The word “Black” is now synonymous with “Critical Race Theory,” for white people across the nation. A West Virginia school has paused a program called “Black Math Genius” because white parents felt it somehow represented CRT.
According to Fox 5, the June 28 Jefferson County regular meeting was the site of an outpouring of white feelings over math of all things. “Black Math Genius is part of critical race theory. And it’s meant to divide the people. As you can see, we’re divided. If you give special privileges to a group of people because of their skin color, it’s discrimination,” one woman said at the meeting.
What’s sad is that I literally knew nothing about this program before writing this, and within five minutes I clearly knew more than ol’ girl who made that comment. The program isn’t exclusive to Black students; white students can apply as well. Of the 60 students who initially registered for the program, two of them were white. That fact didn’t stop parents from using words like “racist” and “segregationist” to describe math.
Math, y’all. Math.
Interestingly, one parent seemed to be offended at the basic concept of summer school. “My questions are why do we need a summer math program? And why aren’t the children learning during the school year?” another woman asked at the same meeting.
I know this is crazy, but given that parents have to work while the kids are off for the summer, learning camps, summer school, and various other educational programs can be a good way to keep children occupied and ensure they’re not getting into any trouble. I personally remember my mom enrolling me in science camps and educational programs during the summer.
There was also that one time during my freshman year of high school where I did so poorly in math I needed to re-take it during the summer to get that GPA up. Given that the most recent data from Jefferson County shows that Black students have a 25 percent proficiency rating in math, compared to white students’ 46 percent, I’m sure quite a few of the students enrolled in the program might have been in a similar situation. In fact, that low percentage is exactly why the school decided to implement the program.
Assata Moore, the creator of the program, immediately knew why the parents were so offended. “When you attach the ‘Black’ to it, that is what, without them even knowing what the program is about, threw it into the category of critical race theory,” Moore told Fox 5.
“I didn’t start looking into critical race theory until my program was accused of critical race theory and when I looked it up it’s like, where did they get this from? I mean, this is absolutely nothing about what’s in the program. It’s about mathematics. It’s about the African contributions to mathematics. We’re discussing crypto-currency, algorithm and its use in google searches. It’s advanced level mathematics,” she added.
It’s tragic to me that white people are so damn fragile that they’re willing to deny children access to education. Just because you’re okay with being a dumbass doesn’t mean our kids need to be subjected to the same fate. While the school has put a pause on the program, Jefferson County Schools has said it’s not abandoning it.
Across the country, county and school board meetings have been the site of white people losing their shit over race potentially being taught honestly in schools. This week, the nation’s second-largest teachers’ union has said it will defend any teacher who faces backlash for teaching “honest history.” At this rate, they’re going to have to start defending math teachers too.