The Attack on Equity Mathematics Education Scholars and the #IStandWithRochelle Movement, So Far

UPDATE: This post is no longer being updated. An updated version now lives here.

The Timeline:

  • Aug 4, 2017. Toni Airaksinen of CampusReform criticizes Luis Leyva’s Journal of Research in Mathematics Education article for calling mathematics a gendered space.
  • Aug 23, 2017. Toni Airaksinen of CampusReform writes a story criticizing the NCSM/TODOS joint statement
  • Oct 10, 2017. Toni Airaksinen of CampusReform writes a story critiquing Texas State University’s Mathematics Education Job Posting with a preferred qualification of “knowledge of or engagement with issues of social justice.”
  • October 4, 2017. Rochelle Gutiérrez speaks as the opening plenary speaker at PME-NA in Indianapolis . Dr. Gutiérrez introduces the term “Mathematx” to signify a humanizing re-imagination of mathematics free from dominance of Eurocentric and White culture, that takes into account Indigenous Knowledge. Dr. Gutiérrez writes, “Mathematx is a way of seeking, acknowledging, and creating patterns for the purpose of solving problems (e.g., survival) and experiencing joy. Beginning with the principles of recognizing self and/in others, responsibility towards others, and valuing tensions, several things stand out as different from the typical way Western mathematics is conducted or experienced by students in school.” (p. 15)
    • The feedback at PME-NA was mixed, with many in the field expressing excitement, but others showing displeasure in Dr. Gutiérrez calling out of whiteness as deeply ingrained in mathematics and the teaching of mathematics.
  • Oct 23, 2017. Toni Airaksinen of CampusReform writes a story critizing Dr. Gutiérrez’s chapter, “Political Conocimiento for Teaching Mathematics: Why Teachers Need it and How to Develop It” in the new AMTE book, Building Support for Scholarly Practices in Mathematics Methods”, for saying that mathematics, as it is traditionally taught, perpetuates privilege.
  • Oct 24, 2017. Robert Ghearty of Fox News writes a story based heavily on the CampusReform article that critiques Dr. Gutiérrez, with the large quote, “Mathematics itself operates as Whiteness.”
    • Shortly after the release of the CampusReform and FoxNews articles, Dr. Gutiérrez starts receiving a flood of hate email, twitter comments, and threats.
    • A closed discussion on the Mathematics Education Researchers facebook group page on the article quickly becomes filled with racist, misogynistic attacks on Dr. Gutiérrez and is locked from further comments.
    • The News-Gazette reports that the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is supporting Dr. Gutiérrez and her work.
    • NOV 3, 2017. Dan Bechtel, veteran mathematics teacher, writes an Op-Ed in support of Dr. Gutiérrez.
  • Oct 25, 2017. Bradford Richardson of the ultra conservative website, The Washington Times (not to be confused with the Washington Post), writes a short piece echoing the CampusReform article on Dr. Gutiérrez. Initially, the piece featured a photograph of mathematician Dr. Moon Duchin rather than Dr. Gutiérrez, but has since been corrected.
  • Oct 30, 2017. Toni Airaksinen of CampusReform writes a story about another chapter in the Building Support for Scholarly Practices in Mathematics Methods book, attacking Drs. Brian Lawler, Andrea McCloskey, and Theodore Chao with the pull quote: “Any . . . connection to issues of equity, diversity, social justice, and power is better than none at all.”
  • Oct 30, 2017. Infowars repost the CampusReform story in entirety.
  • Nov 28-29, 2017. Mallard Fillmore, a right-wing Kings Feature Syndicated comic strip, features two days of strips attacking Dr. Gutiérrez and invoking the Model Minority Myth.
  • Jan 6, 2017. Mallard Fillmore publishes a 3rd strip about mathematics.
  • Jan 8, 2017. Toni Airaksinen of CampusReform writes a story criticizing Dr. Laurie Rubel’s recent JUME article. Daily Mail also picks up the story. A timeline of the ongoing attack on Dr. Rubel is here.

Public Support for Dr. Gutiérrez:

Who Funds CampusReform?

According to Media Matters, these are 3 of CampusReform’s top funders:

  • The Leadership Institute
  • Donors Capital Fund and DonorsTrust
  • Charles Koch Foundation

Resources:

Who else in Mathematics and Mathematics Education has this happened to?

  • Jo Boaler’s detail of her public attack by Milgram and Bishop
  • Piper Harron’s blog, which sparked and also details the public attack on her right to call out sexism in mathematics

What to do if you or a colleague is attacked:

Articles to Share:

  • An article on how to support a scholar under attack.  It gives ideas for how your institution can support you, how organizations or individuals can support you, etc.
  • An article about the role of Twitter on free speech
  • A story about how this kind of lack of civility is growing on campuses
  • A UCLA study about teaching in the age of Trump
  • A new article about how respond to right-wing attacks, by a professor who was also recently attacked by CampusReform

Organizing:

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4 thoughts on “The Attack on Equity Mathematics Education Scholars and the #IStandWithRochelle Movement, So Far”

  1. Hello, you write:

    Dr. Gutiérrez writes, “Mathematx is a way of seeking, acknowledging, and creating patterns for the purpose of solving problems (e.g., survival) and experiencing joy. Beginning with the principles of recognizing self and/in others, responsibility towards others, and valuing tensions, several things stand out as different from the typical way Western mathematics is conducted or experienced by students in school.” (p. 15)

    What is the reference for this? I tried looking for it but couldn’t find it.

    Like

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