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Math Is Racist, According to Seattle Public Schools’ Ethnic Studies Advisory Committee

Leftists are elevating the subtle art of indoctrination to absolute, overt brainwashing

Of the three Rs — reading, ‘riting, and ‘rithmatic — you’d think arithmetic would be immune to charges of racism.

Apparently not so much in social justice petri dishes like Seattle, Washington.

Give radical liberals enough time to incubate a cockeyed notion, in my view – and that ill-conceived idea will germinate into yet another full-fledged charge of racism.

When I was an active Seattle police officer, I was accustomed to how city officials and community groups accused cops of racism.

Happened all the time.

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I could tell you stories. 

But accusations of racism are not limited to a city’s police department.  

Recently, under the auspices of Seattle Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Denise Juneau, the Ethnic Studies Advisory Committee (ESAC) published a “K-12 Math Ethnic Studies Framework.” 

Jason Rantz, a talk show host at Seattle’s KTTH Radio 770 AM, published a piece about the issue at educationviews.org.

Rantz wrote that the “‘Math Ethnic Studies Framework’ promotes the wrong kind of division.” He’s not only clever but also right on target. You can watch his discussion of the issue with Fox News’ host Tucker Carlson on his television program here

Rantz asserts that in the newly woke “math” course, “The U.S. government will be posited as a racist institution that must be destroyed.” He further accuses this instruction of “indoctrination at its most destructive.” Again, he’s right. The social justice seep continues to ooze into an academic discipline where one would not expect to find it — mostly because it’s not there. 

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The liberal arts are ripe for accusations of bias and, thus, re-education and indoctrination. We’ve seen it for years. But didn’t we think science, technology, engineering, and math were too practical and too objective to be conscripted by academia’s corps of indoctrinators and sent into battle against our children’s sense of logic and reason?

Seattle’s leftists are showing us that progressives will always find a way to skew anything they choose as racist. 

I remember reading a problem on a college math exam a few years back that showed me how even STEM studies can be taken and held hostage by leftist politics. The problem read something like: “Given the manmade global warming that is occurring, if the temperature was…”

Blah, blah, blah.

This issue is only settled science for those who’ve converted skeptical science into religious dogma.

A math problem on a test is one thing; an all-encompassing “framework” is another. It elevates subtle indoctrination to overt brainwashing.  

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When one reads the ESAC framework, it’s easy to see that some items shout insults at reason. In the “themes” section titled “power and oppression,” the definition states: “Individuals and groups define mathematical knowledge as to see ‘western’ mathematics as the only legitimate expression of mathematical identity and intelligence.” It also explains how the “legitimacy” provided by the definition “is then used to disenfranchise people and communities of color. This erases the historical contributions of people and communities of color.” 

Would someone please remind me about the origin of the numbers, numerals we use in “western” mathematics?

Whoever answered Arabic — you may now grab a large stuffed pink giraffe out of the prize bin.        

One benefit to having perused the “framework” is that I now have a working definition of the word gobbledygook.

Oh, man, that document looks like a couple of dozen social justice warriors emptied their ideology completely into it.

Other “framework: themes include: 

  • origins, identity, and agency: “Mathematical theory and application is rooted in the ancient histories of people and empires of color.” 
  • history of resistance and liberation: “Access to mathematical knowledge is an act of liberation.” 
  • reflection and action: “Students will be confident in their ability to construct & decode mathematical knowledge, truth, and beauty so they can contribute to their experiences and the experiences of people in their community.” 

I don’t want to wander too far off into the Marxist weeds, so let’s end with this one: “How can math help us understand the impact of economic conditions and systems that contribute to poverty and slave labor?”

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Wow. I don’t think even my four-year-old granddaughter could pretzel herself any better in her gymnastics class than the ESAC did when contorting that question to fit into a “math” class.     

I could go on, but actually — no, I couldn’t.

My BS gauge is redlining and about to shatter into a billion hards of frustration.

 This colossal academic atrocity demonstrates how the Left not only picks low-hanging racist fruit — jackbooted, Nazi cops — but also will go after a once-venerable and previously dispassionate academic discipline.

Now, it’s the poor little math class — transformed from a geek educational discipline, which makes us English majors cringe, to a nascent racist subject with the stroke of leftist absurdity.    

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Steve Pomper
meet the author

Steve Pomper is a retired Seattle police officer. He's served as a field training officer on the East Precinct Community Police Team and as a precinct mountain bike coordinator. He's also the author of four books, including "De-Policing America: A Street Cop's View of the Anti-Police State."

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