i see there is "Black Freethought" as one of the groups listed on the main page. is there something different about black freethought as opposed to white freethought or just freethought without any race attached? would it be tolerated to post a "white freethought" or "caucasian freethought" group? this is sickening that this is allowed here.
We call Australia's indigenous people, indigenous, Aboriginal (or Aborigines), Kooris or Murris (depending where they are from) but never blacks. As my best mate, an Aboriginal elder explained to me, we can call each other 'black', but you can't. I respect that, because white Australians used the term for so long in a derogatory manner.
Ok, I read most of the posts here but not ALL so forgive me if my point is redundant. Seems to me that most times there is a "black" group, it is to make minorities feel welcome and give them a chance to get in touch with others who may share their background/culture and how the topic at hand applies within that framework whereas when a group labels itself as a "white" group, it usually means all others are unwelcome That is why Black Freethought is not offensive to me. They are trying to help people, not exclude the "other".
I thoroughly agree with Jill. I see that there could be a distinction between a white and black freethinker, but I think that it's a cultural dichotomy not a racial one. There is one human race- just one. Yes we all look different, yes we come from different cultures and thus sound and act differently but anyone suggesting that there are any true differences between us is toting a racist thought process.
BET is the best example of an unnecessary racist organization. The title says, "This is what entertains black people." Apparently all black people enjoy rap and R&B and movies that feature black actors like the Matrix. I cannot even begin to to explain why this is a ridiculously racist line of thinking. Granted it's not greatly harmful but it is still ignorant. I mean would it makes sense for there to be a WET channel that plays nothing but country western, death metal, and Blazing Saddles because that's what entertains white people? Of course it wouldn't and the answer is the same regardless of the "color scheme."
Would it be so bad or difficult to give them names with some kind of cultural representation that has nothing to do with race? Why is it necessary for so many people to draw these big lines between each other (that's your people's side, this is my people's side)? Why is it acceptable for some to develope a total ideology based off of an ill conceived notion of race? Are we really so different at all? If we are so different (indeed different races) then why do we find each other attractive and why are we genetically compatable with each other?
I think if people want to be treated the same that they have to stop acting like they are so different. Don't misunderstand me, that unequivically goes for Humans of every color. This tendancy to say "we are better at this" or "we like this, you all don't" is a supremicist's attempt to establish a unique identity for themselves and others that they describe as "like themselves."
Who says that subscribers to Black Freethought think that people are so different? I certainly don't think so. If anything, it's an occasion to demystify difference, and to bring out differences within demographic groups obscured by the assumption of group uniformity.
If you notice the black freethought group doesn't exclude anyone, including whites, it says it welcomes all. (I am not black, but not offended by the idea of a group of people who have had vastly different history and life experiences and want to chat with others who have gone through similar experiences. Now, when history is included in the questioning of a black freethought group, one ought remember how many times people of black heritage have been excluded throughout time from groups to the point that perhaps they are unsure of acceptance into many groups.
Ok, it got a little off subject here. Basically, we have Black Freethought because we are currently underrepresented in the movement. Part of that is that many Black people feel comfortable and connected to people who share similar cultural beliefs. Many of us are not that comfortable being around white people. Let's be honest, some black people only encounter white people in the justice system. So, we have to work on that. Plus, there is nothing wrong with having pride in who we are. You don't need a white freethought group because you have a range of atheists to choose from. From Dawkins to Vonnegut. But name some Black Freethinkers? Some people can't. So, we need to educate. The best way to do that? Showcase that Black Atheists exist. Then we can talk about the Humanist movement as a whole.
My guess is that "Black Free-thought" deals with the social issues that a black man or woman face as well as and in addition to being an atheist. Black is a minority. Women are a minority. Would you have an issue with there being a "Women Atheists" group? I hear the same argument about BET (Black Entertainment). "Why is there a channel for black people? Would it be tolerated if there was a White Entertainment channel?" The thing is, the majority of television and advertisements show white faces. As an atheist, maybe you can understand the feeling of being marginalized. Why did we create a whole social site for atheists? Couldn't we just use Myspace? However, I am a believer in free speech, so if you feel the need to create white free-thought, than go for it.
The analogy with BET is inapt because BET is just exploitative, ignorant bullshit. Secondly, a culturally focused grouping of any kind need not promote ethnocentrism, which is just the exploitation of the lowest common denominator, feeding on ignorance instead of expanding people's horizons. There should be no boundaries when it comes to culture.
Just saw this incredibly ignorant post. Be advised that "Black Freethought" is open to all; it is not a separatist group by any stretch of the imagination. I carefully chose the title "Black Freethought" instead of "Black Freethinkers" to indicate a focus, not to delineate an exclusive group. (I wish "Jewish Atheists" would follow suit.) There are groups for Indian atheists, African atheists, etc. I belong to several of these groups, without necessarily being a member of all or any of these demographic groups, and none are exclusive. The reason for such groups should be obvious.
No, I don't think there's anything inherently different about the content of the ideas. Black atheists exhibit the entire range of ethnocentrism or cosmopolitanism one would find anywhere, but most are remarkably open to everyone else, a quality you'd do well to emulate. "Black Freethought" is just a convenient rubric for addressing a complex of historical and social issues related to the advancement of rational thinking in black demographics. As for "white freethought", I have some not-so-pleasant memories of people from American Atheists a generation ago--white and some black too--who seemed to be molded in a certain misanthropic vein, informed, I tend to think, by the mentality of a certain region of the country I won't specify. I dislike any form of ethnocentrism myself, but until we live in a truly integrated society, we're going to have to address the historical and social concerns of various social groups, because not all atheists are white or ex-Christians, and people need to be aware of the social assumptions from which they engage the world.
Set aside the race issue for a moment. Notice that there is a group for Military Athiests. Surely you have heard the phrase that "there are no Atheists in foxholes" and might have been exposed to the reality that many military personnel are exposed to Evangelism supported by the Armed Forces. Would you argue against them having a forum in which to discuss these commonalities faced by non-believers in the services since it might be exclusionary if you are not a veteran or member of the Armed Forces?
Back to the politics of race. African Americans, Blacks, Negoes, or whatever they might desire to be called (Its just comon courtesy to use a preferred nomenclature even if that preference changes) have fought against discrimination, and most of those leaders in the fight for equality have been religious leaders. Now, given that people just like to share commonalities and that most of the icons of Atheism,Agnosticism, and Freethinking have been European, where's the harm to you that "sickens" you? Simply accept that they might like to use these resources as an incubator to encourage each other to become the icon that inspires other African Americans to open their minds.