The American Psychological Association issued a lengthy apology for its past actions concerning African Americans and other racial and ethnic groups who were subjected to discrimination and racism.
In its statement issued on October 29, 2021, the APA began by saying “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.”
It went on to say the apology should have been issued long ago.
“The early history of psychology,” the resolution stated, “rooted in oppressive psychological science to protect Whiteness, White people, and White epistemologies, reflected the social and political landscape of the U.S. at that time. Psychology developed under these conditions, helped to create, express, and sustain them, continues to bear their indelible imprint, and often continues to publish research that conforms with White racial hierarchy.”
The APA also issued a resolution detailing the steps it would take to help correct the injustices of the past.
Readers may also find interesting the APA’s historical chronology of psychology’s contributions to the belief in racial hierarchy and perpetuation of inequality for people of color in United States.