Mathematical Society of America Calls for Crucial Race Principle

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Mathematical Society of America Demands Critical Race Theory

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Guest essay by Eric Worrall

h / t Dr. Willie Soon, Campus Reform; According to the Mathematical Society of America, the largest group of mathematicians in the world, mathematics has "inherent human prejudices" that can only be addressed by creating "critical, challenging, sometimes awkward conversations about the harmful effects of race and racism on ours community. "

ANTI-SCIENCE POLICY AND THE CENSORSHIP OF THE DISCOURSE ON RACING AND RACISM

October 2, 2020

A statement by the MAA Committee on Minority Participation in Mathematics

We are in the middle of a year of transitions. We have long been aware of the far-reaching changes in the post-secondary education landscape, but 2020 was also shaped by the COVID-19 pandemic and emergency distance / online / hybrid teaching. Each of these new challenges to higher education has developed along with a movement advocating for black lives. The data is clear: these problems are inextricably linked. The lives of blacks, Latinx and indigenous peoples are hardest hit by police, health and education policies.

Politicians must be informed through facts and science. Thanks to science and math, we now understand that masks, social distancing, frequent, rapid, mass testing, and contact tracing are fundamental to keeping our communities safer during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, federal policy has not consistently reflected these facts. The decision not to take up a mask mandate in the USA had serious consequences. Michael Dorff and Michael Pearson recently stated on a blog on Math Values, “We encourage MAA members, regardless of their political beliefs, to stand up for the value of science and math and hold our leaders accountable for providing the best scientific evidence possible use in political decisions. "The social sciences are part of this community and help us understand how to communicate these practices effectively to people, while also analyzing our practices and policies with a critical lens. The critical racial theory, referred to in recent statements by the President of the United States is an established social science investigation based on decades of science. It is wrong at best to reduce this theory to the racial accusation of whites and define it and the discussion of systemic racism as a “divisive concept.” Furthermore, the prohibition is Training with this federal and federal corporate workplace awareness scholarship an encroachment on academia and academia. At the first presidential debate this year, heightened President Trump's refusal to reject white nationalism and his encouragement from Groups the FBI has identified as the biggest threat to domestic terrorism only feel like its administration is trying to undo decades of advances in civil rights for all citizens. These actions provide a framework for current United States leadership to consistently promote politics in direct opposition to data and science-based evidence.

Although math, science, and higher education develop fact-based theories and practices that should influence politics, they are also political because they exist in a highly politicized system. The recognition that the United States has serious systemic discrimination has somehow shifted from a political issue to a partisan issue. What is more worrying is that we are seeing a number of statements that appear to be designed to suppress talks and actions against race and racism in the United States. The American Educational Research Association recently issued a statement clearly addressing this troubling pattern of federal response to civil unrest over racial justice in the United States, calling the talk about race and racism "un-American." We borrow the list of recent, deliberate measures taken by the federal government and add to it:

  1. An executive memorandum dated September 4 to all executive departments and agencies states: "All agencies are instructed to identify any contracts or other agency expenses related to" Racial Critical Theory "," White Privilege "or other training courses Propaganda refers to efforts that either (1) teach that the United States is an inherently racist or evil country, or (2) that any race or ethnicity is inherently racist or evil. In addition, all agencies should begin investigating all options available in law to terminate such contracts and / or divert federal dollars away from this un-American propaganda training. "
  2. On September 6, President Trump tweeted that the Department of Education was investigating schools with the 1619 Project – a Pulitzer Prize-winning project designed to help fill a void in mid-20th century US history by Educational materials on slavery would be provided – and funding would withdraw.
  3. With the start of an Education Department inquiry into Princeton University on September 16, a recent letter was published from the Princeton President describing Princeton’s efforts to press ahead with structural reforms in response to reflection on its past. "On September 2, 2020 you admitted that Princeton’s educational program is racist and has been for decades. Among other things, you said:“ (r) Akism and the damage it does to colored people persist in Princeton … "and "(r) Akist assumptions … remain embedded in the structure of the university itself."
  4. The September 22nd Executive Order is framed by a preamble violating white men as guilty of racism in the United States. This effectively extends the ban on the training of racial justice on September 4th to all federal contractors. A list of “divisive concepts” is then defined, including, for example, the idea that the meritocracy is “racist or sexist” or was created by a particular race to suppress another race, as well as new terms such as “race and sex” Stereotyping ”and“ scapegoat between race and sex ”aiming to label white fragility as racism against white people.
  5. The executive's memorandum of September 28, in which the federal funding agencies are instructed to “identify all programs for which the agency can oblige the recipient as a condition for receiving federal grants and cooperation agreements to certify that they do not have any federal funds to promote the We will use list of concepts that are listed in Section 5 of the Executive Order (September 22nd). "

As mathematicians, we notice patterns – that's something we're all trained to do. We are bringing this executive action to our community's attention for several reasons: We see the pattern of science being ignored and giving voice to the pattern of violence against our peers, race and racism. We have to fight against these patterns. As educators, we also recognize the threatening pattern of banning education and withdrawing education funds to suppress conversations about race and racism that span from elementary schools to post-secondary institutions to workplaces and research areas.

It is time for all members of our profession to recognize that mathematics is created by humans and, therefore, inherently bears human prejudice. Until that happens, our community and our students cannot achieve their full potential. To achieve this potential in math, academia and higher education need to have critical, challenging, and sometimes awkward conversations about the harmful effects of race and racism on our community. It is now time to move math and education forward in the pursuit of justice.

Members of the Math Community:
Carrie Diaz Eaton, Chair of the Committee on Minority Participation in Mathematics
Francesca Bernardi, Committee on Minority Participation in Mathematics
Christopher Goff, Committee on Minority Participation in Mathematics
Kamuela Yong, Committee on Minority Participation in Mathematics
Margaret Reese, Committee on Minority Participation in Mathematics
Michael Pearson, General Manager, MAA
Michael Dorff, President of the MAA
Deirdre Longacher Smeltzer, Senior Director of Programs, MAA
Victor Piercey, chairman of the MAA's Michigan Section
Jenna Carpenter, Co-Chair, Joint Committee on Women in Mathematical Sciences
Nancy Sattler, member of AMATYC, MAA, TPSE and Joint Committee on Women in the Mathematical Sciences
Kathryn Kozak, AMATYC President
Anne Dudley, AMATYC Managing Director
Yun Kang, AMS representative of the Joint Committee on Women in Mathematical Sciences
Omayra Ortega, editor-in-chief of the NAM newsletter and NAM representative of the Joint Committee on Women in Mathematical Sciences
Jennifer Quinn, President-elect of the MAA
James A. M. Álvarez, MAA Board of Directors and Representative of the MAA Congress on Minority Interests
Marilyn Elaine Mays, Joint Committee on Women in Mathematical Sciences

Source: https://www.mathvalues.org/masterblog/anti-science-policy-censure-of-discourse-on-race-and-racism

Wikipedia offers the following definition of Critical Race Theory;

Critical Race Theory (CRT) (1) is a theoretical framework in the social sciences, society and culture investigated in relation to categorizations of race, law and power. (2) (3) It is loosely united by two common themes. First, CRT suggests that white supremacy and racial power be maintained over time, and more specifically that law can play a role in this process. Second, the CRT work has explored the possibility of changing the relationship between law and racial power and pursuing a project to achieve racial emancipation and anti-subordination in a broader sense. (4) Developed from postmodern philosophy (citation required) based on critical theory, a social philosophy that argues that social problems are influenced and generated more by social structures and cultural assumptions than by individual and psychological factors. It began as a theoretical movement in American law schools in the mid to late 1980s as a revision of critical legal studies on racial issues.

Read more: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Critical_race_theory

If there is evidence that a mathematician has not received adequate credit for his or her work because of racism, politics, religious bigotry, or any number of other reasons, be sure to correct the records and give people the credit they deserve.

But to claim math itself is racist, as MAA seems to be doing, is a pretty big claim. To quote Carl Sagan: An extraordinary claim requires extraordinary evidence. I would like to see examples of racist math. The statement made by MAA does not appear to provide any evidence to support its claim of inherent racism.

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