If you thought the Atheist Horsemen’s character assassination was limiting itself to Sam Harris this year, think again: just yesterday Berkeley radio station KPFA deplatformed Richard Dawkins because “he said something offensive” about the special needs religion.
Setting aside how utterly stupid it is to hold anyone else other than yourself accountable for your own feelings (or those of others), I wouldn’t want to miss the chance to point out how this was entirely predictable and, actually, we know very well who has been paving the way for this.
The regressive side of the atheist rift has been on a smearing campaign against Richard Dawkins ever since he called out the temper tantrum of an entitled spoiled brat who thinks men asking women out are misogynists.
They have been out to get him since — so let’s take a brief look at the history of this nasty Dawkins-bashing habit.
People who pretend they belong to the rational community lost their shit when Dawkins tweeted the next fact: “All the world’s Muslims have fewer Nobel Prizes than Trinity College, Cambridge”. If you don’t have stomach for facts, you most certainly are not part of the rational community. I would actually be surprised if you had a brain.
Anyways, Dawkins haters were just getting started. After that, they falsely accused him of trying to get the aforementioned entitled spoiled brat deplatformed, when that never happened. (By the way, the accusation was made two years after the events it supposedly related to!)
They bullied and straw-manned him for stating the fairly common sensical opinion that it is understandable and sensible to get an abortion if you’re pregnant with a Down syndrome fetus.
They then bashed Dr. Dawkins for tweeting “Islam needs a feminist revolution. It will be hard. What can we do to help?“. That’s it. Just for tweeting that he got straw-manned and bullied.
Finally, last year Dawkins was un-invited from the NECSS conference for retweeting something they didn’t like (namely, a clip about how post-modernist feminism makes the stupidest excuses when it comes to Islamism), and then Steven Novella tried to justify the decision with one of the most foolish drivels ever to come out of a supposedly self-respecting skeptic.
The smearing campaign has been going on for years. I have read every word Dawkins has written and tweeted and not a single one was out of line, outrageous, or bigoted. But, fascist assholes will be fascists, so instead of just tweeting disagreement, or challenging the ideas Dawkins was putting out there, they are out to tone-police him, and have even called for him to stop tweeting (!)… I mean, that’s when they’re not discriminating against him on the basis of his sex and/or skin pigmentation.
So KPFA un-inviting him was nothing new or unexpected. That’s what the atheist Regressive Left has been aiming for the past six years or so. And they have had help!
Case in point: Hemant Mehta. He criticized the KPFA decision while, at the very same time, pretended that all the times his blog was used to smear Dawkins were fine:
Dawkins has no doubt put his foot in his mouth on Twitter many times before. There’s a whole generation of people who know him less for his science writing and more for his misguided tweets. We’ve criticized him many times on this site over those tweets, and he’s been “de-platformed” by atheists, too.
Go ahead. Click on any of those links and try to get anything bigoted out of Dawkins. You won’t be able to (assuming you stay decent and apply the most charitable interpretation… otherwise, I don’t even know what you’re still doing on my blog which, clearly, isn’t for you). The only thing you are going to find will be people holding Dawkins accountable for offending feelings (something that is OK to do to Christians, but not Muslims [!]), or complaining how his tone was inappropriate, or whining for Dawkins will ask uncomfortable questions. Dawkins may have gone too far on the Ahmed Mohamed episode, but he later apologized — last I checked, actual bigots don’t apologize, for they are not in a quest to find the truth. (By the way, when was the last time PZ Myers apologized for anything?)
To be completely fair, Mehta hasn’t engaged in much of the Dawkins-bashing himself — most of the times have been his guest-bloggers, but he has most definitely turned a blind eye to it; and on occasion, he will reproduce the smears without bothering to fact-check the claims of the haters, or even question if anyone is entitled to tell other people what they’re allowed to tweet.
And if you lend your blog to systematically advance the smearing of Richard Dawkins, you don’t get to complain when that campaign starts bearing fruit. At the very least, own it.
Meanwhile, ‘skeptic’ David Gorski was having a field day yesterday with the news. I don’t know (and don’t care) what his grudge against Dawkins is, but I think it’s quite deplorable he was quick to jump on the bashing band-wagon, all the more because he has been on the receiving end of a smearing campaign himself — yet he somehow managed yesterday to rehash the completely bogus claim about Dawkins being a misogynistic anti-feminist. When asked for evidence to back up his claim, überskeptic David Gorski failed epically to produce it. When pressed about it, he double-downed with “Dawkins does a fine job embarrassing himself” (??). So, you know, again null evidence. And what can be claimed without evidence can be dismissed without evidence. Hey, Dr. Gorski, your Horseman Envy is showing! Could you be any less obvious?
Now, let’s compare his callousness and ill-concealed jealousy with the way Richard Dawkins reacted to the KPFA announcement. He sent them the most decent and humble e-mail, which was made public after five hours, when it was clear KPFA has no intention to answer. Dawkins is a gentleman, as classy as you would expect, even showing respect for people who have done all to prove they don’t deserve it.
The KPFA had scheduled Dawkins for the tour of his new book, Science in the Soul: Selected Writings of a Passionate Atheist. I don’t think there’s a better way to support Dawkins than pre-ordering the book, if that’s within your means.