Friday, June 09, 2017

The Journal of Political Philosophy criticized for not consulting black scholars on race

The AP reports:
A leading journal of political philosophy took up the Black Lives Matter movement in its June issue without a single contribution from a black academic, triggering an outcry from African-American scholars.

Many black scholars said they felt insulted and ignored, and some took to social media to express their indignation. Two wrote open letters to the Journal of Political Philosophy.

The journal's editors were apologetic for what they conceded was an "especially grave oversight" and vowed to increase diversity on its editorial board and in its pages.

The episode highlights what some intellectuals say is a lack of diverse voices in the influential research journals where getting a paper accepted is often vital to getting ahead in the publish-or-perish world of academia.

The omission left many wondering: Do black minds matter?

"This is not an abstract philosophical question. There are real goods at stake when we talk about which voices count," said Yale University philosopher Chris Lebron, who recently wrote a book on Black Lives Matter and wrote one of the letters to the journal.

The journal is a peer-reviewed academic quarterly that explores topics such as sociology, history, economics and race. It devoted part of its latest issue to a "symposium" on Black Lives Matter, inviting three white scholars to contribute articles on racial bias, law enforcement and the right to personal security.

UCLA political scientist Melvin Rogers, one of the black scholars who raised objections with the journal, called the lack of black voices "especially egregious" in this case.
No word yet on when academics are going to get upset with the lack of viewpoint diversity in their departments. After all, they do studies on people who actually voted for Donald Trump.