Disinformation at Work: The OK Gesture is NOT a Hate Sign

I’m very happy to hear, courtesy of the Anti-Defamation League, that the “OK” symbol hasn’t been co-opted as a secret sign by White Nationalists after all.

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Disinformation at Work: The OK Gesture is NOT a Hate Sign
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Why I Support The Decision to Ban Cop Floats from Pride Toronto

Silhouette of cop bashing upraised hands against Pride Flag Background

Sophiya is a young bisexual woman who immigrated to Canada from Pakistan. Because she’s still in the closet about her identity, she asked to publish this piece here. 

Pride Toronto recently made the decision to ban cop floats from Pride. A decision that has led to much controversy, and obviously lots of people being angry at Pride Toronto. Many are also angry at Black Lives Matter activists for having the “audacity to make a demand that excludes/discriminates against a group”. Chuck Krangle, a gay Toronto cop, also recently wrote an open letter to Pride Toronto venting that he was being discriminated against, and he didn’t want his right as a gay person to participate in Pride to be taken away.

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Why I Support The Decision to Ban Cop Floats from Pride Toronto

Something is Rotten in Atheism: The “Amazing Atheist” and Secular Racism

TJ Kirk, aka "The Amazing Atheist"
TJ Kirk, aka “The Amazing Atheist”

Comment policy: Comments telling me to “show you the evidence” of TJ’s racism will not be published; if you haven’t been convinced by Martin Hughes’s thorough, science-based critiques, you’re so deep in denial that it’s not worth my time to try to convince you. Similarly, comments that are primarily insults or just telling me to “kill myself” will be tossed straight down the hole.

Watching atheists start to talk about — or desperately deny — the racism of “The Amazing Atheist” (aka TJ Kirk1) has made me feel both despondent and hopeful about the future of organized atheism. I’m flashing between extremes after recovering from a week where I’ve already spent a lot of time depressed as fuck.

I’m not going to go into laying out reasons that Kirk’s videos were racist. First of all, that should be both obvious and unsurprising to anyone who’s familiar with Kirk’s history or thinks about racism on any level deeper than “the KKK are bad people.” Second of all,  Martin Hughes has done a much better job of tearing Kirk apart than I ever could. The masterful skill of his writing in his original piece and then in his follow-up after Kirk responded with a 37-minute tirade makes me envious. It also gives me hope. Knowing that we have people with that degree of skill and integrity still willing to speak up in our communities means that we may yet heal ourselves of the disease that “The Amazing Atheist” represents. Have no doubt: He is a disease, and if left untreated, he and his fans may kill any hope that atheism can make the world a better place.
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Something is Rotten in Atheism: The “Amazing Atheist” and Secular Racism

Why I Never Have Been — And Never Will Be — “Charlie”

I Am Still Not Charlie

Like virtually every person on the planet with some sort of a conscience, I was appalled by the massacre at the offices of the French satire magazine Charlie Hebdo last year. How could you not be? It was an act of appalling violence. But the evidence that Charlie Hebdo had a mean-spirited and racist streak piled up so quickly in my social media that I never wanted to declare “Je suis Charlie.” The same conscience that made me sickened at the murders of 12 human beings made it impossible for me to join in solidarity with the magazine they worked for.

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Why I Never Have Been — And Never Will Be — “Charlie”