By Jim Goad

Piper Harron is an unhappy-looking black woman whose mood
would be greatly improved if white male math professors would just ’fess up to
their unearned privilege and quit their jobs. She is currently a “temporary
assistant professor” in mathematics at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, and I
think we can all agree that this is the first time any of us has ever heard of
that school.

Piper holds a Ph.D. in Mathematics from Princeton
University, which sounds impressive until you take into account the
mathematical fact that a study from Princeton reveals that blacks are given a
handicap of 230 SAT points compared to whites when it comes to admissions
standards.

On her resume, she makes the startling and mathematically
improbable claim that during her eleven years of collegiate studies, she not
only “survived external and internalized misogyny,” she also suffered the
horrors of “external and internalized racism.” What are the odds?

“If math is indeed ‘racist,’ it is biased strongly against
non-Asians.

In a recent blog post titled “Get Out The Way,” she implies
that white males are impeding her from getting a better job than, you know, a
gig as a “temporary assistant professor” position at some no-name school in
Honolulu:

If you are a white cis man (meaning you identify as male and
you were assigned male at birth) you almost certainly should resign from your
position of power. That’s right, please quit….What can universities do? Well,
that’s easier. Stop hiring white cis men (except as needed to get/retain people
who are not white cis men) until the problem goes away .…I know you’re not
going to quit your job, but I want you to understand that you should….Not to
alarm you, but statistically speaking you are the problem. Your very presence.
I can’t tell you what is the best strategy for you to stop blocking my path. I
can just ask that you please get out of my way.

Ms. Harron is not the only person of non-maleness who thinks
that math is a thinly disguised weapon to impose white male supremacy upon
unfairly marginalized groups. Harvard-trained mathematician Cathy O’Neil—whose
homeliness cannot be measured in mere integers—wrote a book called Weapons of
Math Destruction which argued that “Big Data” has conspired to use algorithms
for the sinister purpose of squashing everyone who isn’t a white male under a
huge white-male thumb.

This summer, math teachers at middle schools across this
once-fine nation can treat themselves to a six-week online course called
“Teaching Social Justice through Secondary Mathematics,” which asserts—with
zero mathematical documentation, mind you—that “For centuries, mathematics has
been used as a dehumanizing tool”:

Do you ask students to think deeply about global and local
social justice issues within your mathematics classroom? This education and teacher
training course will help you blend secondary math instruction with topics such
as inequity, poverty, and privilege to transform students into global thinkers
and mathematicians.

One wonders whether they want social-justice teachers to ask
their students to think deeply about mathematics. Not bloody likely!

A recent paper—alleged to be scholarly—titled “A Framework
for Understanding Whiteness in Mathematics Education” states, without one shred
of statistical data to bolster their allegations, that:

Naming white institutional spaces, as well as identifying
the mechanisms that oppress and privilege students, can give those who work in
the field of mathematics education specific ideas of how to better combat
racist structures….A lot of times in whiteness literature, we talk about the
refusal to pathologize whiteness, and this is a case….For African Americans,
for Native Americans, for Latinos in mathematics, we attribute something
internally to the child or internally to the culture that’s making them achieve
lower.

Short version: Blacks and Latinos score much lower than
whites on math tests because they’ve internalized the false stereotype that
they score lower than whites on math tests, a racist fiction that couldn’t
possibly have originated from the quantifiable fact that blacks and Latinos
scored lower than whites on math tests in the first place.

I remember hearing the ludicrous, stillborn idea that “math
is racist” all the way back in the early 1990s. A 1990 paper called “Western
Mathematics: the secret weapon of cultural imperialism” claims that “western
mathematics” was “one of the most powerful weapons in the imposition of western
culture.” It then goes on to argue that “western mathematics” originated in
India, China, and the Middle East, which means they aren’t really Western,
anyway, so why are they even bitching?

When it comes to pupils who score higher than 750 on the
math portion of the SATs, Asians outnumber whites nearly 2-1 in raw numbers,
despite that fact that whites outnumber Asians by a clip of about 10-1 in the
USA.

In the only way we know how to quantify such things—by
scores on math tests, duh!—it would appear that if math is indeed “racist,” it
is biased strongly against non-Asians.

According to test scores, math absolutely hates black
people. On average, they score a measly 428 in math on the SATs, a robust 170
points behind Asians. Clumsy attempts to improve black math scores has led to
what is known as “The L.A. Math Proficiency Test,” which has gone through
several humorous incarnations over the years. In Manitoba, a teacher was
disciplined for asking their students to calculate “how many ‘tricks’ per day
three prostitutes must turn to support their pimp Rufus’s cocaine habit.” Last
year, a retiring Alabama teacher was put on leave after allegedly posing this
question to her math class:

Tyrone knocked up 4 girls in the gang. There are 20 girls in his gang. What is the exact percentage of girls Tyrone knocked up?

SAT scores in math are also virulently misogynist, seeing as
women average 32 fewer points than men on them, a pattern which has remained
unbroken since the 1970s.

Trying to inject unquantifiable social-justice pieties into
a discipline which operates with cold and brutal efficiency is a severe case of
overstepping the boundaries. At the very most, dumb and purely emotional ideas
such as “social justice” should be confined to the philosophy and religious
departments.

Like science, math is amoral and non-ideological. Those who
can’t differentiate between math and social justice are, as my father used to
say, people who can’t tell their ass from a hole in the ground.

Piper Harron, University of Hawaii at Manoa (Far Left) |

From Taki’s Magazine (May 22, 2017)

African math: 1-2-3 many. Math is juju. Magic.

ReplyDelete“how many ‘tricks’ per day three prostitutes must turn to support their pimp Rufus’s cocaine habit.”

ReplyDelete"Tyrone knocked up 4 girls in the gang. There are 20 girls in his gang. What is the exact percentage of girls Tyrone knocked up?"

The black IQ test. Different versions of this exist and have existed for some time. "Wardell has five bags of smack [heroin]. Each bag is divided into three hits. How many hits total does Wardell have now?"

Doing math is "acting white".

Delete