Mathematics Association: Math is racist!

Mathematics Association: Math is racist!

According to The Mathematical Association of America (MAA), math is racist.

A statement released by the association on Friday claimed that mathematicians must engage in “uncomfortable conversations” about race and the Trump administration's policies, such as the mask mandate in the United States, which is somehow an affront to mathematics. 

“Thanks to science and mathematics, we understand now that masks, social distancing, frequent, rapid, mass testing, and contact tracing are all fundamental to keep our communities safer during the COVID-19 pandemic,” the association wrote.

“Yet policies at the federal level have not consistently reflected these facts; for example, choosing not to incorporate a mask-mandate in the US has had serious consequences.”

The statement called out several specific actions taken by the federal government, including Trump’s executive order banning diversity and racial sensitivity training in Government offices across the nation.

“As mathematicians, we notice patterns - this is something we are all trained to do. We bring these Executive actions to our community’s attention for several reasons: we see the pattern of science being ignored and the pattern of violence against our colleagues that give voice to race and racism,” the statement continues.

"We need to fight against these patterns. As educators, we also recognize the threatening pattern of banning education and withdrawing education funding to suppress conversations on race and racism, extending from elementary to post-secondary institutions to the workplace and research spheres.”

The statement by the MAA went on to note “It is time for all members of our profession to acknowledge that mathematics is created by humans and therefore inherently carries human biases. Until this occurs, our community and our students cannot reach full potential."It continues, "The time is now to move mathematics and education forward in pursuit of justice.”

Several social media users were quick to call out the association, poking fun at the absurdity of the claim that math is inherently racist. “If you truly believe that math is created by humans, you have no business in math. The ways that we *describe* math are, no doubt, a social construct, but math itself is the discovery of underlying reality,” wrote Heather E. Heying, an evolutionary biologist.

The MAA concluded its statement with a call for a “pursuit of justice” within maths.