The Amazing Atheist’s Racism

Update: 

Over the past few days, I’ve been addressed by thousands of supporters of The Amazing Atheist, had a four-hour conversation with The Amazing Atheist himself, watched a video he made addressing me directly, and watched a few other videos commenting on the whole exchange.

Most of these interactions have had a common goal: Telling me, as a member of black culture (which is obviously, apparently, a victim cult) how to stop being labeled by them as a member of a victim cult.

As I’ve listened, a fairly consistent picture seems to emerge, which has prepared me to write a brief guide.

So…here, for fellow black people, is a primer on how to get TJ and his supporters to stop calling your culture a victim cult.

Recently, The Amazing Atheist (the popular YouTuber TJ Kirk) answered 20 questions black people asked in a video.

His answers were proudly, ignorantly racist.

I’m sick and tired of people wondering where the heck black atheists are, when nonsense like this gets so much popularity.

It’s because a significant and growing portion of atheists are proud, outright racists that would make the Klu Klux Klan blush. It’s almost as if, now that black people have gotten a prominent place in Protestant Christianity, protesting white people are leaving so that they can claim the atheist circuit as a safe space for their racism and drastic misinterpretations of black culture.

I almost didn’t want to write this blog post, because it was so tedious. But as of now, The Amazing Atheist’s video, which came out about six days ago, has over 470,000 views, and about a 90% “like” rate. People love it.

It makes me feel out of place as a black man among atheists. It makes me disconcertingly ill at the prospect of a bunch of cheering KKK racists running around proud of their ignorance — retrograde revolutionaries trapped in a pre-Civil-War mindset who think it’s the cutting edge of the Next Big Thing.

Racism is not new, people. It’s as American as apple pie.

And white America has NEVER said that it’s racist. Not when it had slaves — there was no racism; black people were just better as slaves than as free men. Not when there was segregation — black people just didn’t mix well with white culture; they weren’t ready for it. Not now — discrimination isn’t a problem; black people need to stop being whiny and start taking responsibility.

Look. I don’t know if you, if you’re a white person, personally hate black people.

But I know we are discriminated in almost every segment of society. It happens in medical careemploymentsocial environmentslaw enforcementthe education systemthe justice system, and literally every part of US society we’ve studied.  According to actual studies.

The evidence is overwhelming that, on some subconscious level, society dislikes us.

And you know what? I don’t care that white people don’t like me. Fine. I’ve been in this country for a long time, that’s the way it works, and I’m not just going to spend my life on my haunches begging for you to smile my way.

I just want people to stop being given inferior medical care, employment, social standing, police treatment, education and justice simply because they are a different color skin. They’re people. If you really don’t see race, white people, as you incessantly claim, then you’ll be outraged and fight for that, too. When a white person says, “I don’t see race,” 90% of the time, I’ve found, that’s proof positive that they DO, because the same people who are first in line at the slightest slight to a white person, crying out bloody murder, are as hush-hush as the mayor after the Tulsa Race Riots when something happens to a black person. If race didn’t matter, you’d march with us.

I can’t believe I’m having to talk about this in the 21st century. But this video and the positive responses clearly shows it’s absolutely necessary. This is an enormous amount of atheists.

More atheists have watched The Amazing Atheist in the past few days than atheists who have attended all major atheist organization events in the past year combined.

We are in over our heads in racism here.

What is wrong with the picture of all these people? Why don’t they give a shit? Why, according to the latest Pew Research poll, released right after The Amazing Atheist gave his speech, are white people so in denial when there are such obvious disparities that affect the lives of people just as human as they are? Do they hate black people?

It sure feels that way. Maybe that’s the problem. Not that we care if you hate us, just because we’re sensitive like that. It’s because we want the same stuff every human being in America wants — the American dream. And we want it by any means necessary — and if that requires you admitting your hate and getting over it, that’s what will have to happen.

And so the video asks, “Admit it. You hate black people, don’t you?”

The question makes sense. Go look at that Pew Research poll. Most black people in America know that they are being hated by white people forever in denial, because we feel the very real effects over the span of our lives. So we understand this question. If you don’t hate us — why else would this be happening? Explain why else we would be treated like second-class citizens. And no, that question is not to instigate a self-aggrandizing pity party that puts you as the great white savior. That’s just pure logic, from our perspective. What other conclusion is available out there?

And The Amazing Atheist knows what his white atheist audience wants to hear, and delivers. At first, he says he doesn’t hate black people. Then he says:

If I hate anything about black culture, it’s that it’s such a victim culture. Almost a victim cult — “Our Lady of Perpetual Victimization.” Every unfairness that exists in your life is the fault of white people or society stacked against you. You might as well tattoo, “It’s because I’m black, isn’t it?” to your fucking forehead.

Wait.

Wait.

He just called black culture “almost a victim cult.”

Right after he said that he wasn’t racist. Did you see that?

My bad. I guess slavery, segregation, and continued discrimination is totally the black people’s fault. It’s always our fault. White culture never takes responsibility for anything in America, it seems.

Slavery is the fault of black people because black people owned slaves, even though they probably didn’t anticipate that slaves would be cramped like sardines on ships for weeks on end before being pressed into race-based slavery for hundreds of years.

Lack of voting rights were the fault of black people because they couldn’t pass ridiculous voting tests.

Segregation was our fault because we were naturally inferior. White people are determined to be guilt free, in spite of the truth of the matter mowing down lies.

Now, the next question in the video The Amazing Atheist is responding to is about gentrification.

Let me tell you how gentrification works. My housemate (a wealthy white male, by the way) came home one day a couple weeks ago upset. He had been talking to a woman who was getting kicked out of her home because it was “substandard.” It was livable, but not sufficiently up to newly constructed code. So she was out on the street. That was it. She had no home to go to.

The city was doing that systematically, displacing people. White and black. Not giving them new housing. And not because they were selling drugs or were full of criminals. Because they eventually want to replace these newly homeless people with millionaire mansions and shopping malls.

That’s terrible. I’m sorry. If you don’t care about those people, I question whether you have a goddamn pulse.

Which is why the person in the video The Amazing Atheist is responding to asks, “Do you have any idea what gentrification is doing to black neighborhoods?”

And The Amazing Atheist answers:

Yeah, it’s making them look nicer and fixing the economic slums created by the high crime and poverty rate in the black community.

What? What about all the newly homeless people that are cleared out in these “black communities”? Where do they go? I mean, would it be better to just go to the black communities and send them off to camps to make neighborhoods look nicer? Or are you going to keep them alive and have them be an eyesore somewhere else?

It just…seems like such a heartless way to see life. And you pretend you don’t see race? ….Right.

But yeah. What about that old lady who has lived in her house for sixty years and suddenly gets “displaced” or homeless so that a white millionaire can build his castle over the ruins?

What would I rather have — a slum filled with thugs who would probably shoot me as soon as look at me, or shops, cafe’s, restaurants, and apartments.

I was tempted to just let that there as self-evidently racist. But I have to remind myself that a lot of people are clueless. They think that’s fine.

First — the fact that I am black and live in a neighborhood with other poor black people does not mean I am a thug or that my friends are thugs. Associating black people with thuggery is pretty goddamn racist. I know partly because I have to live with the stereotype every day, like most black men (see the Pew Research poll). Those are facts. I know because I experience it, but the data backs it up. Go look if you don’t believe me — but I suspect that we all know it’s true.

And second — where do these people go? Are they “thugs” somewhere else? Or do we work overtime to throw them in prison when we already have the highest incarceration rate in the world?

Third — do you realize how selfish it is to say you’re glad someone got kicked out of their home so that you could go to Starbucks on that spot? Do you have any idea? Talk about whiny — complaining that a neighborhood is an eyesore because it doesn’t have any Guess outlet for you. Atheists — preppy white racist elitists — “liked” this video by the thousands, remember. There aren’t many of us, and yet the much-loved video got hundreds of thousands of views in a matter of a few days.

Later, he says that the structure of America is not based on racism because if it were, we wouldn’t have black people employed in respected professions. But continued racism is well documented, and our country was built on the backs of slaves — things he completely ignores.

And he says that black people aren’t really limited in America, that the system is not built to keep them down — well, that’s just false. Yes, Obama is a black President. And yet, he is stonewalled by Congress more than any President in history, and he is only the first black President we’ve had. He is limited, still, by race, in spite of his many natural abilities.

 

 

But here’s the kicker.

When asked, “What are you going to do about systematic racism?”

He says:

[Racism against black people] is not my problem in the first place. What are [the people in the video I’m responding to] going to do to end discrimination against atheists? Right, you ain’t gonna do shit, because it’s not your problem and you don’t give a shit.

Yeah. That’s what I’m seeing. Atheism is a white America thing, and white atheists are increasingly, proudly, not caring about black people.

Like…why am I going to fight for atheists rights when they are made up of so many bigots, over and above the black church that’s fighting for my rights day in, day out? Why would I care about a predominantly white atheist club who cordons off race issues, when that impacts my day-to-day life far, far more than what I do or don’t believe about some nonexistent God?

I don’t believe in God. But frankly, when I hear sentiments like this, I want to turn in my atheist card and go back to church. Like Obama did.

That’s right. Obama was once a skeptic. As he put it:

I was not raised in a particularly religious household, as undoubtedly many in the audience were. My father…was…an atheist. My mother…grew up with a healthy skepticism of organized religion herself. As a consequence, so did I.

And what changed?

I believed and still believe in the power of the African-American religious tradition to spur social change, a power made real by some of the leaders here today. Because of its past, the black church understands in an intimate way the Biblical call to feed the hungry and cloth the naked and challenge powers and principalities. And in its historical struggles for freedom and the rights of man, I was able to see faith as more than just a comfort to the weary or a hedge against death, but rather as an active, palpable agent in the world.

And so he became a Christian. I don’t think he believes it. But they were actually, y’know, giving a shit. And to be dead honest, when I see the growing popularity of the racists like The Amazing Atheist in atheism — when he can make racist statements all day and no one says a peep, but the moment I protest I’m supposedly breaking the cardinal rule of saying something outside the bounds of atheism — I’m beginning to think atheism is an excuse to feel superior, for many people. It makes me cynical. It makes me want to silently slip out the back door so that I can be part of a community that is actually after change.

What keeps me in is that there are some black atheists who do stand up for rights. But they have to take constant criticism from the majority, and it wears on you after awhile. I’m just about fed up.

And you wonder why there aren’t more black atheists. It’s because atheism is becoming an excuse for white racism, proudly and ignorantly displayed by the likes of The Amazing Atheist.

And you know what? I don’t really even think he was just doing it for him, especially since I don’t think he’s as ignorant as some of his statements let on. He was doing it for a predominantly atheist community, because that’s what they wanted to hear. That’s what will rack up 50,000+ views a day and get people donating to his Patreon account. It’s not him. It’s the atheist community in the United States that is fueling this.

And I’ve just about had it.  You keep endorsing this racist bull, and you may see more of us black people pulling an Obama and leaving atheism in droves. Which is a pity, because if atheists want equal rights in this country…they could learn a lot from black people. We’ve been at this fighting for equal rights thing for awhile. It’d be a shame for us to leave because of your incompetence.

Thanks for reading.

P.S. I have a Patreon, for anyone interested in helping me do more of what I’m doing.


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