Laurie Rubel, a professor of math education at New York’s Brooklyn College, does not appear to be fond of the discipline she teaches. In fact, she apparently believes math is inherently racist. She recently tweeted, “the idea that math (or data) is culturally neutral or in any way objective is a MYTH.” In a separate tweet she noted that math “reeks of white supremacist patriarchy” after stating, albeit incoherently, “along with the ‘of course math is neutral because 2 + 2 = 4 trope’ are the related (and creepy) ‘math is pure’ and ‘protect math.’” Drunk on her own peerless wokeness she added, “I’d rather think on nurturing people & protecting the planet (with math in service of them goals).” Well, maybe just drunk.
What an amazing social justice warrior! What a flawless person! She’d rather “think on” nurturing people! And protecting the planet! Not that she’d actually do anything in furtherance of her stated goals. It is enough that she has stated them. And she wants to take that racist (and no doubt misogynistic, homophobic, and Islamophobic) math and use it “in service of them goals.” It’s a good thing she isn’t an English teacher. Though, to be fair, Ms. Rubel probably believes English is at least as racist as math is. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez would be a better instructor. Or Barney Rubble.
Seemingly every week another professor claims math, data, facts, good behavior, competence, proper hygiene, discipline, a work ethic, speaking ability, or another such basic building block of a successful society is prima facie evidence of the white supremacist patriarchy’s evil and unwarranted hold on American society. (How racist is that?) Yet, Rubel’s assertion that 2+2=4 is a “trope” still boggles the mind.
Here are common dictionary definitions of “trope:”
1. A figure of speech using words in nonliteral ways, such as a metaphor.
2. A figure of speech through which speakers or writers intend to express meanings of words differently than their literal meanings.