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Psychology Today Apologizes

Last week I blogged about the recent protest stemming from a racist blog posted on Psychology Today’s website? Find the story here: http://tropie7189.blogspot.com/2011/05/objective-beauty-ladies-embrace-your.html). Well, Psychology Today has now apologized (http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/brainstorm/201105/apology-psychology-today). Here’s the official apology:

Last week, a blog post about race and appearance by Satoshi Kanazawa was published–and promptly removed–from this site. We deeply apologize for the pain and offense that this post caused. Psychology Today‘s mission is to inform the public, not to provide a platform for inflammatory and offensive material. Psychology Today does not tolerateracism or prejudice of any sort. The post was not approved byPsychology Today, but we take full responsibility for its publication on our site. We have taken measures to ensure that such an incident does not occur again. Again, we are deeply sorry for the hurt that this post caused.

~Kaja Perina, Editor in Chief[1]

I am grateful for the apology. But I’m most grateful for the protest that I believe drove the apology. I seriously wonder if this would have been addressed, if the article would still be on the website had it not been for the protest against the racist article. Why did it take so long to post an apology? Some may think that this is a small issue but to me it is a HUGE deal. Why? Because there are people who honestly believe that science can be used to denigrate entire groups of people. Because some people believe that they are in fact objectively less valuable than others and so they buy into this false science. For those of you who signed the petition or protested in any way, we have to keep up the fight. The way that we wear our hair is just an indicator of who we are and we have a right to be whomever we choose to be. I am thankful that we stood up and made it known that we will not tolerate being attacked. For those who didn’t get involved, may I ask why? Is it that this is an unimportant topic?


[1] It’s also interesting to note that Ms. Perina is not a trained psychologist. Here is a direct quote from her blog bio: I’ve served as editor in chief of Psychology Today since 2003. Prior to joining PTI was a writer for Brill’s Content. I’ve also worked for Vogue, The Associated Press and Independent Television News of London. My own writing for PT is anthologized in The Best American Science Writing series. The question I’m most frequently asked is whether I have formal training in psychology. My stock reply was once: “Only if you count years of psychotherapy.” I now tell people simply, and no less honestly, that my lifelong curiosity about human behavior is ample schooling. As to formal schooling, I hold degrees from Vassar College and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism”. What do you all think are the implications of this given that she’s editor-in-chief at a psychology outlet?

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