Pro-Diversity vs. Proactive About Diversity

So I guess I lied a little. Still working on those other posts. But for now, one more thing on atheism plus:

It seems like a lot of people are objecting to atheism+ on the grounds that it implies that people who are not part of atheism+ are not for diversity, etc. I’d like to clear this up. The difference that atheism+ makes isn’t about being pro-diversity, it’s about being proactive about diversity. It’s about the idea that just acknowledging that diversity is an issue isn’t enough, you have to actively work to make your movement diverse and inclusive. The point isn’t that most atheists are against diversity, it’s that most don’t seem to get that it takes conscious, deliberate effort to make it happen.

It’s the difference between, “Yeah, this mess should definitely get cleaned up”, and, “Let’s get some people together and clean this mess up”. Some people outside of atheism+ are taking, “Let’s get together and clean this up”, as us saying, “Well, obviously you don’t want this mess to be cleaned up at all!”

So here’s the thing, people saying that: I don’t think you’re against cleaning up the mess, I just don’t think most of you are doing anything about it. So we’re forming a group to do something about it. No one is saying you’re against stuff being clean, it’s just that no cleaning is actually getting done, and we’d like to start doing some.

Forming a group of people who are all interested in actually doing some cleaning is not an insult. It’s not saying you don’t think things should be cleaned up, it’s just saying we’re going to do some cleaning rather than sitting around and talking about how cleaning is good.

If someone formed an atheist knitting club would you respond with, “Why do you think I’m against knitting?!”

Then when someone forms a club to get some work done on diversity, don’t respond with, “Why do you think I’m against diversity?!”

It’s equally absurd.

Maybe this is a change in language we need, though, atheism plussers, to get the point across. What do you think? Less “pro-diversity”, more “pro-active about diversity”?


2 comments on “Pro-Diversity vs. Proactive About Diversity

  1. This is about the best defense I have seen for the name A+.

    You would still do your group and the atheism movement a huge favor and be more honest by labeling your group ProDiversity instead of trying to co-opt atheism.

    • I can understand having issues with the name, and if I had to choose a name, I don’t know that I’d choose the same one, but the name isn’t an attempt to “co-opt” atheism. It’s a name that emerged organically out of conversations, not out of a series of conspiratorial meetings in dark rooms about how best to co-opt atheism as a movement. You can literally read the comments where it came about on Jen’s blog.

      Is it potentially problematic in some ways? Sure. Frankly, I think skeptic is a bit problematic as well, but them’s the breaks. The ship has sailed on both at this point.

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