Do You Have to Be Educated in Social Justice to Help Needy People?

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America has a large number of people who need help – those with mental and physical disabilities that keep them from living well on their own.  And we have always had large numbers of people eager to provide them with help.

Back during the Great Depression, no one asked people who volunteered to help in soup kitchens if they were committed to social justice or had the appropriate college credentials for the work. Today however, the notion that the correct kind of college study is essential for social work has taken hold, a testament to the nation’s infatuation with educational credentials.

If you doubt that, read this article in University Business by James Martin and James Samels.

“Driven by doing good and doing well,” they write, “higher education has a special mission to educate the next generation of Social Justice Warriors.”  (Italics in original.)  The term “Social Justice Warrior” was coined as a pejorative comment on zealous college kids whose lives are wrapped up in leftist ideology; it’s interesting to note that progressives now seem to have adopted it.

All of those warriors, the authors continue, “will be educated, empowered, and self-motivated to advocate for equal rights, opportunities, and privileges – welcoming everyone to citizenship, colleagueship, and civic compassion.”

And there we see that in the minds of these people, helping the needy primarily entails political activism. Social Justice Warriors advocate governmental policies that, leftists believe, make things more equal. Capitalism and free markets are the bad guys to them.

Taking the right college courses and degrees can help to make you effective in pushing leftist ideology. The authors lavish praise on Southern Connecticut State University (SCSU) for its commitment to educating “principled social workers who promote social activism, social change, and social justice.” The university offers undergraduate, graduate, and now doctoral degrees in Social Justice.

That’s a lot of courses to master the progressive catechism.

We probably do need social workes in hospitals, schools, colleges, municipalities, and family social service organizations. But why must they be SJW types, imbued with leftist theory on the supposed need for government intervention to alleviate the problems of our society?

Couldn’t a non-leftist who happens to care about needy people become a social worker, complete with college degree?

Let’s imagine that a student taking a Social Work course at SCSU were to speak up in class and register his dissent from the idea that government can and should play a role in promoting equality. What would probably happen would be similar to a student who was studying social work at Rhode Island College several years ago, Bill Felkner. He declined to do a course assignment that required him to lobby the state legislature on behalf of some “progressive” cause. Because he declined, he had his degree withheld. (I wrote about his case in this piece.)

SJW professors – and SCSU presumably has many – are notoriously intolerant of dissenting opinions.

Connecticut is a state with a terrible budgetary problem, so you have to wonder if the taxpayers are really in support of this school’s social justice obsession. In the University Business article linked above, we also learn that last year the university hosted Social Justice Week: “campus-wide events included a conversation exploring social justice, an experiential journey with Dr. Mykee Fowlin, a performance by Step Up Afrika! and a Social Justice Retreat….”

If I lived in the Nutmeg State, I’d complain that my tax dollars were being wasted at SCSU.

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