The claim that math is racist stems from the observation that there are racial disparities in math performance, with certain groups, particularly black and Hispanic students, often performing lower than their white and Asian counterparts. This has led some to argue that the way math is taught and the subject itself perpetuate systemic racism.
Proponents of this view point to several factors. They argue that math curricula often ignore the contributions of non-Western cultures, thereby devaluing the mathematical knowledge of these groups. They also suggest that traditional math teaching methods, such as focusing on memorization and standardized testing, disadvantage students from marginalized communities who may not have the same resources or educational background.
Furthermore, some critics argue that the emphasis on "objective" mathematical truth can reinforce a belief in a single, universal way of understanding the world, which they see as a form of cultural imperialism. They advocate for a more inclusive approach to math education that incorporates diverse perspectives and acknowledges the cultural and historical context of mathematical knowledge.
However, it's worth noting that these views are highly controversial. Many educators and mathematicians argue that math itself is a universal language that transcends cultural and racial boundaries. They contend that the disparities in math performance are more likely due to socioeconomic factors and educational inequalities, rather than inherent biases in the subject of math.