a damn shame

Apparently there are more Americans who can name Simpsons characters than can name their First Amendment rights. That’s just pathetic (though, I suppose, not surprising). From the article:

Only one in four Americans can name more than one of the five freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment (freedom of speech, religion, press, assembly and petition for redress of grievances.) But more than half can name at least two members of the cartoon family, according to a survey.

It also notes that only one in one thousand could name all five rights. The study also found that people could name all the American Idol judges more than they could come up with even three of the rights. Ugh.

This isn’t surprising, given that only 29 states require high school students to take a government or civics class. Most other states include civics into regular social studies with standards being varied. However, learning about the Constitution as a part of American History is vastly different than a class that focuses on the government and how it works and what it means to be a citizen. Here is a database where you can compare all fifty states’ civics requirements.

People wonder why a lot of people don’t vote--it’s because of apathy through ignorance. It needs to change. I’m not sure what can be done with current set of adults but it can start with the younger generation through interesting and current government/civics classes that encourage involvement.

(el cross-posto)

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