton of nasty commenters and very little discussion…

    Which is kind of funny to read as the point I was making is that yanks have their heads up their asses…

    If you want to create and maintain an informative theater of ideas then the best way to achieve that would be to watch your tone. Yes it would.

    which is an invaluable lesson to learn if you ever get into business – especially if you find yourself in a management position.

    P.S. Take a course in english – it will stand you well in the real world.

    If you ever get out of your basement you will realise that it’s a valuable skill to learn if you want to get anywhere in this world.

    Oh, you’re a fucking idiot. Sorry, I lied about the politeness but I’m a little frustrated that I needed to spell-it-out-for-you.

    They are not exactly the same, fool. You are terrible at this. But I lolled though

    Second, judging by the enthusiastic response to my “tone trolling” it seems that too many people here are more intent on defending their right to be obnoxious than they are on promoting discourse.

    Remember folks – Porco Dio is promoting discourse, not being obnoxious. We need to be more polite. Like he has been.

    Read my #273 again and you will realise that I was comparing my “insult” of

    P.S. Take a course in english – it will stand you well in the real world.

    as being “EXACTLY THE SAME” as the insult

    you shit gobbling fuck-knuckle

    that was leveled at me.

    Well, sure they are EXACTLY THE SAME in intent. Did you not intend insult with your statement? If you didn’t then you’re the one who needs a course in English, because you’ve written a perfectly good insult right there by insinuating that the person you’re talking to neither has a good command of English nor has any experience in the “real world”. You can’t claim superiority in language usage AND try to deny that you’re being obviously insulting at the same time. So yes, from the viewpoint of intent, both statements are equivalent from the terms of being nothing other than a gratuitous insult.

    See, that’s one of the things we hate about tone trolls. Most of them make far more insulting comments under the guise of polite language than anyone actually does with profanity here. So take your insults and your tone concerns and stuff them up your ass.

  350. 350
    SallyStrange

    I read your blog post, Jadehawk. It was a good one. I recommend it.

  351. 351
    carlie

    Seconded – that was a fantastic explanation of the whole thing, Jadehawk.

  352. 352
    Rey Fox

    I recommend Jadehawk’s blog post.

  353. 353
    Rey Fox

    Fah. I had this post sitting on my browser for a half an hour, so I didn’t see the other recommendations above mine before I posted.

  354. 354
    chigau (違う)

    I‘ve been to Africa™!
    Well, South Africa.
    Well, Cape Town.
    Well, a gated community in Cape Town.
    And a tourist bus.
    So yeah, I’ve been to Africa.
    and
    Fiji.
    New Zealand.
    Australia.
    Sweden.
    Japan.
    Nunavut.
    I have not been to Quebec (shame shame)

  355. 355
    Jadehawk

    you know what just occurred to me?

    so we have groups of atheist humanists that whine about the loss of atheist “souls” etc. blah blah, and how we need to copy religions by creating hierarchies, and having “trained leaders” to perform ceremonies, and building “temples” and having sermons, and making psychotherapists more like priests(!), and other such useless crap… but the one aspect where churches really do a massive amount of good and important work (social justice activism, and being the safety net that the state refused to provide), that somehow gets labeled mission creep and not the point of atheist activism.

    wtf?

    if the assorted humanist groups really absolutely must copy the religions in something, then social justice activism and community engagement in impoverished neighborhoods should be it, not providing “church” service and wedding ceremonies and building temples.

  356. 356
    Woo_Monster, Sniffer of Starfarts

    Rey Fox,

    Fah. I had this post sitting on my browser for a half an hour, so I didn’t see the other recommendations above mine before I posted.

    Regret it not. That last recommendation reminded me to go read it (not that I don’t value SallyStrange and Carlie’s recommendations). I would have read Jadehawk’s piece a little later, but a third recommendation in a row is hard to ignore/put off.

    Very nice summary, Jadehawk.

  357. 357
    Rey Fox

    I get the feeling that Alain de Botton’s pretty mind can’t be sullied by such worldly concerns.

  358. 358
    Woo_Monster, Sniffer of Starfarts

    Such outreach would be improper for a sophisticated atheologian like Alain de Botton.

  359. 359
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Since it’s not going to be easily accessible at the top of her page a year from now, here is a link to Jadehawk’s post: https://jadehawks.wordpress.com/2012/03/12/my-comments-on-the-american-atheists-racefail-and-their-defenders/

  360. 360
  361. 361
    Jadehawk

    and entirely unsurprisingly, I’m already getting backlash (on g+; from people I know in meatspace; of course) about how i’m somehow against freedom of speech; and people who don’t like this and are racist

    *sigh*

  362. 362
    Jadehawk

    this ad*

  363. 363
    nickhuebner

    This is an interesting response from AA on Facebook:

    As an African American and an atheist, the recent stir caused by the PA Nonbelievers/American Atheists billboard is both surprising and disheartening. While I expected a negative reaction from religious African Americans, I was disturbed to find dissent from Black people within the Secular Movement.

    The quote presented, “Slaves obey your masters,” was not taken out of context and is only one of the MANY locations in the Bible that you can observe a pro-slavery message. The image used was not created by American Atheists for this purpose, but was reprinted to illustrate the brutality that the Bible condones — and the reality of the conditions my ancestors endured. I am deeply saddened that the purpose of our billboard has been labeled as racist or as an “attack” on African Americans or a particular PA community. This vitriol is sorely misplaced, and should be directed at those who peddle Scripture as fact — or toward the PA House of Representatives that successfully sought to legislate it as such.

    If you are rightfully upset by the Bible passage or the image used to represent it, do not take it up with American Atheists. We don’t agree with them either! The only difference is that we refuse to deny the reality of what is in the Bible, and its role the historical & ongoing oppression of African Americans. If that is controversial, then so be it. As long as 2012 is the “Year of the Bible” in PA, we will be providing even more samples of the “Good Book” to show the folks of Pennsylvania what their government thinks is important. Maybe 2013 will be the “Year of Improved Infrastructure” or the “Year of Job-Growth” instead.

    AJ Johnson
    Development Director
    American Atheists

    This is just bizarre… I don’t really know how to interpret this. If she gave the go-ahead on this, maybe it underscores the problem of assuming that one African American speaks for the entire community.

    I think many of us atheists often forget that “rationality” doesn’t mean ignoring people, their emotions, their history, or their their culture. It also doesn’t mean that any of these things are irrational or somehow “invalid.”

  364. 364
    strange gods before me ॐ

    This is just bizarre… I don’t really know how to interpret this.

    I don’t think it’s bizarre, I think it’s predictable from an organizational standpoint. She’s accustomed to AA’s internal ways of doing and thinking about things — and there’s nothing wrong with this, any more than a Google employee and a Microsoft employee are likely to get accustomed to particular ways of thinking which differ from the other. And she’s somewhat less equipped to look at American Atheists culture the way that a Google employee can look at Microsoft culture, or for that matter, the way a non-Pharyngulite can look at Pharyngula culture.

    To be sure, none of this is to say that she’d disapprove of the billboard if she didn’t work there. I have absolutely no way of knowing that, and there are other black atheists, who aren’t involved with AA, who don’t have a problem with it.

    But this particular statement that she was “disturbed to find dissent from Black people within the Secular Movement”, is hard to explain any other way than organizational identification. I don’t see any black folks outside of AA, on either side of the debate, who are disturbed by the very dissent of black folks on the other side.

  365. 365
    consciousness razor

    As long as 2012 is the “Year of the Bible” in PA, we will be providing even more samples of the “Good Book” to show the folks of Pennsylvania what their government thinks is important. Maybe 2013 will be the “Year of Improved Infrastructure” or the “Year of Job-Growth” instead.

    Sure, they say that now. I hope they have Bible quotes ready to put on their ironic billboards promoting atheism and attacking the Year of Job-Growth, should that ever come to pass. If they won’t understand irony or relevance then, what’s most important is that (1) they will make a billboard, because billboard companies need the money, and (2) do nothing to meaningfully improve people’s lives, because fuck them.

  366. 366
    JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness

    Good fucking grief people are dense.

    There are a host of issues with this billboard and the AA response. Even if all of those issues were fixed/not included etc, the billboard would still be racist and wrong for the AA to use.

    White people, I am one of you but you don’t get to pull out slavery like you are so inclusionary and not bigoted. Just like African-American atheist shouldn’t use or would get backlash for putting up a billboard about LBGT bigotry in the bible.

    AA is not fighting against racism and is clearly not for ALL American Atheists. So stick to the vanilla shit fighting religion. Expanding to include all American Atheists like your title boldly suggests would be great but all things considered,lets not go there. You would probably fuck it up royally.

  367. 367
    nickhuebner

    “life is like a pitbull with lipstick ॐ”
    I see your point about organizational culture. That does make sense.

    I do think that when a Black spokesperson stands up and defends the billboard, fewer people (especially non-Blacks) will be willing to stand up and say “Hey, no, this billboard IS racist/counterproductive.” I’m not trying to pass judgement on anyone here. It’s just a potential problem.

  368. 368
    strange gods before me ॐ

    I’m crossposting my reply to gregfromcos here, for my convenience.

    +++++
    gregfromcos, some of those are reasonable questions, though the “refusing to listen to which minorities?” one has an obvious answer: refusing to listen to those who don’t already agree with their preconception. To that, the obvious response will be “aren’t both sides doing that?” But there’s evidence that the answer is no.

    I’ve seen no one claim that AJ Johnson should feel hurt by this billboard, that she should be angry or disappointed, or that she should consider it racist. It’s not unreasonable for her to come to her conclusions about it; it’s an ambiguous situation about which reasonable people can disagree.

    But from the other side — look at some commenters in the recent Pharyngula thread for example — I have seen people claiming that it is unjustified and inappropriate for any black people to disagree about whether it’s racist, or to feel triggered by the imagery or feel used via the appropriation of their history to score cheap points; and asserting that white atheists should not even have to regard their opinions as worthy of serious consideration until these black folks file an appropriate grievance which appeals to the white atheist’s already crystallized weltanschauung.

    I assume the black atheists on either side are conversant enough with these issues that mutual consideration is being given — although AJ’s statement that she’s “disturbed to find dissent” gives me pause — but among white atheists, any evidence of actually making an effort to understand black folks on the other side only appears among those who dispute the billboard.

    So, that’s after the fact. Who should American Atheists have listened to before putting up the billboard? There’s two big problems with their pool of black consultants: small sample size, and at least one obvious selection bias. The problem with their sample size is obvious so I won’t belabor that point.

    The selection bias arises for two reasons: first, these are black atheists, not the target audience for deconversion (and they’re mostly longtime atheist activists, who may tend even further away from the target audience than, say, a black atheist who just realized his lack of belief a couple weeks ago);

    second, they’re not just atheists, and not just longtime atheist activists, they’re activist members of American Atheists who are thus familiar with the internal tendencies of that organization, and won’t even view the billboard like a black atheist activist who’s not involved with AA could. In short, their consultants are about as far from the target audience as they possibly could be.

    The right way to do this is harder, but the easy way they chose wasn’t worth doing. They should have hired an independent firm to design and perform statistically representative polls in neighborhoods demographically similar to the target neighborhood. This way the sample size of black folks consulted could be large enough to be predictive, and the selection bias inherent in asking atheists could have been largely avoided.

    As Pharyngula commenter Jadehawk put it: “Advertising (and that’s what you’re doing when you put up a billboard; you’re advertising yourself) is not about you. Why do you think companies shell out ridiculous amounts of money on customer-data? It’s because advertising is about your target audience, not about you. You want an effective message? You have to put in the bloody effort of researching what issues are perceived as relevant by that target audience; you have to make the effort to understand the cultural, historic, and socioeconomic context in which your message will appear, so that you can understand how to create one that will be read the way you want people to read it. [...] a failure to do the relevant research yet assuming that you can get your message across anyway is a manifestation of privilege (in this case, racial privilege); and the public recognition of and involvement with African Americans only when it’s rhetorically useful to score points against religion is just plain racist, because it erases them and reduces them to rhetorical devices”.

    If all African Americans agreed on this, I don’t think there would be any disagreement among the FreeThought community.

    Finally, this is just wishful thinking on your part. Issues which the overwhelming majority of African Americans agree on such as affirmative action, and even issues on which African Americans are almost unanimous like Title II of the CRA 1964, or the fact that black people are as intelligent as white people, are frequently disputed by large factions of white atheists.

  369. 369
    tkreacher

    PorcoDio:

    You are an annoying, occasionally incoherent, hypocritical, weaselly, derailing, self-centered, blow-hard piece of shit.

    Do take a measure of comfort in the fact that I am viciously independent in thought. That is to say these indictments against you are not a matter of an entire group or hive of human beings sharing a common conclusion about you. It is not a vocal mirroring of other similar sounds heard bouncing around a cave or chamber.

    It is personal, singular and standing alone. Based solely on your own ramblings and nonsense.

    Just one person out here in the dark of the internets, probably completely unknown to you in meat-space. One person without any authority over you or control over any aspect of your life.

    A person who will forget about you shortly after closing this page.

    So… there’s that.

  370. 370
    nickhuebner

    @368 Thank you. Those are some solid points that help a lot. Jadehawk’s post was also a masterpiece.

    I can very easily see a situation where AA simply asked AJ for her opinion and made a (racist?) assumption that her opinion could/should stand in for that all Black people. It reminds me of something Tim Wise said about how Black people are constantly treated as “representatives” of their race in a way that white people never are.

    Whenever someone is proscribing an “appropriate” response for someone else (PorcoDio, Danthering, other idiots), there’s something really wrong with that mindset. I agree that even if every Black atheist agreed on this, there would still be assholes claiming that others have no right to feel offended.

    Finally, AA keeps saying things like “We offend people all the time. Why is this any different?” and “It’s good that people were offended. Now they’re talking about it.” This is a really irritating comparison. Provoking religious offense is totally different than provoking racial offense. Religion is a set of ideas about the world and ideas can be legitimately criticized. Race is not the same; attacking a particular race is not criticism, but bigotry.

  371. 371
    strange gods before me ॐ

    I can very easily see a situation where AA simply asked AJ for her opinion and made a (racist?) assumption that her opinion could/should stand in for that all Black people.

    From some other mentions by AA, I got the impression that they asked a few more black atheists, but less than a half dozen, and all members of AA.

    So yeah, way too small a sample, and remarkable selection bias. Kind of tragic from an organization that ostensibly promotes scientific thinking.

  372. 372
    Louis

    Carlie #349,

    The thrust of this is not aimed at you, but since only Brownian* seems to have got this obvious, leaden attempt at humour from me, I’ll be a boring old tart and explain.

    I would disagree with any claim that my intent in using the term “shit gobbling fuck-knuckle” was in any way similar to Porco Dio’s patronising insults. I wasn’t being insulting for starters!

    Back in #235, Porco Dio said:

    But this blog seems to me to be just an echo-chamber of name-callers and PC yes-men.

    To which I humorously replied in #253:

    That’s “yes-persons”, you shit gobbling fuck-knuckle.

    Louis

    P.S. Too obvious?

    1) Yes-men, well OBVIOUSLY (TM) the “PC” version of yes-men is yes-persons. We PC people are ONLY ever concerned with policing people’s language. ;-)

    2) We denizens of the comments section of this blog are merely yes-persons and name callers allegedly. I’m disagreeing with his accusing us of being name callers by faux calling him names. It is an joke.

    What I was attempting to do was mock the umpteenth accusation of this type by the endless succession of tone trolls that merrily trip through these fair pastures through the use of hyperbole. Granted, it’s a type of sarcasm, and hence beyond Porco Dio apparently, but I’m sure you knew all this already.

    I hate explaining jokes.

    Louis

    * Extra Ghey Secks for you!

  373. 373
    John Morales

    nickhuebner:

    This is just bizarre… I don’t really know how to interpret this.

    Duh. You can’t say Johnson is racist, because of her self-identification.

    (Me, when I interpreted the billboard in precisely the same way*, I was called racist)

    If she gave the go-ahead on this, maybe it underscores the problem of assuming that one African American speaks for the entire community.

    No less problematic than assuming that the entire community speaks for any given African American.

    * Entirely independently and absent any prompting.

  374. 374
    carlie

    Louis- Oh ues, it was perfectly clear what you were doing. I was just using it as per his example, that even if it had been meant rhat way that it still didn’t make the point he thought it did. Sorry I wasn’t clearer.

  375. 375
    keenacat

    Duh. You can’t say Johnson is racist, because of her self-identification.

    Well… Just like a woman can be misogynist, a person of color can be racist. (I’m not saying she is in this instance, as I haven’t read what she wrote, but as a general truth.)
    There was a discussion of thi super-weird “Camera Lucida”-blog some time ago. It was (and is, as a short visit confirmed) full of racist, misogynist and right-wing crap, with White Christian Male certainly being the preferred combination of attributes.
    The author is a woman, and certainly not white. Doesn’t make any of it less racist or misogynist.

  376. 376
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Well, one thing we know about you from long experience, John, is that you are more racist than average. Youre racist trolling right now, as is typical for you.

    However, this is two lies:

    (Me, when I interpreted the billboard in precisely the same way*, I was called racist)

    You didn’t interpret it precisely the same way, and you weren’t called a racist.

    I’m calling you a racist now, because this is the last straw. You always want to derail racial discussions — you deliberately tried to make this one be about you again — you always want to deny the existence of racism, and there is no better explanation for this pattern than that you consider non-white people in particular to be a joke for your amusement.

    What other errors:

    Duh. You can’t say Johnson is racist, because of her self-identification.

    Flawed premise, and stupidly inexcusable given your history here. I’m remarkably homophobic, as I’ve remarked several times. It’s entirely possible that Johnson is racist, even exceptionally so, against black people; but this is not the first most obvious conclusion, while in your case we have a longstanding pattern of racist behavior.

    No less problematic than assuming that the entire community speaks for any given African American.

    Indeed, no one here has done that, you fucking race-baiting troll. Get lost.

  377. 377
    Louis

    Carlie, #374,

    Oh I know YOU got it, you were clear to me…I wasn’t clear enough about that…

    And something like peace broke out across the Interwebs!

    ;-)

    Louis

  378. 378
    pelamun, the Linguist of Doom

    joed,

    you need to work on your communication skills. In 179, where you were addressing me directly, you were going on again about neocolonialism in Africa, which is not the topic of this thread!!

    Most people on this thread never disagreed with your position here

    Who ever in AA authorised that picture obviously doesn’t acknowledge his/her white privilege And this is a big part of this article –don’t you agree now.

    Part of the reason why many people here, including myself, are so angry at the AA doubling down.

  379. 379
    pelamun, the Linguist of Doom

    John,

    My initial reaction to the billboard was

    “Wow, that’s pretty extreme. I personally wouldn’t have done it, I hope they consulted with an African American skeptic group how they would see it”.

    I don’t share the African American experience regarding slavery in America. Thus, of course I would defer to their expertise on the matter. It seems AA did consult with African Americans, so they at least tried.

    But after seeing the backlash it caused among other African Americans, including the NAACP, and Black Skeptics groups, they should have seen the writing on the wall.

    Dismissing these voices like they did is inexcusable.

    (I didn’t follow the spat between you and “life is like” in detail, but if that was your position, then I think it’s inexcusable too)

  380. 380
    pelamun, the Linguist of Doom

    “they” refers to American Atheists here.

    Dismissing these voices like they did is inexcusable.

  381. 381
    Anri

    Can we all agree that if you only need to change the web address to have your billboard usable as a KKK advert, you’ve pretty much failed at a race-inclusive message?

    Oh, you might want to go to the trouble of rewording “Iron Age Ethics” into “Old Time Morals”, but other than that, the only reason the Klan might not use it is they’re usually more subtle.

    Just sayin’.

  382. 382
    John Morales

    [meta]

    pelamun:

    (I didn’t follow the spat between you and “life is like” in detail, but if that was your position, then I think it’s inexcusable too)

    He has declared himself my enemy, and (as a ideologue and consequentionalist) has admitted that truth is less important that results to him.

    (You can rely on his claims, or you can read what I’ve actually written)

    Let me elaborate, by taking his most recent example (bold is mine):

    I’m calling you a racist now, because this is the last straw. You always want to derail racial discussions — you deliberately tried to make this one be about you again — you always want to deny the existence of racism, and there is no better explanation for this pattern than that you consider non-white people in particular to be a joke for your amusement.

    Here is some background.

    Back in the original thread, Rutee responds to me:

    You think black people and slavery in America are unrelated?

    Are you a fucking nitwit? That’s the fucking point. You care about slavery and racism now, to score ideological points on theists, but when this thread is over you will go back to perpetuating it happily and not giving two shits about the problems black people face.

    (Is it not clear that the ‘you’ there refers to me?)

    I tell her she’s guessing, she doubles down:

    You’re guessing.

    No, I’m not. Even if I could not say this about you, personally (And I can, accurately), it would still be true of the movement at large, which specifically alienates people of color – even the disbelieving ones, the people who want to hear your message – and makes people of color generally speaking not want to join the ranks, such as they are.

    I ask her to sustain the claim, and she tries to do so by quoting other people:

    ruteekatreya, flib:

    [1] You care about slavery and racism now, [2] to score ideological points on theists, [3] but when this thread is over you will go back to perpetuating it happily [4] and not giving two shits about the problems black people face.

    Either of you care to attempt to justify claims [1..4], since you both imagine they’re not guesses?

    (Surely you can quote me)

    [quotes other people]

    I point out the accusations were made about me, not about others, and she begs off with a bit of handwaving and confused misremembrance:

    ruteekatreya, you made those guesses about me, not about others. :)

    (And linking to the image is otiose: it’s featured in the OP)

    I don’t care about you enough to dig through your nadir of privileged, whiney horse shit on Scienceborg, and even if I did, searching back through your anagram names would be tedious as shit. And since you’re just making it about you again, you have dropped below “Ascending my Tengu Gladiator in Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup” in my priority list at any rate.

    Stupid tactic it is, to make bullshit accusations and then claim the response means I’m making it about myself (rather than the accuser!) — and ॐ full well knows that, but still endorses it because when enough mud is thrown, some will stick.

    (Despicable, but that’s ideologues for ya. Bah.)

  383. 383
    jackrawlinson

    If you are not part of the oppressed group, you have to defer to the oppressed group when they say that something is racist.

    That is nasty, almost Orwellian bullshit, and I’ll have no part of it. Something is racist if it meets the definition of racism, not because someone merely declares it to be so. The meaning of words is not, and should not be, determined this way; and those who think it is, or should be, are a danger to truth, reason and fairness.

    I have been a regular Pharyngula reader for many years and I still enjoy most of the posts on this blog, but I don’t post here much because the level of rabid invective that is launched against anyone who dares to step away from the party line even slightly – particularly on the issues of race and gender – is just revolting and, in many cases, rank with the most astonishing hypocrisy. For example, we have someone here who in one breath tells a commenter to “…feel free to take your aggressive ignorance and fuck off…”, and to “Please pipe down and let the grown-ups talk”, and in the next loftily declares that “Your attitude is alienating”. Such self-blindness and casual double standards is depressing and tiresome. We saw the same disgraceful screeching at even the mildest of dissenters in the Rebecca Watson debacle.

    There is an unpleasant cadre of doctrinaire tub-thumpers who dominate the conversation and simply shout down dissent with aggression, insolence and smug condescension. This is ugly, and it has made it impossible to have a reasoned and civilised argument here. Generally I am not a fan of comment moderation but by Christ, this site could do with a bit more of it.

  384. 384
    pelamun, the Linguist of Doom

    jackrawlinson,

    Your concern is noted. Now fuck off.

    Thank you.

  385. 385
    pelamun, the Linguist of Doom

    John,

    I don’t want to presume to be the arbiter of this, also because I don’t have the time to wade through all the posts made on two threads, but let me tell you this based on what you posted just now:

    it looks to me that when discussing sensitive topics such as racism, you need to be less terse and abrasive. It just invites misunderstandings, and might actually wind up hurting people.

    Just my two cents here…

  386. 386
    keenacat

    Aw, cupcake. I’m so sorry you are being forced to come here and read our “aggression, insolence and smug condescension”. Is there anything we can do to help? Like call the police on the guy with the gun to your head? Or put a child-proofing program on your computer so you can rather surf to rainbowfartingunicorns.com?
    It must be so, so hard on you to dive into the dephts of Pharyngula when you could google pictures of adorable kittens snuggling with puppies.
    I feel for you, really.

  387. 387
    John Morales

    [meta]

    Making things all about me, I respond to more ॐ:

    You didn’t interpret it precisely the same way, and you weren’t called a racist.

    Yeah, I did, as per my earlier link (which was but an adumbration), and yes, I was: “You have continually failed to understand the objection, even in clear language that even the most unacquainted simpleton could understand, and you are still going to claim that I am reaching for straws when I say that yeah, you have problems on racial issues? In the face of similar failures on the part of other racists, in this very thread?”. [my emphasis]

    (If not, presumably I’m not calling ॐ a liar when I note that ॐ has problems with truth, similar to those of other liars. ;) )

  388. 388
    John Morales

    [meta]

    pelamun @385, that would be the prudent thing to do, yes.

    (I just find it antithetical to the ethos on which Pharyngula prides itself and to which I try to adhere, and hypocrisy is not something I care to knowingly perform)

  389. 389
    pelamun, the Linguist of Doom

    I just find it antithetical to the ethos on which Pharyngula prides itself and to which I try to adhere, and hypocrisy is not something I care to knowingly perform

    I’m confused? Pharyngula denies the validity of the Gricean maxims? Show me where, please?

  390. 390
    tkreacher

    This is almost tangental to the thread: I read The Watchmen a long, long time ago, and have read it approximately eight times over the years, watched the movie midnight when it came out, and happened to read it yet again last week and re-watch the movie a third time tonight, drunk.

    How much better would that story have been if Dr. Manhattan had been a woman. How much better than that would it have been if Dr. Manhattan had been a black woman?

    How much better would it have been if the most powerful and brilliant person in the story had been a minority, or, even better, a double minority?

    How much more progressive. How little we would have had to think about how the super smart youngish white male was the guy that beat death and time and petty human trifles?

    How much better than fucking all of that if sex and race weren’t even something that crossed my fucking mind while reading or watching?

    Yet here we are in the world as it is. And here I am drunkenly pointing out how bucking the norm in terms of gender and race (and not even pointing toward other types of) privilege in a novel or movie would make it better.

    2012, in a “western” country, and I still think about this fucking shit.

    Fuck.

  391. 391
    strange gods before me ॐ

    He has declared himself my enemy,

    Yes.

    and (as a ideologue

    No, this is a lie.

    and consequentionalist) has admitted that truth is less important that results to him.

    Admitted is too weak a word; I’ve advocated this. And yes, that’s consequentialism, but your implication here is that I’m likely to be lying at any moment. That’s stupid, as it assumes that I don’t understand this is an indefinitely iterated game. From a consequentialist standpoint, in an iterated game with a consistent public identity, I have the same strong incentives to be truthful as everyone else does. (Well, a rational alternative would be to advocate stances opposite to those I really agree with, and practice constant ratfucking, but I find that prospect to be discouraging. I have a selfish goal of uncovering truth because learning is personally satisfying, and dishonesty impedes sharing, making the pursuit of truth much more difficult.) And I think you know all this already, and are carefully, selectively, deceiving by omission.

    Let me elaborate, by taking his most recent example (bold is mine):

    I’m calling you a racist now, because this is the last straw. You always want to derail racial discussions — you deliberately tried to make this one be about you again — you always want to deny the existence of racism, and there is no better explanation for this pattern than that you consider non-white people in particular to be a joke for your amusement.

    And?

    That’s exactly what you did. This thread wasn’t about you. You had a whole other thread to complain about what Rutee said. You showed up here to complain anew about some perceived slights against you. Ergo you deliberately tried to make this one be about you again.

    It’s fucking disgusting, your ego.

  392. 392
    consciousness razor

    Something is racist if it meets the definition of racism, not because someone merely declares it to be so.

    Definitions have their uses, but they don’t make up everything there is to know about the phenomenon being defined. We need to know how racism is experienced, and for that, we need to listen to the people who are hurt by it. This can help us refine our definitions, if we’re deeply concerned about language as you seem to be; but our primary concern should still be the people having those experiences, not the abstractions themselves, because those come after listening, not before.

    This is ugly, and it has made it impossible to have a reasoned and civilised argument here.

    So that’s why you didn’t make a reasonable argument? Do you plan on making one somewhere else? Location, location, location. Maybe you should find someplace where they will believe you’ve made an argument even when you haven’t.

  393. 393
    John Morales

    [meta]

    ॐ:

    That’s exactly what you did. This thread wasn’t about you.

    It still isn’t.

    You had a whole other thread to complain about what Rutee said.

    I deliberately left it alone, even when you tried to stir me in TET with your stupid button-pushing attempts, and again until you poked me here.

    You showed up here to complain anew about some perceived slights against you.

    <sigh>

    It’s fucking disgusting, your ego.

    Now that is a perceived slight! ;)

    (My engorged, throbbing ego which so disgusts ॐ is what will allow me to henceforth depart this thread)

  394. 394
    consciousness razor

    (My engorged, throbbing ego which so disgusts ॐ is what will allow me to henceforth depart this thread)

    BYE BYE JOHN

    *pats him on the head gingerly with a claw hammer*

  395. 395
    strange gods before me ॐ

    The damnedest thing is that you claimed yesterday on TET that you were done with it, that you’d said all you wanted to say. So I let it go. I was a fool to believe you. Lo, here you are again to derail another thread with your race-baiting. Why the fuck do you have this racist obsessive behavior pattern, John?

    Are you a fucking nitwit? That’s the fucking point. You care about slavery and racism now, to score ideological points on theists, but when this thread is over you will go back to perpetuating it happily and not giving two shits about the problems black people face.

    (Is it not clear that the ‘you’ there refers to me?)

    You are well aware that Rutee’s stance is a great deal broader than this. What you omit from her: “atheists demonstrate the same general fucking cluelessness as the rest of the motherfucking racist population on matters of race. [...] you’re fucking human and in your fucking racist culture. Unless you’d like to contend that atheism frees you from your cultural blinders (Which is fucking laughable), the atheist movement has problems with race, gender, sexuality, etc, same as everyone else.”

    Ergo, it’s not about you.

    This is the same Rutee who said of herself (I paraphrase, but this is close, and I’ll find it eventually), “I think six misogynistic thoughts before breakfast.”

    I see a new lie which must be addressed sooner rather than later:

    I deliberately left it alone, even when you tried to stir me in TET with your stupid button-pushing attempts, and again until you poked me here.

    Goddamn lying racist piece of shit!

    I didn’t say a fucking word about you in here; you showed up to complain about how you think you were treated elsewhere:

    (Me, when I interpreted the billboard in precisely the same way*, I was called racist)

    You did not leave the matter alone; you brought it up again completely unnecessarily, in this new thread, because you have to derail threads about race to be about you.

  396. 396
    Anri

    … it is amazing how much thread space people can use trying to determine if the thread is about them or not.

  397. 397
    tkreacher

    Being half black, mulatto, mixed breed, an Oreo, an abomination to some… it is somewhat surprising, upon reflection, when I think about it how little I think about racism.

    It probably has something to do with the “I can take care of myself” thing, and the “nobody fucks with me” thing I have always fortunately (unfortunately?) operated by (suffered?).

    But I’ll say this reading this thread to the end here: it annoys the living shit out of me to see what I assume to be a bunch of pretty bright white people arguing over who is kind of/more/unaware of being/untenably racist.

    Seriously.

  398. 398
    strange gods before me ॐ

    I’ll bet, tkreacher. But this fucker John has been a recurring nuisance for years now on race threads, and my eyes are full of blood. It’s got to stop, and I know of no other way to stop him than to be relentlessly cruel. He does eventually learn caution from being widely hated.

    +++++

    (Is it not clear that the ‘you’ there refers to me?)

    No more so than white folks generally. You know what was meant by her comments, since — as my quotes show — she had already said as much about white folks and white institutions generally.

    So you were being deceitful when you said

    Me, when I interpreted the billboard in precisely the same way*, I was called racist

    There’s only a very twisted way that this statement has any truth value. It’s like “when I interpreted the billboard in precisely the same way, the microwave dinged and my burritos were done.”

    Taking for granted the “other racists” phrase, the two things may have happened at about the same time, but one was not the consequence of the other.

    Interpreting the billboard like Johnson (if you had, which you did not, but that’s next) would not be the cause of you being called racist. The most direct cause of the “other racists” phrase was that part of the discussion which began with “Are you a fucking nitwit? That’s the fucking point. You care about slavery and racism now, to score ideological points on theists, but when this thread is over you will go back to perpetuating it happily and not giving two shits about the problems black people face.”

    But see, this is not something that could just as well be said of Johnson. As a black person, she doesn’t have many options but to have to give a shit about the problems black people face.

    So your premises, they are all bullshit. You demonstrably were not called a racist for speaking like Johnson.

    And what are all the other causes of your being called a racist? Let’s not forget those, for they are many. In the beginning at #134 you reduced the issue to either a “concern troll” or “your concern is noted” joke.

    You then mocked being «uncomfortable just dragging out the support for slavery in a void. If someone specifically says “The bible is all about freedom”, sure, that’s a passage to bring up in opposition to that. But just bringing it up on its own? Feels appropriative as shit.»

    You denied that there could be anything racist about the billboard with your “Such racism as you see is due to that” hand-waving, while completely failing to engage any of the arguments about why the billboard is racist. This, as I pointed out on TET, is fucking inexcusable. It’s tragic. Reasonable people can disagree about this, but you didn’t disagree reasonably. You didn’t try. You’ve made no effort to approach this honestly or seriously, because racism is not an important issue to you.

    Next you denied that you ever perpetuate racism. Completely fucking absurd, simply impossible unless you were a totally self-sufficient hermit with no communication with anyone.

    And, as others noted, you spent the goddamn thread playing games and generally derailing, again because you don’t care about racism and can’t take it seriously.

    AJ Johnson? Didn’t do most of that shit. Therefore it’s a lie to claim that you were called a racist for speaking like Johnson. There are so many more reasons to regard you as a racist than Johnson.

  399. 399
    curtisnelson

    tkreacher said: “But I’ll say this reading this thread to the end here: it annoys the living shit out of me to see what I assume to be a bunch of pretty bright white people arguing over who is kind of/more/unaware of being/untenably racist.”

    Why do you think it’s wrong, or annoying, for white people to talk about what is or isn’t racism?

    Is opinion on the subject of racism only valid if it’s coming from someone who has experienced racism? That seems to be the sentiment expressed in the statement above. That doesn’t make sense to me. But I suppose the fact that it annoys the shit out of you is a clue to my utter cluelessness about why it is, and no rational on why it is annoying will be forthcoming because the fact that I have to ask shows how hopeless I am, and maybe an insult is the only appropriate thing for someone like me.

  400. 400
    tkreacher

    Curtnelson @399

    First, you conflate annoying with “wrong”, and associate them presuppositionally in your head. I made no such claim.

    Second, you conflate annoyance with some statement about the “validity of opinion”. Again, only exists in your mind.

    You hedge a bit with “seems to be the sentiment”, which is nice.

    Then you move on to abject stawman about what you think my supposed implications will mean in regard to your clueless-ness, hopeless-ness, and the insults I will hurl as a result.

    Well, you’re right at least in part; you’re a fucking moron.

    But I don’t come to that insulting conclusion based on what you thought I would.

  401. 401
    Anri

    Is opinion on the subject of racism only valid if it’s coming from someone who has experienced racism? That seems to be the sentiment expressed in the statement above. That doesn’t make sense to me. But I suppose the fact that it annoys the shit out of you is a clue to my utter cluelessness about why it is, and no rational on why it is annoying will be forthcoming because the fact that I have to ask shows how hopeless I am, and maybe an insult is the only appropriate thing for someone like me.

    (drama redacted)

    It seems like a reasonable position that the victims of racism likely have a better grasp of what constitutes racism than non-victims. The alternative is to assume either:

    a) The non-victims (who will typically be the perpetrators, of course) have a better grasp of racism than those that experience it and should therefore be the go-to source for a determination of it,

    - or -

    b) That being a victim of racism grants no insights into the nature of racism, and that no particular weight should be given to those that have gone through an experience in discussing it.

    This is, as with everything, an imprefect rule, and there are bound to be exceptions.

    However, the assumption that non-victims have an equal or superior grasp of discriminatory policy than do the victims is the same thinking that results in an all-male panel called to testify on birth control legistation.

  402. 402
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    Jackrawlinson:

    If you are not part of the oppressed group, you have to defer to the oppressed group when they say that something is racist.

    That is nasty, almost Orwellian bullshit, and I’ll have no part of it. Something is racist if it meets the definition of racism, not because someone merely declares it to be so. The meaning of words is not, and should not be, determined this way; and those who think it is, or should be, are a danger to truth, reason and fairness.

    1. Fuck you.
    2. This sort of idea – that we should use dictionary definitions only and be “objective” about shit is classic derailing. It cedes power to the pernicious and terrible idea that there is only one correct view of oppression, and that view is that of the “default.” Note that the default is the dominant. This idea allows the oppressor to define oppression and bigotry, which – surprise – allows them to define everything except what they like doing as oppression.

    If you aren’t living as an oppressed person, you can’t really get what it means. You can – and should – empathize, but empathy is not the same as living.

  403. 403
    curtisnelson

    tkreacher: You certainly came through with the insult I supposed you would and no rational for why a general discussion of racism is annoying. You quibbled about whether an annoyance equals wrong.

  404. 404
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Guh.

    curtisnelson, tkreacher didn’t say quite what you inferred.

    a bunch of pretty bright white people arguing over who is kind of/more/unaware of being/untenably racist

    is not the same as

    for white people to talk about what is or isn’t racism

    Among other things, one is about “who” and the other is about “what”.

  405. 405
    tkreacher

    Curt:

    Your inability to parse meaning and your penchant for fallacy in defense of what Josh pointed out earlier, in another, as wildly self-centered and privileged perceived offense are noted and filed away as “not my concern”.

  406. 406
    Woo_Monster, Sniffer of Starfarts

    I can see how a bunch of white people arguing over what constitutes a racist action could be viewed as annoying, or worse. Real people are experiencing what a group of privileged people with no stake in the game are arguing about. It could seem like we (I say we because I am one of those white people debating this issue), are treating a serious issue as merely academic, or that the entire argument is just one big pedantic mental exercise.
    All I can say is that I don’t consider the argument merely academic. I am a passionate ally, and am attempting to elucidate concepts of privilege to others, who like me are not always aware of how their actions may be perceived by people with different experiences. I defer 100% to the opinions of the directly-effected class of people. On feminism, women have the authority to define terms, determine which issues are most pressing, and even to exclude men from using the term “feminist” to describe themselves (I will happily be a feminist-ally).
    All that being said, despite my intentions to be a helpful ally, I could/ probably do come off as privileged and grating on these issues, which I view as important, but about which I have no personal experience. I am sorry about that. I welcome being called out when my privilege is showing, and when I am being an unhelpful/annoying ally.

    TL/DR: It is the people who ultimately experience oppression who have the authority in discussions of said oppression.

  407. 407
    tkreacher

    life is like a pitbull with lipstick:

    In his defense, maybe he stupidly read it as, “a bunch of pretty (attractive), bright white (gleaming white) people…”

    Heh.

  408. 408
    chigau (違う)

    A long time ago, in a made-for-TV movie about the Nuremberg Trials, one of the Nazi characters said something like,
    “You cannot understand antisemitism because you are a Jew!”
    At first I thought that was really fucking stupid.
    Now I think it’s probably true. It depends on what you mean by “understand”.
    I think even the TVNazi would agree that the recipients of the shitty end of the stick are better qualified to define and describe the experience than those on the clean end of the stick.

  409. 409
    Rutee Katreya

    Wow, John, good job proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that what I said applies to you. I might have had to actually ‘work’ (which is to say, pull stuff up on google) to substantiate this, but you’ve gone and done it in front of us, for all to see. Again. You are an egotistical, clueless, whiny jackass, as you always were. If that guy who always has that symbol in his name wants to do this, more power to him though, I suppose.

    But I’ll say this reading this thread to the end here: it annoys the living shit out of me to see what I assume to be a bunch of pretty bright white people arguing over who is kind of/more/unaware of being/untenably racist.

    If it helps, one of them is rather consistently using the arguments of predominantly non-white people, applied correctly. I don’t care enough about this particular one, and am currently more concerned with advancing the Jimena dynasty in Crusader Kings 2.

    Well that and most of the other racists have shut up.

    tkreacher: You certainly came through with the insult I supposed you would and no rational for why a general discussion of racism is annoying. You quibbled about whether an annoyance equals wrong.

    I love faux rationality and faux objectivity! Is this the part of the game where you dismiss all your opponents as ‘irrational’ and don’t address any points made?

  410. 410
    curtisnelson

    It is interesting how some who see themselves as protecting an oppressed group from offense, are so eager to be offensive themselves.

  411. 411
    keenacat

    It is interesting how some who see themselves as protecting an oppressed group from offense, are so eager to be offensive themselves.

    Oh noes, is someone being insulted? Shock horror.

  412. 412
    Rutee Katreya

    YEah, being called a racist and a moron is EXACTLY AS BAD as losing the opportunities for hiring and advancement that comes with being non-white. Why, I daresay it’s more offensive when done to someone of /your/ stature!

  413. 413
    KarenX

    This is sort of a derailment of the current conversation, I admit, but I saw this post over at Sociological Images and thought immediately of this billboard and this thread:

    EU Recalls Racist “Neighbourhood Policy” Propaganda

    What really made me blink was this excerpt from the subsequently issued non-apology, which starts like the one the AA issued about the billboard:

    The clip was absolutely not intended to be racist and we obviously regret that it has been perceived in this way. We apologise to anyone who may have felt offended. Given these controversies, we have decided to stop the campaign immediately and to withdraw the video.

    The difference is that they say they regret that offended people misunderstood them (eh…) but at least they withdrew the ad.

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