Beyond Single-Issue Homeschooling Politics
My support for single-issue politics makes me comfortable working with others who seek to keep homeschooling in a positive public light and avoid undue government regulation, and it makes me keep my personal politics and religious beliefs to myself as much as I can. However, there are issues facing us today that are larger than any single educational or regulatory issue homeschoolers face, namely racism and intolerance of people unlike ourselves. These issues need to be called out by all who support a free and just society
The BBC reports, “Hate crimes in the US rose 17% in 2017, the third straight year that incidents of bias-motivated attacks have grown, according to the FBI. … Crimes against Jewish Americans saw a notable increase of 37% over 2016. Jews have long been the highest targeted religion, as the acting attorney general noted in his statement.”
The Washington Post reports, “Crimes motivated by race or ethnicity bias are consistently the most common type of reported hate crime, and African Americans are the most targeted group, representing 23 percent of all hate crimes reported in major cities in 2017. Jews are consistently the most targeted religious group, and represented 19 percent of all hate crimes reported in major cities in 2017. … The primary targets, however, vary widely by metropolitan area, tending to correlate with local demographics, Levin said. For instance, in New York, home to the largest urban Jewish community in the country, the most commonly reported hate crimes targeted Jews. In the District of Columbia, home to one of the largest LGBTQ communities in the country, anti-sexual orientation crimes topped the list.”
While I was aware of the rise in hate crimes from national news, until recently I was not aware of how it has become okay for unschoolers to post hateful commentary about the LGBTQ community. The lack of empathy and understanding towards transgender people, in particular, is very disappointing to read. People whose sexual orientation is unconventional often find their school social lives to be difficult, if not dangerous, and to make them feel unwelcome in unschooling is wrong.
Particularly in this time when hatred of “others” is rising all around us, it will take extra effort to build homeschooling communities based on hope and trust in one another rather than on shame and fear. This is not easy to do, but if we can agree to work on our homeschooling issues despite our differences, there is hope we can work on our hateful issues too.