Douglas Andrews / January 27, 2021

Equity Isn’t Equality

The Biden administration’s obsession with race-based policies is built around a single troubling word.

“Every agency will place equity at the core of their public engagement, their policy design, and program delivery to ensure that government resources are reaching Americans of color and all marginalized communities — rural, urban, disabled, LGBTQ+, religious minorities, and so many others.”

So said White House Domestic Policy Advisor Susan Rice during a press briefing yesterday, lending further evidence to the Biden administration’s seemingly pathological fixation on a single word: equity. Not equality. Equity.

And to be clear: Equality and equity aren’t the same things. Not even close. The root of the former word is one of the self-evident truths embedded in our Declaration of Independence. It refers to the state of being equal, especially in status, rights, and opportunities. The latter word, however, refers to systems and institutions that are “fair” and “just.”

“Fair” and “just,” eh? And who, exactly, gets to decide what’s fair and just?

“I’m the descendant of immigrants from Jamaica and enslaved Americans,” Rice tells us, as if that non sequitur makes race-based discrimination any less repulsive. But don’t worry: “I have assembled a first-rate team to drive this agenda forward,” she says.

Equity. Anyone who can’t see the potential for mischief with policies and programs built around such a subjective term hasn’t been paying attention to Joe Biden’s first week in office, or to Barack Obama’s eight years in office.

Another way to look at that loaded word is to see it as the Left’s solution to systemic racism. Of course, this presupposes that systemic racism is really a thing rather than merely a cudgel with which to keep pounding away at whitey. But, as Peter Kirsanow, an attorney and member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, notes, it isn’t a thing. Instead, it’s a canard — unless you’re a white or Asian person looking to land a job or gain admission into an elite university.

“The term ‘equity’ has become ubiquitous of late,” Kirsanow writes in National Review. “It has replaced ‘equal opportunity’ and ‘equal treatment’ with ‘equal results.’ Pro tip: ‘Equity’ is intentionally nebulous, innocuous-sounding shorthand for leftist social engineering. Whenever you hear or see the term outside the context of finance, understand that someone’s likely pulling a fast one on you.”

We’ll say this, though: Rice is as good a pick as any to implement such a noxious agenda. If nothing else, she’s a team player. We learned that back in 2012 when, in the immediate aftermath of the terrorist attack on our diplomatic compound in Benghazi, she disgraced herself by hitting the Sunday talk shows to repeat a pernicious lie on behalf of the administration: that the storming of our compound and the murder of four Americans wasn’t a planned terrorist attack but a “spontaneous reaction” by “protesters” to an utterly obscure anti-Islamic YouTube video. Never forget.

As for counting by race, brain surgeon and former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, for one, isn’t a fan. “I grew up in the ‘50s and '60s,” he told Laura Ingraham last night, “and I can tell you what real racism was like. It was an everyday event. The world is very different here in America right now. And to use race as a mechanism to obtain power and position, I think it’s really quite shameful.”

The good doctor, though, was just sharpening his scalpel. “In fact, race relationships have deteriorated,” he said. “Why have they deteriorated? Because of the great emphasis, trying to create white guilt and black victimhood. Those are two very bad things and when you put them together, it results in some policies that absolutely make no sense. So the real conflict here is between common sense and idiocy.”

Common sense versus idiocy? That sounds about right.

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