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since June 19, 2001


Sen. Cools Stuns Washington in Historic Address

From: Stephen Baskerville [sbaskerville@cox.net]
Sent: Monday, May 27, 2002 8:09 PM
To: Stephen Baskerville
Subject: Sen. Cools Stuns Washington in Historic Address

Canadian Senator Anne C. Cools addressed a Washington audience of 2,000 public policy and community activists today, calling for shared parenting and criticizing family courts and "radical feminist extremism" for destroying fatherhood.

In the keynote speech to the International Fatherhood Conference, Sen. Cools stressed the importance of "both parents following divorce" in the lives of children and criticized gender bias in custody decisions. The conference is organized by the National Center for Strategic Nonprofit Planning and Community Leadership (NPCL), with sponsorship from the governments of the District of Columbia and the states of Virginia and Maryland, and other groups. Roger Gallaway, a popular Liberal Party member of the Canadian House of Commons and leading critic of the Liberal government on custody issues, was also a guest at the conference.

What is so stunning and historical about this speech is that this was not a fathers’ rights conference, and NPCL is not a fathers’ rights organization. Their stress is on "responsible fatherhood," and they are more often associated with fatherhood "promotion" groups like the National Fatherhood Initiative (NFI), formerly run by Wade Horn and Don Eberly, and the National Center for Fathering (NCF), operated by Ken Canfield. (NPCL tends to address the problems of younger, unwed, and minority fathers more than do NFI and NCF.) These groups receive government and foundation funding, and so they generally steer clear from any discussion of the corruption in the family courts or the outrageously unjust treatment of parents generally and fathers particularly in courts. Yet, Sen. Cools did not pull her punches today, and the leadership of NPCL and their audience stood behind her.

Past NPCL conferences have been attended largely by community groups, both faith-based and secular, and fatherhood activists. But there is also a significant contingent of government officials, social workers, child-support enforcement officials, and even feminists from groups like NOW . (For a list of panel workshops this year, go to http://www.internationalfathers.org/workshops.htm.) Yet if there was any dissent or disagreement from the audience, it was not visible or audible. Sen. Cools received standing ovations when she was introduced and again when she concluded her remarks.

The audience sat spellbound as the Senator recounted stories like that of Darrin White, ordered by a British Columbia judge to pay more than twice his disability pay in child and spousal support for a divorce for which he gave neither grounds nor consent and who hanged himself from a tree. Sen. Cools told horror stories, not of allegedly evil fathers who abandon their children – the standard staple of some "fatherhood" conferences – but of appalling human rights violations against fathers by family courts.

NPCL is to be commended for their courageous sponsorship of this dynamic and outspoken leader, almost certainly the greatest leader on family issues of any nationally-elected official in the English-speaking world. I urge readers to write NPCL by going to http://www.internationalfathers.org/contact.htm. Thank them for their courage, leadership, and foresight in inviting this important figure to address their conference and to highlight these neglected issues.

You may also which to write to NFI (http://www.fatherhood.org/feedback.asp) and NCF (dads@fathers.com) and urge that they too begin to show leadership and stop averting their eyes from this, the true cause of the fatherhood crisis.

I have requested a transcript of Sen. Cools remarks and will post it.

The conference continues Tuesday and Wednesday, May 28 and 29. On Wednesday, May 29, at 3:45, I will host a panel workshop on "Fathers, the Legal System, and the Constitution." The description: "How do non-custodial fathers interact with the legal system? What is the larger nature of fathers' interaction with the state? What is the role of particular government institutions - courts, child support enforcement, child protection, etc.- with respect to fathers' relationships with their children? What issues of due process of law, constitutional protections, the separation of powers, federalism, and so forth arise in government fatherhood programs? These questions and others will be discussed by legal experts and constitutional scholars knowledgeable in family issues."

Panelists include:
  • Don Bieniewicz, Policy Analyst, Children’s Rights Council
  • Ronald Henry, President, Men’s Health Network
  • Richard Crouch, Crouch & Crouch, Arlington Virginia.

The Fourth Annual

May 27-29, 2002
Capital Hilton Hotel 10001
16th Street, NW Washington, D.C. 20036
Hotel: 202 393 1000 Fax: 202 942 1371
2000 L Street, N.W.
Suite #815
Washington, D.C. 20036

Tel: 202-822-6725
Fax: 202-822-5699
Email: info@npcl.org

Stephen Baskerville, PhD
Department of Political Science
Howard University
Washington, DC 20059
(Please note new e-mail address: sbaskerville@cox.net.)

Index to more of Stephen Baskerville's articles

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  • From Marxism to Feminism: The planned destruction of the American family
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whiterose.gif (6796 bytes)The White Rose
Thoughts are Free

Posted 2002 05 27
2002 10 25 (inserted link to index of Stephen Baskerville's articles)
2003 08 01 (added reference to From Marxism to Feminism: The planned destruction of the American family)