Dr. Jim West (remember him?) wants us to ponder the racist roots of homeschooling by reading an editorial at the Baptist Center for Ethics, entitled, Is Racism at Heart of the Disdain for Public Schools?:
As slavery was at the heart of the founding of the Southern Baptist Convention in 1845, racism was at the heart of the beginnings of the anti-public school movement and the founding of the Christian academies in the 1960s. Denial of either engages in historical revisionism and moral dishonesty.
Of course, we get nothing solid to support this broad accusation, just a history of segregation, integration, and the creation of some private schools in the Nashville, TN, area.The author of this editorial engages in some wild logical leaps:
Twenty years after the rush to build Christian schools, race remains a dominant issue in Nashville’s education system. Minority enrollment in the prominent Christian academies is generally between 3 percent and 6 percent.If race were not an issue in these schools, why would minority enrollment be so low when the minority population is so much higher?
Get it? Race is an issue, because the minority population is so low. And by “race is an issue,” I assume he means “these schools are racist.”Here’s another assertion unencumbered by any supporting evidence or rigorous logic:
One can’t understand southern Christianity and the disdain for public education without recognizing the role of racism.
Nice broad-brush strokes there, Mr. Parham. Oh, wait! He has an escape clause:
Not all Christian school parents and homeschoolers are racists (and not all public school parents are free from racism).
Sorry, sir. These little qualifiers near the end of your piece hardly make up for its slanderous beginnings. If you think public schools deserve support, that’s fine. If you’re against the move in the Southern Baptist Church to encourage removal from public schools, all well and good.But don’t impugn the motives of those who choose other educational paths for their children, unless you have much more to go on.