“What I learned about Em is that we as black people are still not free.Reparations can help close the wealth gap but instead the gov’t and other citizens feels like they don’t owe anything.For an example they use EM to say that we are free.But when it comes to low paying jobs mainly of colored people are working them.And most of them are hard laboring jobs.”
This is a verbatim written response from a Black high school student who shared lessons learned from completing “Reparations Math,” the new curriculum unit being offered by the New York Times 1619 Project and the Pulitzer Center.
Already discredited for falsely revising history, the New York Times 1619 Project makes no secret of the Reparations Math curriculum’s ambition to shape future generations into progressive activists.
The Unit Overview outlines explicit objectives to have students use different mathematical equations to “suggest steps the U.S. government can take to provide financial reparations.” Further guidance dictates that final student “presentations should also share what math function the U.S. should use to determine and provide monetary preparations [sic].”
The grammatical mistakes and errors in punctuation in the exemplar student work sample provided above by the Pulitzer Center are bad enough. But the deliberate message intended for students that Black people are “still not free,” and thus are victims entitled to government payout, is unconscionable.
The irony is that there is steep opposition to the idea that money should be given to Black people who have never been slaves, paid for by White people who have never been slave owners.
Prominent Black leaders like civil rights pioneer Bob Woodson, Republican Utah Rep. Burgess Owens and economist Glenn Loury, all make compelling moral and practical arguments not only against reparations, but also posit that it is racist and correctly warn of the explosion in racial tension that would most certainly ensue if implemented.
In cities across America, various reparations schemes that would make cash payments to Black Americans are being considered. Yet while there has been fervor, no program of any scale has been approved given the obstacles of fiscal reality and its violation of the Constitution, not to mention the challenge of coming up with defensible criteria for who would receive cash payments.
Even California Democrat Gov. Gavin Newsom, who in 2020 established a task force to “develop reparation proposals for African Americans,” declined to endorse the Task Force’s delusional findings that every Black Californian should receive payment of up to $1.2 million.
Cumulatively, these “payouts could cost taxpayers upwards of $800 billion — more than 2.5 times California’s annual budget.”
Throughout the Reparations Math curriculum, the racial wealth gap is used to justify reparations as the only solution to close that gap. The Federal Reserve 2019 Survey of Consumer Finances, states that when race alone is considered, the wealth gap between Black and White Americans at the median — the middle household in each community — was $164,000 in favor of Whites.
Yet in 2021, I testified to the United States Congressional Joint Economic Committee that, according to that same survey, when just two other factors are taken into account, everything changes. If just family structure and education are counted, the median wealth of the average married, college-educated Black family is about $160,000 more than the median wealth of an average single parent White family — nearly completely reversing the gap in favor of Blacks.
Indeed, for nearly 30 consecutive years, the poverty rate of married Black couples has been in the single digits. The obvious implication is that there are factors beyond just race that are far more determinative of economic success for people of any race.
Students taking Reparations Math learn none of this however, as no opposing viewpoints are presented. The resources provided in the unit are all pro-reparations including titles like:
“Overdue reparations is the key to closing the racial wealth gap” and “We May Be the First People to Receive Reparations for Slavery.”
It is pure indoctrination designed to perpetuate an ideology of Black dependency and retribution for historical and presumed present day racial victimization.
The tragedy of course in all of this is that none of the justification or not for reparations has anything to do with addressing the urgent crisis in American math education.
According to the National Assessment for Educational Progress (AKA The Nation’s Report Card), in 2022, only 26% of all eighth-grade students nationwide performed at or above the NAEP Proficient level on the mathematics assessment.
In states like Illinois, in 2022, only 8% of Illinois Black eighth graders were NAEP Proficient or above in math. That, despite the fact that in 2019 the Chicago school system adopted the 1619 Project curriculum for instruction in every high school.
In response to Chicago’s depressing academic outcomes and the possible adoption of Reparations Math, legendary Chicago reporter Charles Thomas observed on Chicago’s “Morning Answer”: “Black people are overcomers. We are not victims. We are victors. And our history is proof positive of that. That we have met every challenge and overcome. And I think that’s what we need to teach as opposed to the narrative that we are victims and will remain victims forever.”
Hear, hear. Let’s teach that in history class and actually teach math – in math class!