I often blame my abysmal math skills for missing a crucial week of long division instruction in fourth grade. Beaten down by a virus, I never caught up and I still suck at math to this day.
But young students in Florida’s public schools will now have an even better excuse not to learn math: their governor has decided it’s too gay and racist in reverse.
In his continued quest to appear as dumb as a box of Indian River tangelos, Governor Ron DeSantis approved the removal of a whopping 54 math textbooks used in (mostly) elementary school classrooms because, he says, they contain gender-abundant math problems. issues and critical race theory.
No examples were cited, but you can just take his word for it.
Remember when we laughed at “Florida man” stories? Oh, so quaint, these stories of various residents who… while NUDE, stole and crashed a police car… smeared poop on a neighbor’s “Be Kind” sign… claimed to own Google… charged cash for being an alleged ‘monkey whisperer’…turned an uncle’s skeleton into a ‘skelecaster’ guitar…claimed in a DUI stop that his passenger was an ’emotional support python’ “…wore women’s underwear over her face as a mask when boarding a commercial flight…Ahhhh, it was so innocent, good times in comparison.
We now know that the quintessential Florida man is… the governor. I admit I was taken aback by his Ivy League upbringing and even beat that dead horse a few weeks ago in this very space, but readers took me to task: education doesn’t not guarantee wisdom, Florida readers have repeatedly pointed out via email.
And then they all got high on bath salts and bit my face.
I wasn’t surprised at all when bogus conservatives like DeSantis wanted to ban library books. It’s quite predictable, because nothing says “I’m a dumbbell” more convincingly than collecting acclaimed literature and setting it on fire in the garden barrel with Lil Debbie’s boxes, ain’t- it not?
But math textbooks? Wow. It’s a twisted lowest common denominator thing right there. Didn’t see that coming. It’s one thing to denigrate a book full of Pulitzer Prize-winning words by someone like Toni Morrison, but MATH textbooks? It seems a bit overkill. Because no believable example has been provided, I can only speculate how it is possible to object to math problems.
But whenever I try to imagine offensive math problems, I find something more like…
“John and Mary each want to buy an ice cream cone at Ye Olde Sweet Shoppe, but John says his dad says the ‘e’ at the end of Olde and Shoppe sounds a bit gay to him. How many seconds should it be before Mary tells John he’s a homophobic idiot and leaves him sitting there while she gets her own ice cream? »
Maybe it was more like that…
“Britney’s parents are concerned that their third-grade student is reading a math problem that explores the fundamentals of critical race theory, which examines the impact of racism in areas such as the legal system, opportunities for housing and access to education. If Britney’s parents, who honestly haven’t read a book since middle school, are suddenly experts on a complicated social issue, how many hours a day do you think they spend watching Tucker Carlson each week? If you guessed “Well, erry dang the weather is of course!” you all get an A plus.
How about a twist on that old chestnut?
If 100 protesters block the entrance to Disney World because they believe Disney is a cult of pedophiles whose mascot mouse sends subliminal messages to encourage children to become gay, how many times am I going to bang my head against my desk in frustration because IT REALLY HAPPENED before I passed out?
Celia Rivenbark is a best-selling NYT author and columnist. His email is [email protected].