Friday, October 27, 2017

It's not just a joke anymore: They're actually claiming math is racist

Naturally, you've heard the joke about political correctness run amok -- that pretty soon, people are going to start claiming math is racist. Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but ...

Math actually is racist, according to Rochelle Gutierrez, an education professor at the University of Illinois. The following excerpt from a Campus Reform write-up is not a joke unless this professor is putting on an admirably epic long-term hoax:

"On many levels, mathematics itself operates as Whiteness. Who gets credit for doing and developing mathematics, who is capable in mathematics, and who is seen as part of the mathematical community is generally viewed as White," Gutierrez argued.
Gutierrez also worries that algebra and geometry perpetuate privilege, fretting that "curricula emphasizing terms like Pythagorean theorem and pi perpetuate a perception that mathematics was largely developed by Greeks and other Europeans."

The thing is, a good deal of math was developed, or improved, or at least passed on to us today by Greeks and Europeans. And there's nothing wrong with that. We can acknowledge it, the same way we tip our hats to the Arabs (perhaps unwittingly) each time we say the Arabic word "algebra," even though algebra predated its modern Arab invention by several thousand years.

The word "mathematics" is itself a Greek word for "that which is to be learned." Euclid's geometry book is still in print and useful. Eratosthenes first calculated the circumference of the earth in the third century B.C., with what we now know to be surprising accuracy. And it would be absurd to deny the significance of Pythagoras and his mysterious mathematical cult, even if he was not the first to know of or to prove the theorem we have since named after him.

And that's only scratching the surface, of course. Ancient Greece is remembered for its flourishing of learning, science, literature and philosophy, a surprisingly large amount of which survived the ages. We're all better off for it.

Unfortunately, the Greeks are also credited with inventing the academy. If that means we have them to blame for Professor Gutierrez's scholarship, then perhaps she has a point after all.


Milo Yiannopoulos tells Studio 10's Jessica Rowe she can be 'cured with chemotherapy' after she told him she is 'a proud feminist'

Far-right activist Milo Yiannopoulos has branded Studio 10's Jessica Rowe a 'half-bald feminist' after a heated clash on live TV.

The British-born champion of free speech was outspoken about his dislike of feminists when he appeared on Studio 10 this week to peddle his upcoming tour of Australia.

When co-host Jessica Rowe told Mr Yiannopoulos she was a 'proud feminist', he said 'that's OK, I'm sure they'll cure you soon, there's a chemotherapy for that'.

Mr Yiannopoulos' likening of feminism to cancer drew criticism from Ms Rowe.

'No no no,' she began. 'Everyone's entitled to a view, but you seem to stir up hate for the sake of it, because you want to provoke.'

Mr Yiannopoulos defended his opposition to feminism and said he did not say it to be controversial.

'It's perfectly fine if you're a feminist. My problem is with those feminists who say we all need to be feminists when we might not be, and we might think feminism has run its course,' he said.

'It's very difficult to describe yourself as 'not a feminist' if you're in the public life. That's an enforcement of a particular political orthodoxy that is not shared by the public majority.

'These ideas being enforced in popular culture and on TV are not views reflected in the public. 'The gap between media and the public is growing all the time.'

Mr Yiannopoulos went on to say free speech was a right, even if it was controversial or offensive. 'If I want to say that feminists are fat and ugly, which most of them are, I will,' he said.

The controversial commentator later uploaded the interview to his Youtube channel under the headline 'Milo slays half-bald Australian feminist'.

Mr Yiannopoulos has built a career on divisiveness.

Once a senior editor of far-right site Breitbart News, Mr Yiannopoulos was fired when he was accused of being a paedophile apologist.

The commentator previously said sex between 'younger boys' and older men could serve as a 'coming-of-age relationship in which those older men help those younger boys discover who they are'.

He vehemently denied the accusations saying 'I didn't technically advocate paedophilia'. 'I regret the things that I've said. I don't think I've been as sorry about anything.'  


Restaurant boss advertises for female part-time staff because ‘women are better at cleaning than men'

Ridvan Das, owner and manager of Mediterranean restaurant and takeaway Mazi in Croydon, south London, spoke out after a notice appeared on the recruitment website Indeed.

The advert included a picture of a sign in one of the restaurant's windows which says 'part time staff required (female)'.

The businessman said his rationale behind the controversial advert was simple. Ridvan said: 'The reason was we needed to hire a dishwasher and women are obviously better at cleaning than men - that's what I think anyway.

The 24-year-old denied that the advert was sexist, and stressed that he did hire men and women - but when it comes to roles involving cleaning, he preferred women.

Ridvan said: 'That's just how I feel; I'm messy myself and a lot of the males I know are messy themselves and their wives, girlfriends, mum or auntie will keep them neat.'

Ridvan said the single vacancy - which was posted on Indeed by someone else - had already been filled.

When asked whether he was aware of UK discrimination laws and whether he would have considered a man for the role, Rivdan added: 'We hire as long as they have had this type of job before and as long as they have experience in the trade.

'It's not discrimination; we have 14 people who work here and it's pretty much equal numbers. There's a few more men than women.'

When pressed further on his view that women are better at cleaning, Ridvan pointed to the fact that the restaurant has the highest possible food hygiene rating. After a Food Standards Agency inspection on May 24, the restaurant was given a rating of five out of five.

Ridvan, who lives on London Road, said: 'I'm not taking any chances when it comes to the food and cleanliness of the restaurant.

'I have four people who work only to keep the restaurant clean; three female and one male. The male will help the women pull the fridges around.

'There is a woman at the head of this team and she will come and check everything is spotless and, if not, they start again.'

The law in the United Kingdom is quite clear on discrimination both during recruitment and employment.

The office and kitchen are situated downstairs at Mazi, while the diners eat upstairs. Food is brought upstairs through a food lift.

Men and women wait on tables at the London Road restaurant, with all the men upstairs and all the women downstairs.

Rivdan said: 'We took over the restaurant about six months ago, and it was like that (all men upstairs and all women downstairs) so we kept it like that.'


Racist "whiteness" concept flourishing among elite Australians

The Left are obsessed with race and racial differences

Is there a collective noun for those who make a living out of publicly decrying the evils of whiteness? Consider for example, a cacophony of virtue-signallers, a soliloquy of self-flagellants, a dirge of self-loathers, a nursery of penitents, and a turgidity of neo-Pharisees.

For such zealots the crusade against racism — or more accurately to be seen as crusading against racism — is a secular calling. Its central philosophy is the disparaging and loathing of whiteness. Are you thinking irony or downright hypocrisy? To describe it so would be correct, but those terms do not illustrate the degree of cognitive dissonance in the crusader’s mind. To describe it as Orwellian doublethink, however, does.

What featured in last week’s episode of ABC Radio National’s The Minefield served as a stark example, its subject title “Wrong to be ‘White’: Is Racism a Moral Problem?”. Apparently rejecting the notion that racism is an aberrant element of whiteness, host Scott Stephens mused that it was innate. “A great many more philosophers and a great many political theorists … would see the persistence of racism not as a moral topic but in some ways as foundational, as fundamental as in some ways infecting and rendering us complicit in pretty much everything we do,” he said. “What do you think”, he asked co-host and Deakin University lecturer Dr Joanna Cruikshank.

You might think the correct answer, after suppressing an outburst of derisive laughter, would be to say this secular construct of original sin was both simplistic and sweeping. But Cruikshank did not demur. “As a historian I think I’m constantly struck by the way the structures of many modern nations have been racial right from the start,” she said. “I think I would even say white supremacist from the start.”

It is a term that Cruikshank resorts to frequently, particularly in respect to self-loathing. “I am a white supremacist,” she wrote in June this year. “I sing a national anthem that proclaims Australians to be ‘young and free,’ directly excluding the ancient nations of this land and their people — people who, for most of the century this anthem has been sung, have been anything but free. I work in institutions and walk on streets named after men who authored the White Australia policy.”

The list of self-indictments is a long one. “I watch television and movies where white people portray almost all of the heroes, while people of colour play the feisty friend, the wisecracking sidekick, the super-strong villain or the treacherous terrorist. If I watched sport more often, I would see players of different races, but almost all white managers and coaches.”

The purpose of telling us this, she writes, is not “to indulge in self-flagellation.” Whether she is trying to convince us or herself of that one cannot say. “No doubt people of colour around me could point to many more examples of the way my words and actions reflect and perpetuate white supremacy,” she adds. “I am working to change this.” These changes, however, do not appear to go so far as the reluctant white supremacist giving up her taxpayer-subsidised job to make way for a person of colour, but that’s by the bye.

The two co-hosts could not be more alike in spirit. “Like you, I’ve been rather troubled by the political response as well to the National Constitutional Convention at Uluru,” said Stephens, who then added the indigenous resolutions such as a treaty and a so-called truth and reconciliation commission to be “clear and unequivocal” and “morally rich”.

As with Cruikshank, Stephens appears to regard the ABC studios as the nation’s confessional. He deplored the “grubby public debates about things like the Australia Day date,” describing them as a reaction to “historical truth-telling.” The protests were a “reassertion of a muscular white nationalism,” he went on to say. “This for me is really the symptom of something that remains very deep and very wrong with who we are.”

You could be tempted to argue in response to such strong sentiments that the attempt by socialist and Greens-dominated councils to change the date of Australia Day is an aggressive form of cultural cleansing. Alternatively, you might suggest that this whole notion of whiteness and inherent racism is sanctimonious piffle, as well as an exercise in attention-seeking.

Ah, but Stephens had anticipated this. “It‘s now common for people to come out and to deny that they themselves are racist while engaging in either forms of speech or patterns of behaviour that would be I think rightly morally described as racist.” To assume that a denial of racism from one accused of such behaviour is evidence of guilt is truly a Kafkaesque mindset.

These views are disconcertingly similar to those of the Australian Human Rights Race Discrimination Commissioner, Tim Soutphommasane. “Not to put too fine a point on it,” he observed only two months ago, “but we must be prepared to say that if people don’t wish to be called racists or bigots, they shouldn’t blame others; they should begin by not doing things that involve racism or bigotry.” But what about the right to a fair hearing? For a cultural Marxist, that is merely a bourgeois anachronism.

Given Stephens and Cruikshank’s controversial and near identical views on whiteness, surely we could expect their only guest would provide a challenging and robust counterargument? After all, ABC editorial policies require The Minefield to “Present a diversity of perspectives so that, over time, no significant strand of thought or belief within the community is knowingly excluded or disproportionately represented.” So how did that work out with this guest?

“I’d like to start off actually by acknowledging that here in Sydney, in the ABC studios, I am actually sitting on lands stolen from the Gadigal people,” began Alana Lentin, associate professor in Cultural & Social Analysis at the University of Western Sydney. Does that give you some indication of how much balance you can expect?

Lentin is also the president of the Australian Critical Race and Whiteness Studies Association. Its charter is to “critically investigate and challenge racial privilege and the construction and maintenance of race and whiteness, both past and present.” In respect to the assertion that denial of racism is equivalent to an admission of guilt, Lentin takes an even more extreme view. “The assertion of ‘not racism’ that accompanies many structurally white discussions of and pronouncements on matters of race is itself a key form of racist violence,” she wrote for ABC only last week.

Not surprisingly, it was a very cosy little chat among the three, with acclaims along the lines of “Absolutely” and “Wow”. “We know that white people in this country are not jailed for unpaid fines,” said Lentin, commenting on the death in custody in 2014 of West Australian indigenous woman Miss Dhu. This is a blatantly absurd fiction, yet neither Stephens nor Cruikshank corrected Lentin.

Judging by her Twitter account, one sees that Lentin has a tendency to weaken labels through overuse. According to her Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is a “fascist”.

Fascist Turnbull presides over same racist policies as Trump regime is trying to install

— alana lentin (@alanalentin) January 30, 2017

So too is his cabinet colleague Scott Morrison, but he is a “total fascist”.

How very fascist: Tony says 'families, jobs, economy, secure nation' and 'I love this country'

— alana lentin (@alanalentin) February 9, 2015

On what basis? It turns out that Abbott had espoused the importance of “families, jobs, economy, secure nation”, and had said “I love this country.”

Her accusatory outbursts do not end there. Lentin frequently refers to immigration detention centres as “concentration camps”.

Her most revealing tweet was one sent on the eve of Australia Day this year. “Does anyone seriously think that #changethedate will resolve the pesky fact that Australia was stolen? No to nationalist days!” Never kid yourself in thinking that the progressives’ campaign to change the date of Australia Day will end there.

As for episodes like that of The Minefield, what does it say of the ABC’s adherence to its statutory charter? Only this month managing director Michelle Guthrie claimed the government’s legislative proposals to amend the charter — including a requirement that coverage be “fair” and “balanced” — amounted to a “political vendetta”.

Finally, one should reflect on the words of Stephens, who linked the concepts of race and whiteness to “products of capitalism itself”.

Capitalism, he asserted, “produces subjects who are willing to profit off the back of the misery and the immiseration of others,” he said. He’s absolutely right. It is called the Grievance Gravy Train, and it is publicly funded through taxes paid by capitalists. And it is not only its drivelling passengers who enjoy such a lucrative run at the expense of others, but also those who stoke its fires and drive it.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here


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