Right now I am writing a book, arguing that despite all the racism, inequality, and suffering that still plague the world, there is hope for the future

Image courtesy of Rhonda Pelham (family photo)

October 3, 2021

Dearest Mother:

It is now early October of 2021, and so in about six weeks, you will be 79 — or you would have been. I say “would have been” because you have now been gone for some 23 and a half years. It has been long enough since you died that…

In late 1996, when I was 35 years old, I had finally reached a point in my life where I felt I had just about everything I had ever wanted. I had grown up in extreme poverty, in rural Georgia. But I had been lucky and hardworking enough to become…

Images adapted from U.S. Library of Congress (left) and photo by Arturo Rey (right), courtesy of Unspash

Not long ago, it felt like life was returning to normal. By late May of 2021, half of all Americans had been at least partially vaccinated against COVID-19, and the Biden administration’s push to make several safe and highly effective vaccines widely available looked like a stunning success. …

Three clever and popular things NOT invented by White people. Pokémon logo is in the public domain, image courtesy of Wikipedia. Papyrus of Henefer is a free image courtesy of the British Museum. Inuit sunglasses image is in the public domain, courtesy of arctic explorer L.T. Burgess and the Library and Archives Canada.

How did the United States and a few other nations come to possess such a massive portion of the earth’s wealth? Two decades ago, the geographer, historian, and evolutionary biologist Jared Diamond gave us the one-word answer: agriculture. This blog explains how agriculture begat racism.

A common argument that Whites…

This article is so poorly reasoned -- and so dangerous -- that I do not know where to begin responding.

But let me begin with the ridiculous rain metaphor. It is already raining. We're not debating whether it is raining. We're debating how to keep as many people possible dry…

Images, clockwise from top left, by Clay Banks, Tim Gouw, Micheile Henderson, and U.S. Library of Congress, all courtesy of Unsplash

By Brett Pelham

I am a psychological scientist who studies racism and sexism. Research on these topics identifies powerful biases of which most people are wholly unaware. For example, my recent research shows that women of color disproportionately receive unnecessary cesarean sections during birth — but only when they can…

Hi Ivar:

I f you read any of my other blogs on how social inequality is much worse than almost anyone realizes, you'll see that I am being totally ironic.

See, for example:


You are absolutely correct that the American system of unbridled capitalism guarantees needless poverty and suffering -- and does so in dozens of ways that dramatically favor the rich.

Brett :)

Images by Taylor Brandon (L) and Nate Johnston (R), courtesy of Unsplash

If you think COVID-19 decimated the U.S. economy and standard of living in 2020, think again. Yeah, things may have been rough back in April and May, but 2020 was a banner year for many sectors of the U.S. economy. Consider a few examples.

Cars. Back in April and May…

Thanks you for being so gracious in respnse to my grumpy comment. I do agree that language can be very important. My own research shows so. But I think we worry too much about it sometimes -- and forget what we progressives are all fighting for.

I don’t believe in reincarnation, but there couldn’t have been a dog on the planet — other than Red — that better typified everything good and bad about my dad

Red (left), Lucky (right center), and some of my siblings, circa 1972. Photo courtesy of Jason Pelham

When I was about seven or eight years old, my family got a second dog. This was an extremely unlikely event. This is because we could not afford to care for the one dog we already had. Our little dog Lucky somehow survived on our skimpy table scraps, and she…

Brett Pelham

Brett is a social psychologist at Montgomery College, MD. Brett studies health, gender, culture, religion, identity, and stereotypes.

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