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Please begin with an informative title:

If you find yourself tempted to say this, alarm bells should be going off in your head.

Being an ally can be difficult. We almost always don't understand the subject as well as the people with whom we considered ourselves allied. When my sister joined an anti-racist organization, she had to go through a period of learning how to be an ally before she was allowed to work with the larger group. She had to be taught to see her privilege. They teach that because it is not something everyone can see easily. She had to learn how to step aside and let minorities lead. She had to learn how to avoid "whitesplaining." These things are not easy. That is why she, and every white person who joined the organization, had to go through a several months long course.


You must enter an Intro for your Diary Entry between 300 and 1150 characters long (that's approximately 50-175 words without any html or formatting markup).

I am an atheist. Very often, when I say that, I feel like I want to start shuffling my feet, look at the ground and meekly say, "But I'm a nice atheist." I know what the stereotypes about atheists are. I don't want other people to view me in that way and project their stereotypes of atheists onto me. I am often tempted to mince words. Put it in a nice way. This is the not nice statement:

As an atheist, I feel I have no allies. I've never met, online or off, an atheist ally.

Right now, I feel a strong temptation to modify and soften that statement. But I'm running through my head and trying to remember an instance when a theist jumped up to defend atheists. I can't. That doesn't mean it's never happened anywhere, but I can't recall an instance I've witnessed. So, instead of qualifying it, I'll repeat it. For those of you who are not atheist, think of the loneliness of the statement.

As an atheist, I feel I have no allies. I've never met, online or off, an atheist ally.

Extended (Optional)

Originally posted to itinerant painter on Wed Sep 03, 2014 at 08:41 PM PDT.

Also republished by Progressive Atheists.

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