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'Get politics out of math!': USA Today gets demolished for asking, 'Is math racist?'

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MARTIN BUREAU/AFP via Getty Images

USA Today was slammed online for a headline to an article asking if math is racist. The headline caused an eruption of negative reactions on social media, and the legacy media outlet decided to change the headline following the uproar.

Fox News reported the original headline for the paywall-hidden article from USA Today read: "Is math racist? As many students of color struggle with the subject, schools are altering instruction — sometimes amid intense debate."

The article calls for "bolder recommendations to make math more inclusive."

However, after the incendiary headline caused a stir and began trending on Twitter, USA Today changed the headline to read: "Is math education racist? Debate rages over changes to how US teaches the subject."

Peter Boghossian – who has taught philosophy at Portland State University for the past decade – wrote, "No, math is not racist. Major venues like @USATODAY even asking this question is a sign of cultural sickness. Racial disparities can be addressed (in part) by using the best evidence-based pedagogical practices that enable student learning. Please stop suggesting math is racist."

Eric Weinstein – who received his Ph.D. in Mathematics from Harvard University and who previously served as a visiting research fellow at the Mathematical Institute of Oxford University – reacted by saying, "Q: Is Math Racist? Why do 'students of color struggle with the subject'? A: Congratulations to our first place US Math Olympiad team members Vincent Huang, Colin Tang, Edward Wan, Brandon Wang, Luke Robitaille, and Daniel Zhu. Pictured."

Spanish professor and economist Daniel Lacalle asked, "Is this a joke?"

Podcast host Lauren Chen noted, "Unequal outcomes aren't always because of racism. Assuming such is actually a pillar of CRT. Believing that everyone should perform equally, despite the fact that even the same person performs differently on different days, is one of the greatest falsehoods progressives embrace."

Talk show host Kim Iversen said, "The left has become so racist they accuse everyone and everything of being racist including….math."

Republican congressional candidate J.D. Vance said, "Meanwhile, China is building hypersonic missiles and advanced artificial intelligence."

Political commentator Kmele Foster rephrased a quote from President George W. Bush, "The soft PUNISHING bigotry of low expectations."

Washington Times columnist Tim Young responded, "Math isn't racist... but the 'educators' who think it needs to be changed and made easier because some black kids struggle with it... ARE."

Daily Caller reporter Chrissy Clark wrote, "While Chinese students are excelling, our children are being told that '2+2=4' is a form of white supremacy because one right answer is an oppressive tactic. GET POLITICS OUT OF MATH!"

British author Andrew Sullivan proclaimed, "Remember: no CRT in schools. Except in everything."

Political consultant Ryan James Girdusky added, "This is critical race theory."

Journalist Eve Barlow quipped, "'Is math racist?' is not an article on The Onion."

Entrepreneur Daniel Bostic tweeted, "Good morning welcome to America also math is racist."

This isn't the first time that math has been deemed to be racist.

In October 2020, the faculty at Wake Forest University created a class titled "Racist/Anti-Racist Uses of Math & Stats," which will teach students about the many ways that mathematical and statistical models have been employed in racist methods.

Last month, The Post Millennial reported, "California is set to adopt new math teaching principles that are based in critical race theory. These changes, which include deemphasizing calculus and pulling programs for academically gifted students, will 'apply social justice principles to math lessons.'"

The guidelines claimed that mathematics has "developed in a way that has excluded many students."

"Because of these inequities, teachers need to work consciously to counter racialized or gendered ideas about mathematics achievement," the guidelines say.

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