It appears that mathematics and grammar are now also examples of racism and western imperialism. At least that is what we are hearing on a number of college campuses. Nancy Pearcey writes about one teacher who argues that the “idea of 2 + 2 equaling 4 is cultural” and a product of “western imperialism/colonialism.” Apparently, even mathematics is to be reshaped by critical theory.
Lest you think this is the only example, she provides many others. A professor at Cambridge University wrote an article titled “Western Mathematics: The Secret Weapon of Cultural Imperialism.” A professor at the University of Illinois complains that math history is Eurocentric because we emphasize terms like Pythagorean theorem and pi which “perpetuate a perception that mathematics was largely developed by Greeks and other Europeans.”
Nancy Pearcey questions that. We use Arabic numbers, we have learned that the concept of zero as a place holder came from India, and the Babylonians gave us the 360-degree circle. In fact, most cultures had a rough idea of the value of pi.
Meanwhile grammar is also under attack. The English department at Rutgers University is changing its instruction in an effort to “stand with and respond” to the Black Lives Matter movement. The program will emphasize “social justice” and “critical grammar.” That is a euphemism for challenging the standard academic form of the English language.
One of the professors argues that “expecting a student to write in grammatically correct sentences is indicative of racial bias” which she condemns using a word I cannot use on this radio station. Lately when I have been reading social media posts, I have been appalled at the poor grammar of recent college graduates. Apparently, it is going to get much worse.