One thing you realize when following the follies and foibles of Social Justice Warriors is that there is no limit to their idiocies; that anything and everything can be declared "racist" or "sexist" if they stretch logic and reason beyond the breaking point.
Case in point: a course designed to teach high school kids that mathematics, as taught in the western world, is a "dehumanizing tool" that has been used to "trick indigenous peoples out of land and property."
The course was designed by Teach for America and is offered through EdX, according to Campus Reform. It presupposes that math could be made more interesting for students if it was infused with socially relevant themes. That's not a terrible assumption—maybe young people would like math better if it was being taught in a language they understood. (If Olivia eats 10 pieces of avocado toast every day, how long will it be until she can afford to move out of her parent's house? That sort of thing.)
But Teach for America thinks that language is "social justice," and has designed a course that makes some startling claims about math.
"In western mathematics, our ways of knowing include formalized reasoning or proof, decontextualization, and algorithmic thinking, leaving little room for those having non-western mathematical skills and thinking processes," the training course claims.
"Mathematical ethics recognizes that, for centuries, mathematics has been used as a dehumanizing tool… mathematics formulae also differentiate between the classifications of a war or a genocide and have been used to trick indigenous peoples out of land and property."Math is such a basic building block that one can cherry-pick hundreds of examples of it being misapplied for nefarious ends—but that's not really math's fault. Math lacks—to borrow a social justice term—agency.
In the 1930's, Nazi Germany purged the physical sciences of all Jewish influences. This was nearly impossible to do considering the monumental contributions of Jewish scientists in the 20th century up to that point.
But they managed somehow and in some of Europe's greatest universities, they began to teach "German" physics, "German" chemistry, "German" math, and "German" geology. The Nazis created an artificial template - that the contribution of Jews to science was harmful to "Aryans" - and grafted that template on to the curricula of higher education.
The results were predictable; the Germans lost the race to build the atomic bomb. Indeed, it was never a contest.By 1945 and the end of the war, the state of Germany's bomb program was about where America's was in the late 1930's.
Now the SJW's want to graft a social justice template on to high school math curricula. It's unkown what damage this will do. It will certainly color a student's understanding of the beauty and elegance that pure mathematics can display. More than that, it's one more way for social justice educators to propagandize students.