Before we launch into today’s topic, we must define “Equity” and “Equality” and hear the differences between the two.
What Is “Equality?”
Equality indicates a system where everyone has the same opportunities and resources—a “one size fits all” approach to human rights. At first blush, equality might seem reasonable: a class where every student has the same course materials and is graded by the same standards or a workplace where everyone is held to the exact expectations.
However, the catch with equality is that even if everyone gets the same opportunities, they’re not starting from the same place. And even if expectations are the same, people may need different resources to meet these expectations. As the Annie E. Casey Foundation has said, equality is only effective if everyone has the same needs, which is rarely the case in the real world.
What is “Equity?”
Equity is a system that recognizes each person has different resources and opportunities and seeks to understand and provide what people need based on these differences. According to Merriam Webster, equity is a kind of justice that includes “freedom from bias or favoritism.” Paula Dressel, founding vice president of JustPartners, Inc. and the Race Matters Institute, defines equity as “treating everyone … justly according to their circumstances.”
Equity, unlike equality, acknowledges different populations face different barriers to success and works to limit or eliminate these barriers.
Note: both definitions above came from a single sociological description of the two words/processes. The writer is Amy Bergen. Miss Bergen is NOT a professor, sociologist, medical doctor, or even a shrink. Her biography credits her as ” a writer based in Portland, Maine. She has experience in the social impact space in Baltimore, Maryland, the educational museum sphere in Columbus, Ohio, and the literary world of New York City.”
How about the TruthNewsNetwork difference between these two terms and their application:
Equality IS not and NEVER has been given to any human by any other human. Our forefathers were keen on exactly what that meant in the 1800s when they felt compelled to notify King George of issues with his government. They penned it in the “Declaration of Independence,” saying, in part:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.—That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,—That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”
Equity can only be achieved by someone other than the person seeking equity, giving that person a type of equality that is actually “controlled” by others and not the person seeking equity.
In fact, in the Declaration of Independence, our forefathers were careful to point to King George the differences between the two and that the British Crown controlled “equity” as it pertained to the colonists, but George NEVER had the authority to determine “equality.”
The U.S. political system is the perfect incubator for today’s government control freaks — the “hard” left — to exert power over others in the name of some “higher power.” (I guess that means “The Democrat Party) Our forefathers recognized that the equality given to every American did NOT come from any other human or humans. They were sure a higher power endowed their equality than King George or his minions.
People throughout American history have endeavored again and again to exert control over others. To justify their abandonment of the meaning of the Declaration, they had to create a “straw man” of sorts: Equity. Equity was the panacea for all the political troubles endured by early settlers exacerbated by the overwhelming lust for power by money to control their fellow patriots.
Equity was (and is today) an obliteration of equality for all Americans to be replaced by “equity” — the manufactured and man-given rights and privilege.
The Democrat Party and this presidential administration have perfected the process to dumb down the population by misrepresenting “equity” as superior to “equality.” Those two opening definitions presented by Amy Bergen illustrate the carefully crafted and worded explanation for doing so.
The Democrat Party and the Biden Administration gave no excuses when quickly pushing the United States down the path of “equity” by replacing “equality.” After all, they needed to assume the sole power of ALL people in this nation to reach their objective of unfettered power in the U.S.
Joe Biden has gorged his lust for power with more and more power. On his authority, officials have crafted an elaborate scheme to fool us all into no longer believing we each are created equal. In the environment of equality, ALL are equal. In equity, someone must make all the rules, enforce all the rules, and call all the balls and strikes.
That is NOTHING like our forefathers wanted for us.
The Biden Administration
Under the Biden administration, more than 90 federal agencies have pledged their commitment to equity by adopting action plans that put gender, race, and other factors at the center of their governmental missions.
The Equity Action Plans, which have received little notice since they were posted online last month following a document request from RealClearInvestigations, represent a “whole of government” fight against “entrenched disparities” and the “unbearable human costs of systemic racism.”
The equity blueprints show that:
- The U.S. State Department is keen on exporting American-style gender and race consciousness into foreign diplomacy and across the globe. Citing “identity” and “intersections of marginalization” as focal points, State Department officials acknowledge that promoting these Western concepts in foreign lands may clash with “societal norms” and elicit an “unwillingness to cede power by dominant groups.”
- The Environmental Protection Agency plans to tap into “community science” from tribal nations and other interest groups, in addition to relying on academic peer-reviewed research. As the agency shifts its enforcement focus from responding to complaints to proactively initiating its own investigations, the EPA plans to fund “community scientists” to supply evidence of environmental racism and other corporate practices targeted for a federal investigation.
- The Smithsonian Institution embeds diversity and equity in “everything we do” across the labs and collections that make up the world’s largest museum complex. The Smithsonian has, like other agencies, enthroned a Head Diversity Officer position to coordinate these efforts and will refocus its energies on exploring “how race has informed all our lives” and affirm “the centrality of race in America.”
The Equity Action Plans are a response to an executive order President Biden signed on his first day of office in January 2021, committing his administration to pursue “a comprehensive approach to advancing equity for all, including people of color and others who have been historically underserved, marginalized, and adversely affected by persistent poverty and inequality.”
The equity policies had been dribbling out piecemeal since last year, including the State Department’s announcement of an X gender marker in U.S. passports for gender-nonconforming citizens; the Department of Homeland Security’s guidelines, announced on the International Trans Day of Visibility, that border patrol agents would be required to use gender-neutral language and pronouns specified by foreign travelers and migrants entering the country. The Department of Agriculture’s plan is to provide debt relief to black and other “socially disadvantaged” farmers but not to white farmers.
But a more comprehensive picture did not emerge until the release of the Equity Action Plans, which describe the incorporation of race and gender concepts that, until several years ago, primarily lived in academic journals as esoteric and niche interests. The plans – ranging from 2 to 26 pages – contain marching orders for all Cabinet-level federal agencies and dozens of smaller, independent agencies; they are sprinkled throughout with trendy terms like BIPOC, LGBTQI+, queer, and power structures, marginalization, intersectional, and gender binary.
The Equity Action Plans are only the first step in what the Biden administration calls a “generational commitment” to redressing historical disparities between political identity groups. But the full implications of the Biden strategy are obscured by the fact that the documents are short on specifics and larded with standard governmentese and boilerplate language about promoting best practices, collecting data, reducing barriers to government procurement, and contracting with disadvantaged and underrepresented groups.
In a typical bureaucratic passage, the Justice Department’s plan includes a commitment to “ask each of its major procuring bureaus to identify at least two contracting opportunities for HUBZone small businesses each fiscal year for four years, or until the statutory goal of 3% is met, and to complete those contracts exclusively among HUBZone firms.”
But the documents are also open-ended and can serve as a platform for significant change. In a sweeping, general statement, the Department of Agriculture vows to “continue to integrate civil rights and equity in the design of its policies and programs that span the entirety of its mandate, including areas such as food security, nutrition, natural resources, and conservation, rural development, and more.”
Representatives of several groups that filed public comments described the comments as generic but promising a critical first step toward empowering historically marginalized communities.
“For the most part, they say the right things,” said James Goodwin, a senior policy analyst with the Center for Progressive Reform, one of the nearly 500 groups that filed public comments to guide the creation of the Equity Action Plans.
“But you know words on paper are very different from action. What’s most important is that an agency’s culture changes to incorporate many of these things,” Goodwin said. “A lot of these things can be relegated to a check-the-box exercise which doesn’t make a major impact in the day-to-day actions of an agency, or it can be fully integrated into an agency’s DNA.”
The Biden administration is already facing pushback on the publicized details of the equity agenda, which is not popular with conservatives. Not only did a federal judge block the farming program last summer because using racial categories to exclude white farmers is “abhorrent to the concept of equal protection,” but Republicans in Congress are challenging the Transportation Security Administration policy to reduce pat-downs of transgender travelers at airports.
And after receiving some 35,000 public comments on a Department of Education proposal to fund civics education programs that emphasize bias, discrimination, and oppression, the agency last year removed references to The New York Times 1619 Project and best-selling self-styled “antiracist” author Ibram X. Kendi as exemplars of this approach to historical research.
The 1619 Project, which has been distributed free of charge to thousands of K-12 classrooms across the nation, is controversial because, among other things, it states as an indisputable fact that the United States was founded not as a democracy but as a “slavocracy” and that “anti-black racism runs in the very DNA of this country.” Kendi’s ideas include the assertion that antiracism necessitates discriminating against white people to balance the scales of racial justice and that anyone who balks at implementing his agenda is beholden to racist ideas.
The Office of Management and Budget, which is shepherding the Equity Action Plans, said that the equity strategy is an ambitious goal that will require “long-term change management,” a term that suggests something like a total overhaul of organizational culture in response to an external threat to the organization’s survival. “Large scale change becomes most feasible when a sense of urgency prevails,” OMB said.
With federal agencies just getting started with the initial data collection step, most of the equity changes to come over time haven’t been conceived yet, so the potential costs of funding, contracting, staffing, and other program expenses may not be known for years. But costs almost certainly will increase. Progressive groups are urging the federal government to embed equity standards in government contracting and grant-making by abandoning the classic cost-benefit analysis to assess the impact of federal regulations.
These groups contend that the cost-benefit analysis is inherently politically biased because it focuses on the economic costs to corporations without taking into account the social costs and benefits to race, gender, and other identity groups. “This commitment to supposed ‘moral objectivity’ has left the practice vulnerable to producing racially disparate results,” the Center for Progressive Reform wrote in its public comment.
In an interview, Goodwin described the conventional cost-benefit analysis as a worldview and an ideology masquerading as a neutral, apolitical metric.
The Center for Progressive Reform also said in its public comment that federal agencies, when seeking input on proposed regulations, should consider accepting statements in the form of “hip hop music, graphic novels, collages or street art” rather than limiting public comment to formal statements.
The Office of Management and Budget has issued a statement saying the Equity Action Plans “are part of a broader equity agenda, including implementing the first-ever national strategy on gender equity and equality.”
Goodwin and Amit Narang, the regulatory policy advocate at Public Citizen, noted that a critical prong in the Biden administration’s strategy is the Modernizing Regulatory Review memorandum, also from January 2021, which says federal policy should be assessed not just for corporate cost but also for equity and justice.
Guidelines from that memo, due later this year, are expected to provide further details on how the Biden administration hopes to redistribute the costs and benefits of federal policy. In interviews, social justice advocates offered the example of the wheelchair access ramp as a social benefit that carries a corporate price and provides incalculable social benefits that cannot be quantified in dollar terms. They say that racial and gender equity should be viewed similarly as a wheelchair access ramp.
But social justice advocates also noted that the administration’s definition of “equity” in the original Executive Order and this year’s Equity Action Plans is disappointingly narrow compared with the more commonly accepted understanding of the term in the diversity and equity industry. The Executive Order defines “equity” as fair and impartial treatment of all people, including rural Americans. In contrast, the term has broadly come to mean preferential treatment for racial, sex, and gender identity groups deemed to have been historically marginalized and oppressed to produce demographically representative outcomes.
“The definition they put forward is saying: Going forward from here, things will be procedurally fair, and they’re going to be free from bias in implementing our programs,” said Kyle Moore, an economist at the Economic Policy Institute.
“That’s an important step, but removing bias is not enough to close these [racial] gaps that we’re seeing,” Moore said. “There needs to be a policy of redressing past harms. That may mean developing policies that disproportionally benefit groups that have been disadvantaged in the past, not simply providing relief for those groups, but a leg up.”
In this conversation about equality and equity, I’m tempted to adopt Patrick Henry’s famous declaration: “Give me liberty or give me death.” Without even knowing he was doing so, he illustrated the difference between equality and equity in that statement. His reference meant he was tired of living under Britain’s “equity” system of government. He was sold on transitioning to the New World’s social and legal justice system that gave equal opportunity to all.
Anyone who demands they have some authority to adjudicate “equity” is little more than a classic totalitarian. That social process was exposed and destroyed in the late 1700s.
Democrats don’t know that their permission to pass out equity was DOA!