Students in South Africa are embroiled in a “Fees Must Fall” protest, aiming to lower tuition fees and “decolonize” the nation’s schools. These protests are offshoots of the “Rhodes Must Fall” movement which aimed to get names of colonialists off school buildings.
At a meeting with the University of Cape Town science faculty, one of these “fallists” took the movement further demanding science too must fall.
“Decolonizing the sciences means doing away with it entirely and starting all over again, to deal with how to respond to environments and how we understand it, thank you,” she said.
Her general point was that because science was handed down to Africans as truths invented by white scientists, it is Eurocentric and oppressive. So get rid of that crap, and completely start over somehow by, I guess, finding a new equation for gravity or something. It’s like she believes all science was invented by white people, an idea which is ironically very colonialist.
“I have a question for all the science people,” she asked. “There is a place in KZN called Umhlab’uyalingana. They believe that through the magic — you call it black magic, they call it witchcraft — you are able to send lightning to strike someone. Can you explain that scientifically because it’s something that happens?”
The so-called scientists in the room were unable to answer the question.
Social media response to the #ScienceMustFall hashtag was swift and brutal, with many finding the idea so stupid, they just can’t go on living.
— Ot McKillerClownFace (@otterheadtweets) October 16, 2016