Genuine racism is a terrible thing, but it seems to me we have lost sight of what real racism is. The first thing we must remember is that “black” and “white” are not races. And most racial conflicts around the world are not white versus black. In the 1990s there were some localised but bloody and brutal conflicts in The Balkans, that area of eastern Europe lying between the Adriatic sea and the Black Sea, mostly as a result of new states created after the fall of The Ottoman Empire including withing their borders Serbs, Croats, Bosniaks, Albanians and Turks. All these people are European and all roughly the same colour (like light olive oil) but there are long standing hatred and rivalries between them that outsiders cannot understand. Even the Serbs and Croats, both ethnically Slavic, have a long history of finding difficulty in living side by side.
Also in the 1990s there was the Rwandan genocide in which menbers of the majority Hutu tribe tried to remove all ethnic Tutsi from the territory. Stand a typical Hutu and a Tutsi side by side and we would simply see two Africans.
Conflicts of these type are true racism.
Tutsi tribespeople fleeing the Hutu militaias in Rwanda (source: wikimedia)
So compared to the horrors of Rwanda or The Balkan Wars, when I see headlines proclaiming that “When ‘Good Writing’ Means ‘White Writing’ We do students of color a disservice,” or ‘Mathematics Is White and Racist’ I think it is time we started taking the clowns that spout such undiluted stupidity as seriously as clowns deserve to be taken.
My reply to the person who thinks grammar and syntax are “white” and therefore racist was:
What utterly self indulgent drivel. If you have chosen to study in an English speaking society you must expect to be required to write English, and in higher education you will be expected to write English with good grammar and syntax. This is not because of “white supremacy” or any of the usual nonsense you white — hating racists like to spout, but because of convention. How would examining boards and universities cope if students were allowed to submit work in the language, dialect or patois of their choice.
So in Britain, the USA, Canada and Australia that language will be English and English rules of grammar and syntax will apply. In Germany students will be required to work in German, French in France, Italian in Italy, Turkish in Turkey, Arabic in the middle east, Swahili in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, Yoruba in most of Nigeria, Mandarin or Cantonese in China and so on. Judging from the extremely narrow world view you express, you may not be aware that many of the countries I name do not have white majorities. Yet they all have languages in which certain rules of grammar and syntax apply. The reason for this is so we have a common means of communication.
Nothing at all to do with race.
Perhaps you can explain to us how your encouraging students to reject “white writing” will benefit them when they find themselves unemployable because of poor literacy skills?
Shakespeare regularly oppresses ‘students of colour’ despite having been dead for 400 years (picture source)
On the topic of racist mathematics, I’ve lost track of the article I commented on but there are plenty of sites reporting the same story so I linked to the one that was at the top of my search results. Here’s a similar response to the one I posted before on the ludicrous (and erronious) claim that Math is racist because it was invented by whites.
Rochelle Gutierrez, a mathematics education professor from the University of Illinois made the claim that the traditional math curriculum is “white.” A quick perusal of the C.V. posted on the University web site career seems to suggest she has built her career on challenging classic mathematics teaching methods and decrying the whole subject as bigoted because it was all invented by “white people”. The latter claim really should be enough to destroy her credibility completely. We know the Egyptians of the First Kingdom, who were inhabitants of the African continent, used advanced mathematics in building the pyramids, their temples and other architectural treasures. And the Magi of Syria and Persia must also have been party to the mysteries of mathematics to have constructed their palaces, temples and Ziggurats. While many defenders of European heritage have cited Pythagoras’ theorem in as one of the great achievements of early European civilization, while I find it appalling that academic race baiters are trying to politicise mathematics, I have to note that what we know as Pythagoras’ theorem, a vitally important mathematical tool for builders, civil engineers and archictects could not have been created by the Greek civilisation as archaeological discoveries show it was being used a thousand years before Pythagoras lived.
Picture by my friend Colin Ewing
I also know that Chinese and Indian discoveries of these same principles predate the Greeks, as do the Druids of northern Europe who must have known a thing or two for their complex astrological calculations. Surprisingly however, it was not the Druids that built Stonehenge. That mathematically complex structure and the other stone circles around Britain was erected, according to the official narrative, around 3,500 BC. The Druids did not arrive in Britain until circa 1500 BC at the earliest.
So who did actually create that great architectural folly on Salisbury Plain. To be perfectly honest we haven’t a clue. Nor can we say with any certainty that a pale skinned, brown skinned or ebony skinned people were the originators of modern mathematics. We simply haven’t a clue, the discovery of mathematics may even have occurred simultaneously in several areas of the globe. The secrets could even have been inculcated by visitors from a distant galaxy. I very much doubt that is what happened, but it’s possible. What we can be certain of is that contrary to this attention seekers claims, mathematics, an ancient and truly global discipline, does not care about student’s skin colour.
The Ancient Of Days — William Blake (image source: theopenscroll) Note the mathematical symbolism.
Attempts to make racial issues around everything from art to sport, from grammar to mathematics are never going to do anything to solve inter — racial tensions, instead such spurios arguments will only deepen the divide and increase suspicion and hostility. It should concern us all that most of this politically motivated, warped thinking is emanating not from the ghettos but from universities.
For the record, I’m English (supposedly advantaged the the racism of matematics,) with one of my grandparents having been from India (statistically people gifted in mathematics in spite of their dark skin) and I’ve always been crap at mathematics. Can Prof. Gutierrez explain that?