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Fox News: America is ‘behind’ because science class wastes time on the lack of black physicists

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A Fox News “Trouble With Schools” segment suggested on Wednesday that U.S. kids were behind in the world because a physics teacher in Seattle had tried to teach a lesson to privileged white students on why there were not more black physicists.

“This probably wasn’t on the curriculum in your high school physics class,” Fox News host Elisabeth Hasselbeck announced. “A high school physics teacher came up with new six-day curriculum that includes lessons on white privilege. He says it will prepare students for institutional racism and social justice! So, what does that have to with physics exactly?”

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“It’s not an open mic night in these classrooms,” the National Review‘s Katherine Timpf opined. “You don’t get to decide you can talk about anything you want to these students. It has to be about what your class is. Physics class, you talk about physics. Really, it’s that simple.”

But in a guest post at the Quantum Progress blog, University Prep school physics teacher Moses Rifkin explained exactly how his lesson was important at a private school where students “weren’t learning about their own privilege (academic and, in most cases, economic and racial).”

“I’ve found a way to introduce my students to the ideas of racial and gender privilege, to the idea that our society is far from a meritocracy, and to broaden their conception of who (racially, gender-wise, etc.) does science to include a much broader slice of society,” he wrote. “The project revolves, at least initially, around a question: why are there so few black[1] physicists? [..] Physicists therefore make up a small percentage of the U.S. population (0.06%), but that percentage is 3.2 times higher among white Americans than black.”

This was not enough to convince Timpf.

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“Physics class!” she exclaimed. “He said he was jealous that all the other teachers got to talk about society — English, History — then he also said they’re not learning about. Which one is it?”

“I don’t’ know what this is really about,” Timpf continued. “I guess it’s just his own agenda. He wants to talk about it.”

“But you know what? We’re consistently behind in science in math of other developed countries in high school. Maybe it’s because physics teachers aren’t teaching physics in their classes.”

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“Well, yeah,” Hasselbeck agreed. “They’re asking things like this. Part of their pre-project homework was learn about the pre-1950s and modern blacks physicists, Peggy McIntosh’s ‘white privilege’ and then listen to Macklemore.”

The Fox News host added that the prep school said that it was “fully aware of and support Mr. Rifkin’s work with his students and part of our commitment to provide our students an education that helps grow into socially responsible, intellectually courageous citizens of the world.”

“How about teaching them physics in physics class?” Timpf scoffed. “Because you do need that too.”

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In his guest post at Quantum Progress, Rifkin asserted that learning about social justice and the need for black scientists was necessary for the improvement of science in the country as a whole.

“Beyond the very concrete step of showing that not all physicists are, to use my students’ phrase, ‘dead white dudes’, I have a lot of less visible goals,” he noted. “I hope that my students can see that the lack of black physicists is a problem regardless of their own race, and that it likely reflects some broader themes in our society.””

Watch the video below from Fox News’ Fox & Friends, broadcast Feb. 18, 2014.

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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‘His mommy should have told him she loved him a little bit more’: CNN analyst eviscerates Trump over ‘chosen one’ comments’

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On Wednesday's edition of CNN's "The Situation Room," analyst Gloria Borger laid into President Donald Trump for his bizarre press conference anointing himself "the chosen one."

"'I am the chosen one,' and that comes after the president re-tweeted a conspiracy theorist radio host who said that he is like the second coming," said host Brianna Keilar. "So what do you make of all of this?"

"I think maybe his mommy should have told him she loved him a little bit more," said Borger. "I don't know. It is hard — it is hard to know what to make of this. Some people will say, as Trump says, 'Oh, I was only joking when I said all of that stuff.' But the truth of the matter is that he does this all of the time, and talks about how wonderful he is, and if you recall during his speech at the convention when he talked about the problems the country was facing he was saying 'I alone can fix it.'"

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Trump promises vets he won’t use his campaign slogan — then blurts it out seconds later

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While talking with veterans on Wednesday, President Donald Trump vowed that he would not politicize the event by reciting his 2020 campaign slogan -- and then did it anyway just seconds later.

While addressing the American Veterans National Convention in Louisville, Kentucky, the president made light of the fact that he was not supposed to be using his speech to promote his reelection campaign and was only there to talk about his administration's work on behalf of veterans.

"In all things, we are putting our country first," the president said. "We are saying, let’s say 'Make America great again,' but we are almost there, 'Make America great again.' We may have to switch it. You know what we’re going to switch it to? Huh? Yeah? That is right. I will not say it here, because this is not a campaign speech."

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Eugene Robinson stunned by Trump’s rant: No ‘responsible’ world leader can trust a self-proclaimed ‘chosen one’

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Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson on Wednesday reacted to President Donald Trump's assertion that he is "the chosen one."

Trump made the remarks while taking questions on the White House lawn on Wednesday. The president suggested that he is "the chosen one" to take on China because he was elected by the American people.

Robinson suggested that Trump had undermined his own negotiating position.

"You get to the point where he looks at the sky and says I'm the chosen one," Robinson said following Trump's remarks. "You get to that point and you cannot -- I don't see how any responsible leader could say this is a guy I could count on."

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