Reason Rally 2016

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The Reason Rally 2016 is a followup to the Reason Rally 2012 (see also: Reason Rally). Like the original Reason Rally in 2012, it was held in the National Mall in Washington, D.C. on March 24, 2012.

Far smaller turnout than Reason Rally 2012

Atheist Hemant Mehta wrote:

But one of the storylines coming out of the event is that, compared to the ,,,people who showed up in 2012, this Rally brought together far fewer people...

That wasn’t supposed to happen. ...there was no rain this time around, and there were big-name celebrities on the speaking roster (though some of the most famous people on the list, including Johnny Depp, Margaret Cho, and Richard Dawkins, couldn’t ultimately participate for a variety of reasons).

No official crowd estimates have been released. But even in the early afternoon, when the crowd was likely at its peak, nothing I saw suggested “15,000 to 20,000” in attendance, as the organizers told Religion News Service. I’d put the range at about half of that, but we’ll see.

YouTube atheist Thunderfoot said about the atheist movement after Reason Rally 2016 had a very low turnout:

I'm not sure there is anything in this movement worth saving. Hitchens is dead. Dawkins simply doesn't have the energy for this sort of thing anymore. Harris went his own way. And Dennett just kind of blended into the background. So what do you think when the largest gathering of the nonreligious in history pulls in... I don't know. Maybe 2,000 people. Is there anything worth saving?[1]

Reason Rally and lack of diversity

Reason Rally 2016 and a lack of gender diversity among attendants

Thunderf00t estimates that there was a 2 to 1 ration as far as men to women attending Reason Rally 2016.[2]

Reason Rally 2016 speakers and lack of satisfactory diversity

See also: Atheism and diversity and Western atheism and race and Atheism and women

Lyz Liddell, the Executive Director of the Reason Rally Coalition declared about Reason Rally 2016 and its lack of satisfactory diversity:

Again, I want to be careful here because I don’t want to point fingers at any one volunteer or group of volunteers. Ultimately, I’m responsible for the messages that the Reason Rally sends, and I take full responsibility for the response you received. It was not our finest moment.

We discussed how the email that you received came off as somewhat defensive in its attempts to make our speaker lineup appear diverse when it is, at the moment, a bit monochromatic. As an organization, we are upfront about the fact that, at the moment, the speaker lineup on our site is not as diverse as we want it to be. My team agreed that the key piece of information missing in the message sent to you was that we have a lot of outstanding invitations that, when accepted, will make the list of speakers much more diverse.[3]

Reason Rally 2016 opened with an off key gay men's choir

In a video, Thunderf00t points out that the Reason Rally 2016 opened up with an off key gay men's choir.[4]

Quality of public speakers at Reason Rally 2016

See also: Atheism and public speaking and Atheist conferences

The news website Vox reported about Reason Rally 2016:

It is clear, too, that almost nobody who takes the stage at Reason Rally was ever trained as a preacher. The whole thing is languid, urgent words in measured tones. The goal is an "end to bigotry," in the pitch of a polite request, to "reject" a supernatural worldview with all the force of tepid applause. Jamie Raskin says the job of politicians is to "listen to scientists" and closes with "Put your thinking caps on America!" Penn Jillette struggles to get a video playing, chokes up over Hitchens, then plays a Bob Dylan knockoff about his love for all people. The Amazing Randi devotes half an hour to a muted jeremiad against the obscure "facilitated communication" hoax. Peter says he does not know what "FC" is, but he'll look into it.[5]

External links

Notes