Could science be overtaken by whopping wokeness? A host of headlines over the past couple years fail to offer the fattest “no.”
Apropos of such possibility, a professor in Florida has removed himself from the American Psychological Association.
Via Quillette.com, Stetson University's Christopher Ferguson relays his resignation.
“I've been a member of the American Psychological Association (APA) for years, and a fellow for the past six or seven years,” he writes. “I sat on their Council of Representatives, which theoretically sets policy for the APA, for three years. I am just ending my term as president of the APA's Society for Media and Technology, where I have met many wonderful colleagues.”
Per Christopher, the organization has entered the realm of the ruinous.
My concern is that the APA no longer functions as an organization dedicated to science and good clinical practice. As a professional [society], perhaps it never did, but I believe it is now advancing causes that are actively harmful and I can no longer be a part of it.
The instructor may have joined for the wrong reason — to “fix” it.
When he came aboard, the league had already gotten it wrong in areas with which he's familiar: the negative impact of video game violence, the deleterious effects of spanking, and the supremacy of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in dealing with PTSD.
Additionally, the group isn't big on manliness:
More controversial were practice guidelines for men and boys which drew deeply from feminist theories, dwelled on topics of patriarchy, intersectionality, and privilege, and arguably disparaged men and families from traditional backgrounds.
“This guideline is actively harmful,” he poses, because it “both misguides therapy in favor of an ideological worldview and likely discourages men and families from more traditional backgrounds from seeking therapy.”
And last year, things ratcheted — following the death of Minnesota man George Floyd.
The tragedy, he says, prompted “a complete capitulation to far-left ideology.”
What we don't need is our science organizations going all-in on one side of our polarized divide and stoking furor with hyperbolic statements. Unfortunately, that is exactly what the APA and other left-leaning organizations did.
In May of 2020, APA President Sandra L. Shullman heralded the horror of America's “racism pandemic”:
“If you're black in America,” she claimed, “and especially if you are a black male, it's not safe to go birding in Central Park, to meet friends at a Philadelphia Starbucks, to pick up trash in front of your own home in Colorado or to go shopping almost anywhere.”
Christopher wasn't impressed:
These are terrifying words. They're also at best debatable, arguably simply untrue.
Proportionally, black individuals are fatally shot by police more than whites (though, again, Asians less than either), but proportionally black individuals are also overrepresented in the perpetration of violent crime and in violence toward police. To clarify, I am convinced that the evidence suggests that class rather than race is actually the key variable we should be considering, whether we're talking about perpetrators of crime, or victims of police brutality.
The APA's action, he asserts, “threw gasoline on the fire.”
[H]omicides and other violent crimes have soared in US cities since May 2020… My concern is that [the APA's] rhetoric in race, by delegitimizing policing and promoting false narratives about race and policing, has made the [the group] unintentionally complicit in this phenomenon.
America appears in the midst of major institutional change.
Science and medicine aren't excepted:
Back to the APA, Christopher denounces its doubling-down:
This year they released an apology for systemic racism, declared its mission to combat systemic racism in the US and a policy dedicated to combating health inequities which it sees as the product of racism. All of these are filled with leftist jargon and assumptions from progressive worldviews and short on clear evidence or even definitions. Put simply, these are statements of leftist ideology, not science nor even good clinical practice.
The association recently issued an “inclusive language” list, canceling terms such as “deaf person” and “blind person” (for the clearly superior “person with deafness” and “person with blindness”), and even “mentally ill.”
We're not to talk about birth sex or people being born a boy or girl (“assigned female/male at birth” is the language of choice now).
Christopher likens a surrender “to the kind of wokeness that has permeated left-leaning institutions” to a “virus” — one which “increases polarization” and increases inequality.
That our psychological institutions, as well as those elsewhere in academia, journalism, and business, have participated in this is a shame on our field.
For all the above, where the American Psychological Association is concerned — and as New Edition once insisted — count him out.
It's a new world. And the old organizational areas look drastically different than our upgraded space.
Still, a few stragglers are holding out.
Physical health appears to have remained unscathed:
Not much different than Cosmo telling us that this is healthy: pic.twitter.com/32gjAwCUW8
— John R. Nave (@JRNave) June 18, 2021
And though the field is evolving, scientific freedom rings still:
Medical School Professor Suggests Hate Crime Charges for Anyone Who Criticizes Government Scientists https://t.co/0KHaos0BaG
— RedState (@RedState) August 5, 2021
Upward and onward.