An Apology, July 2, 2020

by Robin Hanson, Assoc. Prof. of Economics, G.M.U.

On June 17, I foolishly wrote an insensitive tweet that evoked a racial stereotype regarding the Juneteenth holiday. At no point did I intend any hurt, humor, or offense, and only after seeing many responses did I see the harm I had done. My thoughtless words brought shame and disapprobation not only upon myself, but upon my colleagues and a university that I love. Living the life of the mind at George Mason University among stimulating colleagues for the last two decades has been the highlight of my life.

I thus deeply apologize, to my readers, my colleagues, my students, and the world, for the pain and hurt that I've caused. I apologize especially to African Americans. I was too slow to see how what I said could suggest ill racial intent. I say this not to excuse myself, but to explain. I will work to learn from my mistake and become more sensitive to the concerns that I neglected here. I welcome suggestions for training programs, readings, and other appropriate activities.

Racism, especially when institutionalized, is a grave injustice. I want no association whatsoever with racist acts or attitudes. So again, I deeply apologize to anyone I've hurt, and I promise to work hard to keep this from happening again.