Poll says that 56% of Americans don’t want kids taught Arabic numerals. We have some bad news

Data can be soul-crushing. While sometimes numbers communicate exactly what you’d like to hear, polling isn’t for the faint of heart, especially when it comes to polls that reveal a lot about your peers. Like, for example, the 60% of white men who voted for Trump—or, for that matter, the 47% of white women.

Anyway. A more recent poll suggests that 56% of Americans are not only ignorant but probably also prejudiced. Why? Let’s look at some results from CivicScience Inc., a research firm based in Pittsburgh. And try not to laugh at the results!

Their CEO, John Dick, tweeted the following visual of the results of what should have been a simple question on Twitter. Unsurprisingly, people loved (and hated) it.

For some context: CivicScience polled more than 3,200 Americans in this survey. The general topic was math instruction, which seems like it wouldn’t be controversial. Perhaps it would reveal some hard feelings about geometry, but nothing too attention-grabbing, right? Wrong!

Let’s start with the good. 29% of respondents said that Arabic numerals should be taught in schools. That’s great, because they already are!

16% had no opinion on the subject. That’s … odd, but okay.

An astounding 56% of Americans said Arabic numerals should not be taught in American schools.

Arabic numerals. Which are, you know, the ones we use. 

Is there an explanation that doesn’t have to do with bigotry? I think not. Islamophobia is a huge problem in the U.S. My guess (and the only explanation I can gather) is that people read “Arabic” and immediately went negative. Gross.

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4 Comments on "Poll says that 56% of Americans don’t want kids taught Arabic numerals. We have some bad news"

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Darrell Sidney
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Darrell Sidney

This is truly depressing news. Fifty-six percent of our fellow citizens are so ignorant, they don’t know that they have been using arabic numerals since childhood. It’s either the system of education or the incredible lack of interest in learning anything.

That goes a long way toward explaining the election of sTrumpet in 2016.

David
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David

Anythings with the name Arab freaks out Trump and his imbecilic supporters – that includes his Republican thugs. What does that enlightened Betsy de Vos have to say about this?

Independent
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Independent

Are these the same people who cannot read cursive writing?

David
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David

Roman numerals will soon be back in vogue.