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  1. Black mathematicians: the kind of problems they wish didn’t need solving

    | 69 notes

    Check out Jonathan Farley – a professor of mathematics who has received death threats from the KKK and was once wrongly detained on suspicion of being a bank robber – writing on racism in academia.

    John Derbyshire, a columnist for the National Review, wrote an essay last week implying that black people were intellectually inferior to white people: “Only one out of six blacks is smarter than the average white.” Derbyshire pulled these figures from a region near his large intestine.

    One of Derbyshire’s claims, however, is true: that there are no black winners of the Fields medal, the “Nobel prize of mathematics”. According to Derbyshire, this is “civilisationally consequential”. Derbyshire implies that the absence of a black winner means that black people are incapable of genius. In reality, black mathematicians face career-retarding racism that white Fields medallists never encounter. Three stories will suffice to make this point.

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