Black Free Thinkers

I wanted to give a shout-out to one of my favorite podcasts: Black Free Thinkers by Kimberly Veal.  In light of the recent (and ridiculous) controversy surrounding the catch phrase “Black Lives Matter,” it has stricken me as patently obvious that there are a whole lot of white people in this country— well-meaning liberals in fact— who never listen to what any actual black people have to say on a regular basis.

Kimberly Veal’s program is social justice and progressive minded, but also challenging because you cannot simply make assumptions about her stances.  You might assume that because she’s progressive and black, she must be motivated by progressive religious convictions and active in the black church.  Not so— she’s an atheist.  Oh, well, then, because she’s an atheist, you might assume that she has it in for the black church and barrages the church with insults and invective.  Again, not so— she is one of the church’s most steadfast defenders even though she does not believe in religion herself.  She recognizes the role the church has played in the social justice movement and honors that, which I think is commendable.  Many hard-line atheists will not recognize that religion does any good under any circumstances; that’s obviously ridiculous.

Like me, she is also a consistent critic of the libertarian streak in the modern atheist so-called movement.  This is the movement that was built by those Islamophobic libertarian misogynists Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris and the late Christopher Hitchens (the latter of whom I have not forgiven for his staunch support for the profoundly pointless Iraq war).  Veal regularly argues that the atheist movement must cooperate with the social justice movement because— get this— atheists are a discriminated-against minority and as such, should stand in common cause with other discriminated-against minorities.  Crazy talk!

Furthermore, she gives a very honest and forthright perspective from one African-American woman that may not always be comfortable for white liberals to hear.  White liberals particularly do not like to be reminded that, gosh, they too can be racist, and Veal is not shy in holding white liberals accountable.  Many white liberals have thus shunned Veal particularly in the atheist “movement”; I say go, Kim, go.

Here is a taste of what Veal is talking about this week:

Please join us as we discuss white identity politics. This 3 part series will discuss how the establishment profits from identity politics. We will discuss how capitalism was built on slave labor and is currently fueled by anti-blackness. The political elite continues to exploit and manipulate the proletariat for their own selfish agenda. How did European immigrants became ‘white’ and at what cost? How is white supremacy perpetuated by honorary white people? What role does people of color play in capitalism? Are (some) white people victims of identity politics? Does it adversely impact their lives? What are social contracts? How are they negotiated? Are people of color truly attempting to end white supremacy or are they trying to get a seat or better seat at the table? Are the black political elite overseers that profit from telling poor and working class blacks to forget about and/or pray about being oppressed? And much more…

How do you like them apples?

-Robert Gross

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