By Mr. Sagar Kumar
Humanism is defined as a rationalist outlook or system of thought attaching prime importance to human rather than divine or supernatural matters. Eurocentric is defined as focusing on European culture or history to the exclusion of a wider view of the world; implicitly regarding European culture as pre-eminent. Extremism basically means that one is being fanatical.
Many white people might think that becoming an atheist and/or following the ideologies of humanism might makes them a critical thinker or someone who treats everyone as equals. However, history has shown otherwise. In fact, eurocentric extremist ideologies exist in humanist organizations and other international NGOs such as RSF (Reporters Without Borders), Amnesty International, Freedom House, Human Rights Watch, and our very own Humanists International (HI).
So now, the million-dollar question is, how did these eurocentric ideologies survive these hundreds or even thousands of years? Today, it is rock steady and also it is well established. The answer is in our history books; it was always about the white people. Almost all of the organizations that I have mentioned, were founded by white people. The ideologies of their founders have become like a textbook that their current members think is the best ideology and it should be practiced in all the non-white or third-world countries.
Let’s look at Humanist International, for example, it was founded in 1952 by three white men. In 2002, Humanists International adopted the Amsterdam Declaration (AD). The third principle of the AD states the following:
“Humanism supports democracy and human rights. Humanism aims at the fullest possible development of every human being. It holds that democracy and human development are matters of right. The principles of democracy and human rights can be applied to many human relationships and are not restricted to methods of government.”
This principle has a really broad meaning and it does not translate well into lay people’s terms. Speaking of democracy, didn’t American Humanists Association (AHA) and American Ethical Union (AEU) co-wrote a letter alongside other humanists and secular groups to Senator Chuck Grassley and Senator Diane Feinstein on July 26th, 2018 to oppose the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh? I mean who the hell are they (AHA and AEU) to interfere in a democratic process? Donald Trump became the US President in a democratic manner, the same method in which Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, and Jimmy Carter became the President, the three most recent Democratic Party Presidents. The nominations for Supreme Court Justices are picked by the President and the confirmation is done by the Senate (who are also elected democratically from the 50 states).
Donald Trump followed a proper channel and his nomination was confirmed by the majority vote of the Senate, which is a classic example of democracy in the USA. It seems like AHA and AEU don’t respect democracy and they just breached the third principle of the Amsterdam Declaration 2002. Why didn’t Humanists International terminate the memberships of these two organizations? Is it because they are from a white majority country? If someone from a third-world country complains about biased reporting from any of these international NGOs, a popular response would be, “You don’t like listening to what you don’t like?” The letter to these two senators mentioned how they were against the conservative and right-wing ideologies of Brett Kavanaugh.
What I can’t understand is that, are these guys serious? Just because you don’t like someone’s conservative or right-wing ideology, you wrote a letter and oppose their nomination into the Supreme Court? How is that supporting democracy? Might as well call for the ban of the entire Republican Party and any other party that carries conservative or right-wing ideologies. Even if the presence of Brett Kavanaugh is going to badly affect women, the LGBT community, and people of colour, who cares, he got into the Supreme Court through democratic processes. Isn’t that what these international NGOs (most of them which work closely with HI) lecture to people in third world countries?
Didn’t Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International opposed the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh? Why did they oppose the nomination? Is it because white people are going to be affected by it? Are they trying to imply that their textbook definition of democracy and human rights only applies to non-white people or to the folks who live in third-world countries and it doesn’t apply to white people? This is a classic example of Eurocentric extremism.