Atheist and career
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25-06-2012, 07:37 AM
RE: Atheist and career
(25-06-2012 06:41 AM)Ghost Wrote:  Likos is right about a bunch of things.

1 - I'm really rude. How I can suggest that someone struggle instead of sitting meekly and taking it is just shocking.

Love, Peace and Empathy buddy Smile

3 - History is full of people who didn't rock the boat and went on to great things, like Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King jr, Gandhi, Alice Paul, Nelson Mandela, Lucy Burns, Harvey Milk, Jane Roe, the Founding Fathers...

I'm sensing a little bit of sarcasm...

4 - Career and comfort are way more important than being treated like an equal.

In fairness, to some it may indeed be more important - each person has to decide...

I think something very interesting is going on. Whites in the developed world have always been fortunate enough to have white privilege (and before people go off, white privilege is an actual thing, not just some shit I made up). The vast majority of whites don't even know that they have it, but they do. It shields them from what it means to be a minority and what it means to be discriminated against.

There is a lot of truth in this statement; however, I think it diminishes the bravery of those who take stands in spite of the costs. To use your example below, of Steven Biko and Donald Woods, one could argue that Woods was more courageous -- not because he was the white protagonist -- Biko had nothing to lose (but his life -- and one could argue that even that was not the worst that could happen in South Africa...) and everything to gain. Woods on the other hand had everything to lose, and risked everything for a fight that wasn't necessarily his -- other than it being the right thing to do.

Yes, white people have had it great for centuries -- I'm reminded of the Eddie Murphy SNL skit where he became white and went into the bank looking for a loan. These days are coming to a close. Globalization, immigration, demographics in general are not on the side of white people. Which is why, in my opinion, the Republican party is dominated by disenfranchised white males who would love nothing more than preserving this once enjoyed status instead of competing with immigrants, women, non-christians, etc.


There is no nice solution to this tied up in a pretty bow. Fighting for rights is ugly and it costs. If you're not willing to fight, then like Major Payne said, "If you want sympathy, look in the dictionary between shit and syphilis."

I’m black. I don’t have the luxury of pretending that I’m not when I think people might be mean to me. When Atheists are routinely put to death, enslaved, or imprisoned, come on back and I’ll pour you a big ol’ steamin’ cup o’ sympathy. Until then, accept that white privilege ain’t gonna save you from this one and get up, stand up, stand up for your rights. Marley didn’t sing that to be cool, he sang it because he had to.

In the end, everyone must find what works for them and pursue it.

I take a fair amount of criticism from friends and family because I am so outspoken. My best friend, a devout Christian, asked me why I had to air my views on religion -- why couldn't I just keep it to myself and not let people know that I'm an atheist (i.e., stay in the closet and don't rock the boat). I made a decision that people like us need to be heard. It has cost me in terms of friendships - not employment. I was willing to pay that cost. Not sure I would have been as willing if it would have impacted my career -- knowing myself, I probably would have done it a little more subtlety.
Not sure if anyone saw The Debt. There was a scene where the Nazi doktor, being held captive by the Mossad group, said:

"Why did you think it was so easy to exterminate your people? You're weakness. I saw it. Everyday I saw it. Everyone of them thinking only of how to avoid being flogged or kicked or killed. Everyone thinking only of themselves. Why do you think it only took four soldiers to lead a thousand people to the gas chambers? Because not one out of thousands had the courage to resist. Not one would sacrifice himself! Not even when we took they're children away! So I knew then, that you people had no right to live! You had no right..."


As deplorable and sickening as the holocaust was, there is unfortunately an uncomfortable truth in that statement.


Cheers, Sean Smile

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25-06-2012, 11:14 PM
RE: Atheist and career
Sup, Sean?

Quote:I'm sensing a little bit of sarcasm...

The Force is strong in this one.

Quote:In fairness, to some it may indeed be more important - each person has to decide...

In fairness, I never said otherwise. I said if one wants to not rock the boat, then by all means, sit down and STFU. I'm just saying that there is a very real cost to changing this situation. If one does not put anything on the line to change the situation, then one should not bitch about their situation. And if someone wants sympathy for their plight but aren't willing to put themselves on the line to change it, my sympathy runs shallow.

Quote:There is a
lot of truth in this statement; however, I think it diminishes the
bravery of those who take stands in spite of the costs. To use your
example below, of Steven Biko and Donald Woods, one could argue that
Woods was more courageous -- not because he was the white protagonist --
Biko had nothing to lose (but his life -- and one could argue that even
that was not the worst that could happen in South Africa...) and
everything to gain. Woods on the other hand had everything to lose, and
risked everything for a fight that wasn't necessarily his -- other than
it being the right thing to do.

I don't think it does anything of the sort. In fact, not only does it not diminish Donald's bravery, it explains it.

One could argue that Donald Woods is braver. I would not be such a person. And I've met Donald Woods. I'm not taking anything away from him, I think he's brave, just not bravER. Donald is what's called an ally; someone from the dominant group who supports and aids those in the sub-dominant group.

In the case of Atheists though, Atheists aren't Donald. They're Steve. What I'm saying is that many white Atheists don't know what it means to be Steve because they've been shielded by white privilege their whole lives.

Donald is just a very good example of a man who enjoyed white privilege but who learned what it meant to put it all on the line. In the case of Atheists, Donald would be that Evangelical who sticks his neck out to protect you after you come out.

Quote:Yes,
white people have had it great for centuries -- I'm reminded of the
Eddie Murphy SNL skit where he became white and went into the bank
looking for a loan. These days are coming to a close. Globalization,
immigration, demographics in general are not on the side of white
people. Which is why, in my opinion, the Republican party is dominated
by disenfranchised white males who would love nothing more than
preserving this once enjoyed status instead of competing with
immigrants, women, non-christians, etc.

True, the dominance of whites is partially on the decline, but white men have a loooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooong way to go before they lose white privilege.

At any rate, all I'm saying is that some of the white Atheists who HAVE enjoyed white privilege to this point, are ill-equipped for being the minority simply because they never have been before.

Quote:In the end, everyone must find what works for them and pursue it.


Hardly the battle cry of those yearning to be free.

Quote:I take a
fair amount of criticism from friends and family because I am so
outspoken. My best friend, a devout Christian, asked me why I had to air
my views on religion -- why couldn't I just keep it to myself and not
let people know that I'm an atheist (i.e., stay in the closet and don't
rock the boat).


In white on black race relations, this is called being "uppity".

Quote:I was willing to pay that cost.


AMANDLA!!!

Real talk.

Quote:Not sure I
would have been as willing if it would have impacted my career --
knowing myself, I probably would have done it a little more subtlety.


This is the thing though. Equality is earned, not given. It can't be given because that means the givers have the authority and freedom to act, not the receivers. Earning equality comes at a cost. Sometimes it means losing your job, sometimes it means being executed. But history has shown that those groups willing to fight for their equality, no matter the cost, are the only ones who win it.

Think of it now. Today, the cost might be a job. Maybe even a career.

What today costs ten, tomorrow costs a hundred.

The cost only goes up. The only question has nothing to do with price. The only question is, are you willing to pay it?

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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26-06-2012, 06:22 AM
RE: Atheist and career
(25-06-2012 11:14 PM)Ghost Wrote:  Think of it now. Today, the cost might be a job. Maybe even a career.

What today costs ten, tomorrow costs a hundred.

The cost only goes up. The only question has nothing to do with price. The only question is, are you willing to pay it?

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
Matt - the only thing I disagree with you on is the issue of the price - it does matter.

You don't know whether you're willing to pay the cost if you don't understand what the cost is.

I mean, it could be a cost with many hidden fees attached that you didn't realize you'd be paying when you started, but you have to have a starting point. Without the ability to put it on a scale, and weigh it pound for pound, it's not a good decision to make.

Going back to Donald Woods, he felt the worst thing that could happen is he might lose his job and leave the country. He probably never realized, at the outset, that he'd be risking his life and those of his family members - those were the hidden costs. Yes, he believed he could use his white privilege to protect him and by the time he knew it would not, he was already entrenched on his course.

First you need to understand what you want to achieve, then run through numerous if/then calculations to at least have an idea if your actions will lead to the results you're looking for. Same as in anything we do in life... Smile

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26-06-2012, 09:59 AM
RE: Atheist and career
Hey, Sean.

Quote:Yes, he believed he could
use his white privilege to protect him and by the time he knew it would
not, he was already entrenched on his course.

White privilege isn't a currency, it's a social agreement. It's just something you benefit from. It's when the taxi picks up the white guy but not me. It's when the white guy gets the raise, but not the woman. It's when the white guy gets to get married, but not the homosexual. It's a free pass to do whatever your heart desires without a more dominant group telling you that you cannot. As Chris Rock once quipped, "When you're white, the sky's the limit. When you're black, the limit's the sky."

But yes, Donald Woods was very much committed to his course. More on that below. The only reason I bring up Donald is because his is the story of a man who suddenly had the veil pulled back from his eyes, something that white Atheists are going to have to experience if they want their equality. They cannot approach this dilemma with the understanding they have, shielded, privileged. They have to approach it with the understanding they lack; what it means to be sub-dominant. I offered Donald's story as a reference guide for what that looks like and Steve's story as a reference guide for how great the cost can be.

The only reason I bring white privilege up in this thread is because I believe that it has shielded many white Atheists from the reality of what it means to be a sub-dominant group. This is simply because they have been, their entire lives, a part of the dominant group. One doesn't have to fight for anything if they already control everything. But now, as Atheists in majority Theist towns, cities, states, countries, corporations, what have you, they are finally, for the very first time in their lives, the sub-dominant group. Of course they're ill-equipped to deal with the reality of the situation.

Welcome to the sub-dominant club. What follows below is the brochure/crash-course Cool

Quote:Going back to Donald Woods, he felt the worst thing that could happen is
he might lose his job and leave the country. He probably never
realized, at the outset, that he'd be risking his life and those of his
family members - those were the hidden costs.

Which is why price is a meaningless question. You never know how far down the rabbit hole you might need to go.

The dominant group always uses the minimal force required to keep sub-dominant groups in check. They prefer to use the ideological apparatus so that the sub-dominant group keeps themselves in check. But when ideological controls fail and a sub-dominant group presents them with an uprising, that's when they have to use increasing repression. The harder you fight, the worse it gets for you... Until the day you win... And it's not even over then, because as long as you're the sub-dominant group, you never really win.

Quote:I mean, it could be a cost with many hidden fees attached that you
didn't realize you'd be paying when you started, but you have to have a
starting point. Without the ability to put it on a scale, and weigh it
pound for pound, it's not a good decision to make.

Someone who chooses to trade the equality they crave for the comforts they have is, by definition, a sell out. If people are cool with that, they're cool with that. But they've damned themselves to their lot and should have no illusions otherwise.

But what I said stands. The fact is that there is a piper to pay; no matter what. So whenever one decides to fight for their equality, they have to put something on the line. Cost-benefit analysis is meaningless because the dominant group can up the ante whenever they like and, as I said, WILL up the ante in reaction to pressure from the sub-dominant group. So one never understands the cost because one doesn't know what it is until the moment they're forced to pay it. If you put a limit on what you're willing to put on the line, all they have to do is match your offer and you're done for. However, if you decide to fight for your equality no matter the personal cost, you join the ranks of those people throughout history that have won their equality.

Quote:In fact, I believe that I have rendered a service to India and England by showing in non-co-operation the way out of the unnatural state in which both are living. In my opinion, non-co-operation with evil is as much a duty as is co-operation with good. But in the past, non-co-operation has been deliberately expressed in violence to the evil-doer. I am endeavoring to show to my countrymen that violent non-co-operation only multiplies evil, and that as evil can only be sustained by violence, withdrawal of support of evil requires complete abstention from violence. Non-violence implies voluntary submission to the penalty for non-co-operation with evil. I am here, therefore, to invite and submit cheerfully to the highest penalty that can be inflicted upon me for what in law is deliberate crime, and what appears to me to be the highest duty of a citizen. The only course open to you, the Judge and the assessors, is either to resign your posts and thus dissociate yourselves from evil, if you feel that the law you are called upon to administer is an evil, and that in reality I am innocent, or to inflict on me the severest penalty, if you believe that the system and the law you are assisting to administer are good for the people of this country, and that my activity is, therefore, injurious to the common weal.
-Gandhi, A written statement read aloud at his own trial, Ahmedabad, India, March 18th, 1922 CE


So yeah, the price is meaningless because the moment you commit to fighting for your equality, you have to pay whatever price is demanded of you by the external forces you fight against or you will fail; guaranteed, meaning the only question is, are you willing to pay the price?

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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26-06-2012, 05:56 PM (This post was last modified: 26-06-2012 09:30 PM by Spivey May.)
RE: Atheist and career
(25-06-2012 06:41 AM)Ghost Wrote:  Be a man. Struggle. It’s not just for brown people, women and gays anymore!
Um, I'm not a man. I haven't struggled like a lot of people have, but I have had a quite a few issues being a woman in Utah. It is only compounded because I am not LDS. I was accosted by a man who was a high ranking member of the LDS church. When I reported it, I was basically told that I was in the wrong because he was more righteous that I was.

When I decided on a major, (physical science), my advisor asked me if I knew that I would have to take a lot of math and science classes. You don't say? He discouraged me repeatedly and would not let me register until I had approval from my professors, (something no one else in my classes had to do), almost causing me to miss the deadline. At my graduation, he did came to me and apologized and told me he didn't think I would finish because I was a woman and he thought it would be to difficult. At least he was honest.

I agree with your idea that if I don't like things, I have to be part of the movement for change. This is why I went into education. I am not happy with the way science and math are taught, so here I am. It certainly wasn't for the pay. I have two more years of a probationary period. During this time, they can let me go because they don't like my shoes, no reason is needed. If that were to happen, I couldn't do anything. After this time, if I don't like what is going on school/district wide, I am going to move into administration. I can do much more after I am established and am entitled to due cause.

I appreciate your views and thoughts. (I added Cry Freedom to my movie rental cue, thanks.)

"Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler." Albert Einstein
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26-06-2012, 09:30 PM
RE: Atheist and career
EDIT-I should have clarified, when prayer happens at meetings, everyone else prays while I look around. I have always thought this would be a good time to rearrange personal belongings, but haven't yet. Maybe next time.

"Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler." Albert Einstein
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26-06-2012, 09:59 PM
RE: Atheist and career
(26-06-2012 05:56 PM)Spivey May Wrote:  
(25-06-2012 06:41 AM)Ghost Wrote:  Be a man. Struggle. It’s not just for brown people, women and gays anymore!
Um, I'm not a man. I haven't struggled like a lot of people have, but I have had a quite a few issues being a woman in Utah. It is only compounded because I am not LDS. I was accosted by a man who was a high ranking member of the LDS church. When I reported it, I was basically told that I was in the wrong because he was more righteous that I was.

When I decided on a major, (physical science), my advisor asked me if I knew that I would have to take a lot of math and science classes. You don't say? He discouraged me repeatedly and would not let me register until I had approval from my professors, (something no one else in my classes had to do), almost causing me to miss the deadline. At my graduation, he did came to me and apologized and told me he didn't think I would finish because I was a woman and he thought it would be to difficult. At least he was honest.

I agree with your idea that if I don't like things, I have to be part of the movement for change. This is why I went into education. I am not happy with the way science and math are taught, so here I am. It certainly wasn't for the pay. I have two more years of a probationary period. During this time, they can let me go because they don't like my shoes, no reason is needed. If that were to happen, I couldn't do anything. After this time, if I don't like what is going on school/district wide, I am going to move into administration. I can do much more after I am established and am entitled to due cause.

I appreciate your views and thoughts. (I added Cry Freedom to my movie rental cue, thanks.)
Love this!!! You are my hero! Good luck to everything. Like other posters say, I'd hang low for the first little while because you can't help and teach if you can't even be there, but once your roots are planted then go for the gold and be who you are, teaching your true moral.
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27-06-2012, 12:57 PM
RE: Atheist and career
Hey, Spivey.

Quote:Um, I'm not a man.

My bad, my bad. Spivey reminds me of both an English spy and an English art historian so my brain went on automatic.

Quote:I haven't struggled like a lot of people have, but I have had a quite a few issues being a woman in Utah.

White women (I am no longer assuming Cool ) have it harder than white men, but they still benefit from white privilege. I'd rather be a white woman in Utah than a black anything.

Quote:It is only compounded because I am not LDS. I was accosted by a man who
was a high ranking member of the LDS church. When I reported it, I was
basically told that I was in the wrong because he was more righteous
that I was.

That's some bullshit right there.

That being said, it's not uncommon for the word of a member of the dominant group to be assumed as more reliable than the word of a member of the sub-dominant group. Not a justification, just an observation.

"That black guy raped me."
"The hell I did."
"You're going to jail, Midnight!"

Quote:When I decided on a major, (physical science), my advisor asked me if I
knew that I would have to take a lot of math and science classes. You
don't say? He discouraged me repeatedly and would not let me register
until I had approval from my professors, (something no one else in my
classes had to do), almost causing me to miss the deadline. At my
graduation, he did came to me and apologized and told me he didn't think
I would finish because I was a woman and he thought it would be to
difficult. At least he was honest.

That's fucking brutal.

Out of curiosity, was there an ombudsman at the school you could see, or were you pretty much up shit's creek?

Pretty lame apology. "Wow. I didn't think your feeble ass woman brain could do that. I guess you showed me... that you're the exception to my fucked up view."

It's another good example of the dynamic between the dominant and the sub-dominant. Imagine a woman professor did that to a male student. Heads would roll!

Quote:I agree with your idea that if I don't like things, I have to be part of the movement for change.

I'm glad.

Good ol' Gandhi, "Be the change you want to see in the world."

Quote:I have two more years of a probationary period. During this time, they
can let me go because they don't like my shoes, no reason is needed. If
that were to happen, I couldn't do anything. After this time, if I don't
like what is going on school/district wide, I am going to move into
administration. I can do much more after I am established and am
entitled to due cause.

I want to make it clear that I'm not condemning you for any of the decisions you make. I'm just offering insight about the mechanics of the situation itself.

My question is this (and it's not meant to trap or bait, it's just a difficult question and I'm curious about your response in particular), hypothetically of course, what would happen if during the probationary period, they fired some of your co-workers for being Atheists? Would that alter your position, or would you stay the course?

PS: You won't regret watching Cry Freedom. Some heavy stuff, but soooooo good.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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27-06-2012, 08:03 PM
RE: Atheist and career
Ghost,
(27-06-2012 12:57 PM)Ghost Wrote:  Out of curiosity, was there an ombudsman at the school you could see, or were you pretty much up shit's creek?

Pretty lame apology. "Wow. I didn't think your feeble ass woman brain could do that. I guess you showed me... that you're the exception to my fucked up view."

It's another good example of the dynamic between the dominant and the sub-dominant. Imagine a woman professor did that to a male student. Heads would roll!
After dealing with him, I thought the best way to deal with him was to just show him I could do it. I knew it wouldn't matter what happened, he wouldn't change is viewpoint. Obviously from his apology. Also, very small area = very small school. This is not a traditional
campus, more like an extension. He was the only science anything here
for a few years. I started working with another advisor from the main
campus the next semester, he was great.

(27-06-2012 12:57 PM)Ghost Wrote:  I want to make it clear that I'm not condemning you for any of the decisions you make. I'm just offering insight about the mechanics of the situation itself.

My question is this (and it's not meant to trap or bait, it's just a difficult question and I'm curious about your response in particular), hypothetically of course, what would happen if during the probationary period, they fired some of your co-workers for being Atheists? Would that alter your position, or would you stay the course?
My first reaction would be of shock. Not because they were fired, but because if there were even two more teachers at my school that were Atheists, statistically speaking, that would mean that there would have to be far more Atheists in my community that there are. This might mean more outcry and support? Dunno.

So, back to the original question, two co-workers were fired because they were Atheists. Assuming no community support, which there likely wouldn't be, and I am still in my probationary period, I would stay the course. Tough question. This is one of those I can say what I would do until it really happened. This is one to ponder.


Question for you that is sort of off-topic; Referring to races different than your own, I have heard people say they are "color blind". They don't acknowledge any difference. I don't know that I agree with this. If you are not acknowledging any difference, you are completely disregarding that their culture could be different than your own. I don't know that I phrased that very well, but what are your thoughts?

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27-06-2012, 08:59 PM
RE: Atheist and career
(27-06-2012 08:03 PM)Spivey May Wrote:  Question for you that is sort of off-topic; Referring to races different than your own, I have heard people say they are "color blind". They don't acknowledge any difference. I don't know that I agree with this. If you are not acknowledging any difference, you are completely disregarding that their culture could be different than your own. I don't know that I phrased that very well, but what are your thoughts?
Spivey,

I know your question was directed to Matt, but I'd like to chime in with it is a BS proposition. I'd like to think I have a leg to stand on.

I'm cracker white (actually, with a nice olive complexion - tan, not burn, but I digress). I have 4 children, two are half white, half Chinese. The other two are half white and half black. Should I treat my children differently to take into consideration their "culture" or should I have treated them all as my children? Yeah, I'm "color blind" - what an asshole I was. If I could just have a second chance to do it differently...

Sorry for being snarky - but I'm not buying or biting. I love all four of my kids with the kind of love only a father can have and I'm not letting color enter the mix...sorry. End of discussion for me Smile

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