A couple of weeks ago Social Work Helper’s founding editor, Deona Hooper, published a response to an article that appeared on Social Justice Solutions, and you can read it here. What follows is my response to a post in the SWH Facebook forum. I was dismayed by the tone of the comments to the article and how no one was backing up what they were saying with facts. Below is me pleading with commenters to back what they say in professional forums with reliable sources.
I am disappointed that no one here is backing up what they are saying with sources. In fact few of you seem to be engaging in an intelligent and professional discussion on this topic. I realize that many commenting may not be social workers or policy analyst but for those that are, what gives? As social workers we need to back up what we advocate for with facts (evidence based practice) not our feelings.
Feelings aside, let’s talk facts. The author of the original article (Justin Nutt) is supporting policies that are not backed up by research. At least one of his statements is calling for the violation of peoples civil rights simply because they are poor which is most certainly not in keeping with social work ethics and values.
Voter ID laws: There are only a tiny number of actual voter fraud cases in the US. However, far more people are negatively affected by voter id laws (source). See that. I just included a link to a reliable source to back up my statement.
Reverse racism (homophobia, sexism, etc., etc.) is not a real thing. There are a million articles about this topic. If you are a social worker you should have read a few. Racism is institutional. In the United States if you are white, protestant, and a heterosexual man you have privilege. In fact you have a ton of privilege, because the institutions in this county were built for your benefit.
Hepshiba’s Pad. (2010, July 15). [Web log message]. Retrieved from
Fish, S. (1993, November 01). Reverse racism, or how the pot got to call the kettle black. The Atlantic, Retrieved from
Follow this blog http://sociolab.tumblr.com/ . It is run by a graduate student majoring in applied sociology. There are links to a lot of resources covering sexism, homophobia, hetrosexism, and racism. You will learn a lot from the posts.
“I believe guns reduce crime rather than increase it, and I sleep very well with a .45 in my night stand.” Except we have studies that disprove this view point.
Pinsky, S. (2014, February 22). [Web log message]. Retrieved from
Dahlberg, L. L. (2004). Guns in the home and risk of a violent death in the home: Findings from a national study. American Journal of Epidemiology,160(10), 929-936. Retrieved from
Gilson, D. (2013, January 31). 10 pro-gun myths, shot down. Mother Jones, Retrieved from
Drug testing welfare recipients: In this section of his article Justin is advocating for the government to violate welfare recipient’s constitutional rights. Forced drug tests without reasonable suspicion is an illegal search and seizure under the 4th amendment. The courts have ruled against mandatory drug test for welfare recipients.
Williamson, J. (2014, January 02). [Web log message]. Retrieved from
ACLU. (2013, December 31). Victory for privacy as federal court’s final order bars law requiring tanf applicants submit to suspicionless drug tests. Retrieved from
The main point I wanted to make in this post is that we are social scientists commenting in a professional social work forum. Wishy-washy comments like “both sides have a point” and “let’s agree to disagree” have no place. Be better than that.