The American Humanist Association likes to promote itself with the slogan, “Good Without A God.” But alas, it doesn’t appear the AHA can live up to that slogan. Any organization that promotes anti-Semites and eugenicists cannot be considered “good” by good people.
So what is the evidence that the AHA promotes anti-Semitism and eugenics? It comes from the realization that cancel culture is a double-edged sword.
According to Hemant Mehta, the AHA’s Humanist of the Year award is to honor someone who is “an exemplar of humanist values.” It was recently taken away from Richard Dawkins because he was perceived as having anti-trans views, and this violated their notion of humanist values. Apparently, you can’t be “good without a god” if you don’t endorse every facet of transgender ideology.
That the AHA was so quick and eager to cancel Dawkins means we should look more closely at the award recipients they have felt no urge to cancel. That is, the willingness to cancel assigns meaning to the act of not cancelling.
One such AHA award recipient is Alice Walker, who is quite well known for her anti-Semitic views and conspiracy theories. Professor Jerry Coyne documents some of her anti-Semitism here.
And Jeffrey Salkin points out how Walker echoes the views of neo-nazis:
Another AHA award recipient was Margaret Sanger, who is well known for being a racist and eugenicist. It’s so bad, that as the NYT reports:
Sanger is someone who spoke at KKK rallies and, to this day, the AHA looks away.
The AHA has never made the slightest move to cancel either of these recipients.
The fact that the AHA was willing to cancel Dawkins’ award and do so with much fanfare, yet have never bothered to cancel the award for anti-Semites and eugenicists, is very telling. It tells us that the AHA is not offended by anti-Semitism and eugenics and that such things can be held by “exemplars of humanist values.” I would also note that anti-Semitism and eugenics are so extreme that I have encountered only one type of person who is not offended by them – a person who embraces them. Thus, we have reason to think the AHA quietly embraces anti-Semitism and eugenics.
I’d like to thank the AHA for demonstrating the hollowness and shallowness of their slogan. It’s one thing to write “good without a god,” but as we can see, they can’t live it. For any organization that promotes anti-Semites and eugenicists is a morally repugnant organization.
ETA: in 1962, the AHA gave their award to another noted eugenicist, Julian Huxley. The next year, they honored another eugenicist, Hermann Muller. Consider:
“Eugenics Manifesto” was the name given to an article supporting eugenics. The document, which appeared in Nature, September 16, 1939, was a joint statement issued by America’s and Britain’s most prominent biologists, and was widely referred to as the “Eugenics Manifesto.” The manifesto was a response to a request from Science Service, of Washington, D.C. for a reply to the question “How could the world’s population be improved most effectively genetically?” Two of the main signatories and authors were Hermann J. Muller and Julian Huxley. Julian Huxley, as this book documents, was the founding director of UNESCO from the famous Huxley family. Muller was an American geneticist, educator and Nobel laureate best known for his work on the physiological and genetic effects of radiation. Put into the context of the timeline, this document was published 15 years after “Mein Kampf” and a year after the highly publicized violence of Kristallnacht. In other words, there is no way either Muller or Huxley were unaware at the moment of publication of the historical implications of eugenic agendas.”