“White supremacy culture infiltrates math classrooms in everyday teacher actions. Coupled with the beliefs that underlie these actions, they perpetuate educational harm on Black, Latinx, and multilingual students, denying them full access to the world of mathematics.” This quote is from a program titled A Pathway to Equitable Mathematics Instruction. Dismantling Racism in Mathematics Instruction, an 82-page paper that explains how to combat systemic racism in classrooms, the attitudes of teachers and, above all, in mathematics.
It is no joke. In fact, the paper was funded by infamous The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, according to an article written by Bari Weiss. In the article, Bari Weiss gives the floor to mathematics professor Sergiu Klainerman.
Klainerman, according to the profile reviewed in the article, is a “Professor of Mathematics at Princeton specializing in the mathematical theory of black holes. He has been a MacArthur Fellow, a Guggenheim Fellow, and is a member of the National Academy of Sciences.”
A scathing critique of the woke ideology for its crusade against mathematics
The professor wrote a scathing critique of the new witticism of the woke America movement supported by Bill Gates and his foundation: calling math is racist.
Apparently, for the woke left, the professors who teach the subject are squandering white supremacy by oppressing students belonging to ethnic minorities with their evil mathematical exercises. Therefore, mathematics must be converted and revamped by making it more anti-racist. That seems to be just logical.
“Math, with its seemingly unbiased tools — 2 + 2 always equals 4 — has presented a problem for an ideological movement that sees any inequality of outcome as evidence of systemic bias. The problem cannot be that some kids are better at math, or that some teachers are better at teaching it. Like so much else, the basic woke argument against math is that it is inherently racist and needs to be made antiracist. That is accomplished by undermining the notion of right and wrong answers, by getting rid of the expectation that students show their work, by referring to mathematical testing tools as racist, and by doing away with accelerated math classes.“Sergiu Klainerman
That’s the writer’s opinion. It seems harsh, but Professor Klainerman’s is even harsher.
“In my position as a professor of mathematics at Princeton, I have witnessed the decline of universities and cultural institutions as they have embraced political ideology at the expense of rigorous scholarship. Until recently — this past summer, really — I had naively thought that the STEM disciplines would be spared from this ideological takeover,” Mr. Klainerman began his presentation on Common Sense with Bari Weiss.
“Attempts to ‘deconstruct’ mathematics, deny its objectivity, accuse it of racial bias, and infuse it with political ideology have become more and more common — perhaps, even, at your child’s elementary school.”
The valuable testimony of a Communism survivor
Klainerman was able to fulfill his version of the American dream thanks to mathematics. As an immigrant from Romania, he lived through the totalitarian Communist hell in his homeland, but he came to the United States and embraced freedom.
The professor explains that, unlike the Communist regimes he himself endured, this “woke” America is much “softer” in terms of physical violence, but heartbreaking in moral terms.
“Unlike the traditional totalitarianism practiced by former communist countries, like the Romania I grew up in, this version is soft. It enforces its ideology not by jailing dissenters or physically eliminating them, but by social shaming, mob punishment, guilt by association, and coerced speech. When it comes to education, I believe the woke ideology is even more harmful than old-fashioned Communism.”, Professor Kleinerman argues.
The professor, also a critic of Communist regimes, was clear in explaining that, at least in those totalitarianisms, science and mathematics were respected, especially the latter, because it was immune to ideological pressure. But this is not respected by the woke ideology, he points out.
“Like children all over the world, I was attracted to mathematics because of its formal beauty, the elegance and precision of its arguments, and the unique sense of achievement I was able to get by finding the right answer to a difficult problem. Mathematics also granted me an escape from the intoxicating daily drum of party propaganda — a refuge from the crushing atmosphere of political and ideological conformity.”Professor Kleinerman
He adds that “woke” ideology, “on the other hand, treats both science and mathematics as social constructs and condemns the way they are practiced, in research and teaching, as manifestations of white supremacy, Euro-centrism, and post-Colonialism.”
The professor gave a clear example, the recent program cited above, which is financially supported by the Gates Foundation; and which, he relates, has partners such as: UC Berkeley’s Lawrence Hall of Science, the California Association of School Administrators, and the Los Angeles County Office of Education.
The program, the professor explains, outlines that “white supremacist culture manifests itself in the classroom when the focus is on getting the ‘right’ answer,” or failing that, “when students are required to show their work, while stipulating that the very “concept that mathematics is purely objective is unequivocally false.”
The Bill Gates-backed curriculum aims primarily to “dismantle racism in mathematics education” and, what may be more troubling, to involve “socio-political spin in all aspects of education, including mathematics.”
Kainerman, notoriously concerned, explained the absurdity of taking mathematics as a science that is changing according to people’s race, ethnicity or ethnicity. Mathematics is one.
“For historical reasons, we often talk about the contributions to the field of mathematics of the Egyptians, Babylonians, Greeks, Chinese, Indians and Arabs and refer to them as distinct entities. They have all contributed, through a unique cultural dialogue, to the creation of a truly magnificent edifice that is accessible today to every man and woman on the planet,” Professor Kainerman explained. “Although we pay tribute to the great historical figures who inform the practice of mathematics, the subject can be taught – and often is – without reference to the individuals who have contributed to it. In that sense, it is uniquely universal.”
To cap off his blunt critique, the professor added that, quite simply, racist, white or supremacist mathematics does not exist:
“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.”Sergiu Klainerman