• Richard Easson

Oregon Dep. of Ed. Says White Supremacy Manifests Itself in Showing Work in Mathematics

The Oregon Department of Education (ODE) is encouraging teachers to register for training in “ethnomathematics” and argues that White supremacy reveals itself when students are asked to show their work and “find the right answer.”

The ODE dispersed a newsletter advertising the “Pathway to Math Equity Micro-course” being held on February 21st. The course is designed for middle school teachers to make use of a tool kit for “dismantling racism in mathematics.”

A portion of the toolkit includes a list of ways “white supremacy culture” allegedly “infiltrates math classrooms.” Among those listed is “the focus on getting the ‘right’ answer” and students being required to “show their work.”

The document reads, "The concept of mathematics being purely objective is unequivocally false, and teaching it is even much less so. Upholding the idea that there are always right and wrong answers perpetuate objectivity as well as fear of open conflict."

Well then, I bet math haters back in the day could’ve used these new guidelines and have done MUCH better in the subject, am I right?

The ODE Communications Director in defense of the program told Fox News that it “helps educators learn key tools for engagement, develop strategies to improve equitable outcomes for Black, Latinx, and multilingual students, and join communities of practice."

An accompanying workbook linked in the toolkit entitled “Dismantling Racism” identifies “objectivity” as a characteristic of White supremacy and defines it as "the belief that there is such a thing as being objective or ‘neutral’.”

The toolkit encourages teachers to not focus on one right answer, but to "come up with at least two answers that might solve this problem."

It also encourages teachers to heed by a variety of guidelines that center around “ethnomathematics.” One of those guidelines tells instructors to "identify and challenge the ways that math is used to uphold capitalist, imperialist, and racist views."

In the “Dismantling Racism” workbook, the argument is made in one section that "only white people can be racist in our society, because only white people as a group have that power." In another section, anti-cop sentiments can be read, "In some cases, the prejudices of oppressed people ('you can’t trust the police') are necessary for survival.

The leftist garbage doesn’t end there.

Anti-capitalist opinions can also be derived from the workbook. It reads, "We cannot dismantle racism in a system that exploits people for private profit. If we want to dismantle racism, then we must build a movement for economic justice."

The Fox News article pointed out that “One of the graphics includes protesters calling for taxes on corporations. Quotes are also featured from Howard Zinn, a self-described socialist, and Marxist revolutionary Che Guevara, although the quotes are more generally about activism rather than economics.”

In my occupation of finance, I have to show my answers and how I arrived at them on a daily basis, much like showing your work and the correct answer in a mathematics class. If I’m not able to show anyone, let alone a superior or executive, how I arrived at what I believe to be the right answer, I would be laughed out the door, not trusted, or, if it happened repeatedly, fired and out of a job. And how would I explain that to another prospective job?

The predicament the ODE has put its teachers, and ultimately its students in, reminds me very much of the famous line repeated throughout George Orwell’s 1984 – that 2+2=5. The right answer, as we know it, is changed because the government says so.

Not only would this be the case in mathematics, but imagine “ethno-(insert subject here)” infiltrating English, music, art, and science, among other courses. One day, if that day is not already here, it will be looked upon as White supremacy to teach someone to write and speak with proper English, or racist to paint in a certain way.

If this garbage continues, no work, no matter the industry – finance, journalism, science, tech – will ever need to be done properly, because the right way will be labeled as based on White supremacy, and the need to explain to someone how you arrived at your conclusion will be racist. There is your downfall of capitalism, and ultimately, society.