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Published April 06, 2012 More Info »
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Published April 06, 2012

Slavery ’Rithmatic

Jim McPartland

 

In a landmark decision (Dembi v. Gwinnett County), the Supreme Court has ruled 5 to 4 that slavery may be used in math tests and examples. Justice Antonin Scalia, writing for the majority, noted that using “cross teaching of subjects like math, social studies, science, foreign languages and the Bible,” was effective and could save “countless wasted school hours better left to the farm.” Justice Clarence Thomas added, “Sure, it’s a sore subject with me but it’s hard enough to get kids in these types of areas to go to school, never mind doing homework. If teachers can write questions which motivate them to learn math without calculators or history without Wikipedia, we need to pursue those avenues. Slavery is something they need to recognize as being part of their past and constructive dialogs can even debate its use in the future.”

Republican heavyweight Newt Gingrich, who is well supported in rural Georgia, echoed the sentiment, “It’s high time we acknowledge the value slaves provided. They worked hard.They were loyal. They got free room and board. It’s that type of forward thinking that can help us in many of today’s welfare system challenges.”

A new group founded by a collaboration of teachers and business leaders has formed—Scholastic Libraries and Vadelect Educators (SLAVE). J. Q. Adams, a local planter and acting SLAVE ambassador, added, “Past generations learned more by a candle, sipping the hot cider Mammy made them. After a long day of giving constructive ‘criticism’ in the field to their ‘adoptive families,’ they found out the true value of chain links and shackles. It was worth any collateral damage. I personally think chains would be a great tool in the classroom now as a natural method to control bullying.”

 

Here are examples from this year’s National Scholastic Exam for 3rd Graders:

1) During its voyage from Ghana, the slave vessel Work Til Ya Drop was close to sinking from being overweight. If there were 457 ‘volunteers’ in transit and each one weighed an average of 137 pounds (without the 10-pound loin cloths 63 of them wore), how many need to be given their ‘freedom’ by being allowed to exit the ship 245 miles out at sea?

Extra credit: Explain why you might ‘escort’ children off first.

 

2) Franklin was whipped 49 times for eating an apple while picking. If there were 83 apples on the tree, how many times would Franklin have been struck if he’d eaten all of them?

Extra credit: If Franklin were beaten with a scourge whip, providing 4.95 times more gashes than a regular whip, would he have survived if his bleeding is A+C=B x 2?

 

3) Toby, by his master’s orders, has to dig up a 3-ton ledge using just his hands. If he applies Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, how long will it be before he crushes a finger and is hanged for disobedience?

 

4) Aaron had half his foot chopped off for trying to escape the plantation last year. Today he was caught taking two loaves of stale bread. If he has three fingers pruned from his left hand, how many cotton plants will need to be picked by someone else if Aaron averages 1,783 in a 16-hour day?

Extra credit: Explain if Aaron were picking tobacco instead, how he could keep up his productivity utilizing an ox cart, hangman’s noose, and Miss Mary’s bloomers.

 

5) Young 14-year-old Martha has to sleep and ‘satisfy’ her 60-year-old owner, Count Bation. If the 32-year-old son of Bation also wants ‘satisfaction’ three times per week at 7-½ minutes per ‘gratification,’ how many mulatto children is Martha likely to have by age 16? (assume normal fertility cycle)

Extra credit: Write a story of how Martha dies in childbirth, and tell which of her sisters acquires Master Bation as a chore.

 

6) George Washington is the father of our country. He also is the father of 13 offspring by 9 different ‘maids.’ If three of the children have the same mother, what are the chances ‘Betsy’ has two of them?

Extra credit: Give all the children different names using all five vowels.

 

The Republican controlled House of Representatives has already passed a bill that would tie 40% of federal funding to schools, based on the results of the tests. “This levels the playing field” commented Speaker John Boehner. “Slaves had free health care, food, and a roof over their heads. I imagine most of our homeless and unemployed veterans would kill for the same opportunity.”

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