About time they noticed


After that peculiar documentary on atheism that made it seem like we’re all just white men pinin’ for a church, CNN makes partial amends with an article on black atheists by Mandisa Thomas.

Yes, we exist — even if many in the media sometimes don’t notice us. In a CNN special that aired on Tuesday, for example, people of color were not as well-represented as American atheism’s more familiar face: You know, white males.

In fact, African-American atheists represent a still small — though growing — segment of American atheists at large. Does this mean that blacks and other minorities generally just don’t gravitate towards nonbelief, or are there other factors which keep us hidden?

The fact that CNN took this long to get around to noticing, and even then set the black voice aside in a separate article, I’m putting my money on “other factors”.


  1. latveriandiplomat says

    You can’t blame CNN. None of Wolf Blitzer’s African-American friends are atheists. He checked, because he’s just that thorough.

  2. twas brillig (stevem) says

    excuse me, please, for repeating myself:
    as in (with a few edits thrown in):

    twas brillig (stevem)

    29 March 2015 at 9:06 am

    It doesn’t surprise they display the same “white male only” preference for interviewees on atheism.

    I gotta agree with all your points, most sincerely. I just also think that, in this case only, the “white male only”, might actually work as a strategy tactic to get the point across. Cuz who gots to hear this noise about atheism being a valid philosophy, …? Yes, “white male privileged scums”, they will only listen to other white males, so to get them to listen, you gotta have white males talking at them. I know that is “playing THEIR game”, but if CNN had a more diverse cast talking about atheism, most of their audience will just dismiss it and change change channels, hearing none of it disregarding all of it. I know this is not a consistent strategy of CNN’s: only women to discuss women’s issues, only POC’s to discuss race issues, etc, but in this case, while accidental, it might just get the point across more effectively than being truly representative of the diversity of atheists in general.

    But, I am being deceived also. I’m accusing CNN of attempting to educate America about atheism, if they were really trying to just “show us” atheism (with no attempt at selling it as a valid philosophy or not) then yes, they did a pisspoor job of showing us the real extent and diversity of atheists. In short, was CNN trying to show atheism, or atheists?
    CNN may be “not good”, but it’s still far better than Faux Noise. At least CNN will slip some facts in, here and there, while Faux only lies, lies, lies.

  3. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    I’m putting my money on “other factors”.

    And here I thought small-town college professors didn’t make enough money to gamble.

  4. unclefrogy says

    it would have to be a very small amount of money to get anyone to take that bet.
    uncle frogy

  5. marcus says

    Thanks for that quote from Butterfly McQueen!
    Succinct and brutally accurate.
    Love her!
    Clark Gable almost stalked off the set of “Gone With the Wind” when he discovered studio bathrooms were designated “White” and “Colored.”
    In an excerpt published by the New York Post … writer Michael Sragow says Gable “got on the phone to Fleming (the producer), who called the prop master and told him, ‘If you don’t get those signs down, you won’t get your Rhett Butler.’ ”
    The signs were taken down immediately.
    From http://www.hellonegro.com

  6. F.O. says

    Love the caption on the Black Nonbelievers website “Walking by sight, not by faith”