Dr. Braveman's Comments Re "A Distorted Portrayal of Social Justice"
Published Dec 16, 2012  printer-friendly



[[[[[The response below was left by Dr. Braveman in the comments section of Volume Two of "A Distorted Portrayal of Social Justice in OTConnections"]]]]]] 
Brent Braveman
I am not going to take the time to respond to each point in your long essay. I will state that I do not believe it is fair or accurate as it only presents my posts and not both sides of the dialogue. My comments in the OT Connections discussion represent personal opinions and were not meant to be supported directly by the articles published in AJOT. The two are apples and bananas written for very different reasons. The abbreviated bibliography provided in one of my early responses was only to make a point in response to just one of multiple issues being discussed in the thread. Comparing my personal opinions against that bibliography or the articles in AJOT is not a fair and reasonable exercise in my opinion. If there are occupational therapy practitioners or students reading your essay, I would ask that they read the original discussion and draw their own conclusion about my opinions which are far from “academic” in the context of OT Connections. The discussion can be found here: 
I will share a reflection after reading your essay. 
The OT Connections discussion and your treatment of it serve as a lesson for practitioners, myself and others participating in an Online discussion forum like OT Connections. Occupational therapy is a small community and OT Connections has very limited participation in discussions. Frequently you are engaged with the same person in multiple discussions on different topics at the same time. It is easy to be lulled into a feeling of safety; to perhaps mistakenly and tacitly believe that your comments will be taken in stride, that if you make a mistake, need to back off a strong stance, are misunderstood or change your mind you can easily correct it. Because in many cases you are “talking” with people with whom you have a long history and are familiar with you personally or through previous interactions you can assume that they will give you the benefit of the doubt and understand your motivations and accept them as well meaning. 
The lesson and reminder is that in today’s world with Internet communication we need to be careful about such a feeling of safety when communicating Online. Once you post thoughts and opinions that might be off the cuff or made informally as if you were debating a concept over a cup of coffee or beer, they are permanently available. Such postings can later be used in part or whole by persons with varying intent and purposes. In retrospect I feel naïve to have not taken much more care to carefully craft my responses in this particular discussion. This is not further “equivocation;” I stand by the basis of the opinions I stated in the discussion. It is just a slight opening of the eyes and mind. Sadly, I realize that I will have to be much more careful about choosing my words in the future even on OT Connections. Losing that feeling of safety is just a little disappointing. Perhaps a footnote added to each post saying “Don’t hold me to this, I might think differently after a night’s sleep or after I learn something new!” LOL! It is a lesson for all of us who participate in Online forums like OT Connections. 
One other note. The Rawls citation in our AJOT article is an editorial error for which I apologize. The citation was meant to be a place holder that should have been removed before publication. The definition of distributive justice provided in quotes should have been attributed to the citation just before the quoted text (Longres & Scanlon, 2001) and the Rawls citation should have been removed. In the final stages of preparation I accepted a suggested change by a technical writer made due to the place holder that I should have rejected. I was the first author on the article and it was my responsibility and I should have caught that error and I apologize to readers. 
Brent Braveman 


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