In the late 1980s, Notisha Massaquoi was a sophomore at the University of Western Ontario in Canada when she signed up for a psychology course taught by J. Philippe Rushton. Little did she know it would result in a 30-year battle to discredit the anti-Black rhetoric taught by the educator.
Massaquoi is part of the Black at Western Alumni Group, which has been calling on the university to speak out against the late Rushton’s race theories and to retract his scholarly works.
Now, the scholarly journal Psychological Reports announced that it has retracted articles by Rushton for being “unethical, scientifically flawed, and based on racist ideas and agenda.”
Rushton published dubious studies that promoted white supremacy and anti-Black theories, including that Black people are less intelligent than whites, Retraction Watch reported.
Articles by Rushton that have been retracted from Psychological Reports include the following: ”Contributions to the History of Psychology: XC. Evolutionary Biology and Heritable Traits (with Reference to Oriental-White-Black Differences): The 1989 AAAS Paper” and “Race and Crime: International Data 1989–1990,” which was published in 1995.
Rushton, who died in 2012, was a Canadian psychologist and author who became known for his research on correlating race and intelligence, race and crime, and other supposed racial correlations.
From 2002 until his death, Rushton served as the head of the Pioneer Fund, an organization that was founded in 1937 to promote eugenics. The Pioneer Fund has been described as a white supremacist organization and designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
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“He was one of the most famous scientific racists of the last few decades and simply one of Canada’s most famous professors generally,” Dr. Mansa Keita @rasmansa tweeted in 2019.
In classes at Western, Massaquoi remembers how Rushton presented his research on race, easing into his racism, couching his anti-Black theories in so-called science.
She told CBC, “…what started happening very slowly throughout the course would be small bits of racist ideology being spewed to us. And I equate it to being groomed for the big reveal of his theory, to be honest. So little things like positive stereotypes such as ‘Asian people are extremely bright.’”
She continued, “But then it started escalating in subsequent classes to things like ‘Black children develop much faster than white babies because they have to be able to become more independent because their families can’t parent appropriately or take care of them.’ The big day came when Rushton started to reveal what we then come to find out is his theory of racial inferiority and which he proclaimed that we were ranked intellectually with Asian people being more intelligent than whites and Blacks being more or less intelligent than white people.”
Massaquoi and other Black students organized on campus and protested, but their fight continued long after graduating and long after Rushton’s death.
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