March 20, 2018
According to Cheryl E. Matias and Paul T. Le, both of the University of Colorado at Denver, the belief that the apprehension of, and substance of, scientific discoveries is independent of whatever one’s skin colour may happen to be, is a problem. One that results in the spread of “whiteness ideology,” and thereby “white supremacy.”
Nikita Vladimirov pokes through the mental wreckage:
According to Matias and Le, “our science is out of touch with the experiences of our students of Colour and, instead, represents post-colonial discourses of White power and control.” “Whiteness embraces White ideology, and because Whites are at the apex of the racial hierarchy, whiteness becomes normalized and is invisible to those who benefit the most from it,” the scholars observe. “This is particularly troubling because the normality of whiteness means that Whites do not believe that they are actively investing in White supremacy or racism, which keeps oppression intact.”
And Kafkatrapping, apparently, is the apex of woke scholarship.
Because if you demur, or suggest that the laws of electromagnetism don’t dramatically alter depending on the melanin levels of the person doing the maths, then you just don’t care about “students of Colour” being “victims of deculturalization” and being “invalidated.” Indeed, you are “erasing the values and culture of indigenous people,” and are bolstering “post-colonial discourses of White power and control over people of Colour via forcing the internalization of Western science knowledge.” Instead, all people of pallor must denounce themselves as oppressors, embrace “other ways of knowing” and “re-imagine what science education spaces can look like.”
Sadly, however, and despite the assertions above, the aboriginal alternatives to Maxwell’s equations and commutative algebra remain oddly unspecified.
In the comments, Karen M notes with amusement that science education is construed by Dr Matias as “forcing the internalization of Western science knowledge,” and adds,
This is called teaching. It’s why the students are there.
Indeed. One might even suppose that internalising Western science knowledge might help students pass science exams and perhaps find science-related jobs. Say, in the West, where the students in question happen to live. Or in fact anywhere, given its global nature.
However, like so many of her peers, Dr Matias shuns the obvious in favour of contortion. And so we’re told that “colour-blind” teaching – which is to say, treating students fairly, as individuals, rather than tribally, as racial mascots – is itself somehow “racist” and must be done away with. Apparently, we must have different rules for different groups, based on how brown they are. She also claims that white teachers cannot “effectively teach urban students of colour” unless they first “deconstruct,” and reject, their own “hegemonic whiteness,” an “invisible” phenomenon that makes them racist by default. Purged of their appalling whiteness, they may then begin “sharing the burden of race.”
Again, the basic conceit is that “urban students of colour” are incomprehensible creatures, akin to leprechauns, and not subject to normal proprieties; and that in order to impart even rudimentary information, one must first disavow one’s own values and standards, which other, paler students are nonetheless expected to meet. This, we’re assured, is “social justice.”
Needless to say, the logical terminus of this mindset is not a happy one.