Cultural Racism – A Bogus Meme

The term ‘Cultural Racism’ could mean a number of things. Let’s start with a couple of issues around the component terms that should be easy to acknowledge.

Racism – I’m taking this as a given. It exists. In all societies as far as I’m aware, and the differences amount to who the targets are, the power and numbers differentials between the groups that engage in it and are victims of it.

Cultural bigotry – I think this obviously exists too. There are some people that reject other cultures, or innocent aspects of other cultures. Sometimes it’s based on pure ignorance, and sometimes a deep xenophobia, or indeed based on the association between the ethnicity and the culture, which in turn often comes back to ignorance.

Combining these you could have ‘Cultural Racism’, but I’m not entirely sure how much that differs from simple racism.

In fact there is a danger here, and we witness its effects now, and often. And that danger is the conflation of racism with disagreements over the value of ‘elements’ of cultures.

Note here the distinction in that last sentence, between ‘elements’ of cultures, and whole cultures. Humans on this planet are far more uniform than we sometimes tend to think, and our differences are not as complete as a superficial comparison might suggest. If you can imagine the most different culture you know to your own, there are still going to be elements of that culture that your culture shares, or which are not sufficiently different to your own such that you would reject everything about the other culture.

This idea that one can accept at least some elements of other cultures does not rule out the possibility of one’s racism. In fact it might be that one’s racism includes a condescending love for elements of other cultures. From a white British perspective I’ve seen examples in some favourite British holiday destinations, like Spain, where a love of sun, siestas and Spanish food provides little disguise the contempt displayed for Spanish locals. And who doesn’t like an ‘Indian’ (See Good Gracious Me “going out for an English”). Or Mexican hats. Or … but we’re straying into ‘cultural appropriation’ territory, which I’ll put to one side for another time.

But what about Nazism? Yes, I know it was a short live ideology of early 20th Century Germany, with fascist affiliations elsewhere, but let’s be honest, not all Germans were Nazis, so disliking Nazism isn’t synonymous with disliking Germany or Germans. We get this. Why can’t we get it with other ideologies and cultures? Why can’t we pick and choose? Why can’t we be ‘discriminating’?

I do discriminate, and I discriminate against some elements of some cultures. I discriminate against the violent boozy laddish culture of Brits abroad. I discriminate against British Imperialist culture that tried to dominate the world for a few centuries. And I discriminate against elements of Christian culture that demands special privilege and deference for Christianity in our culture and in our government.

However, I’m a Secular Humanist, and with that comes freedom of belief. So I will not discriminate against religious beliefs.

But I will discriminate against religious action based on religious beliefs that tries to impose religiously motivated values that I don’t agree with on those that don’t want them. And, here’s the sticking point for many hypocrites, I feel the same way about Islam.

In fact I find more wrong with Islam than I do with Christianity. Not that some Christian groups can’t be as bigoted as some Muslim groups, but on balance I find the Islamic ideology particularly conducive to bad ideas and bad actions. And I find this to be the case even though many Muslims are themselves decent people that I have no problem with.

We have a problem with Islam, and it’s not my ‘Cultural Racism’ that determines that I have such a problem, it’s the nature of Islam that determines it. There are some ‘elements’ of Islamic culture that I don’t have a problem with at all, and in fact find them to be interesting and worthwhile. But, I find there are many more elements I do have a problem with.

But of course we have a relatively recent history of British Imperialism in India and what is now Pakistan and Bangladesh that fitted the ‘Cultural Racism’ meme pretty well. And that in turn led to many immigrants coming to the UK from the Indian sub-continent, on one route or another (including Ugandan Asians). That then, in turn again, resulted in more racism in the UK, in which we saw ‘Paki bashing’ as a symptom common among far right racist groups and football thugs in the 1970s. We also now have some notable campaigners against such racism. Kenan Malik being one; initially a man of the Left, but disgruntled with the Left’s response to the Rushdie affair. A another, younger, victim of the racism, Maajid Nawaz, took a different route, becoming an Islamist, but he too had a change of heart; he remains a Muslim but is staunchly secular and campaigns against all forms of racism and bigotry, but obviously focuses on Islamism, Islamic extremism and the far right.

This is the background in which you might think that the rational secular, and often non-religious, intelligentsia might rally to oppose all racism and bigotry, including that of religions.

I say you might think it, because from the 60s onward, when Christianity still dominated British religiosity, there were many progressive gains against the bigotry of religion. In other words, we discriminated against British Christian bigotry with enthusiasm.

By the late 70s, change was already under way. Many will remember with delight the night the Python duo, Cleese and Palin, took on Malcolm Muggeridge and Mervyn Stockwood (the then Bishop of Southwark) in a programme hosted by Tim Rice, where they discussed the merits or otherwise of Python’s The Life of Brian. And, however you think that conversation went, even then it was noted by Malcolm Muggeridge that Islam was receiving special protection … out of fear

May I make another point here, which is rather interesting, which is if you had made that film about Mohammed, there would have been an absolute hullabaloo in this country. The antiracialist people would have risen up in their might. The same people who would have approved of this (Life of Brian), but would have said that (a film about Mohammed) was quite disgraceful.

Sadly, many of us secularist were so busy enjoying the special pleading of the Christians we didn’t really pay much attention to that point. Oh, how times have changed. I can’t now figure out, by today’s standards, whether that makes Malcolm Muggeridge an appeaser of Islam, an Islamophobe, or indeed a realist that saw the hypocrisy even then. Christians aren’t quite as bold as they were in pointing out the privileges that British Islam enjoys.

Of course Cleese was spot on with his reply

Your quite right Malcom. Four hundred years ago we would have been burnt for this film. Now, I’m suggesting we’ve made an advance.

And I’m now suggesting we had made an advance with regard to Christianity, but we have regressed with regard to Islam. And, that the accommodation of Islam goes above and beyond the noble intention of reducing racism, to a fawning submission, not even to Islam itself, but to the victim playing bullies of Islamist supremacism that are dictating the narrative on moral discourse to the point of persuading Western pseudo-liberals to self censor and suppress free speech on the grounds that if offends the religious sensibilities of religious bigots.

Wikipedia Page Authors’ Submission to Islam

I suppose you might like some evidence that it is the case that the regression regarding Islam is taking place. I offer you the Wikipedia page on ‘Cultural Racism’. This page, it seems, was originally based on a translation from Swedish. Sweden, a Western liberal country apparently hell bent on submitting to Islam.

WIkipedia-CulturalRacismDiscussion

Unsurprisingly this page suffers from one of the problems that social justice warriors love to point out, though apparently it goes unnoticed here, and that’s outright Eurocentrism. You will see throughout, that all the problems discussed are Western, European and White, and the only victims of note are Muslims, thanks to our Islamophobia.

Not a jot on the Cultural Racism in Islam, where the term fits like a glove. Nothing on the hate filled state of Pakistani Islam, that sees the persecution of Christians like Asia Bibi for ten years, before inciting violence against her on hear release from prison. Nothing on the Muslim-Hindu Cultural Racism that sees Muslims abducting young girls for forced conversion to Islam – not unlike Boko Haram’s tactic, and indeed not unlike Mohammed himself, who married a slave. How about something on the rising Islamism in Indonesia, where young people are submitted to the Quran’s imposition of one hundred lashes on an ever increasing frequency? Or perhaps the article could have mentioned the Cultural Racism in the Arab world, where Mulsims from around the world are treated as indentured slaves with their passports withdrawn, salaries unpaid, and, even in London, where house maids are virtual sex slaves to some Arabs. Maybe the many cases in Islamic states where women are prosecuted for sex outside marriage … when they report rape.

Cultural Racism against Ahmadiyya?

Not only is there persecution against all other religions and peoples throughout the Muslim world, there are some spectacular instances of it in the West, against Muslims.

Where is the discussion of the persecution, the Cultural Racism, of Muslims towards Ahmadiayya? In Britain an Ahmadi Muslim, Asad Shah, was targeted and killed by a Sunni Muslim who travelled up from Bradford to Shah’s home of Glasgow with the specific intent of killing Shah. And only in the last few days have we heard that a UK mosque has been distributing leaflets that call for the killing of Ahmadi Muslims. And, do remember that in Pakistan, a cultural heritage for many British Muslims, the Ahmadiyya are persecuted, killed and have their mosques attacked and destroyed, an not even permitted in law to call themselves Muslims.

And where is one of Britain’s largest Muslim organisations on this, the Muslim Council or Britain, of which Miqdaad Versi is a spokesman? Here we have their view of the Ahmadi:

Islam-Ahmadi-MCB-Rejection

In recent days a Catholic journalist has been investigated for misgendering a trans teen. But has there been an investigation into the MCB’s mis-religioning of the Ahmadi, who self declare as Muslims?

For that matter, the BBC report on the leaflets that call for Ahmadis to be killed doesn’t say whether or not the culprits have been charges with a hate crime, and incitement to murder, or indeed incitement to perform a terrorist act? The BBC does not say. It only says they have been warned.

Islam-Ahmadi-MosqueLeaflet

Why is this?

Why is it that we are now told that pointing out all the Islamic extremism is tantamount to inciting far right terrorist attacks, while the endless complaints of Islamophobia and anti-Islam bigotry are not themselves further incitement to Islamic revenge attacks (we may have had at least one already)? If the news media, in their reporting of Islamic attacks, are culpable in the recent Christchurch attack on a mosque, in what way is Miqdaad Versi or MCB not complicit in the killing of Ahmadis, only the link between the CMB’s opinion on Ahmadis, the situation in Pakistan, and the actual persecution of Ahmadis is far more obviously linked.

Isn’t this a far more concrete example of ‘Cultural Racism‘, if anything is?

Cultural Racism of the Left

It isn’t just the Islamist organisations that are pushing this agenda of excusing Islam of it’s own bigotry. The Left in the West are pure gullible idiots – a topic worthy of a post in its own right.

I have criticised religion for decades, and in the earlier years it was mostly targeted at Christian bigotry – remember Westboro, the far right religious group that ‘hates fags’? Why isn’t Islamic homophobia considered far right?

Rarely, if ever, did I get any pushback from non-Christians for such criticism of Christian bigotry, for most were on board with such criticism. Whether it was opposing the Christian churches on homophobia and misogyny (re women and gay priests and bishops), or simply disagreeing with theists on the metaphysical matter of origins of the universe.

Not so when it comes to Islam. Any number of non-Muslim defenders of Islam will leap into any conversation where they perceive offence against one of the worlds ‘great’ religions … but only that one. You won’t hear many charges of antisemitism from the Left if you criticise Judaism either, funnily enough – yet another topic for another day.

And this is where the whole Cultural Racism narrative is at the moment. Whatever the possibility for a real academic subject being built around the term (on which the Wiki article points out there’s much disagreement), it’s main practical purpose has been to brand critics of Islam as racists.

Islam isn’t a race.

This seems to now be greeted as a sure sign of one’s racism. And no wonder, because, as the Wiki article points out, there is an intent to redefine race and racism. This has been a road they have driven themselves down over a few decades. From a practical scientific point of view, race offers no grand story, no great scientific truth, even though there are health reason for making distinctions.

Can agree we are all one species? The problem the racists of various ethnicities have is that they treat race like they would a sub-species. But, even if that were the case (if Neanderthals and others still existed) that wouldn’t make the racists right in their discrimination.

So, what are the determined critics of the west to do? After all, declare ‘race’ itself a cultural invention and it becomes a bit inconvenient for the narrative, where ‘racism’ is a great tool for demonising your enemies. Invent ‘Cultural Racism’ in order retain all the stigma of being a racist, while expanding the scope to pretty much anything that allows you to identify a distinction, which to me seems a suspect dogma designed to sustain ‘racism’ rather than to fight it.

Cultural Racism Newspeak

Read Selina’s full thread on the redefinition of terms and the Newspeak it has ushered in.

The context in which I’ve presented the problem is narrower, which you might expect, given my Secular Humanist Atheist opposition to oppressive religions, and the difference between religion in the US and the UK, and the different context in which racism has played out given our colonial history, and the greater extent to which slavery affected people in the US, and victims and perpetrators.

Selina’s thread starts out with this Aero Magazine article that addresses some of the problems with the book upon which the thread is based.

Untangling the Patriarchy Paradox: A Review of Kate Manne’s Down Girl

In modern democracies like Australia (from whence both Manne and I hail), the US and the UK, we have by and large outgrown the notion that women don’t deserve to be treated as full moral equals to men.

Except, in our British context where Islam is a problem (unprosecuted FGM, until a recent first case; years of hiding Muslim grooming gangs rather than dealing with them; pseudo-feminist support for the hijab as a choice, but not a word on the women suffering in Iran) it is no longer the case that we have outgrown such misogyny. We’re growing right back into it, thank you very much. And homophobia too, where parents in predominantly Muslim schools have protested, successfully, the teaching of the program ‘No Outsiders’ (re-emboldening homophobes of other religions in the process).

Flipping to this homophobia for a moment, the ‘No Outsiders’ program does what it says – it teaches children to avoid the unintentional, or intentional, persecution of others for, among other things, their sexual orientation, so avoiding making people feel like outsiders.

I know from my school days, even with no malicious intent, we made it uncomfortable, to say the least, for any emerging gay child or teen to come out. Of course there were no same-sex parent couples that we knew of back then, so now, ‘No Outsiders’ even teaches acceptance of same-sex or variable gender parents of any children too.

However, despite the fact that you might expect Muslims to understand the problem with being considered outsiders, you’d be mistaken, since Islam has its own special way of seeing pretty much anyone that doesn’t conform to Islamic standards as an outsider.

Islam is a particularly divisive religion that also creates no compelling desire to avoid playing the victim – as has been the case in other instances. It is not unusual that following an Islamic terror attack, UK Muslim organisations spend more time lamenting the anticipated explosion in anti-Muslim hate than they do the killing of innocents in Islam’s name – except to the extent to which it blackens the good name of Islam. This is very specifically why criticism of Islam, or even mentioning the horrendous attacks done in the name of Islam, is declared ‘Islamophobic’. The act of terrorism is of course “Nothing to do with Islam” (and echoed by Western world leaders like marionettes of the Islamists) … except that the perpetrators will cite chapter and verse of why it is precisely something to do with Islam.

Is this duplicity on the part of supposed liberals in the West not its own Cultural Racism? (And here I’m not condoning the ridiculous identitarians that base their complaints of apparent ‘genocide’ of their ethnicity – I’m far more concerned about the damage done to liberal inspired freedoms when the pseudo-liberals play ball with Islamists)

There are many more examples of the distinction between actual and perceived misogyny in the West, … and figures are given from a Pew poll that show the stark difference between the West and some Islamic countries.

Of course such misogyny is all to do with ‘Toxic Masculinity’. While many object to the term in a Western context, I actually agree such a thing exists. Except I blame religion. Religions are generally patriarchal systems, and the big religions were created in a time of ‘Toxic Masculinity’ and they perpetuate it into the present. No surprise then that some ultra conservative US Christian sects and Islamic sects that buy into the religious Toxic Masculinity. Strangely, some feminists seem totally blind to this when it comes to Islam – yes, Islam again. Not Christianity, where the patriarchal nature of the church is easy to admit. When discussing the all too frequent incidences of terrorism at the hands of Islamic terrorist one might be told it’s “Nothing to do with Islam” and all to do with “Toxic Masculinity”. OK, then let’s play that game:

Islam-ToxicMasculinity

(actually, despite my agreement with Sophie, it turns out all terrorists are not in fact men … but they mostly are, so it hardly diminishes the point)

It doesn’t take much rooting around in Islamic and ex-Muslim circles to find plenty of misogyny. Many Muslim women will not only defend the hijab as their free choice, but will even deny Islam’s misogyny, and then tell you why they are not as reliable as men.

Islam-WomansWorth-002

The Left’s Cultural Racism – Against Ex-Muslims

What you won’t find among non-Muslim apologists for Islam is much acknowledgment of ex-Muslims. In some cases, like Ayaan Hirsi Ali you come across outright venomous opinion. But, who else would know Islam, and be prepared to be honest about it, than ex-Muslims that were themselves devoted to it at one time, of subject to its oppression, or both.

Is this ‘Cultural Racism’? OK, perhaps some old white guys are racist haters of Muslims. But, come on, can you honestly deny the voices of ex-Muslims? Or the women of Iran that plead for support from Western feminists?

Apparently you can. The Women’s March, or any tragedy that befalls Muslims, such as the horrific attack at Christchurch, will be met with Western feminists donning the hijab. Not the men, note, just the women. It strikes me as a particularly ignorant or wilful betrayal of women around the world that have suffered under Islam’s toxic masculinity.

Conclusion

For the most part, in the wider world, outside the most rational of academia that might make sense of it, ‘Cultural Racism’ is an entirely bogus meme, used by apologists for Islam, and those intent on demonising Western ideas.

I’ll tell you why it’s not racism. Those that are on the receiving end of the charge support many people of the same ethnicities as those that are supposed to be victims of our racism. The secular Muslims, the ex-Muslims that become secular humanists that support western style democracy over theocracy are some of the most rational critics of Islamic theocracy, knowing it as they do. And the members of the Left that criticise critics of Islam but not critics co Christianity … ex-Muslims have your measure.

Islam-Islamophobia-ApostateProphet

 

Desperate Dan Arel the Duplicitous Man

This is the post where Desperate Dan makes his excuses and leaves the Patheos network:

The Danthropology blog is moving on

Yet today, I am here to announce I have decided to leave the Patheos network. This is a decision I did not come to lightly, but one I feel is the right next step for my career.

With that, I began to feel my writing didn’t fit on Patheos and I felt I was forcing myself to cover religion and atheist based issues when I didn’t wholly want to. Instead of faking my way through a blog on a network I love, I felt it was time to move on.

All so sweet and nice. Until you read his other perspective, expressed here:

When did online atheism get into bed with the neo-nazi movement?

It’s astonishing to watch the evolution of the atheist community online, mainly Twitter, move from liberal to alt-right conservatism.

Dan, this is idiocy. We’ve been here before with P Z Myers. Look what happened then.

desperatedanthestreeetfightingman

What’s going on with Dan?

 

The Three Stooges

Here’s the clue:

How prominent atheists are telling American rape victims they have “privilege” because at least they are not being forced to marry their rapist?

Let’s summarise the significance of this …

Dan has been taking some stick for his Nazi punching ways, and he doesn’t like it.

Eiynah (Nice Mangos) has been quite nasty about a few people, has been called out on it, and doesn’t like it.

Aki Muthal has been her usual snappy self, and has been called out on it, and doesn’t like it.

And these three, in their various ways, have become highly critical of a bunch of other atheists. Any such criticism is for them to make freely as they wish, and I’ve not seen anyone of note say or imply they should not. But I have seen people disagreeing with their take on a number of issues. And what you do see is the Three Stooges going hyperbolic when they are criticised in turn.

Let’s make these things clear:

  • It’s ok to criticise prominent atheists if you disagree with them.
  • It’s ok to criticise their critics in turn if you disagrees with their criticism.
  • If you throw your toys out of the pram and start claiming there are conspiracies against you because the ‘fan boys’ of the big names won’t let anyone criticise them, then you’re being a snowflake. Get over yourself.

That clue? That references a spat that grew out of the following:

Eiynah and Yasmine had a spat. Someone else questioned Eiynah’s authenticity (heaven forbid one’s history is actually questioned), and it blew up, with Eiynah being her usual reactionary self – she can dish out the criticism but doesn’t like it when it’s aimed at her. Eiynah, who has tried to use Yasmine, Faisal and Ali to discredit and disown Dave Rubin, and has tried to get Jerry Coyne to denounce and discredit Gad Saad, didn’t like it when Machael Sherlock made consiliatory noises – Eiynah didn’t like being associated with Yasmine … so blame Sherlock for even tghinking reconciliation might be possible.

Aki Muthal, who shoots from the hip at anyone who speaks out of turn, jumped in on Eiynah’s side. Could that have anything to do with her history with Lalo Dagesh? These things are hard to keep up with.

Then, Sherlock began to tweet about the plight of Dina Ali (#SaveDinaAli), and while his main thrust was in support of her, he pointed out how many western feminists fail to back Muslim and ex-Muslim women – this isn’t news, it’s been mentioned before, including by the Three Stooges.

Well, that was an opportunity for Aki to take a shot at Michael. And Michael made what amounts to a mean tweet. His point was valid, but not entirely appropriate.

And in that thread Dan makes his little contribution of hate for the ‘prominent’ atheists, following his run-in with Stephen Knight and others on his Nazi punching agenda.

Déjà vu?

Does this all look familiar? You bet it does. This is basically a re-run of an old movie: P Z Myers turning on New Atheists, supposedly on their misogynist agenda, with a bit of ‘ALL Muslims’ presumption read into tweets and posts. Myers began throwing unsupported accusations around willy-nilly – and this was already after a few preminary splits in his brand of ‘atheist activism’ because, well, they eat their own, don’t they.

While going through this it’s worth bearing in mind what’s already been said about the Myers view of the ‘atheist community’.

Atheism isn’t a singular community. Atheism really is ‘dictionary atheism’, merely not believing in gods and stuff. It’s therefore open to anyone who doesn’t believe in gods, be they far right, alt-right, liberal, far left or aliens from the other side of the galaxy. Or, indeed, Dan Arel, who, for all his claims to wish for a better sort of atheist has not been short on vitriolic hatred towards believers.

Is Myers Morally and Intellectually Bankrupt? – Is Dan? Read on.

Dan’s Perspective

It’s astonishing to watch the evolution of the atheist community online, mainly Twitter, move from liberal to alt-right conservatism.

 

It’s not the case that the ‘atheist community’ has moved to the right. It may well be that atheists from the right have become more open … but no, that’s not what Dan is talking about.

So much so, I have struggled to find the words to express how disgusting it has become.

How it has gone past criticizing religion and has almost fully embraced the alt-right and neo-Nazi ideologies of politicians as long as they hold anti-Muslim views?

How prominent atheists are telling American rape victims they have “privilege” because at least they are not being forced to marry their rapist?

Yet, I’m tired about writing about these racist fools. They will just demand evidence that Hitler was a racist, dogpile detractors on Twitter and then beg for Patreon donations.

Fully embracedalt-right and neo-Nazi ideologies? Where? When? This is so utterly rediculous even Dan’s friends must be face palming when they see this crap.

As anyone with half a brain might suspect, there’s a broad spectrum across ‘the right’, from right of centre libertarianism, through shades of conservativism, religious or atheist, on to the more conservative, and into the far right … but the thing is, these are not identities that are easy to pin down.

Someone can be religiously conservative, don’t drink, don’t do sex outside monogomous marriages, oppose abortion, and still be socially liberal in not requiring everyone else to conform to their beliefs, and might even support economic and political socialism. And, someone who is socially, economically and politically conservative, might be an atheist that wants a small government, individual responsibility and no significal social programs. This is not simply Nazis v anti-Nazis, whetever the binary limits of Dan’s tiny mind might be.

Telling American rape victims they have privilege? Not for being raped, but since there’s a hierarchy of oppression Sherlock’s tweet was simply more about mocking that, than aiming any abuse at a rape victim on the matter of being raped.

An insensitive tweet by Sherlock? Sure. But racist fool? Note how these are linked by implication here, yet are deniable. This is Dan’s schtick.

Further, note the disconnect here, between the points Dan is trying to string together.

Evidence of Hitler’s racism? Yes, we would demand evidence that Hitler is a racist, if he were accused of being one. What’s wrong with that exactly? I’ll tell you what’s wrong, in Dan’s eyes – presumption of guilty worthy of a punch is how Dan deals with Nazis …. but of course that presumes the said Nazi is a Nazi. Fortunately there is ample evidence that Hitler was a Nazi, and a racist.

Dogpiling? But what has Hitler got to do with dogpiling of detractors of the prominent atheists? And why does this dogpiling take place – if indeed it does? Could it be for the way the Three Stooges and others have been stalking these atheists, making entirely hyperbolic claims about them, misrepresenting them, … lying.

And the begging for Patreon accounts? Who’d do such a thing?

Dan Arel:

https://twitter.com/danarel/status/788883792014352384

Eiynah:

The hypocrisy is astonishing to behold.

That’s what the online atheist community is now. It’s a neo-nazi cesspool of money hungry bigots with mediocre podcasts, half-assed blogs, and a Twitter following they think makes them famous.

This is nothing more than an acrid smelly brain fart. Dan’s just trumpeting vile insults. He’s got nothing else. This is what he is reduced to.

But if you want a bigot? Dan. Money hungry? Dan. Medocre half-assed blog? Look no further than Dan. Tell me, did he leave Patheos of his own free will, without the slightest nudge? “Just askin’?” (tribute to Cenk Uygur’s deniable ‘just askin’ and ‘just sayin’ questioning smear tactic).

Rape!

… the accused rapist Michael Shermer …

Whoa there cowboy Dan! Don’t get so desperate in a hurry, Dan. Look back at Myers. Read Nugent on that whole sorry claim by Myers. That little business about evidence? You’re going to need to back this up.

Oh, hang on, … “accused”. Ah, the get-out-of-libel ploy. So, who’s doing the accusing, Dan? You? I guess not. But if not, then is someone guilty merely by being accused? As you’ve been accusuing people of being Nazis? Or perhaps, like Myers, you’re prepared to accept accusations of guilt as guilt. Warning! This is what happened when Myers tried that.

PZMyers-ToxicStar

Seriously, Dan is a class-A fucking idiot. Has he learned nothing?

… out there blaming people of color for racism because they dare identity as a color that isn’t white …

Dan. These atheists you are targeting aren’t calling any POC a racist because that POC doesn’t identify as white. Some POC are being called racist for their racist views. It’s that simple.

This is because these atheists are more religious than the religions they fight against. Dawkins, Harris, Rubin, Maher, and Shermer are untouchable gods. Infallible.

This is right out of the Greenwald/Werleman/Uygur/Myers play book. I have NEVER seen any supporter of these atheists claim they are infallible. The supporters of these atheists do in fact disagree with them some times, but agree with a lot of what they say. What you do see are responses to BS from Dan and the other stooges that call THEM out on THEIR BS … and of course Dan and co don’t like it, have nothing left in their game but name calling.

My friends are running a campaign to #NormalizeAtheism and it’s a valiant effort and I fear it’s doomed to fail unless they can normalize non-racist voices quicker than these assholes are rising.

“My friends”? Which friends? Have you got any friends left? Have you seen the #NormalizeAtheism hashtag on Twitter? … surprise, there all about atheism and don’t make, support or even mention racism, because that’s a separate issue. Of ourse some atheists can be racists – atheism and racism are not co-dependent variables in human life – but not the named atheists Dan targets.

Here are some #NormalizeAtheism I don’t think Dan would approve of:

https://twitter.com/danarel/status/837465799656787969

Yes, Dan, you are an asshole on Twitter. Confirmed.

I love being openly atheist. … At the same time, as I see atheists follow a path towards right wing lunacy (online at least), makes me understand those who refuse to use the label openly. It’s being destroyed by the likes of Sam Harris, Dave Rubin, and their cronies who will defend them at all costs.

If Dan cared to look before becoming so desparate he’d see that many people that oppose Dan and defend Harris, Rubin and others do also disagree with them sometimes.

These are the same people who continue to deny that Richard Spencer is a Nazi and argue against any attempt to silence his spread of a genocidal ideology.
Who would want to be associated with that mess?

They do this only in the context of Dan labelling every man and his dog a Nazi. They are in no way supporting or defending Spencer’s racist separatist ideology, and many expressly say so … and any idiot other than Dan would know this. I suspect Dan knows this too … he just doesn’t seem to know that he knows it. Danialism! We are not mind readers, so we rely on what people say and do. So far Spencer has not given any support to genocide as far as I can tell, and the atheists targeted by Dan would oppose that too if he did.

This is a major reason I left the atheist/nonreligious channel at Patheos and broke out on my own.

All alone. Nobody listens to his Nazi punching incitement any more. It must be tough being Dan, a loon, … sorry, ‘alone’, I meant ‘alone’.

I didn’t lose my mind, as many of these nazi apologist want to claim, …

So YOU claim. Many others seem to see it differently. I’m not taking bets on when Dan claims he’s the second coming of Jesus … an atheist Jesus of course.

I instead was pushed to be more vocal as they continued to amplify voices that promote racism, hate, and bigotry.

I didn’t move away from movement atheism, movement atheism moved away from me.

What we have seen is people opposing the street violence that Dan subscribes to. And we’ve also seen Rubin actually talking to people of a wide political spectrum. And we’ve seen Sherlock criticising liberal regressive feminists for their support for the hijab toting Linda Sarsour while they ignore the plight of women forced to wear the hijab. And we’ve seen some personal spats as the Three Stooges throw tantrums.

Nowhere have I seen any of these targeted atheists support fascism, Nazism, racism, misogyny.

Dan has totally lost the plot. Some people are glass half full people. Dan is a dig the hole deeper person. Don’t be Depserate Dan.

DanArel-DesperateDan

 

Etymology Man! Help!

A post by Jerry Coyne on an XKCD comic strip riminded me of a problem that keeps coming up: how labels are used to demonise, ostracise, and even to justify violence against people; and then to excuse the abuse of words for the greater good.

The following is an earlier comic strip from XKCD Comics. My interpretation here may have been covered elsewhere at the time it was published (though isn’t on the ‘explained‘ site), but I offer it now to explain the current related problem of how SJWs abuse words, and then deflect, by complaining of the relative insignificance of the etymology, when it’s their abuse of words that’s causing the problem.

etymology_man

I took the comic to be taking a swipe at any situation where an etymological discussion errupts while the real catastrophy proceeds to engulf the disputants.

This was used, for example, by some SJWs who complained that those citing ‘dictionary atheism’ where hung up on etymology while real social justice needed to be done. The problem was much SJW action is itself hung up on words – their abuse.

The Insanity* of the SJW

(* to abuse a word for effect).

As PZ Myers moved from New Atheist, to Atheism+, to whetever, denouncing each in turn (settling on the useless ‘our movement’) he was clearly, and in earlier guises explicitly, trying to create a movement, based on atheism, or the more general ‘Skepticism’. Of course we already have Humanism. When he started to demonise other atheists, specifically New Atheists, he needed to distinguish them from himself, and yet still make it an ‘atheist movement’. When his detractors pointed out his abuse of the term atheism he had a lot to say about how these ‘dictionary atheists’ were not helping. They were merely pointing out how it was PZ Myers and crew that wasn’t helping. Eventually the identity politics of Social Justice Warriorship started to go through one of its many implosions, until Myers lost it.

Identity politics relies very much on innapropriate use of labels to demonise and ostracise people … and often leads to the phnemenon of ‘eating their own’ … again an allusion from the Mantis that screws and eats its mates in the later  comic?

wrong_superhero

The self-destruction of ‘the movement’ as resulted in a few emissions from the Freethought Blogs community, and this was pretty much down to someone not being on-message, destroying their SJW credentials.

PZMyers-ToxicStar

A current incarnation surrounds the tendency of SJWs to label anyone to the right of them as Nazis when they are nothing of the sort – so we have Dan Arel advocating punching those he sees fit to be called Nazis.

Call out the SJWs on their abuse of words to the point of where they diminish all useful meaning in their advocacy of attacks on totally inappropriate targets, and their backlash is yet more of their hate. It’s more important to punch Nazis than to figure out who is actually a Nazi, and much less to question the morality of pre-emtive violence.

Deflection ensues as Dan accuses his critics of ‘supporting Nazis’.

Here’s the problem when you get to decide that Nazis deserve punching and you are the one deciding who the Nazis are:

nazis
h/t someone on Facebook, who may or may not be the originator.

In one sense the XKCD comic is criticising those dusputing the incorrect use of terms, in that they are focusing on useless etymology while the SJWs are doing their good deeds. That’s how SJWs see it.

But the real issue is that the SJWs are indeed in need of Etymology Man, who could have perhaps set them straight so that they don’t go on pre-emptive self-styled vigilante sprees. But, hey, what right has anyone to tell them who they should or should not label as Nazis? Free speech!

The importance of free speech, unencombered by a violent opposition (but opposition with speech is good), is a core issue for many liberals. But not for Dan and his ilk. Violence first, … ask questions later, or not at all. This how it often goes …

nazis-supportingthem

 

Real Advocates of Freedom

Here are some people that get it. And, their concern for the use of words plays an important part in explaining how they understand freedom.

The Secular Detective breaks down terms to get to their meaning and how they are used, and how even Nazis have the right to free speech.

On Punching Nazis and the Justifications of Violence

Maajid Nawaz, acknowedging the freedom of expression due to everyone, including Islamists and the Muslim Brotherhood.

My Open Letter To A Jailed Muslim Brotherhood Leader

Maryam Namazie and Sarah Heider do a great job here in trying to get across how terms like ‘safe space’, ‘no platforming’, ‘protest’ need to be understood in a context that benefits all, rather than letting these terms be used by ideologues to suppress freedom.

There’s a dignity to these writers and speakers, even in moments of frustration and anger, where they will not concede to the oppressive forces that demand that people be shut down, shut up, punched.

They in no way support or advocate for the views of their political opponents.

Sarah makes the point that no matter what your good intentions, shutting down free speech will lead to the most vulnerable being shut down. It’s a weapon that the powerful will use, if you submit to opposing free speech.

This isn’t to say people won’t disagree – they do. Plenty of people have criticsed Maryam on a number of points – her Communism, the removal of all borders, her spat with Sam Harris over something and nothing. But none of that detracts from the great work she does, at great personal risk. And this is part of the point. If on hearing Maryam on Sam’s podcast you were to write her off, you could very easily get carried along with her dishonest detractors and start retweeting things about here that smply are not true.

Words evolve. But if you abuse them by making them fit your own political agenda, and allow them to encompass people they really don’t apply to, the words become meaningless as descriptors and take on a role that is little more than a hate label for an out-group, and that then gives you tacit permission to demonise them and ostracise them,so you never actually get to hear what they say in their own words. Result: you end up spreading lies.

Let Them Speak

My personal feeling is that if you think you disagree with someone, first be sure you disagree with them: check out what they actually say. That means putting in some effort and not merely retweeting a false or out of context quote from years ago, that might not be the targets current position anyway. Letting your actual political opponents expose their views is the only way to find out what they are. The presupposition that you already know their views because someone you trust tweeted how bad they are doesn’t really cut it.

There’s a lot to be gained from letting people speak.

  • It’s not a matter of giving them a platform to spread ideas that you don’t want to spread. You get to point to their actual words that you disagree with.
  • You might find you don’t disagree with them as much as you expected.
  • You will find it exposes the lies of some people you thought were honest allies.

Over the last few weeks since he started his advocacy of violence, Dan Arel’s words have been captured for anyone to see. The hate filled comment columns of PZ Myers’ Pharyngula show him for the mean spirited hate monger he is. But both those characters have good sides too them, and I doubt any of those promoting full free speech would want them shut down.if they actually followed their own advice, they would be the very people meeting the criteria they think should be shut down – if only they had a modicum of self awareness.