90 Miles From Tyranny : Biden’s ‘Equity’ Push Is Actually a Push for Unequal Treatment

Monday, March 8, 2021

Biden’s ‘Equity’ Push Is Actually a Push for Unequal Treatment

Unity is not just an empty slogan; it truly is something all Americans should be striving to achieve. Many Americans still share virtues, such as attachment to hard work and devotion to principles such as equality, around which a president can create national harmony.

We can’t achieve unity, however, by refusing to deal squarely with the deep philosophical and constitutional differences that divide us. We only make things worse, too, by deepening these disagreements.

This is, alas, what President Joe Biden’s frenetic push on “equity” and identity politics threatens to do. It bulldozes over constitutional notions that are not just vestiges of old parchments and musty records, to paraphrase Hamilton, but which continue to have a psychic hold on the minds of many, many Americans. To ignore this is reckless.

Yet the new president is so determined to sell us “equity” that he sometimes can’t get the buzz word off the teleprompter fast enough. One day in his second week in office, Biden misspoke and almost said “equality,” but then backed up and repeated the new magic word: equity.

Why was he so punctilious? Why equity and not equality? Because the difference has become enormous under the Biden administration.

“Equity” may sound like equality, but in the hands of Biden, his team, and the professoriate dictating the terms from the faculty lounge, it has become its functional opposite. This drives a dagger into any hope of unifying around the foundational principle of equality.

Equality calls for government to treat Americans equally, a standard that, when aspired to, has solved many vicissitudes, but when ignored has led to calamity. Equity, under the corrupted new meaning, calls for government to dispense unequal treatment in order to achieve equal outcomes.

This is what Kamala Harris, our new vice president, means when she uses these terms. In a tweet in November she wrote: “There’s a big difference between equality and equity. Equality suggests, ‘everyone should get the same amount’.”

Equity, however, Harris went on, is “about giving people the resources and the support they need, so that everyone can be on [an] equal footing, and then compete on [an] equal footing. Equitable treatment means we all end up in the same place.”

That is not the American ideal. The search for equal outcomes is more the Soviet idea. It was Karl Marx, after all, who wrote, “from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs!”

But now “to each according to his needs” has become not just the official policy of the Biden administration, but its top priority.

Holding all the levers of elected power, and holding sway over the cultural institutions, Team Biden pushes relentlessly ahead. Several of the slew of executive orders Biden signed his first day in office have dealt with equity or reimagined the country as divided between categories of oppressors and the marginalized.

The very first, apparently, signed right after the inaugural address, was the “Executive Order on Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities for...

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