White atheists have a markedly different agenda. They are, on average, more affluent than the general population. Their children don't attend overcrowded "dropout mills" where they are criminalized, subjected to "drill and kill" curricula and shunted off to prison, subminimum-wage jobs or chronic unemployment. White organizations go to battle over church/state separation and creationism in schools.

They largely ignore the fact that black nonbelievers face a racial and gender divide precipitated by rollbacks on affirmative action, voting rights, affordable housing, reproductive rights, education and job opportunities. With the highest national rates of juvenile incarceration, as well as suspension and expulsion in K-12 schools, African American youth in particular have been deeply impacted by these assaults on civil rights. According to the Education Trust, "If current trends continue, only one in twenty African American students in the state of California will go on to a four-year college or university."

But when we look to atheist and humanist organizations for solidarity on these issues, there is a staggering lack of interest. And though some mainstream atheist organizations have jumped on the "diversity" bandwagon, they haven't seriously grappled with the issue. Simply trotting out atheists of color to speak about "diversity" at overwhelmingly white conferences doesn't cut it. As Kim Veal of the Black Freethinkers network notes, this kind of tokenism exhibits a superficial interest in "minorities, but not in minority issues."