Does Atheism in the United State Lack Racial Diversity?

Reading blogs, books and watching videos, I've noticed that we, atheists, and yes even TA, is very white. The seems to be a lot of diversity in terms of gender and culture, but especially with member from the US, we seem to be lacking in diversity.


I'm not really sure if this is an anthropological or sociological question but do you think, race has anything to do with belief systems or more specifically the belief in non-belief? Are there any statistics out there that cover or explain this?  What factors would explain this? Or am I totally off-base which is also entirely possibly due to my innate white-maleness?

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I have seen non white atheists and interacted with a few. I never spent the time to look at the percentages, but I chalk it up to the fact that witheringly few people actually discuss their views at all, and among those the percentages of one ethnicity to another are bound to be skewed by simple statistical variance. I imagine cultural differences do play a role, but that has to sort itself out in its own time. The doors are open to anyone, as the only criteria is not believing in gods. But who decides to walk through and then speak up is not something we can force - or even criticize. I will say that I was listening to Infidel Guy before just about any other online atheist,for what that is worth.

I've got a little bit of an idea on this one, based on what I've noticed from school. I grew up and lived in and around the San Jose Bay Area in California, and it's a pretty racially diverse place that has a LOT of liberal roots. Santa Cruz and San Francisco, and this little place called Aromas are all still hopping with it.


   Even in places like this, people still have a huge tendency to self segregate. And within these little communities traditions still seem to run strong. Most of the Hispanic people I've known come from strongly Catholic families and the culture itself is very Catholic-oriented. Coming out as an atheist would not be acceptable; you would be cast out from your entire community.


   I know that the black community still has strong ties with Christianity due in part to the forced conversions back in the slave days, and also probably as a defense mechanism against the crime, poverty, and discrimination many of them still live with. I'd read an article not too long ago about how atheism is viewed very poorly in these communities, so I'm guessing that coming out an atheist there would also serve to disconnect yourself from your community.


   Being born white coffers a LOT of privilege (not a judgement, just a fact). This is just one more area that tends to come out. I would guess that areas with more integrated (and educated) populations would have higher rates of atheism across all groups. I'll look for some numbers...

Not much forthcoming info. Everything is by nation right now, with no subdivision for face or gender. This is the best I found so far.. 


"Richard Dawkins is a prominent evolutionist and atheists. According to the web traffic tracking firm Quantcast, the following racial groups have below average interest in the website Asians, Hispanics, and African Americans.[1] In addition, according to the Quantcast data, white males appear to be the group of individuals who are most receptive to Richard Dawkins' message.[2]


The site it comes from is one I won't spend much time on as I might start writing nasty, angry letter. The way people love to twist things to serve their own purposes drives me from sanity pretty quick.  


"The encyclopedia you can trust", hah.

People will be swayed by those whom they interact with and self segregation does often play a large role (thank you Kristen) since people want to be around those whom they are more likely to identify with. I think this reality, though understandable, is not necessarily in the best interest of those who for reasons of ethnicity, religion etc. opt for or are pressured into it. Coming to this site for instance I was happily surprised but simultaneously intimidated by the intellectual discourse wielded by some members. I could have (and some may wish this) read a few passages felt out of place and returned to the safety of my small bowl. I could also have not posted anything but simply read what had often been so eloquently offered without response but this would leave me with at times unanswered questions. Or I could jump in and see what happens. I have been successfully and sometimes rudely schooled to which I generally reply with a simple thank you, more to the point I think we as human beings are better off engaging in discussions as opposed to not. To conclude (finally sorry for the long winded response) More white atheists are a result I suspect of a larger percentage of whites versus other races, a statistically more privileged life offering more opportunity for education and freedoms for whites, racism either real or perceived and resentment prevents some potential communication, the strength of faith and the homage paid to it and it's heroic spokesmen promote in group out group thinking, generational indoctrinated racism (parents raising racist children). There unfortunately still exists a great deal of racism which I suspect is fairly close to the core of the problem and my examples are merely the tentacles of it. Just a thought.

White Devil

Every response here seems pretty much on point and eloquently thought out (Jason Ward). I'm black and American and I'm here, but I'm one of few. One's upbringing, life experiences, and, I suppose, even one's inherent intelligence leads one to the path of irreligion. I spent most of my childhood alone, observing others. An existential alien. It was not the common gregarious childhood that many children in minority groups experience. I never succumbed to any pressure of group-mind and did not feel that I needed to stick with any group (be it racial, cultural, counter-cultural, etc) in order to advance my position in life (a sentiment which is the foundation of organized religion...conformism of belief). To my knowledge, I am a sixth gen American (my great-great-great grandmother on my father's side was born in the Carolinas), and I'm a New Yorker. I feel this all led me to my path (or off The Path). But...enough of my biography.

I can't speak on other minorities, I can't even speak statistics within my own ethnic group because so many who call themselves Christians do not regularly attend church, do hard drugs, drinks, etc. Experiential observation has shown me that black Americans majorly cling to the Baptist & Methodist Christian CHURCH as the result of a long socio-political history, and because, often times, the church is the only organization providing direct help (meals, check-ins, community) to the people professing membership. Atheism is a social anathema (akin to homosexuality) in conservative households (black Americans may vote Democrat, but that doesn't make them liberals).

Still...I feel so utterly alone. The only black girl in Italian 101...the only black girl in the mosh pit...the only black apostate I know. [insert chronically depressed emoji]

You might enjoy "Contradiction", a video by Jeremiah Camara.  He is black, and makes many of the points you have made.  I got to see it at the Freedom From Religion Foundation convention.  I am not black but it seems spot on (and Camara is black, so I have some reason to think he knows what he's talking about).

Thanks, SteveInCo! I will check it out.

I paid it the ultimate compliment of buying a copy...even though I got to see it as part of the convention.

Of course.  Atheism is by and large an urban, white, well-schooled, privileged sort of thing, and Hitchens/Dawkins style atheism is predominantly male.  That's certainly the case in the U.S. but I'd imagine the worldwide demographic fits the urban/schooling/privilege model. 

The question of whether or not god(s) exist is by and large a "First World Problem". 

We don't really learn most things by thinking through them.  Few of us have the time to devote to truly study and think through even one discipline thoroughly and rationally; those who are not privileged have even less time to spend on such things.  We learn most things through the communities in which we engage. 

Atheism is by and large an urban, white, well-schooled, privileged sort of thing, and Hitchens/Dawkins style atheism is predominantly male

Well it has to do more with the fact that since Hitchens passed away, the mainstream face of "Atheism" have become divulged to bigots like Dawkins/Harris/Maher who are going around and generalizing feminists, Muslims and anyone that do not fit into their social criteria.

So if you are by and large an urban, a white, well-schooled, white privileged male who is not really into religion and who thinks feminists are creating man hate and your Muslim neighbor trying to peacefully live hisher life and raise his/her children is a "savage horde" in an invasion to convert all non Muslims to Islam by the sword, and any liberal that point that Islam as an ideology should be hated not a Muslim as an individual is a "regressive liberal", then  Dawkins/Harris/Maher style Atheism is perfect for you. 

Hence why you will not see many minorities part of that culture. I mean take a good look at this forum, the amount of the Atheists who truly came from a background of understanding and searching for a rational truth, leading to them to an atheistic perspective, is very very minimal at best.

I know the bleeding heart Dawkins lover boys are going to disagree, but here your lover boy from his own mouth.


I find that reply to be ridiculous. Please support what you say with evidence rather than ad hominem attacks. The video does not support what you are asserting.

Bigots hate people. Dawkins, Maher, and the rest hate ignorance. I know that having one's ignorance pointed out feels like hate, but true bigotry has no real basis. The animus against religion is based on facts rather than hate.


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