Perverting science to insult black women

2011-05-28 10:00

Science has a sordid history of giving legitimacy to some of the most diabolical theories about race, so I was shocked but not surprised to read Satoshi Kanazawa’s Why Are Black Women Less Physically Attractive Than Other Women?

In a nutshell, Kanazawa wrote a blog post on Psychology Today’s website based on a small sample of facial appreciation studies.

He declared thereafter that black women were less physically attractive than Asian, Caucasian and Native American women.

On the other hand, said the psychologist, black men and women enjoyed a much higher self-appreciation than the other groups.

His blog post was pulled, but not before it caused a firestorm.

Similar “scientific” studies have been used throughout history to justify discrimination, slavery, unequal pay and, on occasion, genocide.

But even the most generous reading of Kanazawa’s article cannot conceal that the man is using the cover of science to hurl the most derogatory insults at black women.

Early on in his “findings” Kanazawa, who, believe it or not, is a tenured professor at the highly respectable London School of Economics, concludes: “So women of all races are on average more physically attractive than the ‘average’ respondent, except for black women.”

I suppose from here he was bound to descend into an orgy of racially motivated misogyny. What is most troubling about Kanazawa’s article is that his defenders have already invoked free speech as a defence of the indefensible.

The trouble with Kanazawa’s article is that it continues a shameful tradition of scientists who spend their time justifying discrimination on the basis of the “racial inferiority” of others.As one commentator put it, papers like Kanazawa’s are little more than “scientific racism for the 21st century”.

Despite all the graphs and the frequent use of words such as “analysis”, “objective”, “scientific measurement” and “statistical procedure”, it becomes painfully clear that Kanazawa’s true motive is to call black women ugly and back up that claim with science.

 What is remarkable is to see that Kanazawa wrote this piece in 2011, an era in which you imagine there would be no place for this kind of derogatory myth-making.

You do not need to go to the London School of Economics to understand that there is no science of beauty.

The man came armed with a piece of prejudice and he dressed it up in elegant scientific garb.Only a seasoned racist can use what he calls science to make such an outrageous statement that consigns all black women to the bottom of the beauty barrel.

Someone needs to stop Kanazawa in his tracks because as a professor of the London School of Economics, his racial lunacy assumes a respectability that is entirely out of place.

The institution has been quick to say that it will investigate Kanazawa’s research, but it vigorously asserts its defence of academic freedom of speech.

Someone needs to tell the highly learned professors at the London School of Economics that there is nothing academic about racial bigotry laced with unadulterated misogyny.

Instead of Kanazawa being given respectability for writing Why Are Black Women Less Physically Attractive Women Than Other Women?, the London School of Economics should be investigating the topic Why Are Bigots Like Kanazawa Given Cover By The London School of Economics?


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