If you didn’t spend your Sunday evening on Twitter, perhaps you didn’t realize that Dawkins is once again the star of social media, thanks to this Tweet:
Bin Laden has won, in airports of the world every day. I had a little jar of honey, now thrown away by rule-bound dundridges. STUPID waste.
— Richard Dawkins (@RichardDawkins) November 3, 2013
It’s a perfectly understandable aggravation. Who doesn’t hate the TSA? And who hasn’t Tweeted about it? Well, to be fair, most people probably haven’t Tweeted about it lately thanks to the brutal murder of a TSA agent during the horrifying rampage by a bigoted “patriot” at LAX, but still: we all get annoyed at airport security, and we all agree that it’s not actually keeping us safe.
So why would this simple Tweet inspire the often hilarious hashtag #honeygate? Because of context. Had anyone else Tweeted that, it would have been greeted by their followers with little more than an eyeroll at the hyperbole and outdated realization. But Dawkins has become a regular laughingstock for his boneheaded and bigoted online bon mots.
For a start, there’s his dismissal of atheist women’s right to feel safe and respected in our community, and his tacit approval of the ongoing slurs and hatred we get from our fellow atheists for speaking up about women’s rights. By dismissing (and passively contributing to) our concerns over our personal safety while claiming victimhood at the hands of terrorists for having his honey taken away, he was pretty much asking for this hilarious response from DoubtingTom at Dubito Ergo Sum:
Stop whining, will you. Yes, yes, I know you get stopped and harassed and interrogated and strip searched every time you try to travel . . . yawn . . . don’t tell me yet again, I know you’re constantly judged based on superficial similarities to bad people, and you can’t live where you please without enduring rude questions and harassment from rubes who think you’re a terrorist or infiltrator, and the government is allowed to detain you indefinitely without trial if you behave suspiciously, and you’ll never be able to take a piloting class or run a marathon or buy fertilizer without ending up on a dozen watch lists. But stop whining, will you. Think of the suffering your poor British brothers have to put up with.
Only this week I heard of one, he calls himself “Richard Dawkins,” and do you know what happened to him? A TSA security agent took away his jar of honey. I am not exaggerating. He really did. He took his jar of honey. Of course he protested, and of course he knew the preexisting security rules, but even so . . .
And you, Muslimo, think you have inconvenience, intrusion, and harassment to complain about! For goodness sake grow up, or at least grow a thicker skin.
The other bit of context that makes his Tweet absurd is the fact that in the recent past, Dawkins has actively contributed to the far-right’s anti-Muslim hatred that leads to people of color being “profiled” and harassed at airports around the world. To be fair, he’s never gone as far as the shockingly irrational Sam Harris, who repeatedly argues for the profiling of anyone who looks sort of Muslim. But like Sam Harris, who recently co-opted young Muslim hero Malala Yousafzai, Dawkins isn’t afraid to use Muslim women as props (see “Dear Muslima“) to support his own causes while spitting out poorly thought-out anti-Muslim arguments like:
All the world's Muslims have fewer Nobel Prizes than Trinity College, Cambridge. They did great things in the Middle Ages, though.
— Richard Dawkins (@RichardDawkins) August 8, 2013
So now that you have the relevant context, let’s get to it. Here are the Top 10 Responses to Richard Dawkins’ #Honeygate, in no particular order until #1:
EXCLUSIVE: Photograph of Richard Dawkins at TSA screening point. pic.twitter.com/iMJAUpZAAa
— Boing Boing (@BoingBoing) November 4, 2013
I made an artistic rendering of the Richard Dawkins honey confiscation incident. pic.twitter.com/BUq4JLgml1
— @red3blog (@red3blog) November 3, 2013
Richard Dawkins begins to sweat. He is next in line at airport security. Inside his anus, four jars of honey clink softly #NaNoWriMoOpeners
— public universal crocodile ? (@badsnacks) November 3, 2013
— The Snake Armed Man (@SnakeArmedMan) November 4, 2013
@RichardDawkins Who is Honey? Would always prefer Honey to any principle.
— Joyce Carol Oates (@JoyceCarolOates) November 3, 2013
Did you know Joyce Carol Oates is on Twitter, trolling Richard Dawkins? Neither did I! Let’s hear it for #honeygate.