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Thread: "This Country of Ours" by H.E. Marshall racist?

  1. #21
    President, Lampstand Press
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    162
    Originally posted by ALB:
    UPDATE:

    Here is the message that has just been posted on the WTM board:
    ***************

    This thread has immediately gone off topic and will now be closed. If you'd like to try again, you may.

    While we completely understand why other boards have different policies, discussion of specific curricula and programs is encouraged on our boards. That includes criticisms of SOTW, TWTM and other books written by Jessie and Susan. It is our policy that books offered for sale to the general public should be open to public critique. This only strengthens the offerings available to home educators.

    However, the discussion should center around the books, not around personalities or the intentions of those who use/offer them.

    Administrator
    I would like to point out that we have the self-same policy. We allow criticisms of TOG and our book choices here, as long as the discussions are informed and constructive. We did not feel that Bill's comments were either, thus we suspended him. He spoke at length with Scott on the phone, to his credit, and after they were done, he asked to be reinstated here. We have done this, and have given some guidelines as to the kinds of posts that would warrant his permanent suspension. Our goal is not to silence critics--far from it. But neither will we stand idly by and allow individuals to disturb the peace of the TOG community.

    Thanks, everyone, for your support. Dana and Scott did outstanding jobs, I believe, in well representing our Savior. As with every resource that we use and recommend, we will continue to scrutinize This Country of Ours in light of Bill's concerns, but will also balance them with other priorities that our customers have voiced.

    I think we can now put this topic to bed, ladies, and get on with summer activities!
    Blessings,
    Marcia

    No one can do me a greater kindness in this world than to pray for me.
    --Charles Spurgeon

  2. #22
    Scott,

    I very much enjoyed our telephone conversation yesterday and I appreciate your having taken the time to speak with me directly on this matter.

    On my end, I heard that you have a strong commitment to social justice and an abhorrence of bigotry and racism (in any form), and that was, and is, cheering news.

    I understand that my questioning what motives a homeschool publisher might have in including a work like This Country of Ours caused you great offense and made you angry with me. I appreciate your allowing me the opportunity to explain myself publicly on your forum.

    On my end, there is an important distinction between questioning “why” a publisher would use a book like TcoO and calling someone a “racist.” For the record, I never called you, your family, or TOG racists.

    The work by H E Marshall, on the other hand, does contain a level of racism and bigotry that, in my considered opinion, makes it highly unsuitable for use as a history text for children.

    I am, however, sensitive enough to realize that a distinction between questing the motives of another and charging them directly (which seems clear and large in my mind) might seem rather-more narrow (or even non-existent) were the shoe on the other foot.

    In that light, let me say that I am sorry for any pain my words may have caused you, your family or the community of TOG users.

    When you have the opportunity to read This Country of Ours I think you will have a better comprehension of why I raised the issue in the first place, and why my passion showed. This, I imagine has not been an easy episode for either of us. Who likes to feel that their character has been besmirched? And at this point, I think we have both feel the pain of feeling mischaracterized by others.

    You mentioned in our conversation that sometimes it is our enemies that keep us honest (or was it make us grow?). In either case, my hope is we emerge from this encounter not as enemies, but as odd-partners in making the world a better place.

    I do regret the conversation we had yesterday wasn’t the starting off point in that partnership, and there the burden falls entirely on me. Mea Culpa.

    Again, thank you for the opportunity to publicly respond on your forum. And all the best in your future endeavors.


    Bill

  3. #23
    President, Lampstand Press
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    162
    Originally posted by solamichella:
    I would also like to point out that SpyCar does not home school, nor is he a Christian. He has one child who attends a private school. Why he has this sudden, intense interest and in a home school curriculum he'd never consider using to begin with makes me wonder about HIS motives.

    I also am a member "over there" and do not agree with his views. For him to claim "everyone" agrees with him is about as arrogant a claim as I've ever seen him make. I have used TCoO and have used TOG in the past. I think TOG is a fine curriculum and have suggested it to people often. I find his attempt to slander the Somervilles and their product to be reprehensible.
    Thanks for your support and opinion.

    However, one caution, if I may...

    The facts that Bill is not a homeschooler or a Christian do not disqualify him from having an opinion of a book, or of our curriculum, in our view. These facts simply give us pause in crediting Bill's opinion as settled fact. We would not want to lower the tone of this board by engaging in personal attacks here, so let's just let this topic quietly drop, please! We feel that the Lord is aware of our heart motives and efforts on behalf of the homeschooling community, and would like to get on with the great and real business of serving you!
    Blessings,
    Marcia

    No one can do me a greater kindness in this world than to pray for me.
    --Charles Spurgeon

  4. #24
    President, Lampstand Press
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    162
    As I was writing the above, Bill posted the gracious response above. We are so grateful to God to see peace resulting from yesterday's turmoil. We think this is a fitting place to close this discussion.

    We Somervilles fully accept Bill's apology, and look for good things as we interact in the future. May God keep us close to Him and to one another, building bonds of peace, as we walk the road of life together in the future.

    This topic is now closed.
    Blessings,
    Marcia

    No one can do me a greater kindness in this world than to pray for me.
    --Charles Spurgeon

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