Ahlgren: The bigotry of equity

Equality and equity are not synonymous. In fact, they are in direct conflict.

The ever-moving goal posts of leftist ideology have shifted once again, this time regarding equality. American exceptionalism derives from the concept of equality of opportunity. Such equality has diluted in meaning as the rise of woke ideology has taken over the culture and our major institutions. Calls for equality have turned into demands for equity — a goal that requires extraordinary lengths of unequal treatment and yet will never be achieved.

The replacement of the word “equality” for “equity” was a subtle yet deliberate move by politicians, activists, the mainstream media, and the rest of the ruling class in the hopes that people would think the terms hold the same meaning. Equality and equity are not synonymous. In fact, they are in direct conflict. Equity requires uniform outcome and uniform outcome requires unequal standards — certain rules apply to some but not to others.

The CDC states that one of its goals is to achieve “health equity” and therefore calls for prioritizing minorities for COVID-19 vaccinations in an attempt to eliminate racial disparities in health. President Joe Biden appointed Neera Tanden to run the Office of Management and Budget in order to “assist agencies in assessing equity with respect to race, ethnicity, religion, income, geography, gender identity, sexual orientation, and disability” and “promote equity in the budget that the President submits to the Congress.” Corporations are rushing to include “equity” as a core value in their culture, create “diversity and inclusion” councils, and even establish policies that put notions of equity above merit when it comes to hiring, pay raises, and promotions. Segregation and discrimination haven’t been this mainstream since the ’60s.

Equity has been tossed around as a modifier to signal to the world that you are virtuous. Health equity, racial equity, economic equity, educational equity — the list is never ending and will remain never ending because disparity is impossible to fully alleviate. However, alleviating disparities (i.e. “achieving” equity) is not the point. These corporate executives, woke activists, and leftist politicians know they don’t actually need to accomplish their goal of an equitable world. They’re smart enough to know an equitable world is not within the realm of possibility. The mere appearance of caring about equity and making moves to implement unequal policies to promote equity is enough to provide a shield from the mob of cancel culture that grips society.

Our obsession with equity has created a caste system that actively segregates, discriminates, and judges based on sex, sexual orientation, race, and ethnicity. Your individual characteristics, of which you have no control over, are now either your greatest asset or biggest downfall. In order to justify the logic of discriminating based on superficial characteristics, you must buy into the notion that our entire country is entrenched in a system of oppression towards minorities in each of these categories. If this were true, then no amount of equity councils or policy changes could rectify the unjust system. The system cannot cure itself if the very system is the problem — the system itself must be destroyed.

Yet, you don’t see executives giving up their positions to people of color. You don’t see woke students refusing their admission to college so a disadvantaged person may take their spot. You didn’t see Joe Biden not run for president to give a minority a better chance to grab the presidential nomination. You don’t see the system giving up its power; you see the system taking every opportunity to expand it.

An equitable future is not the goal. A controlled one is. When you live in a country where equal opportunity, not equal outcome, is the basis of policy and law, then any disparity — racial or otherwise — can be largely attributed not to systemic discrimination, but to individual choice and decision-making. Herein lies the problem: to admit that individual choices are the driving factors of outcome is to admit personal responsibility in failure and success. In a culture that rewards victimhood, there is no societal power to be yielded in taking personal responsibility. We’ve cultivated a society that views personal responsibility with antipathy, labeling it a product of white supremacy.

The philosophy of equity is the true white supremacy — it is rooted in paternalistic condescension, with white people thinking they need to be the saviors of helpless minorities. We see it everywhere. People of color and women are selected for positions of power solely because of their sex and race, which adversely affects minorities who earn positions of power based on merit. This all creates a power dynamic the woke claim to despise — minorities are powerless in their own lives and only whites hold the power to change them.

Inequality and unequal treatment are the foundation of equity, and discrimination and racism are the building blocks. Equity is a house that will never cease to be under construction. We can keep trying to take those building blocks and stack them as high as we want, yet we will never see a world where disparity does not exist and outcome is uniform. We will only continue to teach our children that the most important thing about them is their skin color or sexual orientation, and that the content of their character, individual choices, and abilities are of no consequence. We will continue to give the system power to alleviate “problems” that every individual, regardless of identity, has the power to alleviate themselves.

Equal treatment, equality under the law, and equality of opportunity must all come crumbling down in order to keep the dream of equity alive. Liberty, meritocracy, and individual responsibility must die in order to sustain a system run on the misguided view of social justice. However, equity will always be a dream and justice will never come.