Wednesday, October 28, 2015

#BlackLivesMatter: The Racist Element of the Atheist Community

Last weekend I had the pleasure of meeting Mandisa Thomas a fellow Atheist and founder and current President of Black Nonbelievers, Inc. During that meeting she talked about why it was important to have a space where Black Atheists can meet in safe numbers. I personally believe that when we create spaces for Black folks, it is important to note that if privilege & racism didn't exist, we wouldn't need said spaces.



Too often, when we Black folk talk about our plights, issues and cultural aspects that are unique to us, White people, knowingly and unknowingly interject themselves into the conversation and make a very post racial argument. It is nice that many Whites would love a post racial society, but as long as there is a school to prison pipeline, discrimination in hiring, institutional racism and etc, we will never be post racial. Whether we like it or not privilege is rooted in skin tone and it will take years to break that centuries old social construct. Black Lives Matter would not have to be a movement(and I repeat) "if black people in the United States were not systemically, institutionally, traditionally, practically, diminished, marginalized, minimized, denigrated, persecuted and discriminated against as a matter of everyday course in actually thousands of ways no white person ever has had to endure." White people are not used the word "no" and many are sorely unaware of their privilege. When called on that privilege, they feel like they are being called racist and even go as far as to play as if they are being victimized.

White privilege (or white skin privilege) is a term for societal privileges that benefit white people in western countries beyond what is commonly experienced by non-white people under the same social, political, or economic circumstances.

You cannot be victimized by the truth, the only thing the truth will do is enhance your ignorance (denial) or wake you the fuck up. Privileged people (White) tend to look down on and grimace at people who do not socially identify with their sociocultural norms. "I just simply want it to be known that we must all learn our privileges, prejudices and isms. I recently have spent a lot of my time calling folks out on their White Privilege only to get push back due to the perceived idea that I am implying that all White people are racist. I, and many others do not think this way at all..." It is so embedded that they don't even they don't even notice it and turn it around on those they are victimizing. If you look at the screenshot above, you will see that this person willingly diminished the Black Lives and reduced our socially constructed race down to that of Ultra Violet rays. I have to say that my melanin has made a world of difference when it comes to opportunities, life chances and overall societal treatment, and it has been rough. To diminish the struggles of what Black folks go through is in fact perpetuating racism and privilege. WHY? The reason why, is because White folks rich and poor do not have a shared living experience with that of the collective Black community and its spectrum of beliefs that lie within. Why waste so much time trying to look for common ground instead of celebrating differences?

"As a Black man I see the images that illustrate that there are two ways to live get educated or live a street life. We get beat down by those who look like us when we show signs of intelligence and are belittled for being educated. Then in many cases, we are seen as threatening by our White counterparts who in many cases have what they got from nepotism and favoritism. Now think on this for a second, I have not even gone into the depths of talking about my being Gay or Queer. We are taught that in order to be a strong Black man, we must be providers who are masculine, tough, lack emotional depth, produce children, believe in God, and find a wife in order to succeed. I believe in taking on that personification that we buy into misogyny, patriarchy, machismo, homophobia, effemiphobia and hyper - masculinity.  We are forced fed to believe in God even if some of us know in our hearts that Christianity is not what we truly believe in. As Black men, regardless of sexual orientation we are forced to live in some type of closet where we have to hide mental illnesses, health issues, atheism and then we have to wear a smile and be conscious of our society that is steeped in White supremacy in order to not get killed by that crooked cop for coming off as too strong, too educated and dare I say it? Wealthy." -  #ITLQBM

As a collective Atheists are treated badly in many circles, so why bring the Christianity driven constructs of hate and its ridiculous justifications. If racist members of the Atheist community think that they are better than Theists, they are DEAD wrong! Not only is the erasure they commit prevalent, but they argue Black on Black crime, in the same breath saying that its not about race. I said this, "The movement for Black lives is about deconstructing and dismantling a system of racism and White supremacy. We start with the police violence on Blackness, and work into other areas that have been very problematic in terms of criminalizing Blackness, perpetuating misogyny, limiting access to quality education, financial stability, access to proper health care and a host of others. The spectre of Black on Black crime is used as a tool in an attempt to say “Black people fix your problems at home before you hold us accountable.” That statement is dangerous in many ways, would there be Black on Black crime IF we had an equal playing field and there was no White privilege to be concerned with? Sociologically, Black on Black crime is actually less than that of White on White crime, we the Black people get a bad rap because society is socialized to see Black as impure, bad, putrid. This leads to internalized racism, the need for a White savior, doing everything possible to be the opposite of what ethnically comes along with being Black."