Those of us who write and edit for SJS have a private chat set up and we talk almost every day about events, social issues, and blogs we might want to syndicate as a part of the news organization. As may be expected, or may not, some of these conversations turn political. A great number of those who are a part of Social Justice Solutions are from the East coast and also lean more to the liberal side; whereas I am a Kansan and tend to lean more to the conservative side. We can at times get into some pretty heated discussions, but there is always a mutual respect and understanding that each of us has the right to our opinions.
Yet there is one thing I find funny about the social work profession. Most social workers are liberals, and say that they feel everyone should be who they are; yet they condemn conservatives. They feel the issue is that there is too much standing in the way of helping those in need, and think the answer is the democratic approach of bigger government. They tell clients to look within to change the world then blame everything on the “evil” GOP. They worry about homelessness and joblessness, yet think we should have open borders.
As I said before I am not a Liberal or a Democrat. I think insurance is a person’s own responsibility, I think if you are here illegally you should be deported and not giving services. And, damn right, you need an ID to vote! I believe guns reduce crime rather than increase it, and I sleep very well with a .45 in my night stand. I believe that just because something negative is said about Obama, it doesn’t mean the person is a racist. Actually, saying it is a race issue creates racism (a dumbass is a dumbass no matter the color of their skin.) I believe if I need a drug test to get a job then those receiving government assistance should be required to take them, too. I think idea of raising minimum wage to $14 an hour is the dumbest damn thing I have ever read. I also believe abortion is acceptable, but that the current way it is used is not always the best practice.
I do feel that equality is a must in this world. Black or White, Christian or Muslim, man or woman, gay or straight; all of these are nothing but words. All men and women were created equal. If you want equality, it must be equal treatment across the board rather than one set of rules for the majority and a special set to keep the minority from feeling persecuted. All that does is serve to hold them back. That is a conservative view in my opinion; equality it the same treatment and rules for all. It is not a set of special rules to help others feel accepted.
I have often been condemned for these beliefs, and often told I clearly don’t understand social work or I am wrong for feeling how I do. When I was in my social work program, I tried to look at the world from the other point of view and tried to accept the liberal ideals, but this is who I am. Like it or leave it. I am more than a conservative though; my commitment in life is not to a political party, but to social justice.
The truth is that I accept that others have the right to feel as they do about issues, even if I disagree with their beliefs. But why say all this? Why did I air all of this out? Honestly, I was asked by Matthew Cohen, SJS CEO, to write about it and explain that social work is not about always being liberal. There are those of us who are conservatives who are in the profession as well. The long and short of the matter is that social work is about working together to improve the world. It is not about being a Democrat or a Liberal. No matter the party, that needs to be put aside. Even our personal beliefs at times are put aside so that we can do what is best for those we serve and ensure that there is equality and social justice in America. Social Work, like politics, is not about serving a party, but serving a person and the population we represent and work with and for.
Written by: Justin Nutt, LMSW, CSW
SJS Staff Writer/Clinical Editor