By Bailey Aldridge – February 01, 2021 2:24 PM – for McClatchy News
My cmnt: I post this because it shows the blindness of young Libs to the dangers of promoting “equity” over “equality”. It always ends badly for everyone except the favored few. The whole cry of communism since its inception has been the lie that they will MAKE everyone equal. What they have actually shown over 100 years of recent history is that the elites, like elite democratic leadership in America, live in the Hamptons while the masses live in the ghettos. The only equity they achieve is equal poverty for everyone except themselves.
Since taking office last month, President Joe Biden has largely focused his agenda on promoting equity rather than equality — and the distinction matters.
The president has signed dozens of executive actions since he was sworn in on Jan. 20, and many of them have been aimed at racial and LGBTQ equity and equity related to the federal government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. He also made racial and gender equity a central policy during his campaign.
Biden has placed more emphasis on equity during his first days in office than any new president since Lyndon B. Johnson, who pushed civil rights legislation and worked to remove barriers faced by non-white Americans, according to Nicole Hemmer, a Columbia University historian and associate research scholar with the Obama Presidency Oral History project, who spoke to The New York Times.
And while the word equity has been found in many of Biden’s executive actions, the word equality has largely been absent. Here’s the difference and why it matters.
Equity vs. Equality
While equality focuses on ensuring everyone has the same resources, equity focuses on tailoring those resources to the needs and circumstances of specific individuals or groups to achieve an equal outcome.
“Equality means each individual or group of people is given the same resources or opportunities,” a description from The George Washington University says. “Equity recognizes that each person has different circumstances and allocates the exact resources and opportunities needed to reach an equal outcome.”
Eugene Daniels, a White House correspondent for Politico, used a meme to explain the difference.
The meme shows three people of different heights standing behind a fence at a baseball game. In the image depicting equality, each person is given the same sized box to stand on to help see over the fence, but the box is still too small to allow the shortest of the three to see over.
The image depicting equity shows the three with different sized boxes that allow everyone to see over the fence.
The Biden administration has been talking a lot about “equity” — not to be confused with “equality.”
So what’s this all about? @eugenedaniels2 uses a popular meme to break it down and explains why the distinction is critical to understanding how the Biden agenda is shaping up pic.twitter.com/dUau4dcV9I —
POLITICO (@politico) February 1, 2021
“So the person who is the shortest gets a little bit more because you’re creating a culture and a world in which everyone has equity — the ways that we haven’t given Black and Brown (people), women, people in the LGBTQIA community certain rights and how we can fix that and make the world more equitable,” Daniels said.
Equity also takes into account historical and systemic inequalities in society.
Vice President Kamala Harris explained the distinction in a video posted a few days before the November election, saying equitable treatment means we “all end up at the same place.”
There’s a big difference between equality and equity. pic.twitter.com/n3XfQyjLNe — Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) November 1, 2020
“Equality suggests ‘Oh, everyone should get the same amount,’” she said. “The problem with that: not everybody’s starting out from the same place. So if we’re all getting the same amount but you started out back there and I started out over here, we could get the same amount but you’re still going to be that far back behind me.”
Equity in Biden’s policies
On his first day in office, Biden signed a slew of executive orders, including one launching a government initiative to establish “equity across federal policymaking and rooting out systemic racism and other barriers to opportunity from federal programs and institutions.”
He also signed an order to ensure Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is interpreted to prohibit “workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.”
Later in his first week, he signed another group of executive actions focused on addressing the coronavirus pandemic, including an order establishing the COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force. The task force will focus on providing specific recommendations on “allocating resources and funding in communities with inequities in COVID-19 outcomes by race, ethnicity, geography, disability and other considerations.”
Last week, he signed four executive actions specifically aimed at promoting racial equity — related to fair housing, mass incarceration and private prisons, tribal sovereignty and xenophobia — policy goals which the White House said were “just the start.”
Some advocacy groups have praised the administration’s steps to promote equity.
“President Biden’s executive orders to advance racial equity and support under-served communities is a significant signal to Americans that this administration is serious about its commitment to providing overdue relief for our community,” The National Action Network, a civil rights organization, said in a statement last week.
But some conservative commentators and lawmakers have criticized the push for equity, including some who have said it contradicts Biden’s calls for unity.
Susan Rice, who heads the White House’s Domestic Policy Council, responded to those criticisms Sunday.
“We’re focused on racial justice and equity. Equity is racial but it’s not just racial, it’s for everybody who has not had the benefits of a system that has not served everybody,” Rice said during an interview with MSNBC. “This is actually the opposite of dividing us, this is about bringing everybody in and being inclusive.”
My cmnt: I would point out that Susan Rice, another leftover from the B.O. regime, and the Obama’s have made themselves fabulously wealthy while their constituents are still living in poverty and crime and hopelessness. Eight years of Barack made no difference at all and neither will (God help us) four years more of O’Biden.