Pearson Education apologizes for racist textbook material

Pearson Education, the publisher of a textbook for nurses, has given a public apology after social media erupted over a picture of “racist” material from the textbook was shared online.

Pearson Education

Nursing: A Concept-Based Approach to Learning, gives advice on how nurses should administer pain relief to people of different ethnic backgrounds.

“A client’s culture influences their response to, and beliefs about pain,” the textbook states.

Facbook/Onyx Moore

Some of the recommendations include:

  • “[Arabs/Muslims] may not request pain medicine but instead thank Allah for pain if it is the result of the healing medical process.”
  • “Chinese clients may not ask for medication because they do not want to take the nurse away from a more important task.”
  • “Blacks often report high pain intensity than other cultures.”
  • “Jews may be vocal and demand assistance.”
  • “Hispanics may believe that pain is a form of punishment and that suffering must be endured if they are to enter heaven.”
  • “[Native Americans] may pick a sacred number when asked to rate pain on a numerical pain scale.”

In addition to sharing the excerpt from the textbook, Facebook user Onyx Moore also wrote the follow post on Monday:

Facebook/Onyx Moore

The comments instantly started flooding in after people found out about the discriminatory material in this textbook:

Individuals also started to taking to Twitter as well to share and condemn the text:

The widespread social media reaction to the post prompted an apology for the Pearson on Twitter…

…followed by a video posted on YouTube of Pearson president of global product development Tim Bozik apologizing for the inappropriate material:

“In an attempt to help nursing students think through the many facets of caring for the patients, we’ve reinforced stereotypes about ethnic and religious group. It was wrong…” he said in the apology.

According to Bozik, Pearson is removing the material from the electronic version and the most recent printing of the textbook, and the company is looking into removing the content from existing print materials.

What are your thoughts on the textbook’s material and the publisher’s response?