Schadenfreude: Not Just For Winners Anymore, Bette Noir, Rumproast, October 16, 2014
Heads are exploding all over the Conserva-sphere, today. Mostly because the owners of those heads don’t read very carefully.
CJ Chivers broke a story, in The New York Times, exposing a Bush administration and Pentagon coverup of the fact that US military troops were, with some frequency, stumbling upon, and in some cases being wounded by, chemical agents while deployed in Iraq.
Just the media source and a little bit of introductory information were enough to get the Right cackling with glee and spewing out delirious Bush Vindication blurbs. They were not all that troubled by the fact that some US soldiers have been damaged for life by their exposure to chemicals, or that those soldiers were sent into harm’s way without adequate training and protection against what the military knew was there. They were just so danged delighted to be able to say “See! Libtards, this is your own lamestream media spilling the story that our princeling was right all along. So bite me!”
Interestingly, a few caught the irony and said “hmmmmm, what’s The Times up to, here.” They were the smarter ones.
Why, Despite the Incredibly Discouraging Crap That’s Been Going On in Recent Weeks and Months and Years, I Still Have Hope for Organized Atheism, Greta Christina, Greta Christina’s Blog, October 15, 2014
There are also lots more women and people of color on the speakers’ circuit. When local groups invite visiting speakers, it’s not overwhelmingly white men on the podiums anymore. And women and people of color aren’t just being invited to speak about gender and race and diversity — we’re being invited to speak about Biblical history, about handling criticism in social media, about coming out as an atheist. Our voices are being heard. When we speak about our experience of our marginalization, and when we speak about our experience and knowledge about atheism or science or history or organizing, we’re being heard.
More importantly: There’s a shift in the activities that these local groups are involved in. There are local atheist groups, both off-campus and student groups, doing fundraising for women seeking abortions. Teaching English as a new language. Organizing protests against the Hobby Lobby decision. Organizing events for parents and families. Organizing events for children. Founding a secular humanist soup kitchen. And I strongly suspect that this shift in activities is at least partly responsible for the demographic shift — and is partly a result of it as well. Like I say when I give talks on diversity: Inclusivity is a self-perpetuating cycle. The more diverse a group gets, the more likely it is that they’ll get involved in projects that matter to a wider variety of people — and as the group gets more involved in projects that matter to a wider variety of people, it draws a wider variety of people. I don’t know this for sure, I’m not even sure how you would test it — but when I ask group leaders, this is what they commonly say. Either they started taking on more diverse projects as their group got more diverse, or their group got more diverse as they started taking on more diverse projects — or both.