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Dr. Jessica Watkins rode a Space-X rocket out of Cape Canaveral at 3:52 a.m. Wednesday. Destination: the International Space Station, where the 33-year-old astronaut became the ISS’s first Black female crew member and flight engineer. From 248 miles above sea level, this UCLA Ph.D. (geology), Cal Tech post-doctoral fellow, and fifth Black woman in space can peer down in astonishment at those on Earth who consider math racist and not quite right for Blacks.
Florida, the state from which Watkins launched, recently decided not to use 54 mathematics-instruction volumes in its classrooms. “Reasons for rejecting textbooks included references to critical race theory,” the Sunshine State’s Department of Education announced on April 15.
The state’s Gov. Ron DeSantis recently said: “It seems that some publishers attempted to slap a coat of paint on an old house built on the foundation of Common Core, and indoctrinating concepts like race essentialism, especially, bizarrely, for elementary school students.” Indeed, 71 percent of texts submitted for grades K-5 violated the state’s laws against woke-tainted teaching materials.
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DeSantis’ move is just the latest effort to undo the damage created by the increasingly radical education establishment, which sees a white hood lurking behind every blackboard.
Among the many odious untruths peddled by these critical race theorists is the notion that 2 + 2 = racism: Mathematics classes and math itself, they lie, are tools of bigotry and instruments of white oppression against Blacks and other minorities.
●Math education is “unjust and grounded in a legacy of institutional discrimination,” according to a joint statement by the National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics and TODOS: Mathematics for All. “A social justice stance interrogates and challenges the roles power, privilege, and oppression play in the current unjust system of mathematics education.”
●Rochelle Gutierrez, a University of Illinois Professor of Mathematics Education, claims that “On many levels, mathematics itself operates as Whiteness. Who gets credit for doing and developing mathematics, who is capable in mathematics, and who is seen as part of the mathematical community is generally viewed as White.”
●Brittany Marshall, a self-described “teacher, scholar, social justice change agent” at Rutgers University in 2020 cannot count to five without finding racism. As she put it: “The idea of 2 + 2 equaling 4 is cultural and because of western imperialism/colonization, we think of it as the only way of knowing.”
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●The Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History and Culture released a graphic titled “Aspects and Assumptions of Whiteness & White Culture in the United States.” These include “Objective, rational linear thinking” and “Quantitative emphasis.”
●In 2021, the Oregon Department of Education promoted “ethnomathematics.” This concept holds that “white supremacy culture” is a menace that “infiltrates math classrooms,” particularly when “the focus is on getting the ‘right’ answer” and when students are “required to ‘show their work.’” According to this program’s Equitable Math text, “The concept of mathematics being purely objective is unequivocally false, and teaching it is even much less so.”
●Regarding physics, classroom whiteboards “can be racist,” according to W. Tali Hairston, director of community organizing at Seattle Presbytery. Referring to his research paper “Observing Whiteness in Introductory Physics: A Case Study,” Hairston told Campus Reform: “Our findings support other studies that have found the study of physics to include racism and sexism.”
After examining the behavior of three students, a laughingly small statistical sample, Hairston and his co-author, Seattle Pacific University Physics Professor Amy Robertson, concluded that white boards “collaborate with white organizational culture, where ideas and experiences gain value (become more central) when written down.”
The authors did not explain whether writing physics formulae on blackboards also fuels the “reproduction of whiteness.”
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This sanctimonious bigotry of low expectations screams, “racism!” at everyone while staying politely mum about its underlying prejudice: Blacks either cannot do math or, if they can, they are tinkering with Whitey’s tools of ethnic subjugation.
Historical and current events bury this toxic sewage beneath countless examples of Black Americans who have thrived by mastering mathematics. Here are just a few:
●In 1946 — two years before President Harry Truman integrated the U.S. Armed Forces, eight years before the U.S Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education decision, and 18 years before the Civil Rights Act of 1964 — Albert Einstein visited Lincoln University, a Historically Black College in Oxford, Pennsylvania. Lincoln was the first institution to grant college degrees to Blacks. Its distinguished alumni include author Langston Hughes, Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, and jazz poet Gil Scott-Heron.
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The Nobel Prize-winning physicist received an honorary degree and also delivered a lecture to students on his Theory of Relativity. As the nearby photograph confirms, these Black scholars were neither dazed nor confused by some of the most ethereal mathematics ever conceived. Instead, they were elegantly dressed, perfectly composed, and thoroughly enraptured by one of mankind’s deepest and most complex quantitative minds.
●The outstanding, Academy Award-nominated 2016 film “Hidden Figures” tells the true story of Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughn, and other Black female mathematicians who worked for NASA in the early 1960s. These brave women overcame segregation at Hampton, Virginia’s Langley Research Center. With grit and determination, they focused on the task at hand: Producing the elaborate calculations that carried John Glenn and other Mercury astronauts into space and safely home.
In June 2020, the Trump administration honored the space agency’s first Black female engineer by renaming its chief office the Mary W. Jackson NASA Headquarters.
Meanwhile, before Wednesday’s launch, Jessica Watkins was preceded in space by four other Black female astronauts: NASA’s Mae Jemison, Stephanie Wilson, Joan Higginbotham, and commercial astronaut Sian Proctor. If these pioneering Black women did not know their math, they would not have escaped the clutches of gravity.
●Roy Clay, Sr.’s work surely informs the laptop on which I typed these very words. The “Godfather of Silicon Valley,” as he was nicknamed, was an early employee at Hewlett-Packard.
The Silicon Valley Engineering Council Hall of Fame, which inducted him in 2003, recalls that “Mr. Clay led the team that engineered HP’s entrance into the computer market with the development of the 2116A computer in 1966. Not only was Mr. Clay the Director for the first HP Research and Development Computer Group. He also developed the software for the 2116A computer.”
Clay aspired “to make computers more accessible to more people,” which he did. None of this would have happened absent Clay’s facility with math and quantitative logic.
●E. Stanley O’Neal’s grandfather was born into slavery. Just two generations later, O’Neal became CEO of Merrill Lynch in 2002. While wealth management is not physics, one cannot run a leading U.S. financial house without fluency in numbers.
●Neil deGrasse Tyson authored the mind-twisting “Astrophysics for People in a Hurry” and has penned or co-written 15 other books about the universe.
He directs the Hayden Planetarium at Manhattan’s American Museum of Natural History. As this era’s most prominent astrophysicist, Tyson is the Dr. Carl Sagan of the 21st Century. One does not soar to Tyson’s cosmological heights without rocket-strength math.
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These and many more successful Black Americans mock the critical race theorists’ bitter lie that math is just for Whites.
These prosperous, phenomenally numerate Blacks also reveal today’s most profound bigots: race-obsessed leftists who regard Blacks as helpless, pathetic victims who cannot even add or subtract.
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