By now most of you have probably heard about the racist Psychology Today article written by Satoshi Kanazawa. This was one of the fastest developing stories I've ever come across. In less than a business day Psychology Today was pressured to remove the article. No apology of course.
Who knows why Psychology Today allowed this insulting article to pass their editorial process. Maybe the editorial staff was letting their own latent beliefs about blacks and black women in particular shine through.
Who knows why Satoshi Kanazawa thought it was acceptable to deem a matter as highly subjective as looks and attractiveness worthy of an objective study. Maybe he thought this move would garner him more approval by whites, many of whom have really allowed their racist flags to fly over the past few years after the election of President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle.
This inane article is not what I want to discuss here. I want to discuss US. The classy black ladies of the world.
Why It Matters - What We're Fighting For
On one of the blogs I frequent, a young black girl admitted that reading negative stories like this about black women tears down her self-esteem again and again. To think that this is how others out there in the world truly perceive her as a black woman. It's overwhelming to her. And I know she's not alone. Another young lady admitted that she wishes she weren't black based on all of this negative media attention. Every time she looks online, on TV or in the newspaper they're saying something negative about black women and attacking her essence.
Those comments really hit deep for me. Building the self-esteem of young black girls and women is one of the top reasons why I decided to publish the Classy Black Lady website in the first place.
To that girl and the other young girls through older women who feel this way I just want to implore you: PLEASE, DO NOT BUY INTO THE HYPE.
Learn from History
I want to tell you a quick story about media and propaganda. In 1933 the Nazis began a campaign to make Jewish women and men look like animals and depraved human trash in their mainstream media. They used unflattering pictures depicting them as unattractive or animalistic and strategically placed negative news stories in mainstream news cycles.
They used supposedly "scientific" studies like the one that was published in this Psychology Today article to prove the inferiority of Jewish people. The also released popular movies that either made Jewish people look bad or Aryan Nazis look very good. The same trend in the media occurred over and over again. Imagine--just about every time a Jewish person picked up the newspaper or a magazine, switched on the radio or went to a "picture show," he read something negative about Jewish people.
Well people bought into it. Over a matter of just a few years, a large portion of Germans were believing these negative messages about Jewish residents of their country. Aryan Germans and even some Jewish folks started to believe that their own people were inferior. And you know the rest of the story.
Now do you see the parallels between this sad snippet from history and what has been happening over the past 3 years as far as the media's constant attacks against black women?
This is why a good portion of black women were annoyed by the racist Pepsi commercial, even though the majority of whites as well as some black women and men waved it off saying, "it's no big deal."
You see, it is a big deal, because it only gets worse and worse when you allow these types of negative media images to go un-checked. Seemingly small issues like Pepsi commercials become major smacks across the face, like this Psychology Today article which basically called black women objectively unattractive as a group!
Now, there's nothing you can do to change the opinions of others toward black women. Whites, non-blacks and even some blacks unfortunately are going believe and think what they will.
But it is ABSOLUTELY IMPERATIVE that you as a black woman remain strong, resilient and defiant in the face of these media attacks on black women. Do not buy into the hype. Fight back at every opportunity.
And guess what, black women like you are fighting back. That was clearly displayed yet again today when Psychology Today became so inundated with calls, emails, tweets and blog postings expressing their disgust with this article by Satoshi Kanazawa that they took the article down from their website immediately.
Too bad for Psychology Today and the author of that article, most of us will not forget. The article contents managed to survive through blogs. It serves as yet another constant reminder of our need to take back control over our own media image.
SIGN THE PETITION here. As of the date of this update it is now at over 20,000 signatures.
Here are the contacts for Psychology Today. Just because they've taken the article down doesn't mean we should stop calling.
Phone: (646) 763 6351 and (212) 260 7210
Director, Business Development