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.
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.
Racist atheism? Certainly not on my account. I'm white and my last girlfriend was black. What's more, she was an atheist. We had a wonderful relationship for a few years until she moved away. We separated on friendly terms.