Tony over at The Shoops Roost has an excellent write-up and round-up of atheist reactions to the atrocity at Chapel Hill (I’d add one from Notes from an Apostate). The reaction from many of the people I admire (and even some with whom I’ve had issues in the past) gives me hope for what our movement has come to be and to mean. Many of the public faces and known figures did not succumb to the tribalistic impulse to declare “No True Atheist” or “#NotAllAtheists.” Instead, we saw groups like Foundation Beyond Belief raising money for the charity efforts of the now-deceased.
There are people adamant that perceived ethnicity or race related to religion had nothing to do with the shooting, but I see that as an inherent problem with white perceptions of racial issues rather than an atheist one. Racism without racists, as it is called.
I joined the public and national stage of the secularism / skepticism / atheism / etc. movement(s) on the heels of Dear Muslima. Prior to that, I was reticent to join up in groups where even many women seemed to think that dealing with the festering misogyny and other *-isms was not a priority. I’ve been agitating for a better movement from an intersectional and inclusive perspective ever since. 2011 Heina wouldn’t have believed that, in 2015, Richard Dawkins would be widely considered an embarrassment and others visible in the movement would react so relatively well to the tragedy.
Although there still is and always will be more work to be done, I think that I ought to give credit where it is due. This is something.