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Is math racist?

Lisa Sygutek

Apr 12, 2023

Never in my life did I think there would be a time when I could be called a racist if I asserted that the mathematical problem of 2+2=4 is a true statement.

I read the news daily, everything from the National Post to the Washington Post. 

An article by Brian Lilly published in the Toronto Sun on April 3, 2023, titled “Racial Teachers claim that saying 2+2=4 is white supremacy”, caught my attention. 

In the article Lilly opens the story stating: 

“Saying 2+2=4 is an example of covert white supremacy, according to a group of influential math teachers in Ontario. Questioning them on their assertion simply means you are an anti-trans, anti-immigrant person who doesn’t like anyone who isn’t white. 

This latest round of insanity started when Toronto-based writer Ari Blaff published an article in the New York-based National Review. Blaff noted a workshop provided by math teacher Jason To, which dealt with overt and covert white supremacy in math”.

In a statement, the Ontario Mathematics Coordinators Association (OMCA) noted, “Contrary to misinformed reporting, a math fact such as the sum of  2 and 2 is equal to 4 has never been in dispute for OMCA members.” The group added “What is concerning is how math facts are juxtaposed with rigid views of race and gender to legitimize racism and the erasure of transgender people.”

What I can’t believe is that this is even a discussion in 2023. Is everything you say and do racist? I am left to wonder. 

We have some serious issues going on in the world. We have a full out assault taking place in the Ukraine by Russia. On April 9, China’s military simulated precision strikes again Taiwan. Saudi Arabia is in active talks with Beijing to price some of its oil sales to China in yuan, a move that would dent the US dollar dominance of the global petroleum market and mark another shift by the world’s top crude exporter towards Asia, while the Government of Canada stems oil production in Alberta. Two banks in the United States have collapsed under the weight of heavy losses on their portfolios and a massive run-on deposit. 

The world is a mess and now some academics in Ontario are worried about racism in math. This woke ideology is rampant in this country and for the record, I am not a racist.

To me it seems a singular focus. Not the economy, not the fact that many families can’t heat their homes and buy food, not the fact that young adults will never be able to own a home, not that current Government of Canada has accumulated more debt than all previous leaders combined since confederation, not the fact that we can’t defend our borders.  It’s mind boggling to me we are worried about math being racist. Then I got to thinking maybe this is the new world order. 

Maybe this is just like the novel “1984” by George Orwell, published in 1949. In 1984 George Orwell wrote:

 “In the end the Party would announce that two and two made five, and you would have to believe it. It was inevitable that they should make that claim sooner or later: the logic of their position demanded it ... And what was terrifying was not that they would kill you for thinking otherwise, but that they might be right. For, after all, how do we know that two and two make four? Or that the force of gravity works? Or that the past is unchangeable? If both the past and the external world exist only in the mind, and if the mind itself is controllable…what then?”

If you don’t find this prophetic, frightening, and disturbing and sounds like what is happening today, I don’t know what more to say!

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