● Please send letters to APA Monitor on
Psychology Editor Sara Martin at smartin@apa.
org. Letters should be limited to 175 words and
may be edited for space and clarity. D A
Thank you for the Monitor’s June article
on the effects of racial discrimination.
However, I’ve been disappointed in
APA’s public response to the deaths
of African-Americans at the hands of
police officers as well as mass shooters.
APA’s virtual silence in response to the
numerous police shootings of unarmed
African-American men, women and
children is dumbfounding. In an op-ed in
response to Ferguson by former APA leaders, the authors fall short of condemning
the shooting of an unarmed black teenager
and assert, “[t]he judicial system will
determine exactly what transpired between
Michael Brown and the police officer.”
Considering the historical treatment of
African-Americans by the judicial system,
and the continued shocking disparities,
their faith in the ability of the system to
determine what transpired and provide
a just outcome was questionable at best.
Perhaps the APA leaders’ questionable
faith is representative of the APA’s position
overall, and explains the silence.
Moreover, while I commend the APA
on its vigorous response to the Orlando
tragedy, I couldn’t help but compare it
to the APA’s response to the Charleston
shootings. When I looked back to
see if the APA offered services to the
families of the victims of the Charleston
shootings, or any other resources, I
couldn’t find anything, not even a public
statement condemning the shootings.
I call on APA to respond as vigorously
to the murder and mass shootings of
African-Americans as they have to the
Third-year doctoral student, Illinois School
of Professional Psychology at Argosy, Chicago
Thank you for your letter of concern.
APA has been actively engaging its many
streams of communication to provide
information in the wake of the recent
shootings. We have, for example:
■ Urged members to offer assistance to
communities where violence occurred,
whether through APA’s Disaster
Resource Network or other means.
■ Hosted a July 19 Twitter chat on
“Stress, Discrimination and Mental
Health” to discuss the shootings.
■ Participated in a White House
telephone briefing on the shootings and
the president’s response.
APA has taken significant steps over
the last few years to address police-community relations and reduce violence,
such as by supporting anti-profiling
legislation and advocating for the use of
evidence-based techniques to reduce the
role of stereotypes and implicit bias in
Kim I. Mills
Deputy Executive Director of
“She’s had work.”