Brittany Marshall, a self-described teacher and Ph.D. student, took to Twitter this past weekend to voice her displeasure about the concept of 2+2=4, saying the “idea” of the simple math equation is merely “cultural.”
1984 called. It wants Room 101 back.
“Nope 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,” wrote Marshall (HT: Disrn). Never mind that the Arabic numeral system we use is not, you know, “Western.”
Marshall goes by the pronouns “she/her” and describes herself on Twitter as a “teacher, scholar, social justice change agent, Chicagoan, PhD student, architecture enthusiast, wannabe math person, BLM always…”
Just the kind of person you want teaching your kids, right?
Her Twitter and LinkedIn accounts have been set to private, but a bio included in a directory of Rutgers Ph.D. candidates says that her area of specialization is “Mathematics Education.”
Sounds like her area of specialization is actually activism.
Marshall’s tweet brings to mind George Orwell’s famous book, 1984, where protagonist Winston is sent to “Room 101” to be convinced that two plus two equals five, not four. “Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two makes four,” the defiant Winston declares. “If that is granted, all else follows.”
Winson’s point, of course, is that there is objective truth and we can only experience true freedom when we are permitted to pursue that truth, wherever it may lead. But to the woke crowd, which is flying through our institutions like a swarm of starving locusts, objective truth is oppressive, the product of evil Western imperialism. Pity the poor soul who crosses a bridge built by the anti-objective-truth crowd.
Marshall’s tweet appears to be part of a larger discussion on Twitter that began with this assertion from Nikole Hannah-Jones, founder of The New York Times‘ “1619 Project.”
I wonder if folks always talking about “standards” ever stop to consider that it’s their so-called standards that are the actual problem.
— Ida Bae Wells (@nhannahjones) July 5, 2020
Someone named Chris responded with a meme, which, according to Laurie Rubel, highlights the fact that Orwell’s equation is mean and probably a racist dog whistle too:
this tired "how could 2+2 be anything other than 4?" is repeatedly used to belittle/demean. questioning systems like standards, as @nhannahjones did, is supposedly painted as ridiculous, as if we were questioning 2+2. This move recurs & it seems to whistle in the henchmen. https://t.co/lEuqGR6BhU
— Laurie (((R)))ubel (@Laurie_Rubel) July 7, 2020
The discussion prompted another teacher, Kim Charlton, to declare that “math isn’t objective.”
Standards aren't objective. That's the whole point.
Math isn't objective either. It's always down to interpretation
— Kim Charlton (@LogicalPoetry) July 7, 2020
She added in a subsequent tweet, “Just because we’re told standards/math are objective doesn’t mean they are.”
Oh, so math is subjective? Two plus two can equal whatever we want it to based on our feelings? Let’s hope Kim is never allowed anywhere near a bridge blueprint.
Kim continued: “I think everything needs to be looked at politically. We cannot say that anything is objective because people are not objective. I HAVE to look at the source and the history because there’s pretty much always an agenda of some sort, whether it’s visible at first or not.”
Ok, Kim, but we’re talking about math here, not history. Math does not lie, nor does it change with the political winds or your feelings. The iPhone you typed those tweets on is based on the binary system—ones and zeroes, not fives and four thousands.
Chris returned to the Twitter debate to point out something really ironic about the comments being proffered. “I love how objectively true statements are being thrown around while simultaneously rejecting objectivity,” he wrote.
I love how objectively true statements are being thrown around while simultaneously rejecting objectivity.
— Chris (@CeJayGe) July 7, 2020
That’s the problem with the woke postmoderns: They’ll argue that there is no objective truth out of one side of their mouths while demanding that everyone agree with “their truth” out of the other. You can’t have it both ways, but that won’t stop them from trying.
Parents, get your kids out of public schools now, before it’s too late. And whatever you do, don’t shell out a single dime to pay for them to go to the woke “institutions of higher learning,” which are inundated with teachers like Marshall and where they’ll learn to be dunces and anti-American revolutionaries.
Follow me on Twitter @pbolyard