Quote of the Day

Eric Zorn, talking about atheist Rob Sherman and his recent remarks about Illinois state Rep. Monique Davis:

If he were the type to back down every time someone criticized him or claimed hurt feelings, he never would have made the mark he’s made. But every effective crusader needs to be able to tell the difference between when he’s fighting the good fight and when he finds himself where Sherman finds himself today, on the wrong side of a bad fight.

Nicely put.


[tags]atheist, atheism[/tags]

  • http://www.saintgasoline.com Saint Gasoline

    He’s not on the wrong side in a bad fight, just on the right side in a bad fight where most of the population is crazy enough to think he’s wrong!

  • Aj

    Wow, this is getting pathetic… after going to Rob Sherman’s website I see he’s given a reasonable explanation to what he actually meant by that word everybodies so cut up about and the statement that seemed to be racist at face value. Not that anyone can accept a reasonable explanation from someone because they have a list of words that are (apparantly by some authority) “unacceptable” and they don’t care what people actually mean.

  • Siamang

    He’s not on the wrong side in a bad fight, just on the right side in a bad fight where most of the population is crazy enough to think he’s wrong!

    For those keeping score, so far Saint Gasoline has called people who disagree with Rob Sherman’s use of the word negro, “stupid”, “idiots” and now “crazy”.

    I’m going to quote myself from the other thread here:

    I’m actually interpreting it WITHIN the context of a statement where he compared himself to Rosa Parks, used the word “whitey”, and said “Now that Negroes have political power, it seems that they have no problem at all with discrimination”. “They“. Not “she”. “They“. Within THAT context, the word “whitey” becomes sarcastic mimicking. Within THAT context, the word “whitey” becomes a mocking and belittling use charged with implications of counter-racism. Within the context of the lumping “they” statement, and the intimation that now that “they” have power, “they” see no problem with discrimination, and “they” called folks “whitey”… in that exact context, the word negro has been set aflame.

    Rob Sherman chose the words he surrounded the word negro with. And it wasn’t “United” and “College Fund”.

  • Christian (My Name Only)

    Why should I care what Eric Zorn says? Appeal to Authority much? Besides, what you quoted has absolutely no meaning. It kills to see opinion stand in place of logic.

    If I say he stands on the good side of a good fight why doesn’t that have the same merit?

  • Christian (My Name Only)

    Siamang, please stop misquoteing what Rob wrote unless you provide a reference. He did not write:

    “Now that Negroes have political power, it seems that they have no problem at all with discrimination”.

    He did write:

    Now that Negroes like Representative Monique Davis have political power, it seems that they have no problem at all with discrimination, just as long as it isn’t them who are being discriminated against.

    Why do you keep repeating that incorrect quote?

  • siamang

    I have provided the reference twice already. It’s Rob Sherman who flushed his original down the memory hole. See the original thread on this incident for proof.

  • Josh Spinks

    Siamang said,

    For those keeping score, so far Saint Gasoline has called people who disagree with Rob Sherman’s use of the word negro, “stupid”, “idiots” and now “crazy”.

    Good thing those are just words, which means they can’t possibly have derogatory meanings.

  • Aj

    Josh Spinks,

    Good thing those are just words, which means they can’t possibly have derogatory meanings.

    Yep, you have no comprehension of what people are writing.

  • Darryl

    When did the Representative’s attack on an atheist get connected to racism? Hell, it doesn’t matter what color she is–hell, she ought to know better–she’s a Democrat! Just goes to show you, there is no sure hedge against ignorance and stupidity. I doubt whether he antipathy towards atheism springs from any reverse racism.

  • Josh Spinks

    My grandfather refers to African-Americans as “burrheards”. And you know what he tells me when I object? “It’s just a word,” “I’ve always called them that,” “I’ve never heard it was offensive.” Impressive arguments all.

  • Josh Spinks

    And, while it will be very convincing when I’m told the difference has already been explained, it will be just a little more powerful if you explain it again or refer me to the specific spot where the differences are elaborated.

  • Josha

    Rob Sherman’s quote doesn’t make the Representative Monique Davis’ statements any less reprehensible. She works for the government and should represent all Americans in her district, even if she disagrees with their philosophy. I feel like her statements have been drowned out by the poor word usage/analogy of Sherman.

  • http://woofkitty.blogspot.com SAMIZDAT

    Sorry to be the word police *cringe* but that should really be ‘Quotation’. I looked up the science to this recently and apparently my ‘conditioning’ means that the feeling I get about bad spelling and grammar is the same as people get about swearing when they’ve been brought up to think it’s wrong. Interesting, huh?

  • stogoe

    Sherman worded it poorly, I’ll give you that, but his point stands.

    Rep. Davis’ foremothers and forefathers fought tooth and nail to get a seat at the table, and now that they have some modicum of power and influence, what do they do with it? They work to deny others a seat at the table. This isn’t just atheists, mind you, it’s homosexuals, too, and to a lesser extent latino immigrants.

  • Josh Spinks

    From THE POLITICIZATION OF CHANGING TERMS OF SELF-REFERENCE AMONG AMERICAN SLAVE DESCENDANTS. By: Baugh, John. American Speech, Summer91, Vol. 66 Issue 2

    77% of African-Americans ages 12-17 consider “negro” disrespectful.
    92% ages 18-34
    68% ages 35-55
    30% ages 56+

  • Josh Spinks

    Someone asked before if “nigger” might be derived from “negro”. The OED says

    [Prob. an alteration of NEGER n., after classical Latin niger (see NIGER n.1); cf. earlier NIGRO n., NIGRITE n.1 Cf. post-classical Latin niger black person (1582 in a Spanish colonial source). Cf. also Swedish {dag}niger (1758), prob. a borrowing from English (although this may perh. represent a borrowing of NEGER n.).
    Some early examples of the form niger (esp. in learned use) may perh. represent a direct reborrowing of classical Latin niger black (see NIGER n.1).

  • Xeonicus

    If you ask me, by misquoting Sherman, this is simply a way for the religious movement to paint all atheists as racists to discredit them. We’re all aware of Peter Stark’s poor reputation, and he’s the only openly atheist representative in the country. Not exactly the poster boy for atheists everywhere.

    Honestly, it’s kind of sad. There are so few prominent atheists with any sort of power that are active in public politics. I can’t help but imagine that this is part of a larger conspiracy by the religious movement to suppress the incursion of atheist viewpoints into the government. What better way to keep people from voting for them than to get voters to associate atheism with racism.


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