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The Equity Charade
"Progressive" champions of "equity" have shown themselves to be what they profess to hate
My long-time friend, The Duckpin’s Jim Braswell, published a piece in The Capital last week (which ran in its original form here back in February) last week that seems to have rankled many across the county. In the piece, Braswell critiqued the equity education being taught in Anne Arundel County Public Schools.
Unfortunately, most people missed the point, either deliberately or accidentally.
Braswell’s critique, specifically, addressed the county’s “Unity Day” and some of the concepts that were being taught. He voiced opposition toward the idea that equity should be defined as the equality of outcomes instead of the equality of opportunities. His critiques were targeted at how concepts like “equity”, “privilege”, “justice”, and “fairness” are being taught. The real hypothesis of his piece: “We are sacrificing our children’s education in the name of progressive values.”
“Equity” as it is defined by its proponents throws these basic American values and principles on their ear. Instead of equality of opportunity, they demand equality of outcome. They ignore Martin Luther King’s dream of judging people not on the color of their skin but the content of their character by insisting that all people are racist. They define “justice” by focusing on outcomes instead of the external factors that lead to those outcomes.
How is that definition of “equity” and “tolerance” supposed to do anything but drive a wedge between average Americans of different races, colors, and creeds?
This country was built on ideas unknown to other countries. Of representative government, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of association, and opportunity. In America, more than any other place on earth, a person has the ability to improve their station in life through hard work and equality of opportunity.
Has America failed in ensuring equal opportunity for all? Yes. But in this country, hard work, perseverance, and luck get you a lot farther than most.
Braswell’s critiques did not address the elephant in the room: race. Not once in the column were racial issues brought up. But that did not stop Braswell’s critics from accusing him of racism.
These critics were jumping off the pier when the boat was already out to sea.
Some defenders of “equity” automatically assumed that race was the point of the piece, lodging uncorroborated accusations on social media about racism and white supremacy.
It is of no consequence to them that Braswell’s wife is of Japanese descent. It makes no difference to them that Braswell’s children are half-Japanese and honored their heritage with Japanese names.
It is of no consequence to critics that the scholars that Braswell quoted were two of his personal heroes, Thomas Sowell and Walter Williams. Those critics did not bother to learn that both men are prominent intellectuals who just happened to be African-Americans.
Instead, as is often the case in 2021, the reaction focused on things unrelated to the actual topic at hand.
Those reactions were fueled by blind rage. Braswell’s intelligence was frequently questioned. He was accused of racism and of white supremacy. His critics frequently engaged in stereotypes because he, like I, grew up in Pasadena. They assumed that he was just another yokel from Pasadena. Never mind the fact that he is a successful author, businessman, and attorney.
The reaction to Braswell’s piece shows something many have long known: that those who most vocally preach and demand tolerance are among the most intolerant and hypocritical people of all. These folks, usually white, middle-class liberals, act like they have something to prove instead of something to say. Instead of trying to have a dialogue with people who may not view the world the way they do, they want to yell, scream, cancel, and accuse others of horrible things. Usually, they do so without cause, rhyme, or reason.
There isn’t much daylight between the “tolerance” crowd and the IngSoc regime from George Orwell’s “1984.” Just looking at the reaction to all of this, you see many parallels with dystopian Orwellian concepts like “newspeak”, “crimethink” and “unperson.”
Heck, most of the critics probably engage in their own version of the Two Minutes Hate on a daily basis.
Many of these “tolerant” folks engage in “duckspeak.” Look it up.
There will be serious societal repercussions for this kind of blind, visceral hatred of Braswell and others who oppose “progressive” ideology. This is no longer about schools and what is taught to our children; it’s much bigger than that. When a political minority tries to oppress freedom of thought and freedom of expression, there will be a reaction. Usually, those reactions are for the worst.
I mean, that’s how you got Trump.
There are serious conversations we still need to have regarding race relations in America and in our county. Progress on those conversations is diminished when every critique of “progressive” orthodoxy is met with unrestrained rage, hostility, and hate from “progressive” true believers.
I want to live in a country where all people are treated equally under the law.
I want to live in a country where all people are treated equally by instruments of government.
I want to live in a country where Americans, regardless of their color, gender, ancestry or faith are able to have the freedom to speak, freedom to assemble, and the freedom to practice their faith without undue government intervention.
Sadly, those pushing “equity” are keeping us from getting there.