Stevie Gibbs, Campus Reform, April 23, 2022
Did a recent physics study argue that whiteboards are racist?
“Observing Whiteness in Introductory Physics: A Case Study” was published last month in Physical Review Physics Education Research. The study observed three students as they worked to solve a physics problem and analyzed how “whiteness” is present in academia.
The study found that whiteboards can have racist undertones and perpetuate whiteness.
Seattle Pacific University Research Associate Professor of Physics Amy Roberton served as lead author. W. Tali Hairston, director of community organizing, advocacy, and development at Seattle Presbytery, served as the co-author.
Hairston told Campus Reform that although whiteboards “are not inherently racist,” the common classroom object can perpetuate racism.
“Whiteboards can be racist like how housing, employment, and the judicial systems were found to contain racist practices,” Hairston stated.
“Our findings support other studies that have found the study of physics to include racism and sexism,” Hairston added.