Leading news of the day: Phony vs. real

Even regular and thoughtful news consumers might think that the most pressing issues facing the U.S. are Critical Race Theory and more generally how public schools teach history and social studies; the conservative "parents' rights" movement intent on banning books that might make students "feel bad" about themselves; the dangers of a resurgent "affirmative action" … Continue reading Leading news of the day: Phony vs. real

History may not repeat itself, but it does rhyme. Social workers, beware today’s drumbeat of war!

General Smedley Butler, a highly decorated U.S. Marines hero of the early twentieth century, is best known for his stinging antiwar screed, War Is A Racket (still in print, and still worth reading in its entirety). Less known is that Butler was also a true patriot who in Congressional testimony called out a 1934 conspiratorial … Continue reading History may not repeat itself, but it does rhyme. Social workers, beware today’s drumbeat of war!

CRT opponents fear the truth, because the truth is indeed “dangerous”

Mississippi evidently aims to join the wave of red state legislatures prohibiting the teaching of "critical race theory" in public schools of any kind, even though legislative sponsors cannot either define CRT, or identify any educational program actually teaching it. (See https://mississippitoday.org/2022/01/21/every-black-mississippi-senator-walked-out-as-white-colleagues-voted-to-ban-critical-race-theory/.) No matter: the political rightwing wants to crow about suppressing discussions of race, … Continue reading CRT opponents fear the truth, because the truth is indeed “dangerous”

It’s MLK Day, but why a “day of service” and not a day of “civil protest for justice”?

I feel annoyed every time I see a reference to "service" in honor of Martin Luther King Jr.'s life. Why? Certainly not because King himself was not a servant of justice. Indeed, just like the figure King followed, it was a service of ultimate sacrifice, service unto death. But King's variety of service was a … Continue reading It’s MLK Day, but why a “day of service” and not a day of “civil protest for justice”?

Mississippi social workers should beware a “generous” 2022 legislature

The Mississippi legislature seems hell-bent on achieving two major (and bipartisan) objectives - cutting incomes taxes and raising teacher pay. The time is right, according to the state's political leadership: The state is flush with (COVID-related) cash, the economy is doing (relatively) well, and sales tax revenue is flowing in significantly above projections. Everybody loves … Continue reading Mississippi social workers should beware a “generous” 2022 legislature

Social Work should help create a united front against rising American fascism

It becomes more clear every day that really bad things are going on in the American body politic. Even Joe Biden seems to get it, at last. After a year of silence on the Trump insurrection, punctuated by frequent encomiums to virtues of "bipartisan" governance, Biden's January 6th address called out Trump (albeit not by … Continue reading Social Work should help create a united front against rising American fascism

The future of U.S. social welfare policy is looking pretty grim right now

Elation over the election of Joe Biden on a relatively progressive social welfare agenda, barely a year ago now, has given way to deepening despair over the future of the U.S. social safety net. As 2021 comes to its dreadful Omicron close, Biden's ambitious "Build Back Better" family and worker-friendly agenda seems headed for the … Continue reading The future of U.S. social welfare policy is looking pretty grim right now

NASW-MS chapter’s social justice committee declares that “social work is political”

The Mississippi NASW chapter's social justice committee hosted its second topical Zoom forum last evening under the heading, "social work is political." It just may have set the stage for some of the most important discussions that Mississippi social workers and students have had in a long while. Four panelists - Kathryn Rehner-Sullivan, government affairs … Continue reading NASW-MS chapter’s social justice committee declares that “social work is political”

Rittenhouse trial outcome and the violent right’s presumptive “license to kill”

Opinions about last week's jury trial exoneration of Kyle Rittenhouse on murder charges, stemming from shooting and killing two Kenosha, Wisconsin Black Lives Matter protesters, are all over the map. I surely won't attempt to catalog them here, or try to discern which opinions have merit, and which do not. (There's a virtual river of … Continue reading Rittenhouse trial outcome and the violent right’s presumptive “license to kill”

Biden’s social welfare policy agenda is rapidly nearing the vanishing point

It's a sad history, but it tells us everything we need to know about the prospects for substantial progressive change under the nation's current political leadership. An ambitious social spending bill addressing critical needs - for family support and reducing child poverty, for education, health care, jobs creation, and for making a start on addressing … Continue reading Biden’s social welfare policy agenda is rapidly nearing the vanishing point