“The Great Replacement” is the white nationalist myth that whites are being replaced by minorities, either through a conspiracy, or because declining birth rates among whites. It’s embodied in the infamous Charlottesville chant, “Jews will not replace us.” EIYNAH at OnlySky recently posted an article about some leaders of the New Atheist Movement promoting this “theory”:
One of his books, The Strange Death of Europe (guess what is causing this ‘death’: Muslim mass migration and low birth rates) Received praise from neo-Nazi group Generation Identity, it was also recommended on white nationalist hate-site Stormfront and has made an appearance on other racist and white nationalist reading lists. If that wasn’t enough, it was also promoted on Facebook by far-right Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban, and also received high praise from Sam Harris (“wonderful,” “very witty,” “fantastic book,” “beautiful read”).
Harris is not only a long-time defender and promoter of Douglas Murray but has contributed to the normalizing of great replacement themes through his own content as well. I was once a fan of Harris’s and have spent the past few years feeling terrible about that, a fact I explore in a miniseries in more detail. But to sum it up, once I started feeling uneasy with some of his content and associations, I hoped that much of it could be chalked up to ignorance or his not having the time to delve into some of the characters he was promoting.
I could not have been more wrong.
It’s a long post, but worth reading. I agree with her that atheism doesn’t make a person immune to racist or sexist thinking. Many atheists expect religious followers to speak out against their toxic leaders. We shouldn’t be afraid to do the same to the prominent faces of atheism.
It’s a theme I also touch on in my latest novel.
I just started following Eiynah, and I look forward to her future posts.
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Great American Satan says
I’m glad to see somebody forming a clear break in their mind from any previous admiration for one of these scumbags. Some people just can’t shake that off, even after years of scumbaggery.
Raging Bee says
I guess I should be called an “Old Atheist,” because I became an atheist long before any of the “New Atheists” came along. So fortunately, I never felt any need to study or look up to any of them at any point in my life.
I’m also glad the old “New Atheists” are being replaced over time by a newer, more diverse and experienced generation — the New New Atheists? — who are doing a much better job of speaking out as atheists in ways that are more useful to people in the real world. The “New Atheists” got old a long time ago, and I can’t wait for all of them to finish fading into irrelevance.
William Brinkman says
Raging Bee: I’m glad a new generation of atheists are stepping up and doing a better job. I’d just add that people like Dawkins and Shermer still have many followers along with the resources and media to spread their message. That they’re using their platforms to provide cover for some very bigoted ideas is concerning because they still have some influence.
Matthew Currie says
I guess I’m too old to be a new atheist, thank whatever. I keep hearing about the great replacement, but we’re still being dragged around by the same old idiots. Come on, start replacing already.
Belief that atheism automatically makes a person immune to racism would seem to require profound ignorance of the history of atheism in America in general, and in particular of Charles Lee Smith (the founder of the American Association for the Advancement of Atheism) and of his successor James Hervey Johnson.
Raging Bee says
I don’t remember ever hearing anyone expressing any kind of belief that “atheism automatically makes a person immune to racism,” or to any other form of prejudice or other irrational thought-patterns.