Becky with the Wide-Eyes

Most times Psychology Today has very interesting articles, but this article by Devon Frye, boiled my blood. I will try really hard not to get all up in my feelings while responding to this article and it will be a serious struggle.

Ok, here we go.

Ms. Frye watered down the whole Black Lives Matter campaign in regards to inequitable sentencing. She says, “a justice system that doles out scattered sentences for similar crimes is one example of “noise,” or unwanted variability in judgments that should, in theory, be identical”.


I pulled the article just to see who in their right mind would post an article that reduces structural racism to “noise”? There was her photo, Becky with the wide eyes?

Becky, Gurl? What are you looking at that would prompt you to submit this…this…????? I don’t even know what to call it but “whitewash”.

She goes on to quote the research of Daniel Kahneman, Oliver Sibony, and Cass Sunstein as folks who are exploring the consequences of noise. EXCUSE ME??

They are reducing the impact of noise to “cognitive biases and confirmation biases” without actually calling it what it is: racist practices. This article is an example of unchecked racism out loud.

This article is for the White comfort, folks who are trying very hard not to face the reality of BIPOC experiences with the judicial system. Its all just noise to them. For BIPOC, its life and death, that impacts future generations. One of the researchers Kahneman says, “The point is not to avoid intuition altogether, but to delay it.” Well, that’s what happening in the courts, racist systems following their intuition to destroy all things BIPOC. So I can see the validity of their point.

This is irresponsible reporting and for Psychology Today to print it without a disclaimer that indicates the therapeutic world recognized the impact of racism on mental health is unacceptable. But I guess psychology as it is practiced, does not feel the need to restructure itself to include anti-racism training for future therapists. (I include Social Workers training also in this analysis).

Before you say, I am talking out the side of my neck. I have been trained in Clinical Psychology and the only person speaking to the racist practices of therapy, was me. The class was filled with wide-eyed Becky’s who were eager to start “helping”. After graduation, you are assigned to organizations where you spend 6, 9 or 12 months interning with live patients. Most of these organizations are in poor neighborhoods where the need for therapeutic support is astronomical for folks dealing with the impact of structural racism. In walks Becky with the wide-eyes, who has no clue about the communities she serves. No clue about the school to prison pipeline data. No clue about disproportionate punishment and or sentences in the justice system. No clue about anti-Blackness or anything that impacts BIPOC thriving. Becky is there to diagnose (imperfect system to say the least) and to report to government entities to keep the funds flowing.

“The human cost of a noisy justice system”, is reality for BIPOC who are being being viewed as “noise” and are systematically being destroyed inside “judgment”..

How is it possible to reduce “structural racism” to “noise” and no one at , raised an eyebrow? They had a meeting to determine which articles to print and they saw nothing wrong?

In conclusion, you’re fired for reckless and irresponsible behavior.



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Edna Sadberry

Edna Sadberry

Committed to addressing multi-generational trauma. I post about the foundation of trauma patterns that impact beliefs and behavior.