The list of innocuous things that are now racist has grown by one – I’m afraid to inform you that our betters have decided homeschooling is racist.
So says the latest missive from MSNBC.
The far-left outlet tweeted an op-ed written by Anthea Butler that warns homeschooling is merely a conduit to “dismantle the public education system,” being carried out by uncouth Christians. Who of course, you guessed it, are racist.
This warning comes on the heels of conservative Christian actor Kirk Cameron’s announcement of his documentary titled ‘The Homeschool Awakening.’
It may seem harmless, but the insidious racism of the American religious right’s obsession with homeschooling speaks volumes, writes @AntheaButler.
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) May 13, 2022
Predictably, Ms. Butler makes allusions connecting homeschooling to racism, which is also closely tied to Christianity, if you were to believe everything you read.
Ms. Butler’s claims and connections she loosely ties to homeschooling are poorly done and lack objective substantive analysis. But for fun, let’s go ahead and break down her claims.
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Everything Is Racist
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One of Butler’s main points surrounds a connection between racism and homeschooling. Her arguments touch on creating “segregation academies” that popped up after Brown v. Board of Education. She also claims that school vouchers and the appointment of Betsy DeVos by President Trump were all signs of how the homeschool movement is racist.
DeVos is insidiously speaking out against Critical Race Theory, you see. (Hey, weren’t they just telling us that schools weren’t teaching that??)
Connecting events in the mid-1950s (which for those of you counting was 70 years ago) and attacking school choice under the umbrella of homeschooling is a stretch.
Shockingly, racist homeschooling was given a boost by the pandemic. Gaze upon the horror:
“Cameron’s documentary furthers the long-term goal of America’s religious conservatives to dismantle the public school system by promoting homeschooling, an idea that grew in popularity during the pandemic among parents who wanted to make sure their children kept up academically and avoided the coronavirus.”
Parents keeping their kids safe and educated is a very dangerous new avenue in racism!
To give her a bit of credit, she does provide a tiny nod to the increase in homeschooling among minority families during the pandemic.
“Some of that increase may be attributed to black parents and other diverse groups who are now finding homeschooling as an attractive alternative.”
According to the Census Bureau, black homeschoolers increased between Spring and Fall of 2020 from 3.3% to 16.1%. That’s a five-fold increase. So it’s fair to say that she understates the pull of black families to homeschooling.
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Those Pesky Christian Right-wingers Trying to ‘Indoctrinate’ Their Children!
It’s a problem if parents are interested in providing a Christian perspective or worldview to their children. So much so that it borders on indoctrination. So Ms. Butler closes her op-ed with this warning:
“…parents unfamiliar with the existing networks of homeschooling run the danger of being drawn into Christian conservative networks and theocratic teaching.”
Maybe instead of demonizing conservative Christian themes, it would be better to try to understand why they are appealing to so many people.
We are not a devout Christian family or religious. However, my husband and I believe that there is something out there greater than us and that that thing, be it God or whatever, is what gives us hope. It drives us to be better than we were the day before and acknowledge that we are flawed creatures, but that isn’t an excuse to not do good and strive for greatness.
I just don’t understand how I can cook dinner, sew KKK hoods, homeschool, go to secret yoga QAnon meetings AND now make my own baby formula on top of it. Being a right wing extremist under the guise of “motherhood” is tough.
— Meghan Maureen (@Keggs719) May 11, 2022
A lot of conservative Christian themes follow that same concept. And the reason why it is so appealing is that it’s full of hope and positivity.
There is something about God and the Bible that speaks to my daughter personally. She feels something safe and good about learning about God. That doesn’t mean she isn’t a critical thinker and doesn’t ask tough questions. Any given day, we are asked,
“Why would Jesus not fight the soldiers when they made him carry the cross?”
“Why would God make an apple forbidden fruit? Apples are delicious. He should’ve picked something gross, like cauliflower.”
The War Against Homeschooling Is An Old War
Homeschool parents have had to face an onslaught of attacks since before COVID. However, with parents forced into homeschooling thanks to teachers’ unions ensuring extended closed public schools, it has intensified.
Elizabeth Batholet, a Harvard Law School Professor, called for an all-out ban on homeschooling in May 2020. She claimed that homeschooled students are less likely to receive a “meaningful education.”
Just to be counted: I was homeschooled from grade 6 to 12.
I got a 1510 on the SAT, went to college, met my wife there, got married, had seven kids, became a Director of Global Pricing, have earnings in the top 10%, had a novel published, homeschool my own kids.
— Brendan Hodge (@Brendan_m_Hodge) May 10, 2022
This is because she believes parents aren’t smart enough or capable enough to teach their children. An argument many of us homeschool families face regularly.
The reality couldn’t be any different. According to the National Home Education Research Institute, homeschoolers score 15% to 30% higher on tests than public school students.
Furthermore, 24.5% of homeschool students enroll in grade levels at least one step above their age group.
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Why Do Families Prefer Homeschooling?
Famed feminist columnist Jill Filipovic tweeted an attack on the homeschool world that garnered significant attention.
“Right-wing groups love to push homeschooling because it helps keep kids away from material that might challenge their conservative worldview. It keeps women out of work and in the home. It’s a pretty transparent set of motivations, not good for women or children.”
Yet another example of broad strokes being brushed across homeschool families. We are not closed-minded because we prefer our children to learn core subjects versus gender ideology and critical race theory.
Fairfax Public Schools consider rule suspending students for ‘malicious misgendering’ I personally do not understand why parents that see all the stuff going on do not get their children out of public school and put them in the homeschool permanently…
— Jim johnson (@Jimjohn60958261) May 16, 2022
It’s further insulting that a feminist believes that only the mother can homeschool their children. My husband is the primary caregiver of our children.
I work two jobs and am the breadwinner of my family. My husband homeschools our children and is an artist. Shockingly, we are also conservative. I know… how progressive of us!
Read More About Why We Homeschool Here
Get a Grip
Ms. Filipovic ended her Twitter rant as follows :
“This is a pet issue of mine and some day I’ll write about it at length, but the whole conversation about homeschooling would go very differently if we believed children had a right to a high-quality education – or if we believed children had rights at all, separate from parents.”
I couldn’t agree more. If we believed our younger generations of leaders and creators deserve the best education we can provide, then a discussion on school choice to include homeschooling would be accepted and facilitated.
Watch how fast liberals would start calling for homeschool if teachers started teaching girls to be great wives
And boys to be great husbands
— Chandler Crump (@realCCrump) May 13, 2022
I certainly don’t speak for all homeschool families. Still, if I could, I would tell Ms. Butler, Professor Batholet, Ms. Filipovic, and other skeptics to get a grip.
We aren’t crazy racist Christians who want to lock our children away in our houses and teach them only to churn butter and obey their husbands when they grow up.
We are parents fed up with the below-average performance of public schools, disgusted with the lack of safety and justice in our school systems, and want a better future for our kids.
I look forward to reading what Ms. Filipovic writes in the future on this subject.
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