Psychology Today publishes idiotic racist article

From an email I received today from colorofchange.org The “scientific” article states that black women are not as attractive as women of other races.

These women aren’t as attractive as White, Asian, Latina or Native American women?

That’s what Psychology Today has said. Demand that the journal apologize, explain how this happened, and ensure that it won’t happen again.

Dear Beryl,

Nearly 20 years after a black parent documented how hard it was to hear, “Mommy, I want to be white,”1 Psychology Today reinforced the false and hurtful sentiment that Black women aren’t attractive.

Last week they published an article claiming it to be scientific fact that Black women are less beautiful than women of other races,2 penned by Satoshi Kanazawa, who is notorious for hiding behind pseudoscience to promote discredited racist and sexist ideas.3

By giving Kanazawa a platform and validating his ideas, Psychology Today dehumanized Black women and girls everywhere. After widespread public outcry, they removed the article from their website.4 But that alone won’t erase the damage they’ve done by validating these discredited ideas — the editors need to apologize, explain how this happened, and let us know that it won’t happen again. Please join us in demanding they do so immediately, and then ask your friends and family to do the same:

http://act.colorofchange.org/sign/psychtoday

Kanazawa’s article is flawed from top to bottom.5 Using a dataset from an unrelated study of teenagers, he draws the obviously false conclusion that Black women are “objectively” less attractive than women from other racial groups.

Kanazawa has a long history of hiding behind pseudo-science to express racist and sexist views. He once wrote an article asking “Are All Women Essentially Prostitutes?” and another suggesting that the US should have dropped nuclear bombs across the entire Middle East after 9/11 because it would have wiped out Muslim terrorists.6

So why does Psychology Today continue to give him a platform? Black women constantly face both subtle and explicit messages that they are valued less than women of other races — messages that are especially damaging to Black girls. Now Psychology Today has served as launching point for yet another attack, this time in the name of science.

Almost as if to cover up the racism inherent in his piece, Kanazawa says that black men are, “if anything more attractive” than their counterparts of other races because of “greater testosterone.”7 But even here Kanazawa relies on the same pseudoscience to describe black men in familiar terms — brutish, hypermasculine, oversexed, exotic. And that’s dangerous, too.

He uses a modern-day version of the faulty logic used to dehumanize blacks as inferior for hundreds of years, from the social Darwinists and eugenicists of the 19th century to The Bell Curve just 15 years ago. Psychology Today has a responsibility not to give such false logic a stage, nor validation.

To undo the damage it’s done, Psychology Today needs to explicitly reject Kanazawa’s ideas. Please join us in demanding that their editors apologize, explain how this article was published in the first place and what they’ll do to ensure it won’t happen again in the future. It takes just a moment:

http://act.colorofchange.org/sign/psychtoday

Thanks and Peace,

– Rashad, James, Gabriel, William, Dani, Matt, Natasha, and the rest of the ColorOfchange.org team
May 23rd, 2011

Help support our work. ColorOfChange.org is powered by YOU — your energy and dollars. We take no money from lobbyists or large corporations that don’t share our values, and our tiny staff ensures your contributions go a long way. You can contribute here:

http://act.colorofchange.org/go/205?akid=1987.1136005.2VjMqJ&t=6

About BG

Beryl Gorbman is a writer and private investigator who divides her time between Seattle WA and Merida Yucatan Mexico. She has published two works of fiction, 2012: Deadly Awakening, and Madrugada. They are both available on Amazon and other outlets. Also at Amate Books, and Casa Catherwood in Merida. You can read about them in various articles on this site.
This entry was posted in Merida Expat Life. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Psychology Today publishes idiotic racist article

  1. Grant says:

    Probably no one would have heard about this if these guys weren’t raising awareness of it. They might be better off to let this story die unattended.

    • BG says:

      Unfortunately, millions of people read the original article in Psychology Today and it seems like a good idea to call them on their atrocious journalism.

  2. Jody says:

    The first thing I thought, Grant, when I read your comment, was, “Tell that to a black woman.” I hear what you’re saying, but the damage is done–once again.

    Enough already. Somehow, in my naive view of life as it should be, I thought these kinds of “ideas” by researchers would be over and done with by now. So wrong.

    I had, of course, read about this on Facebook (insert wry smile here). However, I am very gratified to see it here, also. Organizations, like Color of Change, are expected to defend the rights of minorities. Sometimes, people ignore them or criticize them when they bring these kinds of things to the public’s attention. “Can’t we all just get along?”

    Obviously, we still have a way to go. Burrowing our heads in Cancún sand is not going to fix it. I believe it is a powerful and righteous act to write about this as an individual in a public forum, Beryl. Thanks.

  3. Kinbote says:

    Psychology Today has been a nutty magazine for as long as I remember.

    And let’s not forget that four years ago, uber-popular blogger Andrew Sullivan of The Atlantic, as well as William Saleton of Slate.com, jumped to the defense of geneticist James Watson’s fun comments about black intellectual inferiority, (though the biggest surprise was not that Sullivan defended Watson, seeing as he played an integral role in the publication of The Bell Curve when he was editing the New Republic back in 1994, but that he was able to ever work in publishing again after being so closely involved with such racist pseudo-science.)

  4. Estela Keim says:

    Attractiveness, physical or otherwise, has nothing to do with race or the color of one´s skin. It is a gift from God or from Mother Nature ( the result of the right mix of genes), but it is also a matter of individual and/or collective perception and cultural bias. For example, white people are called “red monkeys” in India and considered highly unattractive. So there.

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