Just when you might have thought your math class was safe from identity politics and SJWs, a University of Illinois professor somehow made algebra and geometry all about race. Yup, math can be racist too. Wait, what?
University of Illinois math professor Rochelle Gutierrez believes that geometry and algebra perpetuate white privilege. One reason is that the Greek terms give Caucasians “unearned credit for the subject.” I wonder if she knows that “algebra” is an Arabic word, meaning “reunion of broken parts.” Way to overlook the Arabs, teach!
Another reason why Professor Gutierrez believes these math subjects promote “white privilege” is because math proficiency promotes discrimination against minority students if they perform poorly relative to their white counterparts.
Professor Gutierrez’ argument was featured in a newly-published mathematics education book for teachers, providing awareness to “identity politics” inclusion in the subject of math.
“On many levels, mathematics itself operates as Whiteness,” she argues, according to Campus Reform. “Who gets credit for doing and developing mathematics, who is capable in mathematics, and who is seen as part of the mathematical community is generally viewed as White.”
The professor argues that subjects such as algebra and geometry perpetuate racism and white privilege. She’s concerned that “curricula emphasizing terms like Pythagorean theorem and pi perpetuate a perception that mathematics was largely developed by Greeks and other Europeans.”
She claims that the importance of math skills in the real world causes “unearned privilege” to be bestowed upon those with good math skills. And since most math professors are white, they’re more often the ones who acquire this “privilege.”
Gutierrez wonders why math professors receive more grants than “social studies” or “English” teachers.
“Are we really that smart just because we do mathematics?,” she asks. “If one is not viewed as mathematical, there will always be a sense of inferiority that can be summoned,” she says, claiming that minorities “have experienced microaggressions from participating in math classrooms… [where people are] judged by whether they can reason abstractly.”
Gutierrez believes the best way to resolve racial inequality in mathematics is through a method known as “political conocimiento,” which is a Spanish term meaning “political knowledge for teaching.”
The professor concludes her argument with the assumption that all knowledge is “relational,” and “things cannot be known objectively; they must be known subjectively.”