The APA (or as it probably should be renamed now, the American Political Psychological Association) has taken upon itself to issue a major statement in which it apologises for its contribution to systemic inequities and commits itself to action. Below are extracts from the statement including the opening paragraph and a sample of its specific positions and resolutions – all of which sound very similar to the AMA’s position on health equity. Overall, this statement appears to represent the inevitable end point of the APA’s woke trajectory; the imposition of a simplistic reductive politicised worldview onto its members. Gramsci’s ‘long march through the institutions’ has worked in the healthcare/therapy professions. It surely won’t be long before all dissidents/heterodox thinkers will be expelled from the discipline and practice of psychology.

The American Psychological Association failed in its role leading the discipline of psychology, was complicit in contributing to systemic inequities, and hurt many through racism, racial discrimination, and denigration of people of color, thereby falling short on its mission to benefit society and improve lives. APA is profoundly sorry, accepts responsibility for, and owns the actions and inactions of APA itself, the discipline of psychology, and individual psychologists who stood as leaders for the organization and field.

Whereas psychologists created, sustained, and promulgated ideas of human hierarchy through the construction, study, and interpretation of racial difference, and therefore contributed to the financial wealth gap and social class disparities experienced by many communities of color (Cummings Center, 2021).

Whereas this framework for understanding the four levels of racism recognizes that racism is woven into the fabric of the historical origins of the U.S. and its territories and has become integral to the functioning of its core institutions and organizations (APA, 2021c).

Whereas racial inequities result from laws, systems, policies, practices, and cultural narratives that reflect racial bias and White supremacist ideology, and that APA and psychology, in keeping with the ethical values reflected in the APA Ethics Code (2016) have an important role and responsibility to disarm and dismantle racism in all its forms (APA, 2021c; Thomas, 2005; Yearby et al., 2020).

Therefore, be it resolved that APA rejects “hegemonic science”—that is, research focused on identifying and reinforcing supposed hierarchies of human value based on a White-default—and will continue to oppose it through culturally responsive training, ethical/equity-focused approaches, peer review, and publications (e.g., APA, 2021d).

Therefore, be it resolved that future APA actions could also include targeted interventions to benefit other groups that have experienced systems of oppression, including those based on religion, sex, class, sexual orientation and gender diversity, and disability identity.

Therefore, be it resolved that APA reaffirms its rejection of racism and racist ideologies and its commitment to dismantling racism in all forms, including within the discipline itself, will continue to work to identify psychology’s significant potential to dismantle racism in important systems and sectors of society, and will continue to advocate for policies that create a more equitable and inclusive society that honors the needs and well-being of people of color.

2 thoughts

  1. Isn’t it time the APA accepts its guilt for climate change, predatory capitalism, heteropatriarchy, asteroid threats, and original sin?

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  2. Not to be a wet blanket on everybody’s fun but this seems like a pretty empty fluff letter designed to appease activists so they leave the APA alone. Cowardly, yeah. It would be better to take a real stand but to be honest, through the last 5 years of watching this unfold in the scientific research community there’s quite a bit of toothless fluff exactly like this. In reality, the people writing these kinds of things do not take a stand because they have not actually thought through their views on capitalism, governance, individualism vs collectivism and all the associated ideas to give a robust response to wokeism. Lots of reasons for this which are too long for a comment. The way the APA works internally — they will still have no choice but to follow the laws of nature and usual merit-based functioning silently, while writing fluff pieces like this every so often to keep the activists off their backs, because the woke stuff (based on post-modernism) CANNOT actually produce anything concrete even if they wanted it to. I know the tendency in internet discourse is to panic, but know that mass media since the dawn of time has been built on panic. Our time is not new.

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