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MSNBC warns of the insidious racism behind the American religious right's 'obsession' with homeschooling

Back in 2020, we did a post on a piece published in Harvard Magazine in which Professor Elizabeth Bartholet argued for a “presumptive ban” on homeschooling. For one thing, she said it violated children’s rights to an education. After all, in some states, parents “can homeschool who’ve never gone to school themselves, who don’t read or write themselves.” But that wasn’t the only objection: “… surveys of homeschoolers show that a majority of such families (by some estimates, up to 90 percent) are driven by conservative Christian beliefs, and seek to remove their children from mainstream culture.” Bartholet noted that some of these parents are “extreme religious ideologues” who question science and promote female subservience and white supremacy.


In public schools, Karens like Bartholet can better ensure that “children grow up exposed to community values, social values, democratic values, ideas about nondiscrimination and tolerance of other people’s viewpoints.”

Less than a year later, Chad Felix-Greene posted a great thread on the same theme:

Fast-forward to 2022, and here’s MSNBC saying that while the American religious right’s “obsession” with homeschooling “may seem harmless,” it actually isn’t, and is driven by “insidious racism.”

Anthea Butler, author of “White Evangelical Racism: The Politics of Morality in America,” writes:

It should come as no surprise that evangelicals, fundamentalists and other religious conservatives have fought against public education since the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1954 decision in Brown v. Board of Education. The prospect of integrated schools led to the creation of many “segregation academies,” private schools designed to keep African American children and undesirable immigrant groups away from white children. But there was another, more insidious way to circumvent integration: homeschooling.

This dismantling [of the public school system] has taken shape over the years in various ways: in segregation academies, in school vouchers, in attempts to dismantle the U.S. Department of Education and even with former President Donald Trump’s appointment of Betsy DeVos to lead that department. Now that her time in government is done, DeVos is speaking at homeschooling conventions, to promote homeschooling and to disparage critical race theory and other “detriments to education.”


Alternate headline: Although the liberal left claim to oppose homeschooling on the grounds that it deprives public schools of much-needed funds, it’s really their obsession with a conservative theocracy that speaks volumes.”

Butler actually acknowledges that black parents are beginning to homeschool, but “some parents have expressed frustration with conservative Christian materials for homeschooling, which drive the current marketplace.” Citation needed.


Again, please Democrats, take Terry McAuliffe’s advice and run on parents having no input into their children’s public school education. And be sure to call homeschoolers racists.



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