Anjuli Pandavar is no longer part of our network

I have been receiving complaints from readers and other bloggers for months — and recent posts praising Fox News and blaming black Americans for racism were the final straw. We do have an ethos here, laid out plainly.

We are skeptics and critics of dogma and authoritarianism, and in addition, we recognize that the nonexistence of deities entails a greater commitment to human values, and in particular, an appreciation of human diversity and equality.

We are for feminism, against racism, for diversity, against inequity.

It’s a general sentiment, but if you can’t meet any of it, you don’t belong here. We’ve been agonizing over rejecting Anjuli Pandavar all summer long, and the consensus of the active members of the FtB community was that her continued presence was a betrayal of our principles.


  1. says


    There will probably be some Interesting™ comments about this.

    No doubt. As PZ said, this was not a snap decision, and there was consensus. No one took delight in it, but this was a matter of principle.

  2. rpjohnston says

    If I’m thinking of the right person, I think I stopped reading her a few months back when there was some news thing and she called black Americans who were relevant to it “thugs”. She was called out for that, gave a snippy “I’m British, what’s wrong with calling a thug a thug?” and got schooled on what thug means in America. I wasn’t convinced that she really got it, or cared.

    I am morbidly curious as to how bad some of her other stuff got, though I guess the records are erased now.

  3. says

    I can imagine that rejecting a contributor from a blogging network is a pretty trying process. Thank you, PZ, and thanks to the other writers at FTB as well for dealing with this situation.

    The sentiments expressed in the text you quoted are so very important: especially in the unfortunate, violent times we are facing here in the US and especially in an era of authoritarian, fascistic politics growing across the globe.

  4. Pierce R. Butler says

    A pity, in some ways: she got a few things right, but always stirred in enough wrong to ruin the result.

  5. kestrel says

    I’m sure that was a difficult decision, thank you to everyone.

    I tried reading her and found it difficult to swallow some of what she said. That’s fine – that’s part of why you would read a blog, to learn something different and see things in a different way, so I’m good with that. But the last post about how Tucker Carlson is such an awesome journalist etc. just left me shaking my head. I was real surprised to read the sentiments after the statement about Tucker Carlson here on this network.

    I am sad about it in a way, but must agree that this is probably not the best place for her.

  6. says

    Thank you. That last post, I honestly thought it was some kind of satirical take-down. I couldn’t square it with this network.

  7. blf says

    I myself found the writing style tedious (not helped by an unfamiliarity, it seemed, with paragraphs), which is relevant only in that, as a result, I could never quite work out what was being said. (From memory, comments by others on recent threads suggest I am not alone on confusion due to the writing style.) Snippets / excerpts certainly suggested a viewpoint which was neither progressive inclusive nor well-reasoned, but as I myself could never(? rarely?) decipher the context — or often, even, the overall point(s) — I wound up almost-completely ignoring that blog.

  8. says

    I am loathe to be happy about a black female voice being pushed away… but this time, I must be.

    I found everything she wrote problematic at best, and often sliding down the scale to horrifying. It was unfiltered racism and hate which started reminiscent of and ended indistinguishable from hardcore white supremacist rhetoric.

  9. emergence says

    I always assumed that I was reading her wrong because she managed to get a spot on this site. Part of the reason I didn’t say anything about her after the rare instances where I actually read what she was saying was because, as a white guy, I felt like I would be in a weird poisition calling out a black woman for saying questionable things about race. It’s ironic, actually. I think one of her issues was about how apparently young white men can’t call out women of color for racism. In a way, I don’t think I’m being as hard on her as I could be now.

    I already suspect what some of the criticisms will be regarding Anjuli and everyone else breaking ties. I can understand that a group should allow differences of opinion, and that people should be willing to consider multiple viewpoints. But what if one of the viewpoints espoused by a member of the group runs counter to the basic intent of the group? Are groups of individuals not even allowed to have core uniting ideological tenets? At any rate, heaping praise on Tucker Carlson of all people – while other bloggers were writing articles outright citing evidence of his dishonesty and race-baiting – indicates her viewpoint is in many ways outright antagonistic to to the purpose of FTB.

    I’m hoping that when the mask slips completely from the GOP and their allies in the media, Anjuli and people like her will re-evaluate their views.

  10. DanDare says

    Well that’s a relief. The articles should be kept though with a note that she is no longer publishing because she did not fit well with the network’s philosophy.

  11. Holms says

    Yeah, it was only a matter of time. Now watch out for phase 2: slymepitters crowing about FTB’s imminent demise + accusations of ‘omg echo chamber!’

  12. scoobie says

    She’s a talented writer and I enjoyed reading her articles which seemed mostly aimed at grown-ups. Seems there’s precious little left worth sticking around for now. Hey ho.

  13. Alt-X says

    Good. The world doesn’t need more Uncle Toms (yeah, I said it). The Nazi’s and other hate groups loved parading self hating jewish people around. And so does FOX re: BLM. Also doesn’t surprise me she’s British. My Dad was taught his skin colour was something to be ashamed of and White was Right. The thing to aspire to. Queen and Country, pip pip old boy. His mother use to scrub his skin with a steel brush to try and whiten him. To try and get him out of the low class status he was destined to. Luckily, University gave him tools to get the hell out of that country and live an excellent life style working and traveling the world.

    Black history is a lot different in the UK than US, although they have been in the UK since roman time and 1500’s as slaves, longer than the USA. Over there they’d wipe out your past, pride and culture and replace it with a totally white persona, the superior British way of acting. Thats why the black community there didn’t have the same cultural growth as in the USA (food, music, literature, dress, religion) It wasn’t until alllll the way to the 70’s that it was even acknowledged as existing, with the explosion of Reggie music in the 80’s (white people liked Reggie), It suddenly became OK and even cool to be black (as long as you acted Jamaican).

    There really isn’t much written about Black British culture from the past (pre-1930’s) (hey, maybe I should start a blog?!), I’ve just had a look around to find some references – I think this kinda sums it up

    So anyway, anyone that thinks Tucker Carlson is the last great journalist around really doesn’t deserve to be here.

  14. scoobie says

    >>Hey ho, off you go. *waves good bye*

    Cheerio old pip. I’ll give your regards to Reggie if I see him.

  15. says

    Scoobie @20 said:

    She’s a talented writer and I enjoyed reading her articles which seemed mostly aimed at grown-ups.

    I’ve noticed that young children don’t often carry the sad, limiting prejudices of their elders. So, in that sense, you might be on to something. One usually has to be exposed to years of soaking in common prejudicial biases before the consumption of prejudiced writing becomes an appealing way to regularly spend one’s time.

    Have fun hanging out with those “worldly” (prejudiced) adults, scoobie. I’d rather spend time around children who’ve yet to be unexposed to the sad, petty biases of the adult world. One can sometimes learn a thing or two from children… if one respects them enough to actually pay attention.

  16. Alt-X says

    @ scoobie – You came back just to say that? If I wanted a come back, I’d just go see your mum.