#TWIBprime #571 | The Black Partner Shield | TWiB.FM | #TWIBnation

#TWIBprime #571 | The Black Partner Shield

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TWR 571

A Black Partner Doesn’t Protect You From Racism.

#TeamBlackness discusses an Oklahoma woman claiming a spaghetti strainer as religious headwear, Oscar Pistorius not being found of murder, and we discuss Pia Glenn’s latest piece “Yes You Can Be Racist If You’re Dating a Black Person”.

Featuring: Elon James White @elonjames Pia Glenn @piaglenn and Aaron Rand Freeman @ansfreeman

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Aaron Rand Freeman

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2 Comments

  1. Steve September 14, 2014 at 6:13 pm

    Hey Twibsters!

    Look I love the show, and even though this was my first time hearing Pia, she was Awesome! I don’t want her to go. Just stay and our Angry Black Lady can finally catch a break when she needs to set things on fire. BTW, Pia, have you ever been trained how to use a fire extinguisher? That might come in handy.

    I have to comment on this episode’s criticisms of Pastafarianism. Please don’t turn away and ignore this because while you are awesome enough to see racism for what it is and help explain it, I think the perspective of nonbelievers and atheists who are active on pushing against religion is lost on you. Yes, I would say that even Elon who I know is atheist and has experienced plenty of what atheist groups have argued against first hand, is not clear on the big picture of where atheist groups are coming from.

    I think there’s a good reason for that, like how race issues are BIGGER and more directly harmful than religious superstitions. This is partly why atheist groups made strictly for people of color have been formed. Most atheist groups are in majority caucasian just like the majority population and are thus blind to the issues of injustice, which are partly perpetuated and inspired by religion, that are right in their own backyard. As an atheist activist, or more correctly what I would consider a Street Epistemologist (inspired by Peter Boghossian), I’ve been trying to hear what atheist organizations of color have to say, but as their voices are drowned out by so much competing noise out there, I am still far too ignorant of what I can do to help their cause.

    What I am well learned on though is how to explain what’s wrong with your criticism of Pastafarianism. Ideas are not people. Religion is no exception to that. Religion deserves criticism and mocking just as much as you would give other bad ideas such as racism or the actions which lead to systematic racism. I’m not making an equivalence between the two, because they are not equal, they are simply in the same category, memes. A meme is an idea which takes on a life of it’s own. It’s passed on from person to person, such as a joke, a saying, an ideology, or any cultural trait.

    When a meme becomes problematic, even in the sense that it causes society to be less efficient than it would be if we didn’t have it, it deserves criticism. Even ridicule. Are you telling me that the very fact that you make a mockery of racism is in and of itself a bad thing because you are making fun of the way some people actually think? Are you going to tell me that your remarks aren’t making someone who grew up feeling or thinking a certain way about people of color feel like an idiot for ever having thought that?

    Imagine a child who grows up thinking that black people are scary because her parents think that black people are scary. As she gets older she learns first hand that people of color are just like her. She is wholly innocent, she realized what was wrong with the way that she was brought up to think, and she made the switch in her thinking because somebody pointed out to her that it was stupid! She saw some ridiculous joke that turned the tables on what she was thinking. She had her parents’ and her own intelligence CHALLENGED and had to agree that there was an error. She even had to face that her parents were most likely lost to never having their minds changed and can even run into the problem where they shame her for thinking that people of color are human beings just like herself.

    It would have most likely never been constructive if the person making that ridicule and mockery of racism went and abusively told her that she was “a fraking moron for thinking that way.” It might make sense to in a way. The push back against such sentiments is deserving, but it was never her fault. Mocking the idea, and not mocking the person is a clear and constructive course of action.

    You should also note that people who consider themselves of the Jedi religion, even when they just mark it because they want to be free of labels and religion as a whole, are making the same mockery of religion. I’m willing to bet that you wont double down and tell them that they are wrong for doing so. Granted, the woman that you are criticizing for wearing a colander made a more overt act to point out how ridiculous religion is. None of us knows what specific headdress she was trying to make a point against, if there was any one specifically, but I can tell you that among religious headdress that atheist groups find problematic are the types which cover faces. As you are promoters of women’s rights, I’ll presume that you get why that’s a problem worth criticizing.

    In a legal sense, the justification for wearing religious facegarb is trying to be the same as for religious right to wear religious clothing in general. If this scene of wearing a colander did anything to strengthen the conversation against people being allowed to get away with anything for their religious rights and turned it more toward a question of functional fashionware, wholly separate from religion, then I applaud what she’s done.

    You don’t get to just use special pleading whenever religion is involved. If people are offended that their religion is being mocked, their offense means nothing to me. Either give me evidence or a solid argument. The defensive response to this line of reasoning will most likely be thoughts of “but you don’t KNOW that my religion is wrong.” Possibly. If you gave me anything solid enough about your religious claim that it could be testable, then I’m willing to go do that, test it and let the objective evidence speak for itself. But if your religion continuously moves the goal post so that it isn’t falsifiable, then it simply doesn’t matter that I can’t disprove it any more than it matters that I can’t disprove that unicorns exist.

    If an organization for the existence of unicorns came around to spread lies (not just that they think unicorns exist, I mean lies which are meant to convince people that they exist), and pushed for plutocratic and classist sentiments through their organization, I would mock them with pictures of unicorns shtacoing rainbows just the same. If that means that someone who wants unicorns to be real is offended because now they feel stupid for believing that unicorns are real, so be it. That is their own cognitive dissonance being realised, not my pictures telling them that they are worthless and should be dehumanized.

    Things are better for everyone when we act on facts which we know to be true because of verifiable repeatable evidence. It’s only a misunderstanding on the offended’s part to think that I am attacking them personally. Their idea is childish. They can have fun playing at the kids table and believing all they want there, but when it comes time to be serious at the adult table, where human lives are at stake on a daily basis, unicorns are not to be taken seriously and are a waste of time, money, and energy for everyone in that space, just like religion.

    I respect and appreciate all of you on the show. If I’m wrong, then please, show me where I’m wrong so that I can correct myself. Else, if you don’t have time to spend bringing this topic up on the show or to even do a back and forth with me, I beg you guys to please hook up with an atheist/nontheist group for people of color and talk with them and get to know them. I would really love to hear such a group interviewed on the show.

    There see now, I love TWIB and I think your idea to criticize that woman was foolish. Do you really feel like you have any reason to be offended at me for trying to point that out? May Cthulu swallow you whole! :P

    Sincerely,
    -Steve

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