Deep meaning of equity

The execrable Susan Rice has returned to public life to lead the White House Domestic Policy Council. It’s an anodyne title, but she has taken up residence in the Executive Office of the President to execute, to crack the whip, to impose discipline, to play the role of Krupskaya to Joe Biden’s glassy-eyed Weekend at Bernie’s routine.

Rice emerged on Tuesday to preview the strong dose of “equity” that Biden was to promote later that day. What does “equity” mean? Rice used the word over and over again without explanation (video below).

“Equity” is not equality (i.e., equal rights). It is a substitute for equal rights. “Equity” requires the authorities to determine who gets what according to the race, the ethnicity, or other status of the beneficiaries. It is updated Marxist claptrap in which race replace class.

Michael Barone takes up the deep meaning of “equity” in his Washington Examiner column “Biden’s United States of Racial Quotas and Preferences.” Barone counts Rice’s use of the term 19 times in her remarks and explicates it:

[F]or Rice and Biden, “equity” requires not equality of opportunity, but equality of results. That’s one of the fundamental tenets of the critical race theory training that Trump’s administration banned and Biden’s reinstated on Day One.

A lower-than-population percentage of blacks in any desirable category, explains critical race theorist Ibram X. Kendi, must be the result of “systemic racism,” a term Rice used twice and Biden five times on Tuesday. If you don’t agree, you’re guilty of “white fragility” and must be a “white supremacist.”

As Andrew Sullivan trenchantly observes, “to achieve ‘equity,’ you first have to take away equality for individuals who were born in the wrong identity group. Equity means treating individuals unequally so that groups are equal.”

This is exactly contrary to the central thrust of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It could easily be judged, in particular cases, to violate the 14th Amendment. Individuals discriminated against might have standing to go to court.

And there will surely be many such individuals. Rice made clear that the policies mentioned Tuesday are just a start. “Every agency,” she said, with no suggestion of exceptions, “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.”

That’s a lot of preferred categories, but one suspects that, as in Orwell’s Animal Farm, some preferred groups will be more preferred than others. What we’re being promised is racial quotas and preferences in every conceivable program, in every possible corner of public life.

Equal rights are the ground of our freedom. “Equity” is something else entirely. Posited as a goal, it is a rationale for unequal treatment. Never to be achieved, it remains permanently on the horizon.

In Democracy in America, Tocqueville observes (Volume Two, Part Two, Chapter 13) that the mania for perfect equality in conditions (“equity”) is at war with human nature:

[M]en will never found an equality that is enough for them. Whatever a people’s effort, it will not succeed in making conditions perfectly equal within itself; and if it had the misfortune to reach this absolute and complete leveling, the inequality of intellects would still remain, which coming directly from God, will always escape the laws.

However democratic the social state and political constitution of a people may be, one can therefore count on the fact that each of its citizens will always perceive near to him several positions in which he is dominated, and one can foresee that he will obstinately keep looking at this side alone. When inequality is the common law of a society, the strongest inequalities do not strike the eye; when everything is nearly on a level, the least of them wound it. That is why the desire for equality always becomes more insatiable as equality is greater.

The mania for perfect equality of results and conditions is never to be satisfied. It provides a permanent rationale for perfect tyranny.

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