May 10, 2018 – We have removed the article “Lift the Veil, See the Light” by Sarah Braasch (published in the Sept/Oct 2010 issue of the Humanist magazine) from our website after it was brought to our attention that it contains racially offensive argumentation. The article was part of a point-counterpoint on the topic of laws barring Muslim women in France from wearing face-covering veils. In the article in question, which argues for the ban, the author equates the small number of slaves who wanted to remain with their owners after emancipation (an idea that is itself still a justification for racism in some circles) with women who choose to be “slaves” in abusive, misogynistic, or otherwise patriarchal religious traditions. She makes this analogy–which we have judged to be inaccurate and racially offensive–to argue that if human beings are forced or conditioned to accept indignity, suffering, and an inferior position in society then that society has an obligation to make laws to correct that. While the author’s final point is one some humanists might champion, the analogy to American slavery is definitely not.
The Humanist published two articles from this author as an outside contributor (not a staff member or regular blogger). We regret that this material remained up as long as it did and appreciate its offensive content being brought to our attention.