News & Politics

The Woke Attack on Mathematics Has Created 'White Math'

(AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

In the 1930s when Adolf Hitler and the Nazis were busy cleansing Germany of all Jewish “influences,” they paid particular attention to the sciences — academic disciplines that Jews around the world have excelled in.

They ended up destroying physics, chemistry, biology, and other sciences by creating “German physics,” “German chemistry,” and “German biology.” Predictably, German scientists, who were forced to teach this nonsense in the classroom, fell hopelessly behind their colleagues in the U.S. and Western Europe.

It’s no accident that, while much of the preliminary work on the atom was performed by German chemists and physicists, when it came to making a bomb, Germany was never able to catch up and lost the race — losing the war in the process.

Now, along comes the woke culture, which apparently has discovered racism in many scientific disciplines. Even mathematics.

You would think that the equation 1+1=2 would be colorblind, You’re just not looking hard enough. There is “systemic racism” in math and you’re not going to believe why. Apparently, the notion of a “right” and “wrong” answer is racist in and of itself.

Sergiu Klainerman, a professor of mathematics at Princeton, was appalled when he read about a new curriculum circulating in schools that found “a pathway to equitable math instruction.”  The refugee from Ceausescu’s Romania likens the woke culture to a “soft” kind of Marxism that “enforces its ideology not by jailing dissenters or physically eliminating them, but by social shaming, mob punishment, guilt by association, and coerced speech.”

Klainerman had some thoughts about “equitable” math instruction.

Common Sense:

The program argues that “white supremacy culture shows up in the classroom when the focus is on getting the ‘right’ answer” or when students are required to show their work, while stipulating that the very “concept of mathematics being purely objective is unequivocally false”. The main goal of the program is “to dismantle racism in mathematics instruction” with the expressly political aim of engaging “the sociopolitical turn in all aspects of education, including mathematics.”

In the past, I would have said that such statements should be ignored as too radical and absurd to merit refutation. But recent trends across the country suggest that we no longer have that luxury.

Is this someone’s idea of a joke?

The idea that focusing on getting the “right answer” is now considered among some self-described progressives a form of bias or racism is offensive and extraordinarily dangerous. The entire study of mathematics is based on clearly formulated definitions and statements of fact. If this were not so, bridges would collapse, planes would fall from the sky, and bank transactions would be impossible.

If I had the inclination and the time, this would make the basis for a great sci-fi short story. That is if sci-fi weren’t already seen as irredeemably racist.

There is no such thing as “white” mathematics. There is no reason to assume, as the activists do, that minority kids are not capable of mathematics or of finding the “right answers.” And there can be no justification for, in the name of “equity” or anything else, depriving students of the rigorous education that they need to succeed. The real antiracists will stand up and oppose this nonsense.

This is the logical end result of basing an ideology on outcomes rather than empirical evidence. When faced with the dilemma of finding racism where none exists, it must be invented. Apparently, the crazier the invention the more seriously it is taken.

“There is no such thing as ‘white mathematics'” is irrelevant. As the Nazis in Germany discovered, you can invent anything and by generating enough fear and terror, it will become true.