Atheists are worried because nearly all atheists are white and most of them are men:
Last year, Jules helped launch a local initiative to address what atheists regard as an international problem for their movement: a lack of racial and gender diversity.
From the smallest local meetings to the largest conferences, the vast majority of speakers and attendees are almost always white men. Leading figures of the atheist movement — Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens and Daniel Dennett — are all white men.
But making atheism more diverse is proving to be no easy task.
Surveys suggest most atheists are white men. A recent survey of 4,000 members of the Freedom from Religion Foundation found that 95 percent were white, and men comprised a majority.
Among U.S. nonbelievers, 72 percent are white and 60 percent are men, according to the 2008 American Religious Identification Survey; the U.S. Religious Landscape Survey by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life found that Hispanics make up 11 percent, and African-Americans just 8 percent, of “unaffiliated” Americans.
“Anytime you go to an atheist meeting, it tends to be predominantly male and white. We know that,” said Blair Scott, national affiliate director for American Atheists, which has 131 affiliate groups. “We go out of our way to encourage participation by females and minorities. The problem is getting those people out (of the closet as atheists) in the first place.” . . .
Efforts to cultivate diversity in atheism seem to be gaining some traction among African-Americans, Goddard said, but not as much among Asians or Latinos. “I’ve seen no real success in outreach, no efforts really being made to the Latino community,” Goddard said.
The assumption is that racial minorities fear “coming out” as atheists; that is, that they are really atheists but are just afraid to say so. That assumption is pretty condescending, indeed, racist in itself. Maybe the racial minorities aren’t atheists because they actually believe in God!
Why do you think that women, blacks, and (especially) Asians and Latinos are less likely to be atheists?