Does anybody know the difference between “equality” and “equity” any more? Until recently, the difference, as used in politics and sociology, was clear: “equality” meant “equal treatment of everyone regardless of what group they belong to”, while “equity” meant “representation of groups in government, business, academia, and other organizations in proportion to their existence in the general population.”
These are not the same thing, of course. People can be treated equally now but there can still be inequities for a variety of reasons: the residuum of historical discrimination, difference in preferences due to culture, socialization, or different propensities due to biological differences. The conflation of the two terms has led to a lot of mischief and confusion, the most prominent being that the observation of inequities means the current existence of unequal treatment (“structural racism or sexism”).
The confusion was compounded in President Biden’s February “Executive Order on Further Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government,” a far-reaching plan to ensure “equity” in the federal government.
That document uses the word “equity” 63 times and “equality” only four. One would think, then, that the plan is designed to ensure proportional representation of groups in the federal government.
But if you look in section 10, you find “equity” defined this way:
Sec. 10. Definitions. For purposes of this order:
(a) The term “equity” means the consistent and systematic treatment of all individuals in a fair, just, and impartial manner, including individuals who belong to communities that often have been denied such treatment, such as Black, Latino, Indigenous and Native American, Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander persons and other persons of color; members of religious minorities; women and girls; LGBTQI+ persons; persons with disabilities; persons who live in rural areas; persons who live in United States Territories; persons otherwise adversely affected by persistent poverty or inequality; and individuals who belong to multiple such communities.
If you used this as a goal in your DEI statement, you’d never get a job!
In other words, Biden’s plan defines “equity” as “equal treatment before the law”. That isn’t equity but “equality,” and one wonders not only whether Biden apprehends the difference, and, crucially, which one he’s affirming as the goal of his administration’s policy. In such cases, the definition of the term is crucial in how the government will act.
This difference is the subject of Peter Boghassian’s Substack column this week. The “gaslighting” to which Peter refers is seemingly an attempt to make us forget that “equality” means “equal treatment”, or to sow confusion in minds about whether there’s any difference between “equity” and “equality.”
Click on screenshot to read the article; it’s very short.
Peter reproduces a tweet from Cenk Uygur (whatever happened to him?) that’s badly misleading:
I don't even know if "equity" is a real thing that anyone outside of twelve leftists and the entire right-wing believe is real. The overwhelming majority of progressives agree with @BernieSanders (and me) that equality of opportunity is the right standard.
— Cenk Uygur (@cenkuygur) March 7, 2023
No, Cenk is dead wrong here: progressives want equality of outcome, not equality of opportunity, and they’re always pointing to the former, not the latter, as evidence for bigotry. The same day I found a similar tweet by Cenk:
The right-wing thinks the fact that the word "equity" exists proves something, but it doesn't. If you're on the right and you think "equity" means equality of results, I think you're wrong. But if you're on the left and think it should mean equality of results, you're also wrong.
— Cenk Uygur (@cenkuygur) March 7, 2023
No, it’s Cenk, the big blustering self-assured newsman, who is wrong, at least in how “equity” is currently used. It’s true that if you look at the Oxford English Dictionary, you’ll find that “equity” means this:
1. The quality of being equal or fair; fairness, impartiality; even-handed dealing.
but also this:
2. What is fair and right; something that is fair and right.
If you parse that with a “progressive” frame of mind, you can (barely) construe that proportional representation is indeed the result of fairness and equality of treatment. But it need not be: not if groups have different preferences or cultural backgrounds.
And it’s also not necessarily true that “equal opportunity” means “equal opportunity at the present time.” If you’re born poor in an environment that doesn’t provide equal opportunity, then you’ll get inequities as a result. But I can tell you one thing: when Ibram Kendi says “equity”, he doesn’t mean “equality of treatment”.
Bernie Sanders, when pressed by Bill Maher, does seem to appreciate the difference, and he comes down on the classical definition of equality as “equality of opportunity”.
Bill Maher asked Bernie Sanders to explain the differences between ‘equality’ and ‘equity’
Bernie was left dumbstruck 👀 pic.twitter.com/p0KsRzSQ6I
— Zachery Henry (@zhenryaz) March 4, 2023
But I think it’s clear that the extreme Left, which I and others call “progressives” (though they’re actually illiberal), clearly construe equity as meaning equality of outcome. Here’s the reason I think why.
There are ways of measuring equity, of course: determining whether there’s proportionality in outcomes: women, for example should be half of all CEOs (they’re not). But it’s easy to measure.
Equality of opportunity is harder to measure, but for some things it can be guaranteed. The most obvious case is determining who belongs in an orchestra: simply audition prospective players behind a screen so that the only thing that can be judged is their playing. Their sex, race, or ethnicity cannot be discerned. And to me that seems eminently fair.
It’s a procedure employed by many symphony orchestras. But it didn’t produce the diversity of sex and race that people envisioned when they put this procedure in place! There was equality but no equity.
Ergo, the New York Times‘s classical music critic switched gears and wrote a piece called, “To make orchestras diverse, end blind auditions” (subtitle: “If ensembles are to reflect the community they serve, the audition process should take into account race, gender, and other factors”).
Here the critic, Anthony Tommasini, clearly knew the difference between equity and equality of opportunity, and favored ditching the latter to get more of the former. (Another way he could achieve more equity in orchestras, if he thinks that disproportional representation reflects historically unequal opportunities—an orchestra “pipeline”—is to provide equal opportunities for people of all groups to both hear music and have a chance to play an instrument.)
I’m not going to judge whether orchestras should reflect merit or demographics; my point is that your goal will determine the methods you use to achieve it. And that is why it’s critical that people understand the difference between “equity” and “equality.”
Here’s how Peter ends his post:
Almost overnight, equity has become the North Star of public and private intuitions. One would think that someone of Sander’s stature and experience would know the difference, and if Sanders has to think about it, imagine the average American trying to make sense of these terms. I have long asserted that confusion over the meanings of words is one of the primary ways people have been hoodwinked by Social Justice ideology—they do not understand the policies they are institutionalizing.
If you want a 60-second explanation of equity, go here. If you want a 60-second explanation of other words in the woke lexicon, go here.
51 thoughts on “Equality vs. equity”
“It’s a procedure employed by many symphony orchestras. But it didn’t produce the diversity of sex and race that people envisioned when they put this procedure in place! There was equality but no equity.”
I’m wondering what would have happened if blind auditions would have resulted in these orchestras being overrepresented by black people. I imagine that nobody would be complaining that they don’t represent the communities they serve.
Therefore, I regard the equity movement as not only unsound, but grossly hypocritical. “Equity” is a dishonest term…it is not meant to ensure that organizations “represent the communities they serve”. It is simply a tactic in service of an ideology that asserts that non-Asian people of color are inherently morally superior to others, and deserve special treatment, and that “whiteness” is evil and should be purged from organizations.
Cenk Uygur is massively wrong. To see that, just put “equality versus equity” into a Google search and click “images”.
You’ll get lots of cartoons of tall and short kids looking over the fence of a baseball field, which makes it abundantly clear that by “equity” the woke mean “equal outcomes”.
Ah, I forgot that image, which has become ubiquitous.
And they’re all three freeloaders. The ballpark should build a higher fence so they all have to buy tickets, as one of many biting parodies suggests.
The boxes they are shown standing on are imagined to have been conjured up out of thin air. But in reality they would be those heavy polypropylene crates with steel reinforcing that milk and juice cartons are delivered in. So the boxes the freeloaders are standing on were actually stolen from grocery stores who will be charged for the losses by the wholesaler, thus contributing to food deserts in inner city neighbourhoods that still have ballparks.
“Equity” is a financial term. All other invented uses are simply created to suit the political agenda of the user, which is usually to show that white supremacy explains everything.
Then the boxes break, an elbow is bumped, face scratched, and after the lawsuits end, the town has no more baseball team, and a new shopping mall instead of a baseball field.
I’m reminded of the term “sweat equity,” the work and time a business owner puts into the business. I suppose the term is technically correct under capitalist theory. But I’ve always suspected that the term was/is used because “labor” is perceived to not be of sufficiently-worthy (social?) status or panache or cachet or whatever.
You’re entitled to your disdain for the opinions of people you don’t know but labouring for a wage is not at all what small business owners do. Sometimes there is no “wage” at all for the owner after he’s met the payroll expectations of the wage slaves labouring in their chains. And sometimes there is sweet, sweaty profit.
[ looks for comment about the baseball cartoon ]
To that, I think Mencken would have said :
“Explanations exist; they have existed for all time; there is always a well-known solution to every human problem–neat, plausible, and
H. L. Mencken
From “The Divine Afflatus”, section IV in
Prejudices : Second Series
Unclear why you or least of all Mencken would think that solution is wrong. It’s what commercial ballparks actually do. In amateur leagues all can sit on the benches right behind home plate and enjoy the game for free.
I mean the cartoon as “the” explanation of equity v. equality. Not as how people watch any given baseball game.
Ah, OK. My apologies. I think I got confused in the indentations about what you were replying to.
[ “wheeewww” ]
[ wipes brow ]
The far left wants equality of outcomes—equity—but purposely conflates the two words so as to lump those who favor equity (the far left) and those who favor equality (the center) into the same bucket. Once combined—without their knowledge because most people don’t crisply distinguish the two words—the two groups become one as a bloc. It’s a deceptive strategy employed by the far left.
The Biden executive order is a good example. I find it very hard to believe that the people who crafted that order don’t know the difference. They are professional communicators. I don’t know whether Biden himself knew what he signed. The fact that equity and equality are purposely conflated to achieve a political aim speaks volumes about the veracity of the equity crowd.
“equal treatment before the law”
I WISH we would go by that. We don’t. Equality (let alone ‘equity”) has “drifted” away from equal standing in law, and now contains a strong streak of “there is unfairness in everything and (as per altruism and empathy) something must be done to rectify.
Legally. By government. Even in the name of “equality of opportunity.”
Marcuse said that equity/equality ought to provide everyone “… a life free of fear and misery.” “Repressive Tolerance,” 1965
He did not mean, as per the Original American Foundation, individual rights, freedom, and property by which citizens might optimize their life and those of their chosen responsibility to rise above fear and misery to the extent possible. He meant that “something must be done” to give everyone absence of fear and misery as a right and expectation, regardless. That is the communist utopia.
Well, nature will not give it — nature is full of fear and misery. So, if it is to “be given” it must be done through a collective.
This is the fountainhead of the administrative, regulatory, and distributive state.
“I think it’s clear that the extreme Left, which I and others call “progressives” (though they’re actually illiberal), clearly construe equity as meaning equality of outcome.” – J. Coyne
Yes, it is clear:
“equity: The proportional distribution of desirable outcomes across groups. Sometimes confused with equality, equity refers to outcomes while equality connotes equal treatment. More directly, equity is when an individual’s race, gender, socio-economic status, sexual orientation, etc. do not determine their educational, economic, social, or political opportunities.”
—”Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Glossary.” University of Pittsburgh, Office for Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion: https://www.diversity.pitt.edu/education/diversity-equity-and-inclusion-glossary
The Pitt quote is a great example of the confusion that plagues so much DEI language and must have been written by a committee. It directly says that equity refers to outcomes. Then they add a longer definition (strangely beginning with “more directly”) that then refers to opportunities which are not outcomes. Which is it?
In a recent HxA blog, Musa al-Gharbi points out something blindingly obvious about the aspiration to make the professoriate “look more like America”. Because of the long employment life of typical academics—40 years or so from Assistant Professor to Emeritus–the project of making the fraction of profs from every group match that in the general population must proceed at a snail’s pace unless drastic actions are taken to replace current faculty. This can only be accomplished by the following actions.
Eliminate or significantly weaken tenure protections. Then lay off large numbers of current faculty-in-good-standing who have the misfortune to belong to overrepresented groups, and replace them uniformly with aspirants from underrepresented groups. Continue this replacement process as the demography of the general population changes—for example, Latinos are already 50% more numerous than Blacks in the US population, so some presently tenured Black faculty will have to be replaced by Latinos.
I wonder what the current faculty in departments most dedicated to DEI (e.g., Global Health, the Schools of Ed, etc. ) would think about this plan. Permit me to make a modest suggestion. Should not these departments welcome DEI statements from applicants who affirm precisely this policy, and who swear to work to abolish tenure protection?
In Roman Law and British law (and formerly in US, except Delaware) there were “Courts of Equity” distinct from courts of law. The idea was that adherence to legal rules in some cases led to unjust outcomes. Courts of Equity could apply informal principles of justice, virtue, and fairness to individual cases w/o making new common law, and could tailor remedies to individual cases. I believe it’s still possible in jurisdictions w/o courts of equity to argue a case on the basis of equity, not law. Notice, courts of law DO treat everyone the same — but the idea of courts of equity is to NOT treat people the same, but consider individual circumstances.
I also asked chatGPT to “Please distinguish equality from equity.” Here’s the reply:
Equity and equality are two concepts that are often confused with each other, but they have distinct meanings:
Equality refers to treating everyone the same way, regardless of their differences or circumstances. It is based on the idea of fairness and ensuring that everyone has access to the same opportunities, resources, and rights. Equality is often associated with the concept of sameness.
Equity, on the other hand, refers to ensuring that everyone has what they need to be successful, taking into account their individual differences and circumstances. It is based on the idea of fairness, but recognizes that people may need different resources and support to achieve the same outcomes. Equity is often associated with the concept of fairness.
To illustrate the difference between equity and equality, consider the example of providing education to students. Equality would mean that every student receives the same amount of resources and support, regardless of their individual needs. However, this approach may not be effective for students who come from disadvantaged backgrounds or have learning disabilities. Equity, on the other hand, would involve providing additional resources and support to these students to ensure they have an equal opportunity to succeed.
In summary, equality is about treating everyone the same, while equity is about ensuring everyone has what they need to be successful, taking into account their individual differences and circumstances.
I would construe ChatGPT’s definition of “equity” to mean “equality of opportunity”: everyone has the opportunity to be successful and is not barred from success by their immutable characteristics like sex and ethnicity. ChatGPT apparently does not take “equity” to mean what everybody else does: proportionality of outcomes. The condition of “everyone has what they need to be successful” is extraordinarily slippery. Does everyone have the same amount of money or get the same degree of education? And what does “successful” mean here?
WRT your first paragraph, ie, Courts of Equity, New Zealand law allows criminal offenders to introduce cultural reports prior to sentencing. These reports examine the specific family and cultural background of the individual offender and how it has contributed to the offender’s criminality.
Ideally, the reports should lead to greater self awareness by the offender and to his (pronoun police, please note offenders are mostly male by a huge margin) rehabilitation, but victim support groups tend to see them as excuse-making attempts to reduce sentences.
Occasionally, horrific details from these reports make their way into the press and suggest that equality of opportunity is a myth; yet, other people have flourished despite similar backgrounds, and the pursuit of equity along broad gender and ethnicity lines creates its own injustices, inequalities and social tensions.
Progressives should be asked whether the disproportionate representation of men in the prison population is the result of systemic misandry, whether the limited participation of whites in the NBA is equitable, and whether the superior academic performance of Asians is an indication of discrimination and prejudice against all other ethnic groups.
With respect to your third item, I’ve seen the answers many times: progressives believe that Asian success is due to 1) being driven by their parents in a manner that amounts to child abuse; 2) gaming the system with SAT and other test prep services (which are somehow thought to be unavailable to other groups AND to be more effective than they actually are); 3) being richer.
If they looked at Asian academic success squarely and honestly they would be forced to re-examine their beliefs – so they don’t. They won’t.
With regard to #2, you are spot on. In college I worked part-time for one of these test prep services, and the results are indeed modest at best. In the best circumstances, they could help a reasonably bright kid improve their math scores, or improve overall scores a bit by practicing test-taking and therefore reducing anxiety during the test itself, but again these were modest improvements. For the ACT, which I specialized in, a 2 or 3 point improvement was considered phenomenal. The biggest success story I saw was a young lady with strong reading skills but below average math skills who scored a 25 overall…by drilling her in math we were able to raise her ACT score to a respectable 28.
Improving reading comprehension seemed to be almost impossible through test prep alone, as this is a skill that is built up over years by being exposed to great books. No shortcuts there really.
And for kids who were just poor students, it was extremely difficult to get any improvement at all. These tests essentially measure how much a student has absorbed thus far in high school, and no test prep course it going to correct a large knowledge deficit that was years in the making.
It seems to me that after adjusting for personal or group preferences (or possible physical characteristics in areas such as sports) if equity (essentially equal outcomes) does not exist in an area under consideration then equality of opportunity also does not exist in that area. So, for example, if the number of Black doctors is not proportionate to the percent of Blacks in the general population then equality of opportunity does not exist for Black access to the medical profession. To the extent that this situation exists in society, equity (equality of outcome) can best be attained by guaranteeing equality of opportunity. The simple formula of true equality of opportunity (properly adjusted) will lead to equity does not just apply to race, gender, or equity, but other areas of well. For example, if White children in rural areas receive an inferior education to White children in urban areas then we can expect inequitable results for the rural children in attaining so-called “good” jobs. This is why I think Biden included rural people in his executive order.
The problem in American society is that natural equity (via true equality of opportunity) has been so difficult to achieve is the result of the failure of government and cultural traditions of certain groups to develop and implement programs of true equality of opportunity. Until that happens and shows positive results (which could take decades), the demand for unnatural equity (mandated equal outcomes) will continue to roil the body politic.
“after adjusting for personal or group preferences (or possible physical characteristics in areas such as sports)”.. . . . .
Ah, there’s the rub. How do you do those adjustments? How do you adjust for differences between men and women in preferences for STEM careers given that the more equal the society, the less preference women have for STEM? What do you do about cultural differences (or biological ones) that affect preference.
You are assuming that all human groups have basically identical preferences (aside, of course, from those pesky “preferences”)
“It seems to me that after adjusting for personal or group preferences…” But that’s the crux of the matter. People who see inequity everywhere never adjust for anything. If we considered all potentially relevant factors (except race), such as preferences, culture, age, immigration status, English fluency, academic competence, aptitude, socioeconomic status, etc., a different picture would emerge. I suspect that we’d see little racial inequity in socioeconomic outcomes in any group in which all those factors were similar.
Of course, it can still be the case that differences in some of those factors result from unequal opportunities.
At any rate, without adjusting for anything, there’s no reason to think that if there were perfect equality of opportunity, and neither prejudice nor discrimination of any sort, equity would be the result.
Stereotyping will play a role whenever an employer has access to incomplete information about a candidate, which is always. If members of a particular group are known to habitually arrive at work late and disappear without notice when hunting season starts, and launch successful human-rights complaints when fired for cause, absent any countervailing individual information the employer will avoid hiring those people. And yes, it is because of their membership in the specified group, no bones about it. The DMV might not care if one of the counter clerks didn’t come in today: the supplicants merely have to wait longer in line. But if an oil rig needs ten guys to operate safely and only nine show up, no production that day and the other nine get sent home without pay.
Off course that’s unfair to the conscientious and diligent members of the group who can’t get hired—they might even be the large majority. But it’s not unjust, from the perspective of the employer and the other employees. Stereotyping works because it does. When it stops working, it’ll stop.
Pushes for equity as currently understood cause decision-makers to want to have as little contact as possible with the prickly members of the equity-demanding groups. The juice ain’t worth the squeeze. (I was thinking of Pete Buttigieg’s gratuitous grousing about unrepresentative construction workers.)
You’re entirely right and you’ve made me revise my position. A key problem, of course, is that obtaining relevant individual information is not easy. That’s one of the most pernicious aspects of affirmative action. Without it, a hiring manager would have no reason to doubt the competence of Latino or black graduates from elite-university. For jobs that don’t really require a college degree, a simple aptitude test would typically do to assess competence, but since the results of those tests are not “equitable”, companies have been discouraged by regulators to use them, with the consequence that now for even the simplest of jobs people must waste four years and lots of money to be considered, which of course affects the most the people that regulations are presumed to help (perversely, the exigency of a college degree doesn’t have the regulatory scrutiny that aptitude tests have, hence companies are incentivized to use them as a proxy for competence).
I’m not sure how it interfaces here, but seems like this would be important :
“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.”
-[…]adopted by the Committee of the Whole of the Second Continental Congress on July 4, 1776.
I remember reading an article that explained why equity in education was more important than equality. The analogy they gave was that we don’t expect a hospital to offer the same treatment to every patient whatever their medical problem, we expect them to tailor the treatment to the need. The latter is equity and the former is equality. I rolled my eyes so hard at this that I nearly needed hospital treatment myself.
The Sanders bit was refreshingly honest, IMHO. I also caught a bunch of clips of Vice President Harris’ expositions on equality.
A thought :
Wouldn’t it matter what any citizen is doing with the resources – which are never unlimited – available to them at the time?
How would that citizen “A” or all their fellow citizens determine if those resources are too little, just right, or too much (as Goldilocks showed us) – how many awards or “prizes” (spoke The Dodo) that citizen “A” is winning?
Leftists say they want equality of opportunity, and they may actually believe that on some level, but since they consider inequality of outcomes as proof of inequality of opportunity, this is impossible to distinguish in practice from opposition to inequality of outcomes.
In the past, I’ve talked about the difference in equality vs. equity when discussing income inequality, and I’ve said that equality of incomes sounds like everyone should have the same income, but equitable income would mean that there is fairness in income distribution. That sounds like Cenk’s definition.
When I hear “equity” I always think of the difference between the value of a property and the amount still owed on the mortgage…and I don’t even own any property.
And when I hear “progressive” I often think of progressive dementia and other progressive neurologic disorders.
That the far Left has defined equity as the proportional distribution of desirable outcomes across groups appears to me as a stealthy way to reintroduce and revitalize the practice of racial quotas in order to get around the SCOTUS decision against such quotas in Ricci v. DeStefano.
Absolutely, Stephen. You see the proof in countries like Canada where race preference in explicitly allowed in our Constitution where necessary to redress historic inequities.* Long frowned on as “un-Canadian” race preference is now promoted as one of the policy instruments of achieving equity. Job applications can, and do, say that only applications from black or indigenous or LGBTQ… people will be considered.
You Americans just have to be more discreet about it, or more diligent at ferreting out the ruse, depending.
* This relevant part of our Constitution, the Charter or Rights and Freedoms, a much watered-down version of your Bill or Rights, was not enacted until the 1980s, hence the rather startling language.
Until about a year and a half ago, I was an active member of a liberal Quaker (Religious Society of Friends) congregation — and had been for decades, at times holding leadership positions. Some months before I quit, I participated in a business meeting, which is supposed to go “beyond majority rule” to requiring unity of all participants for any decision. (Therefore, no voting is done, and nothing should be approved if anyone has reservations after discussion.) A statement describing the congregation as “antiracist” was proposed. I asked that we define the words “antiracist” and “equity” in the statement in some way that wouldn’t imply endorsement of an ideology, like CRT, that we’d never discussed together. An angry Friend, a former law professor, immediately accused me of trying to block all of the group’s work against racism — and then asserted that “‘antiracist’ and ‘equity’ can’t be defined. They’re ineffable.” Still SMDH.
“All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”
It would be a good start to try to get real equality (of opportunity), which probably -well definitely- is not really fully attainable (cf the ‘blinded auditions’) and will not lead to equity. But is a worthy endeavour.
Equity of outcomes on the other hand, albeit equally worthy on the surface, is a malformed monstrosity, inevitably leading to all kinds of injustices, inefficiency, corruption and abuse, IMMO.
In California at least “equity” simply means (demographic) disparity. Perfect parity is perfectly “equitable”; disparities are inequitable. See, e.g., Health and Safety Code s127372:
“127372. (a) A hospital shall prepare an annual equity report. The equity report shall include an analysis of health status and access to care disparities for patients on the basis of age, sex, race, ethnicity, language, disability status, sexual orientation, gender identity, and payor.”
This means you could re-phrase DEI as Diversity, Disparity, and Inclusion, which would at least make it clear that each these three “components” are really different words for the same thing.
Note that the one factor most relevant to health care–money (that is, economic class)–isn’t considered, except through the back door of the “payor” factor.
There’s a more technical meaning of “equity” that lawyers (and the state of Delaware) use, but that’s not what’s meant here, really.
this seems worth adding:
“Translations from the Wokish
A Plain-Language Encyclopedia of Social Justice Terminology
Rev. 29 Jan. 2020
… my comment is not appearing – I know I’m going over! – but indeed Lindsay has an entry on equity, and other equities:
OK I’ll cool it!
^^^ the linked piece illustrates why ” “Critical” Race “Theory” ” needs to be taught – because the non-financial meaning of “equity” has everything to do with … I can’t do it justice, but I guarantee the piece is excellent writing.
John McWhorter was a guest on Bill Maher’s show “Real Time with Bill Maher” last Friday, March 10, 2023. Maher put the question “What is the difference between equity and equality?” to his two guests. This was McWhorter’s answer (@ 30:35 mins): [The link is to an illegally uploaded video of the show. So the video may have been removed by the time you click on the link.]
Wow. He’s good.
Thanks for that.
McWhorter was on Bill Maher last Friday and talked about the difference between equity and equality. He did a good job (well, he is a linguist after all). Summary: equity is a “weasel word.” You can find the clip via google, I’m afraid of embedding since I don’t trust my htmls.
I will look for it, thanks.
In thinking about this post it occurs to me and I hope I haven’t fucked it up, equity is being used as an ‘instant’ fix whereas equality takes time, elbow grease, working with the existing, getting down on the ground floor and pursuing pipelines (as per our host and I agree) and all that that means. These progressives have found a way to run over anyone, anything, no matter the merits, inherent good, values, to strive for what they want. This includes burying anyone who gets in the way. That’s the instant part that matters most, no criticism that doesn’t advance equity of outcome.
As it stands it looks like a sunk cost fallacy. So much waste all round on a shameless ideology, the time element being a contradiction of their efforts to see progress in equality.
Equality also puts a burden on those whom we would like advance to meet us halfway. Renounce your toxic cultures of welfare, entitlement, race hatred, and dependency that keep you in a life of crime, failure, and dysfunction. But no, that’s blaming the victim. So equity it is, and always shall be.
I think the poster the black group put up on the Smithsonian making fun of white culture beliefs like: you should give a full day’s work at your job; work hard to get ahead ; plan ahead, save up for important things like a good education, should be required reading in every course dealing with uneven social outcomes. Which would include all ‘social science’ and humanities courses. It explained a lot to me about why some groups are ‘economically disadvantaged’.
Just one more thing to share on this important topic:
Thomas Sowell book lecture
“The Quest for Cosmic Justice”
1 Nov. 1999
CSPAN2 Book TV : https://youtu.be/xkDMVdEci4Q
… I cannot find a written piece. Cites Rawls. Draws distinction between “Cosmic” and “Traditional” justice.
That’s the title of the book too, so should be a good one to get (I was not aware of it ’til now)… unless “MISSING” from your library.
This is from 1999 and he points out the “social justice” phenomenon.
Just one more – previously got deleted? Keeping it short:
1 Nov. 1999
Book talk: The Quest for Social Justice : https://youtu.be/xkDMVdEci4Q
Concepts include : Equity, “Social Justice”, equality, Rawls,…