BPD Update Online, Winter 2001
Editor's Prerogative by Ralph Holcomb, rjholcomb@stthomas.edu
President's Report by Mit Joyner, mjoyner@wcupa.edu 610-436-2486
BPD Summer 2001 Summer Policy Fellow Award
BPD Institutional Response to the Proposed EPAS
BPD Institutional Response to the EPAS (cont)
BPD Institutional Response to the EPAS (cont)
BPD Institutional Response to the EPAS (cont)
BPD Institutional Response to the EPAS (cont)
BPDers Play a Role in APM's Media Technology Center
19th Annual BPD Conference
Nominations Committee Activity for 1999-2000
Photo Album, Page 1 - NOTE: High Resolution Photos
Photo Album, Page 2 - NOTE: High Resolution Photos
Photo Album, Page 1 - NOTE: Low Resolution Photos
Photo Album, Page 2 - NOTE: Low Resolution Photos
The Council of Presidents
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Editor's Prerogative by Ralph Holcomb, rjholcomb@stthomas.edu

A Cold Winter...

As everyone knows, our next president will be taking office despite having lost what we in America quaintly call the "popular vote," or what all other democratic countries simply refer to as "the vote." He has accomplished this feat through a series of maneuvers that are perfectly legal and certainly undemocratic. His team has succeeded in excluding inconvenient votes for the opposition by convincing an eager Supreme Court majority to believe the double curiosity of Florida Jews for Buchanan and Florida Blacks Too Dumb to Vote Correctly. The saddest fact is that most voters have a memory no longer than a Survivors TV sequence - who can recall the Clinton impeachment? Before the end of Bush's term we'll be teaching students who were in junior high when the Florida vote was contested.

Social work educators cannot afford to forget. For those who care about the poor, the disenfranchised, and the marginalized, the long cold winter is just beginning. We need to remind our students that the new president could go much further to insure a warmer reception next time he appears in front of the NAACP national convention, by convening a commission to investigate the election law loopholes and irregularities that helped earn him his new job. That way, he would wisely distance himself from the shame of his ascendancy and come clean to the African-American and Hispanic electorate, two groups who have shed blood to remind the majority that they too have the right to vote.

We can remind our students that much of this present mischief is the legacy of Newt Gingrich. He gave advanced seminars to willing Republicans and Democrats alike, teaching them how to inflame, divide, bully, and stonewall to get their way. The bickering and gridlock will only worsen in the next four years.

As teachers we can point out how the press has fallen all over itself to congratulate Bush for his Rainbow Coalition of cabinet Secretaries, accolades that ring with the same embarrassing self-congratulatory tone white decisionmakers too often use when they finally open the doors of power to a few people of color.

To give the new president his due, he has chosen to imitate his immediate predecessor's lead in diversity instead of his father's. But, as Lani Guinier once remarked, "The absence of diversity is a valid critique. But the presence of diversity is not a sufficient solution."

Dubya proposes a Cabinet that includes for DHHS Secretary my Wisconsin neighbor Tommy Thompson, who enthusiastically chopped welfare roles by 80% in the name of Personal Responsibility. His Interior Secretary is a disciple of James "Trees Cause Pollution" Watt - an oilman's dream come true. Attorney General designee John Ashcroft gave a psirited defense of Jefferson Davis during a mock trial of the [white] South just last year and firmly believes in women's right to legal abortion - as long as it's in Mexico or Canada. And he's on Bush's short list for the Supreme Court.

We can continue to remind our students that policy and practice are inextricably linked. Punitive policy begats punitive practice, where social workers become agents of repressive social control, instead of dvocates for inclusion. And we need to teach our students to bundle up for what looks like a long, cold winter, and fight for a new spring.

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