World-renowned atheist thinker Richard Dawkins was stripped Monday of his 1996 “Humanist Of The Year” title for recent comments about transgenderism and race.
Earlier this month, Dawkins sent a tweet comparing Rachel Dolezal, who infamously pretended for years to be black in order to become president of the Spokane NAACP, to transgender individuals. Dawkins pointed out that Dolezal was “vilified for identifying as black” but that people are now “vilified if you deny that they literally are what they identify as” when it comes to transgender people.
In 2015, Rachel Dolezal, a white chapter president of NAACP, was vilified for identifying as Black. Some men choose to identify as women, and some women choose to identify as men. You will be vilified if you deny that they literally are what they identify as.
— Richard Dawkins (@RichardDawkins) April 10, 2021
The American Humanist Association (AHA), a group with the goal to “strive to bring about a progressive society where being good without a god is an accepted and respected way to live life,” announced Monday it was rescinding their 1996 award to Dawkins as “Humanist Of The Year.” He was initially honored for his communication of scientific concepts to the public. (RELATED: Here’s A List Of White Liberals Caught Pretending To Be Black)
In a statement, the group said Dawkins has “accumulated a history of making statements that use the guise of scientific discourse to demean marginalized groups.” Dawkins has caught backlash previously for other comments, including in 2015 when he said, “Is trans woman a woman? Purely semantic. If you define by chromosomes, no. If by self-identification, yes. I call her ‘she’ out of courtesy.”
“His latest statement implies that the identities of transgender individuals are fraudulent, while also simultaneously attacking Black identity as one that can be assumed when convenient. His subsequent attempts at clarification are inadequate and convey neither sensitivity nor sincerity,” said the AHA.
Dawkins later clarified his tweet, adding, “I do not intend to disparage trans people. I see that my academic ‘Discuss’ question has been misconstrued as such and I deplore this.” (RELATED: ACLU Sues To Prevent Data On Transgender Prisoners From Being Released)
He also distanced himself from Republicans who have recently made news for introducing legislation concerning transgender individuals: “It was also not my intent to ally in any way with Republican bigots in US now exploiting this issue.”
Dawkins has won numerous awards for his work on atheism and evolutionary biology, which includes books such as “The God Delusion” and “The Selfish Gene.”
Despite being among the most influential atheist intellectuals to ever live, Dawkins was also condemned by American Atheists. The group’s vice president for legal and policy, trans woman Alison Gill, accused Dawkins of reinforcing “dangerous and harmful narratives put forward by the opponents of equality.”