Friday, February 09, 2007

My Critic Makes A Serious Charge

Part Three
(Read Parts One & Two)

Ms. Stark, the blogger responsible for Find Me In Florida Again, has responded several times on her blog to my posts here. As the argument is futile, I had no further plans to respond. This time, however, she has leveled a very serious attack against homeschooling. And on the off chance that anyone takes her seriously, I felt that I should at least address it.

Correct thy weather please

Ms. Stark has an unusual preoccupation with the weather in Florida being nice, and thinking that people only disagree with her because we're jealous that we don't live in Florida. I wish I could say I understood that, but I really don't.
Maybe it's you that's jealous, one readers wrote.
Nah, I don't think so.
Ok, just wait until I ask other writers about the negative points of homeschooling.

Have at it, I say! Most people don't have issues with homeschooling and the few who do are easily rebutted.

I have agreed that we are in the minority. Homeschoolers are currently comprised of just over 2% of American children. While the numbers grow yearly, as more people are realizing what homeschooling has to offer, it has never been the goal of homeschooling to be the majority. The goal of homeschooling parents has simply been to provide their children with a quality education and a strong family bond.
I have yet to hear from the African American community about this issue. I firmly believe that many of those homeschoolers are against people of color in the schools.
Otherwise prove it. Most of the time it is "not in my child's homeschooled backyard." And "blacks start allllll the fights".
Oh and what about other groups? I have yet to hear from others.

This is where I draw the line in the sand. Ms. Stark, in the absence of any substantive argument, begins slinging mud at homeschoolers and accusing us of racism. An attack, which, very often must be disproven rather than proven as she points out herself saying "otherwise prove it". It is the argument of a desperate woman, but I feel compelled to defend homeschoolers everywhere.
I have no doubt that there are a few racist homeschoolers. Sadly, racism exists all over this country. There are racists in public schools, private schools, homeschools, churches, and many other institutions. Racism as a whole, however, is not nor has never been the primary reason to homeschool in the United States. Ms. Stark, if you'd like to hear from those others, as you say, I'd have you start with The National African-American Homeschool Alliance where I'm certain you can hear from the African-American community. In fact nearly every possible minority has a homeschooling association including Hispanic-Americans, Japanese-Americans, and Native-Americans. I also offer you this article I found, entitled "Dispelling the Stereotype of Ethnic Prejdice in Homeschooling
" by Hank P. Kraycher. In it, he chronicles the changes in homeschooling, and why the charge of racism is unfounded. It seems that the charge of racism stems from a few public schooling advocates in an effort to discredit the homeschooling movement. I don't feel the need to attack the public school system which I believe is another valid choice for education, but if you want to discuss racism, you'll have to be willing to face the long history that has existed within that system. "Separate but Equal", anyone?
Racism is a serious charge, Ms. Stark. I suggest that if you have any real evidence that homeschoolers as a whole are racist, you show it. If not, I will continue to believe that you are simply grasping at straws, looking for anything you can to tarnish our image. And shame on you for that. Racism is an insidious beast in this country. One that has caused immeasurable grief and pain. One that the vast majority of homeschoolers want nothing to do with. To throw out an attack like that when baseless and unwarranted is more than unfair, it's despicable.

And from now on you will get rejected unless you state your name and city.

And from now on, your attacks will go unanswered unless you offer more than your feelings and give some actual evidence. If you want to set yourself up as an authority, Ms. Stark, you should act like one. Do some research and put some meat into your argument.

Again, I ask my readers to pray for this woman, who has decided that it's open season on brothers and sisters in Christ if they disagree with her. I believe we must pray for those like her, that we may ultimately be reconciled and the body made stronger.

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