A political philosophy journal faces backlash after featuring an analysis of the Black Lives Matter movement in its June edition without including insight from Black academics, reports ABC News.
According to the outlet, many African-American scholars felt slighted after the Journal of Political Philosophy featured articles about racial bias and police brutality written by White academics. Several people took to social media to express their outrage.
The editors of the journal issued an apology saying that the situation was a “grave oversight” and the publication will focus on diversifying its editorial board, ABC News reported. The controversy brings attention to a lack of Black voices featured in academic research journals.
“You have a major social movement that comes about because of police violence and a failure of the state to respond effectively,” UCLA political scientist Melvin Rogers told the Associated Press. “You put together a symposium … and construct it in such a way that replicates the very problem the movement is trying to respond to. The signal this sends to scholars of color that care about this is that they, too, are invisible.”
Meena Krishnamurthy, a University of Michigan philosophy professor, penned an open letter to the publication that was featured on the Political Philosopher:
“In such matters, final responsibility rests with the editorial staff – it is their job to curate an intellectual experience that adequately and appropriately speaks to the issue at hand,” she writes. “What is so deflating about the journal’s misstep here is that this contribution to the historical record is in fact a kind of replaying of history that the movement for black lives has dedicated itself to eliminating from a society struggling to be decent – the erasure of black presence when and where it counts and is needed.”
The Journal of Political Philosophy isn’t the only publication to find itself in the midst of controversy. According to ABC News, the “American Historical Review” was called out earlier this year for featuring an article written by a professor whose opinions were tied to White supremacy.