Thatmom has an excellent post about racism on her blog. I just commented:
Karen, thanks so much for this post. You've expressed the issue so well --- and you've inspired me to take a more "organized" approach in teaching my children about racism.
I am deeply grieved that certain homeschooling circles have shown themselves to be a haven for racists. It reminds me of the accusations leveled against the "Christian Day School Movement" years ago. Apparently when more and more schools were integrated by busing in children from different communities and ethnic groups, some churches quickly started their own private schools in order to be able to continue keeping their children isolated from other races. When I was in college and a friend of mine heard that my younger brother attended a church school --- and that I worked at that same school --- she was upset that I would participate in such a racist institution. I was shocked because this is the first time I'd ever heard about the racist beginnings of some church schools. Our own church school was quite diverse; in fact, I was able to quote the statistics off the top of my head because I had just finished an ethnographic study of the school population.
Fast forward quite a few years. When we first began homeschooling, two of the women in our small but growing ISP/support group were concerned that they were perceived as doing something that was "white". While they never felt anything but loving acceptance from us, it bothered them that the homeschooling movement was seen, especially by outsiders, as a mostly white, middle-class phenomena. I would hate to think that, for some people, that might be its main attraction.