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'Black women are ugly’ lecturer says sorry


SCEPTICISM HAS greeted an apology from a lecturer who was slammed for suggesting in a blog that black women are the ugliest of all the races.

London School of Economics (LSE) lecturer Satoshi Kanazawa, who published the insulting blog on May 16, said in a letter to LSE director professor Judith Rees:
“I am writing to express my sincere apology for the controversial post on my Psychology Today blog and the damage it has caused to the reputation of the School.

"I regret that the controversy surrounding its publication has offended and hurt the feelings of so many both inside and outside the School.”

Apology criticised

But his comments have been greeted with anger at the fact that it’s taken four months to see an apology – which one critic said seems to be more about him protecting his reputation than genuine regret.

“Kanazawa’s apology is heavy on self defense,” wrote Akiba Solomon on news website, “He also describes what he did as an error, calls the ensuing months difficult and uses self-reflection as a stand-in for real empathy for the women of color he violated.”

Apology: Satoshi Kanazawa

Kanazawa’s inflammatory blog was hurriedly removed from the US-based Psychology Today website, which also apologised and dumped Kanazawa as a blogger.

Sacking demand
In addition, angry members of the public, leading academics and various bloggers and commentators worldwide in May, slammed him for the racially charged blog.

Many women’s and race campaigners, fed-up students, graduates and academic contemporaries have demanded that the LSE - which launched an investigation following the uproar - reconsider his position at the institution.

Lecturer suspended

LSE concluded its investigation in early September – and despite calls for Kanazawa to be sacked, the institution suspended him from teaching core courses for a year, reports said.

In his apology letter, Kanazawa continued: “The blog post in question was motivated entirely by my scientific curiosity and my desire to solve an empirical puzzle. It was not at all motivated by a desire to seek or cause controversy and I deeply regret the unintended consequences that its publication nevertheless had because of my error in judgment. I accept I made an error in publishing the blog post.”

Flawed conclusions
Kanazawa based his piece on the findings of an unrelated survey of men and women across the races who were asked to rate each other’s attractiveness. Black women scored the least, even though they marked themselves highly.

He was blasted over his motivation for coming up with such insulting conclusions from the research, the blog’s lack of scientific grounding and a lack of context. Critics said he did not explore the idea that women were measured against the dominant European ideals of beauty.

Suspended Kanazawa: London School of Economics
Kanazawa, whose website carried the slogan ‘prepare to be offended’, was himself unable to draw any serious conclusion, they said.

After musing it had nothing to do with black women’s ‘lower IQs’, or because they were ‘much heavier on average’ than women of other races, Kanazawa said in the blog: “The only thing I can think of that might potentially explain the lower average level of physical attractiveness among black women is testosterone.

“Africans on average have higher levels of testosterone than other races… Women with higher levels of testosterone have more masculine features and are therefore less physically attractive."

But the success of singers such as Kelly Rowland and models such as Naomi Campbell, Iman and Alek Wek in featuring on the front pages of several international magazines has shown that black women are considered to be amongst the most beautiful in the world.

In his apology letter, Kanazawa added: “In retrospect, I should have been more careful in selecting the title of the blog post and the language that I used to express my ideas. In the aftermath of its publication, and from all the criticisms that I have received, I have learned that some of my arguments may have been flawed and not supported by the available evidence. …The past three months have been most difficult for all concerned, and I would never want to relive the experience.”

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