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A recent study asserts that, among other things, the small number of physics degrees awarded to black students at all levels is due to the continuance of white supremacy.
In “ Observing whiteness in introductory physics: A case study ,” Seattle Pacific University’s Amy Robertson and “noted speaker, consultant, researcher, minister, and lecturer” W. Tali Hairston make use of critical whiteness studies and critical race theory to claim that since a mere 3 percent of black students ages 20-24 get undergraduate physics degrees (and 1.8 percent of doctorates), whiteness “is shaping degree granting (and all of the processes and practices therein) in physics.”
(With this alleged omnipresence of whiteness, Caucasians in the 20-24 age group, who make up 73 percent of the country, get 72 and 75 percent of physics degrees respectively. Oddly, a rather proportionate representation.) According to their “Research Methods” section, Robertson’s (left) and Hairston’s study goal was to “make whiteness visible.” Using a six-minute interaction among students in an introductory physics course, the duo “draw on tools of interaction analysis, including discourse, gesture, and gaze analysis, to unpack how whiteness is being constituted locally or interactionally.”
Some of the factors which “facilitate the reproduction of whiteness” here include “a particular representation of energy, physics values […] gendered social norms, and the structure of schooling.” Oh, and the use of white boards.
(Note, too, due to “critical scholarship and activism,” Robertson and Hairston do not capitalize “white,” but do for “Black” and “Students/People of Color.” The only exception is the title “Critical Whiteness Studies.”)
MORE: High school begins all staff meetings with ‘commitment to dismantling whiteness’
The duo state they do not care about any instances of individual racism from the participants. This is because the “individuals-as-racist story fuels whiteness by treating each incidence of racialized harm as an exception, recusing […]
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They’re Trying to Shut Us Down
Over the last several months, I’ve lost count of how many times the powers-that-be have tried to shut us down. They’ve sent hackers at us, forcing us to take extreme measures on web security. They sent attorneys after us, but thankfully we’re not easily intimidated by baseless accusations or threats. They’ve even gone so far as to make physical threats. Those can actually be a bit worrisome but Remington has me covered.
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