This morning I was reading the local leftist rag, the Houston Chronicle, and I caught this article on the passing of a civil rights activist. Back when the “civil rights” movement actually worried about civil rights, not just being a means to support the radical left in this nation. But his method was interesting, I must say:
Bespectacled, owlish and bearing a master’s degree in philosophy from Harvard, Mr. Moses was an unlikely front-line activist — much less an obvious candidate to quit his comfortable prep-school teaching job in the Bronx in 1960 and immerse himself in the most violently segregationist precincts of Mississippi.
A janitor’s son raised in New York public housing, he showed precocious talent for academic fields involving logic, especially mathematics and philosophy. He found kinship with Quaker friends in college, and he submerged himself in the writings of Albert Camus, the French-Algerian Nobel laureate whose books explored universal questions of human existence and justice.
As the civil rights movement gained momentum, Mr. Moses felt at a certain intellectual remove. “Words are more powerful than munitions,” his early intellectual lodestar, Camus, once wrote. But a turning point for the 25-year-old Mr. Moses was reading news accounts of the nascent sit-in protests in the South. He studied the newspaper dispatches for weeks, mesmerized and finally ready to engage.
“Before, the Negro in the South had always looked on the defensive, cringing,” he once said. “This time they were taking the initiative. They were kids my age, and I knew this had something to do with my own life.”
Mentored by civil rights veterans Bayard Rustin and Ella Baker, he joined the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), sidestepped the sit-ins and initiated voter-registration drives instead as a more direct way to gain political power for Black Americans.
He chose rural southwest Mississippi, the most intransigent region of the state, as his target. There, in “freedom schools,” he taught African Americans how to register and pass the stringent voter literacy tests. Often working alone or with one or two SNCC organizers, he was repeatedly threatened by White mobs and law enforcement officials as he accompanied Black people to courthouse registration offices…
In all honestly, I did not know of the man until this article. In full disclosure, I did not know of Medgar Evers until I saw Ghost of Mississippi. Like Evers, Moses of one of countless men and women who protested for civil rights against real segregation and oppression over this nation. But I find his actions after the great civil rights movements very interesting:
… He also spent years as a teacher in Africa with his wife before returning in 1977 after President Jimmy Carter granted amnesty to draft evaders. Mr. Moses soon began building his second enduring legacy, the Algebra Project.
Though less dramatic and harrowing than getting Black voters to the polls in Mississippi, the Algebra Project marked a pivotal shift in his civil rights vision from political to economic equality.
The project has instructed thousands of middle school students in what Mr. Moses called “math literacy” as a crucial steppingstone to college and employment, an often difficult process among underserved students.
Low math achievement among minority students is “the nation’s dirty secret,” he often told educators. He urged them to avoid the tendency to neglect the subject and instead help students escape their “serf-like communities” within high-tech society, just as sharecroppers earlier sought release from the serfdom of the plantation.
“Math literacy,” he said, “is a civil right. Just as Black people in Mississippi saw the vote as a tool to elevate them into the first class politically, math is the tool to elevate the young into the first class economically…”
In my high school years and first college years, I had issues with math. In my second misguided college yute, I did something radical. I applied myself, studied, practiced equations, and guess what? I was making A’s and B’s in calculus, where before I could barley get a C in algebra. Not tooting my own horn, I just wanted to give an example of what happens when you try.
Well, this shows how low the “civil rights” movement has sunk in recent years:
An Oregon Department of Education newsletter from February promoted an online course designed to “dismantle” instances of “white supremacy culture in the mathematics classroom.” One example of “white supremacy” highlighted by the course was “the concept of mathematics being purely objective,” an idea which the resource stated is “is unequivocally false.”
The program, known as “A Pathway to Equitable Math Instruction,” describes itself as “an integrated approach to mathematics that centers Black, Latinx, and Multilingual students” that provides “opportunities for ongoing self-reflection as they seek to develop an anti-racist math practice.”
The “feedback advisors” for a portion of the program include William Zahner, who is an associate professor at San Diego State University; Melissa Navarro Martell, who is an assistant professor at San Diego State University, and Elvira Armas, who is the Director of Programs and Partnerships for the Center for Equity for English Learners at Loyola Marymount University in California.
“White supremacy culture infiltrates math classrooms in everyday teacher actions,” the guide states. “Coupled with the beliefs that underlie these actions, they perpetuate educational harm on Black, Latinx, and multilingual students, denying them full access to the world of mathematics…”
This is what is teaching our next generation. A group of racists (speculation, likely white liberals), tenured professor telling minorities they are too stupid to learn math. Back to my comments above, math is an art, and a science. And to conquer its challenges, it needs commitment. Unfortunately, this generation is being indoctrinated into stupidity at our institutions of higher learning
I need some more whiskey in my coffee.
Mr. Moses, I never met you sir, and until this morning, never knew your name. But thank you for all the work you did to elevate kids who had challenges, helped them overcome, and improve their futures, and their kids futures. God bless, and Rest in Peace sir. You will be missed.