Another “quick takes” on items where there is too little to say to make a complete article, but is still important enough to comment on.
The focus this time: Mad as a bag of ferrets.
First, a little unwoke science lesson:
The English language derives primarily (abet with Old Norse and a millennium of other influences) from the language of the Anglo-Saxon people, and many rights either derive directly from those first millennium times—such as the right of the free to personal arms—or from asserting rights in the resistance against the “Norman Yoke”. Not surprising that woke academics dislike that…
“Anglo-Saxon traditionally refers to groups from Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands who settled in Britain at the end of Roman rule.
“However, early medieval England specialist Mary Rambaran-Olm, an independent scholar and author, claimed the term is used by white supremacists to refer to white British people and should be banned.
“The academic – raised in Canada and now based in Ireland – says previous objections to the term Dark Ages sets a precedent.
“She told The Times: ‘Generally, white supremacists use the term to make some sort of connection to their heritage (which is inaccurate) or to make associations with ‘whiteness’ but they also habitually misuse it to try and connect themselves to a warrior past.’”
However, some others are not impressed…
“Tom Holland, author of books including Athelstan: The Making of England, said the term was ‘inextricably bound up with the claim by Alfred … to rule as a shared Anglian-Saxon identity’.
“’Scholars must be free to use it,’ he said.
“In a tweet, he wrote of the idea to ditch the term Anglo-Saxon: ‘Mad as a bag of ferrets, as they say in Deira [a former kingdom].’”
Because of course White people could only be where they are due to a cleaver scheme that required both genocide of others and perpetual oppression of those allegedly genocided groups according to some well thought out scheme…
“A room full of college students recently attending a panel on Native American issues at UMass Boston were told they are ‘genocide beneficiaries.’
“The panel, ‘Indigenous Commemorative Practices and Community-Building Initiatives in Native New England and Beyond,’ offered an overarching focus on ‘indigenous resiliency,’ according to organizers.
“One presenter, Kristen Wyman, identified herself as half-indigenous and half-European to the audience, and posed the question to the 50 or so students and others in the room: ‘How can we define systemic oppression?’
“After the audience did not offer a cohesive response, she described the term as one group hindering another group’s accessibility to opportunities and resources. This can take many forms, she said.:
“As an example, she explained that the erection of early dams by European settlers in Massachusetts rivers served as a ‘system of oppression’ for Native Americans, since the construction of the dams hindered natives from canoe travel.”
Apparently beavers are White Supremacist Genocidal Tyrants now or something…
But what is the most unwoke toold of genocidal oppression, according to Seattle public schools?
“It’s chock full of social justice jargon that sounds smart but is actually vapid. What does it mean to decode mathematical ‘beauty’ or ‘identify how the development of mathematics has been erased from learning in school?’ (Has it been erased? That seems like a problem for history class.) The guidance says it will ‘re-humanize mathematics through experiential learning’ and facilitate learning ‘independently and interdependently.’ That’s a fancy way of saying almost nothing at all.
“The guidance also includes some extremely political, simplistic talking points that might be popular among activist academics but are in reality somewhat dubious. This is verbatim from the proposal: Students will be able to ‘identify the inherent inequities of the standardized testing system used to oppress and marginalize people and communities of color,’ ‘explain how math has been used to exploit natural resources,’ and ‘explain how math dictates economic oppression.’ Each of these statements are debatable, but they are not being presented as such. It would be one thing to hold a class discussion about the strengths and weaknesses of standardized testing, but what’s happening here is that students are being trained to reject standardized testing due to its ‘inherent inequity,’ which is asserted as some kind of proven fact.”
In other words…
“Infusing the existing math curriculum with a bunch of unfounded progressive assumptions about cultural appropriation is a silly approach.”