- Richard Boddie
Equality, As Martin Luther King Jr. Championed, is Superior to Leftist "Equity" Nonsense
This article is a reprint of an original opinion piece published in The Orange County Register.
Until recently, I had never thought of the term “equity” as ever being associated with anything except real estate or the financing of such. I guess that’s just because I’m old or old school, as they say.
Now for starters, one of the many issues with applying this concept of “equity” to real people is the old issue of the possibility of a return to seeing and again treating Black Americans as property, rather than people.
Benevolent reasons for the new term — which has something to do with “fairness” or “justice,” in newspeak — don’t cut it with me.
Rather than the vague pursuit of “equity,” I prefer a society premised on “equality.” Not equality of outcomes, but equality under the law and equality of opportunity.
I prefer this over having third-party authoritarian institutions such as governments, or other do-gooders, calling the shots on what is or is not “equitable” and reordering society accordingly.
Friends, know and understand that I’m smelling a bit of the “Marxist dialectic” here. It feels like the kind that I was being fed in my early days, but obviously still remain confused about what the phrase actually means, after years of trying. But I am sensing old Karl in these new words and meanings by the contemporary “leaders.” As U.S. Supreme Court Justice Justice Potter Stewart once said in a Supreme Court opinion regarding obscenity back in 1964, “I know it when I see it.”
As the “woke” fantasies have increasingly subtly creeped throughout our culture and politics, newly invented words, meanings, approaches, concepts, and such have begun to show up out of nowhere, and have not only changed the meanings of established words, but moreover, have reversed or consciously negated the true meanings of many of those words that it has quietly replaced.
Words such as “inclusion,” “diversity,” “non-binary,” “social justice,” “microaggression” and way too many others to consider here, have popped up to smuggle in more radical ideas than the otherwise bland or innocuous-seeming terms would indicate.
While Martin Luther King, Jr. fought for equality, the new term is “equity.”
Equality is a universal standard, while equity is based on a subjective belief as to what is fair or not, for instance.
Equality involves individual effort, merit, good citizenship, and more. Equity or fairness appear to require others, and appears to be an individual subjective belief system and seeks equal results.
Now personally, I like the universal standard of equality under the law and treating individuals as individuals. This way, individuals can live their lives as an individual, guided by their talents, their merit, their moral virtues.
Equity means seeing groups, rather than individuals, and putting some third-party in charge of deciding to deprive some individuals to make things “fair” or “just” for others based on how they are grouped.
From the beginnings of young Martin Luther King, Jr.’s quest, one of his main objectives was to be a force for achieving equality of opportunity for all in America.
He understood this was the true fulfillment of what America was all about after the end of slavery and the post-Civil War amendments to the U.S. Constitution.
Both history and empirical evidence show that this universal approach, equality, applies to all individuals.
Voluntary efforts and firm commitments towards achieving equality are the way forward, not by quota or “fairness” schemes or other subtle efforts at subverting equality.
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and not necessarily the views of the Libertarian Party of Orange County.
Richard Boddie is a member of the Southern California News Group's editorial board. He is a longtime member of the Libertarian Party and sought the party's nomination for the 1992 presidential election. His opinion pieces can be read on The Orange County Register.