The Chapel Hill Shootings and What 2 Stupid Women Have to Say About It
The above is a video of some people discussing atheism in the aftermath of the Chapel Hill Shooting since apparently, the shooter is a self-described anti-theist. While it remains unconfirmed whether or not it was religiously motivated it has of course sparked a lively debate about just that, and in particular, how atheists engage the compendium of god-related beliefs.
A couple of problems here. Heina Dadabhoy, one of their atheist commentators, immediately attacks the ‘New Atheists’ for their gender and skin-tone instead of their actual beliefs. According to her, their greatest crime is being the totally uncool identity of white, male, and heterosexual and thus what they have to say is tired, trite, and irrelevant. She doesn’t so much as even mention one tweet on the part of Dawkins which legitimizes his dethroning from the position of ‘head atheist’ where she alone (not Dawkins) has placed him.
She then predictably drones on about how ‘diverse’ atheists are without even mentioning leading voices like Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Maryam Namazie, and Salman Rushdie, all of whom are highly respected and published. Though, unlike Heina here, most people respect them for more than just their deviation from white maleness.
This is not surprising however in a country where identity politics is such an obsession. When you make identity the center of ideology you perforce conflate gender and ethnicity with outlook. These two women, like many, believe that if you are white and male you will no doubt agree with everything someone like Dawkins says because he is white and male. In the same way I suppose these women believe Barack Obama best represents black Americans because all black people are the same since they share an arbitrarily designated color code. It couldn’t possibly be that a person’s ideology could rise above their perceived ethnicity.
As a result, in a weird and ironic twist of equally tortuous logic, it is they (the speakers) who have ended up making racial monoliths of everyone around them. Were their assumption true I don’t imagine Ayaan Hirsi Ali would be so chummy with Sam Harris. I suppose it is because they aren’t superficial people who connect with others based off their melanin count.
Even more disturbing yet is that Elizabeth Stoker, the other speaker, seems to imply at one point that intelligence, reason, and education are little more than invidious illusions conjured by men like Dawkins to inculcate followers. That he might actually BE or POSSESS those things never crosses her mind. I suppose stupidity, hysteria, and ignorance would be her preferred tools.
Both end the video decrying the fate of atheism at the hands of so many good ol’ boys while wishin’ and hopin’ that others will be ‘given’ a platform. What this means exactly I’m not sure. Americans seem to believe that one should be handed automatic representation and success everywhere, not just in the political sphere.
The implication is obvious, that men like Dawkins are successful only because they are white despite the fact that these two ladies have essentially stated that others should be handed voices for equally superficial reasons and not for the substance of their words.
This was such a prime example of the problem with identity politics and its followers I couldn’t help but post it. It details with such excruciating perfection the uncritical evil of this way of thinking and highlights exactly what is so essentially racist about it.
I want to end here by commenting on the subject of Islamophobia. While it is obvious that many people use criticism of religion as a subterfuge to justify racist innuendo it is equally true that many people unwilling to accept the reality of religion use the accusation of racism to derail critiques of religious institutions and practitioners. You need only a brain to distinguish between them. But just in case, here is how.