I have been kinda quiet as authoritarianism and fundamentalism takes over our country. But it doesn’t mean I’ve been ignoring it. Rather I’m trying to collect my bearings, decide what to do next. I had genuinely hoped that this stuff would be a fad and fade away and I could go have a normal life, but it has not and now I cannot. Not like this. I profoundly misjudged the extent of it and how easily others would misunderstand and either dismiss or capitulate to this movement.
In case you didn’t know, we now have Mike Pence, a Christian patriarchalist/dominionist/reconstructionist as the VP of the United States, and Betsy DeVos, a former fundamentalist Christian homeschool mom and Christian charter school aficionado, heading up our department of education. In a lovely fundamentalist gesture of solidarity, he served as the tiebreaking vote on a someone roundly criticized as unqualified.
I really didn’t realize the DeVos news was going to hit me as hard as it did. I was trying to prepare. But it really did. I’m just imagining all the little children in underfunded public schools with peeling paint and teachers that feel more like babysitters, while others are in online charter schools, at computers all day, and or ones that could best be described as little Christian madrassas, and some really selfish already rich people getting more rich off of that. And things deregulated enough to where homeschooling is going to be able to be used to cover for even more abuse and neglect than it already does, and 20 years from now we’ll have a larger share of adults saying “I forgot my glasses” instead of admitting the truth, which is that they can’t read. Because our nation failed them. Like it failed me, when I was a homeschool kid and it did not guarantee my rights or ever acknowledge that they had been stolen. Like it silently failed so many others that I know and whose stories I have known and then pretended we didn’t exist. And it all just feels like a little much right now.
We have all the data in the world to point out why this course of action is wrong and this woman is wrong. But data and qualifications didn’t matter in this decision. They didn’t factor in. Neither did the pleas of countless voters around the nation to their representatives. Ideology and money did. The prospect of weakening teachers unions as a political tool did.
The children of today and tomorrow, the little humans that we are supposed to collectively form a nest around and guide into adulthood didn’t matter enough to do the right thing. And I am sad for all of us.
I want to rejoin the fight I started against this stuff. Because there are only two choices when confronted with it – succumb or struggle for a better life. There is no reasoning with them, no way to get through their self-sealing arguments or convince them to stop of their own accord. No way that they won’t think their view of the world is better than yours and won’t feel allowed to do just about anything to win it. It is pure power dynamics and they legit think they are doing it for Jesus and family.
I write this and think it sounds dramatic, wish it was hyperbole, some dystopian fiction, but in this case it’s not. It is real and it is here and it is now made the formal head of all of America’s public schools. It’s no longer an extreme homeschool subculture for some to snark and gawk at and commiserate about from a safe distance, but a thing every single one of you now face along with me, and I have already faced before.
I hope to be blogging more in the coming days, sharing more about what I see and know with old and new readers interested in this threat taking over our nation, emperiling our freedom and our children’s futures.