Woke Math Is Unworkable

Boy in classroom. Image credit Ernesto Eslava, Pixabay

Perhaps at this juncture of  American history, we should find hope in the small victories that crop up from time to time, no matter how flimsy they may appear. After all, the little things in life do indeed count. And while the tide may not be turning, we can breathe a little easier as it goes out, at least for a while. 

Case in point:

California is rethinking its plans to replace real math with woke math. Or is it social justice math? Or maybe, it’s Critical Math Theory. The notion being that because of systemic racism, math should be taught in a non-racial, non-gendered way. In other words, actually expecting children to learn math is imposing racist values and restrictions on them. However, after a letter from STEM experts pointing out what a monumental mistake it would be to infect math with politics, the State Board of Education my in fact walk this blunder back. I wouldn’t hold my breath if I were you, but at least this lunacy has been put on pause for the moment.  And for the sake of the kids in California, I hope cooler heads prevail. I don’t expect them to, but I hope they will.

The simple fact is that no matter your color or gender, or if you identify as a man, woman, or transsexual non-binary armadillo, math is math. Wherever you are in the universe, if you have two things and you add two more, you now have four things. It does not matter if they are apples, toll house cookies, supernovas, or Klingon Birds of Prey. Two and two equal four and teaching someone anything else is at best a disservice and at worst a crime. Allow me to explain. 

Recommended: Math Professor: The ‘2+2=4 Trope … Reeks of White Supremacist Patriarchy’

Since actual history is at a premium these days, it is worth noting that the idea of hobbling the education of black people is nothing new. White slave owners prohibited the black people they owned from learning to read and write since an education only stimulates one’s ability to reason, think critically, and moreover, think for oneself. That ability would have naturally created problems for the slave owners, since their slaves might eventually have developed temerity to question their lot in life and figure out that they actually had a God-given right to freedom and self-determination.

Therein lies the reason why California’s woke math plan is so unworkable, if not diabolical. 

Refusing a child the tools that he or she needs to be able to reason puts them at the same disadvantage as the aforementioned slaves, and allows their overseers to maintain authority over them. Take away a person’s ability to think and you essentially take away their freedom. And you make them a slave to whatever ideas you see fit to lodge in their yet-to-be developed minds. And while California may put forth the idea that woke math would be in the best interests of the children, it is worth noting that slave owners once felt that that institution was in the best interest of the slaves. Their reasoning was simple: the slaves simply did not have the intelligence to make their own choices and order their own lives. They needed to be governed, managed, and owned. But then, as now, that reasoning provided a veneer for the excuse to treat other human beings as mere commodities.