Tom Horne, Arizona's superintendent of public instruction, explains why he felt the ban was necessary: "I was shocked to learn that students at all levels were being taught with the numbers of our non-European enemies, who we are engaged in a multi-millennial existential struggle to the death with us in the War on Terror. Worse, these numbers are being used all over the country."
"If you look at this photo behind me of Osama bin Laden, you'll notice them squiggly lines in the background. Now I've been told those are actually Arabic letters, and we have absolutely no way of knowing what those letters say--hell, they might not even be spelling words in English. If our children are learning Arabic numerals, they could be passing terrorists messages without us knowing it right under our noses."
Arizona governor, Jan Brewer, fully supported Horne's move. "Superintendent Horne tells me that the Latin language, which has nothing to do with the hordes of Latin Americans swarming our borders but instead was the language of the great Caucasian Roman Empire, has a perfectly good set of numbers our teachers can begin using immediately, Roman numerals."
Bob Herman, a mudflap salesman in Tempe explains their concern. "The Roman Empire was great and all that, but didn't they roll around in the sheets with the Egyptians and Africans they conquered? Can we really be sure that those numerals were invented by a guy who was just, you know, European?"
Horne is looking to address this concern with DNA testing of ancient Romans. To prepare for the possibility of a multi-ethnic outcome, he is also scouting for backup numerals of Celtic, Viking, or at least Albino origin.
Boy, there's an "idea" from our XLVIIIth state that needs to be LXXXVIed toot de sweet, you should pardon my French.