By Dr. Harold A. Black
The left is making clucking sounds about equity. The Biden administration has wholeheartedly embraced the concept with virtually every facet of government being charged with furthering equity. The pivoting to equity from equality is another embrace of Critical Race Theory, postulating that whites have rigged the American system in their favor to the exclusion of minorities – especially blacks.
Yes it is true that many blacks are successful but the equity crowd would posit that either they are the exceptions or they would have been even more successful had they been white. This is a throwback to the segregated South and Jim Crow days when there were racial silos, one white and one black. Those silos were both stratified by earnings and education. However, when placed on top of each other, the highest ranking black was lower than the lowest ranking white.
As we used to say when we heard the Civil Rights anthem “We shall overcome,” white folks don’t mind us overcoming just so long as we didn’t come over. Martin Luther King led a movement to merge the silos, a movement for equality.
Today’s left wants to have separate silos in order to addresses inequities through reparations. Statistics show racial income and wealth gaps (note that there is also a gender gap but that would mean paying reparations to white women so the left ignores it). If blacks and whites with the same education have different incomes and different wealth then the left posits that the differences are due to systemic racism and should be addressed via equity. This reinforces the notion of “separate but equal”.
The problem is that giving remuneration to the lower earning group provides a disincentive to make oneself better off while providing a disincentive (and resentment) to achieve more for the group that is having its earnings taxed away and reallocated to the other group. Thus, a movement from equality to equity will foster an economic race war.
The move toward equity rather than equality is at its roots an attack on the fundamental concept of American meritocracy. A basic tenet of our economic system is that merit is rewarded rather than birth. The American democracy was a rejection of the British system of aristocracy which was based on wealth and birth. In America, it was proposed that those who work harder will be rewarded more than those who are equally endowed but who choose to work less. The equity crowd would argue that two individuals who are equal in all aspects except for race are rewarded differently. A rejection of rewarding innate talents and hard work in favor of rewarding based on race is a rejection of basic American principles and a rejection of capitalism.
Indeed, the proponents of Critical Race Theory state that capitalism is antithetical to equity. Thus, even though I have achieved virtually every goal I set for myself professionally, the equity advocates would argue that I would have achieved more had I been born white. There, of course, are exceptions but they are few and far between. Even Barack Obama, Oprah Winfrey and Lebron James embrace Critical Race Theory. What the left doesn’t tell us is that Critical Race Theory and equity do nothing more than institute a rewards system based on their own tastes and preferences.
Now ask yourself, why would any rational person embrace such a system that imposes someone else’s tastes upon others? The only answer is that the advocates think that either they will be doing the allocating or that they will get free stuff expropriated from their fellow citizens.