To Atheists & Christians: My Black Atheists Page is NOT Racist! | This Shit is Getting Tired!

It’s fucked up that I have to tell this shit to atheists; I expect that level of bullshit from the religious. 

I’m racist if there are people who aren’t black on my atheist page. I’m racist because the page is called ‘Black Atheists’. I’m not about equality and I’m segregating atheism for having ‘black’ in the title. I can’t win for losing. 

I get bombarded by mostly other atheists: “Would you be mad if I made a ‘White Atheist’ page?” 

It gets more ridiculous than that: “There’s a NAACP, a BET and other shit for black people, where are the white equivalents?” Are you fucking kidding me? Why would a non-marginalized majority need an equivalency? What about that is so hard for you to fucking grasp?!

Let me put it bluntly: Some of you white people need to get over this ridiculous false equivalency in your goddamned heads. You don’t need white pride or other white groups. You don’t need your own channels. You’re already everywhere as it is! Hollywood disregards race and slap white people in “historically correct” movies when there should be brown or black people. Get the-fuck out of here! Telling me that a black atheist page can only exist provided a white atheist page exists is like saying feminism can only exist provided male rights advocacy exists.

I’m not apologizing for putting ‘black’ in my title. Why? Because that’s what I am! I’m Black! I’m a woman! I’m atheist! I’m the only atheist in my family. This rings true for some black families. There are black people right now that are atheists who cannot tell their family that they are atheist. They would lose everyone! WE ARE THE MINORITY WITHIN A MINORITY! Why do I have to spell this shit out to people; especially atheists? 

This blog, my Tumblr, my Facebook page, my Twitter brings another perspective to people’s lives and a deeper understanding of the joint struggle against religious oppression. Someone on the outside wouldn’t understand black culture unless there was someone there to tell them and show them. Black atheists have cultural challenges that white Atheists know absolutely nothing about. Furthermore, after the gross and racist behavior of prominent white atheists earlier in the year, there truly needs to be alternative voices.

I think black atheists like me and other minority atheists have a harder time getting out of religion and coming out as secular, atheist, or agnostic because our culture has been drowned in the religion of our past oppressors who used religion to enslave, kill, and oppress us. The awareness of those facts is not in education nor brought to light, so that blacks, and any other person of color really that had their original belief system replaced by European Christianity. We have hard time coming out as atheist because our family is so intertwined in their faith that anyone who doesn’t believe as they do gets disowned and or killed. It happened to a cousin of mine in the South.

People look at those pages and think I’m categorizing atheism separately because I’m angry, or racist. That’s the furthest from the truth. What atheists and Christians alike fail to realize is that black atheist men & women who have escaped the religion that was forced upon their ancestors – and before that – by their slave masters are the minority of the minority. I need to categorize separately, because religion is in my culture and slave heritage and other black people need to know there are others like them. The demographic of black atheists seems to be smaller than atheists of other races because black people seem to be more influenced by religion. Having a group called ‘Black Atheists’ is more like saying “we do exist.” Rather than saying “we are trying to separate ourselves from atheists of other races”.

In a free-thinking community, you’d think racism would be the least of anyone’s worries. We are all fighting the grand evil, indoctrination for separation from religion. Again, I expected this kind of nonsense more from the religious, but that’s not the case for my page. 

There’s black atheist groups and pages on Facebook and other forms of social media that ARE pro-black and don’t allow anyone of a different race to join. Those pages and groups are toxic and I steer clear from them. That’s not me, that’s not what I represent.

On a more serious note, this is what I make of the situation:

 I think the problem why there is such thing as ‘Black Entertainment’ but not ‘White Entertainment’ is because the blacks of America have culturally integrated with each other that they form a single Afro-American identity and label them as ‘black’. The whites still keep some of their ancestral identity, which is why they sometimes label themselves as ‘Italian American’, ‘Irish American’, ‘German American’ and etc. This is why you have Italian, Irish, German club as opposed to White clubs.  This is not an issue of ethnic minority; it is an issue of ethnic identity. The Asians are a smaller minority but they still label themselves as “of Chinese descent”, “of Japanese descent”, or “of Filipino descent”.

Recent immigrants from Africa do align themselves with their more regional identity. For example, there is a large Somali population in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area who are different from those of Eritrean and Ethiopian descent. There is a vast amount of diversity in the people on the continent of Africa, and even within those three regions, which are all in the same general area.

African-Americans – or as some might argue should be termed “Black Americans” – are a unique American group without cultural ties directly back to Africa because it was systematically erased from each person due to the “peculiar” institution of chattel slavery.

When your children are taken from you, when your own relationships aren’t given the least respect, you can’t learn to record your own history, you’re often ripped away from everyone you know and sent to another environment, not allowed to speak anything but you’re captor’s language, are indoctrinated into their religion, and forced to work past exhaustion, then sometimes beaten for sport, it isn’t possible to pass on your own cultural traditions or even identity.

After a few hundred years of this, when our country finally stopped allowing this horror, its victims were completely wiped of any possible cultural memories that originated from Africa. People’s main concerns were to find their immediate families and to live free. Then Reconstruction was rejected by the scum of the earth, I mean former slave owners, and sharecropping and Jim Crow started, but that’s another lesson.

So, long story short, yes, white people and Asians have their own ethnic identities, and while recent African immigrants have that too, most black people in America don’t because the American institution of chattel slavery systematically removed it from their ancestors.

It’s not just because they were wiped out of any cultural identity by their oppressors. By the time many West Africans were sold to European slavers and were brought to the Americas, the political system in West Africa was nowhere near present day West Africa; there weren’t any rigid political boundaries; it consisted of smaller warring kingdoms. There were no identities such as Nigerian or Ghanaian; they only exist after the era of independence in Africa. The opposite is true for European identities such as English, Irish, German and etc.; they have existed for hundreds of years. Moreover, identities such as Chinese, Korean, and Japanese have existed for nearly a thousand, as opposed to contemporary African identities. So, by the time slavery stopped, Africa has changed a lot without the knowledge of the Africans who were brought to the Americas, bewildering them to which contemporary identity they belong to. This is why a diverse range of African identities exist in Europe but not as much in the Americas, because again, they were recent African immigrants.

More information on American Demographics.

So until everyone is free and equal, until justice works for all, until there is no class division that survives by the crushing of the others who are not in the super wealthy class, until privileges based on race [see white privilege] become a thing our descendants look back on in horror and disgust, until every man woman and child is treated with the same honor and dignity as the next, and until every race is given a chance to thrive in a world where we all are truly equal, we cannot ignore color, race, class, gender, sexual orientation, or any other distinctions and identifiers because we still live in a world of racism, classism, discrimination, and inequality.

So shut the fuck up with the “you have to look past the color!”, shut the fuck up with “you only see color!”, shut all the way the fuck up with “you’re racist and you’re making this all about color!”

If you’re going to say that don’t say anything at all. Simply, shut the fuck up.

If you’re one of those people who had the pleasure of receiving this as a rebuttal to your tired ass argument – suffice it to say that you actually read it – I hope you learned something. The only person that you’re hurting for continuing to stay willfully ignorant is you.

-Lee

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5 comments

  1. Well said, Lee! And thank you so much for saying it. When I first joined your page I did so because of the title. But I did not know until I read this here that you are also a woman! A minority within a minority within a minority! Awesome!
    FYI, I am a white female Atheist. It has recently occurred to me that nearly all of my FB friends who are Atheists are female. So please forgive me that I initially assumed you were a man.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The only way BA would be racist, was if no-one else were allowed, and even then it wouldn’t be very racist. Or if it was run by white people in a humourous/sarcastic fashion, which it isn’t. Like any “specialized” medium, it aims at one audience, but is not exclusive to that audience. If this page was immoral(here racist), so would kids TV, house music clubs, womens hair salons etc. If white atheists want a “white atheists” page, they could have that, but it would serve no real purpose. BA is not about exclusion of other races, but creating a community, a voice, for a small minority, break stereotypes and make it an easier subject to converse. There is no such stereotypes etc. for white people, so the assumed purpose is exclusion, which is wrong.

    I have too many things to say for this one reply post, so I’ll end the rant here. Btw, I’m a white male.

    Liked by 2 people

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