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New York City Professor: Math = White Supremacy + Patriarchy

This is the most absurd argument of the month. Hands down.

There are no shortage of ways to get attention as a professor in modern-day academia:  Hard work, a lengthy career, producing profoundly talented students, or making life-altering discoveries.

But one professor in Brooklynn has chosen instead to simply throw together a word salad that accuses the entire field of mathematics as being both racist and sexist. 

Brooklyn College Professor of Math Education Laurie Rubel argued this week on Twitter that the mathematical equation 2+2=4 “reeks of white supremacist patriarchy.” Rubel’s tweet was retweeted and promoted by several academics at universities and colleges around the nation.

According to a report by Campus Reform, Brooklyn College Professor Laurie Rubel, who teaches math education, tried to make the case this week that basic math is “white supremacist.” The tweets are part of a larger trend in recent scholarship by American academics, many of which have argued that “objective truth” is a social construct.

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“The idea that math (or data) is culturally neutral or in any way objective is a MYTH. I’m ready to move on with that understanding. Who’s coming with me?” Rubel wrote in a tweet.

“Along with the ‘of course math is neutral because 2+2=4’ trope and the related (and creepy) ‘math is pure’ and ‘protect math.’ Reeks of white supremacist patriarchy,” Rubel added. “I’d rather think on nurturing people & protecting the planet (with math in service of them goals).”

Of course, if Professor Rubel is right, then none of us will ever need to pay for a speeding ticket again and we can just make up our own prices at the grocery store.  Her insinuation is so unabashedly “meta” that it forces even the most stoic among us to cringe.

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