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Math Isn't and Can't Be "Racist" as Claimed

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"Woke" Advocates Are Destroying Their Own Credibility With Impossible Claims

WASHINGTON - Amzeal -- Professors are increasingly claiming that subjects far removed from any consideration of race - including mathematics, which has been called the queen of sciences - are racist, sexist, homophobic and much more, but since such claims are impossible, they are destroying the credibility of those who are fighting legitimate racism, says Professor John Banzhaf.

The latest example is Luis Leyva, an associate professor of mathematics education at Vanderbilt University, who just delivered a lecture claiming that college math is "white" and "cisheteropatriarchal" ("a system of male, straight, conforming-to-assigned sex system power").

Unfortunately, his views were given considerable credence because he was permitted to make such claims at the "largest mathematics gathering in the world" ( Joint Mathematics Meetings 2023).

But, says Banzhaf - known for his work in Game Theory (a branch of mathematics) including the Banzhaf Index of Voting Power - mathematics has been called the queen of sciences, as well as a pure science - because so much of it is divorced from the real world that it is least likely to be inherently racist, sexist, homophobic, etc. - in contrast to fields such as History and Political Science which can and does involve race.

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While it obviously has many practical applications, the math behind many of those real-world uses in highly theoretical; including, for example, the square root of -1, complex multi-dimensional spaces which can only be imagined, operations in which 2 + 2 can equal many results other than 4, etc.

Thus, while some teachers of math undoubtedly may individually engage in discrimination, the subject itself can hardly be racist or cisheteropatriarchal, and trying to pressure math professors to "decolonize" the subject by deliberately interjecting "woke" concepts can undermine its very legitimacy.

Ironically, mathematics has been an important tool in fighting racism, says Banzhaf, noting its application in many cases to demonstrate illegal discrimination based upon race in diverse areas such a hiring, the application of the death penalty, traffic stops, discipline in schools, etc.

Indeed, Banzhaf notes how he and his students used statistical analysis to successfully pressure a major airline to hire more pilots and pilot trainees who are Black.  He has also brought other legal actions which successfully challenged discrimination based upon race, gender, etc., and successfully used mathematics in various public health actions.

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Claiming that everything, even a pure theoretical discipline such as mathematics, is racist or sexist or homophobic robs those important words and concepts of any real meaning, and undercuts efforts to use mathematical tools such as statistics to fight legitimate discrimination, argues the professor.

http://banzhaf.net/ (https://nam04.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fbanzhaf.net%2F&data=05%7C01%7Casheff%40bethesdamed.com%7C41465a124e6c417c1c0708daf7fa4239%7C88167aa4b4924c06a55b79c32b78b065%7C1%7C0%7C638094951622209114%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWI...)   jbanzhaf3ATgmail.com   @profbanzhaf


Source: Public Interest Law Professor John Banzhaf
Filed Under: Education

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