Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Psychology Today Ousts Satoshi Kanazawa: Color of Change

It pleases me to announce that ColorofChange.org launched a campaign aimed at Psychology Today against Satashi Kanazawa and the magazine has dropped the evolutionary psychologist as a contributor. Psychology Today is "taking the necessary steps to prevent an incident like this from ever happening again," says the advocacy group.
According to an e-mail sent to ColorOfChange.org – the nation’s largest African-American online political organization who asked its members to flood the editorial offices of Psychology Today with phone calls, e-mails and Facebook and Twitter comments and demand clarification – Psychology Today is no longer allowing Kanazawa to contribute to the publication. “We are currently implementing measures to ensure more rigorous oversight of blogs prior to publication, including nights and weekends, when this was posted. The blogger in question is no longer contributing to the site,” said Kaja Perina, editor-in-chief of Psychology Today.
I didn't write about Satashi Kanazawa's insulting and scientifically unsound article that ran in Psychology Today back in mid-May because I felt the story was getting enough discussion. I also was in a place where I could not absorb the negativity of spending too much time with Kanazawa's argument, which was essentially his assertion that black women are the ugliest human creatures on the planet because they have more testosterone. And if that were not insulting enough, he also managed to squeeze in that black men (who he claims are the most attractive human specimens) and black women are less intelligent than other humans.

While I didn't want to analyze his article, I'll gladly give attention to Kanazawa's dismissal as a PT contributor, but I guess I'm only hearing about it a week later because nasty news always gets more attention than pleasant news. Nevertheless, I would feel even better if the London School of Economics fired Kanazawa. Jezebel, reporting on the fall-out following the article, quoted an article in The Guardian about LSE students protesting Kanazawa's being on staff at the school. The University of London Senate (a student organization) voted unanimously for his dismissal, condemning his research.
Sherelle Davids, anti-racism officer-elect of the LSE students' union, said: "Kanazawa deliberately manipulates findings that justify racist ideology. As a black woman I feel his conclusions are a direct attack on black women everywhere who are not included in social ideas of beauty."

Amena Amer, incoming LSE students' union education officer, added: "We support free speech and academic freedom, but Kanazawa's research fuels hate against ethnic and religious minorities promoted by neo-Nazi groups. Not only does he use the LSE's credentials to legitimise his 'research' but this jeopardises the academic credibility of the LSE."
Who respects this man's so-called "science"? When I look him up online, I find other scientists who scorn him, including people in his field, but if British academia operates the same way American academia operates, then getting a professor fired for expressing racist, dehumanizing ideas is nearly impossible. I think for years the University of New Orleans had a professor who openly taught that black people were inferior to white people, but he had tenure, and so, the school endured him until he retired. So, we may have to endure Kanazawa's bigotry until he fades away.


msladydeborah said...

This is good news!

Vérité Parlant is Nordette Adams said...


Carolyn Moon (Amina) said...

I agree with their decision, however, Whoopi Goldberg's take on this issue during The View's Hot Topics is interesting. She doesn't think he should have been fired for expressing his viewpoint. I guess it doesn't matter to her that it has all the earmarks of junk science. Then she personalizes it by saying that she's been persecuted for her viewpoints. Anecdotal vs a purported scientific finding. hmm...

Why am I not surprised that she has taken this stand.