The Oregon Department of Education is implementing a program called “The Pathway to Math Equity Micro-Course”, designed at “dismantling racism in mathematics”. It is referred to as “Ethno-mathematics”, and claims that “perfectionism, objectivity, and individualism” are part of “white supremacy”. The program views meritocracy as racist, and claims that “finding the right answer a sign of white supremacy”.
Likewise, Michigan Public Schools have implemented “Equity Training” that calls “objectivity” a form of white supremacy. Bill Gates’ foundation is pushing an education curriculum that claims that “math is racist”. His foundation asserts that mathematics "is used to uphold capitalist, imperialist, and racist views", and showing your work and getting the right answer are racist.
This is all designed to level out the outcomes between the races based on the false assumption that the unequal outcomes are a result of inherent racism baked into the system of mathematics. If, for example, Asian students perform better in math than say Hispanics on a whole that is because of racism. That disparity may be a result of racism but not in the way the state of Oregon is trying to address it. Maybe the Hispanic students are forced to go to inferior schools with inferior teachers because of their race. If that is the case then we as a society must address that, and work to make the educational opportunities for all students the highest quality as possible, but the system of math is not racist.
Telling a minority student who says, the square root of 36 is 5, that’s ‘one of the possible answers’ is doing a complete disservice to not only the student but to society as a whole, and perpetuating the racism that they are claiming they’re trying to dismantle. Telling students, they got the wrong answer because they are a victim of racism because the system is designed to expose their inherent inability to get the correct answer is perpetuating a harmful stereotype that minority students are unable to perform at the same level in math as students of other races. This is the “soft bigotry of low expectations” and that is harming minority students more than the much talked about but rarely seen “white supremacists”. Altering the objective standards of math because you believe minority students are unable to live up to objective standards is racist.
Would you want any of these kids who have been told that 2 plus 2 equals 5 is one of the possible answers operating on you, designing the bridge you drive over, or building your house? You wouldn’t even want them working the counter at the local MacDonald’s; they’ll most likely charge you $10 for a $8 bill. With all this talk about creating a Reality Czar and a Truth Commission to exposed so-called “disinformation”, we have American school systems teaching students that 2 plus 2 equals 5 is one of the possible answers. Will these teachers be shut down from social media or hunted down by the Reality Czar? They are not only disseminating disinformation; they are teaching our kids disinformation.
This harkens back to the policies that the Clinton administration implemented back in the 90’s to address the perceived racism in mortgage lending that led to the economic collapse 2008 which, by the way, are the same policies that are currently being pushed by the Biden administration, so buckle-up.
When Bill Clinton became President, his HUD Secretary, Henry Cisneros, noticed that there was inequity in home ownership between whites and minorities, so their assumption, like the State of Oregon, was that the system is racist. When HUD addressed this perceived racism with the mortgage industry, the leaders defended the industry by pointing out that loan approvals are based solely on the numbers, the math; credit score, down payment, loan-to-value ratio, debt-to-income ratio, job history, cash reserves. Race cannot, by law, be used as a factor when approving a loan; that would be a violation of the Truth in Lending section of the mortgage contract. And in most states, the race of the borrower is not put on the loan application so the underwriter who approves the loan does not even know the race of the applicant.
HUD concluded that racism was “baked into the system” of numbers used in the loan approval process. The system of math was racist, and they must dismantle the system. So, they changed many the rules of lending to achieve the desired equitable results. And if you remember applying for a home mortgage in the late-90’s and early-2000’s, how easy it was to be approved; lenders weren’t checking credit scores, borrowers didn’t need a down payment, they could carry extra debt, and still be approved of an A, AA, AAA-rated mortgage. Lenders who adhered to the previous rules of lending were threatened with racial discrimination lawsuits.
What happened? It was all easily predicted. We had a housing boom. The influx of new home buyers skewed the supply and demand in the market driving up home prices. Homes were increasing in “value” by as much as $100k a year in some places. And then what happened. In 2008, when many of these unqualified borrowers began defaulting on their loans, we had a major housing crash, many people lost most of their wealth, and it was the minority communities who were hurt the most. The Black and Hispanic people who were approved for loans that would have been denied under the previous rules of lending, lost everything. They ended up worse off than if they had just been denied the mortgage in the first place.
There’s an old saying, “In nature, there is no good and bad, just consequences.” If a student says 2 plus 2 equals 5, and the teacher says correct, that is creating a consequence that will be devastating to the student and society as a whole, just as we saw with the housing boom and bust. The consequences from the laws of nature were severe. Are we ever going to learn these lessons?
If there is no objectivity, there is no objective standards of right and wrong. Everything, morality, decency, standards become subjective. How then can you condemn someone or a system if there are no objective standards? How can you make a charge of racism, discrimination or injustice if there are no objective standards of fairness, equality and justice? If you do away with objectivity, then you cannot look back on atrocities like slavery and the Holocaust, and say they were evil, or wrong, or even immoral because there are no objective standards of good, right and moral.
These people want subjective adherence to objectivity so they can usher in policies and cultural norms that would not pass the current objective standards of just, fair and non-discriminatory. They want to set up a system that allows them to mitigate away the bad behavior of one group while holding others groups to the fullest account. This is why it is all done under the banner of “social justice”, and not justice. Social justice is not justice. Justice is a stand-alone word that does not need a modifier. A modifier weakens and distorts the meaning of the word justice. Justice is justice based on the objective standards of right and wrong. “Social justice” is their way of side-stepping justice, and promoting injustice under the guise of justice. You do not fight racism with more racism. You defeat racism with objective standards of fairness and justice.
This is all done by design. It is planned; meant to confuse. They know that we can never win if the rules of the game are clear and everyone is expected to follow them. Their rules are always changing, always applied differently to different people, done purposely so we never know where we stand. They are designed to perpetually keep us off-balance, the perfect strategy to defeat a stronger opponent.
We must never let them do this. There is objectivity. There are objective standards of right and wrong. 2 plus 2 does in fact equal 4. Racism is always wrong, whether it’s a white man enforcing Jim Crow, or the Chinese exploiting and killing the Uyghurs in concentration camps, or a social justice warrior applying different standards of “justice” to different people based on skin color. It’s all wrong, and must be eradicated.
Ultimately, this is what the people who want to dismantle or “fundamentally change” our society want. Up is down. In is out. Wrong is right, for them, but not for you. They move their goal posts all over the field, but yours are perpetually cemented into the ground. They are like the kid you played basketball with growing up; 2 points for their baskets, and 1 point for yours.
In the end, the real racism in society must be confronted and eradicated, but teaching students that 2 plus 2 equals 5 because in some distorted attempt to achieve a mythical form of math equity, is not only perpetuating destructive racial stereotypes, but is harming the very people they are claiming to help, and will eventually destroy the very society founded on the principles of equally and minority rights.
Judd Garrett is a former NFL player, coach, and executive. He is a frequent contributor to the website Real Clear Politics. He has recently published his first novel, No Wind.