1.20 Equity versus Opportunity

Equity means equality of outcome.  An example of that idea would be if there are students that work hard in school and other students that don't  and so don't get as many questions right on tests they should still get the same grade.  The idea is that they will then have equal opportunities when they get out of school to get ahead and get a good job or maybe a powerful political position.  What is the problem with this?  It means the most competent hard working people won't get the job.  It means students won't be motivated to study since studying won't help them get ahead.  Equity of outcomes is what socialism preaches, and is why socialists economies are such failures.  Working harder doesn't help you make more money in socialist countries so why work and generate wealth?

In order to achieve equity between races you have to discriminate on the basis of race.  Discrimination on the basis of race is wrong.

For years, two administrators at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJ) withheld notifications of National Merit awards from the school’s families, most of them Asian, thus denying students the right to use those awards to boost their college-admission prospects and earn scholarships. This episode emerged amid the school district’s new strategy of “equal outcomes for every student, without exception.” School administrators, implemented an “equitable grading” policy that eliminates zeros, gives students a grade of 50 percent just for showing up, and assigns a cryptic code of “NTI” for assignments not turned in.

What the administrators at Thomas Jefferson did for the sake of equity was discrimination against Asian students.  If a black person had won a merit scholarship they would have told that student.

Equity in theory means proportional numbers of people from every race are in every job.  So if 14% of people are blacks equity would mean that 14% of doctors, engineers, mathematicians, basketball players etc. should be black.  This is different than equality of opportunity.  Equality of opportunity says that if people are equally qualified for a job they should have an equal chance at that job no matter what race or ethnic group they are from but only if they are equally qualified.  Equity means that they should have an equal chance at the job whether they are equally qualified or not. 

Some people who demand equity, say that admission tests to schools should be abolished because some groups do better on those tests than others and so are more likely to be admitted to those schools.  Some people argue that difficult subjects like math should be eliminated since some groups do better than others in those subjects.

The people who promote equity and eliminating tough subjects argue that they are insuring equal opportunity for all.  Glenn Loury is a black professor at Brown University who hosts the Glenn Loury show who says they are wrong.  In fact he argues that advanced math and gifted programs provide an opportunity that the people who push equity are taking away from black children.  He discussed this below with Professor Amy Wax. 

Professor Amy Wax is a very courageous woman from the University of Pennsylvania who has spoken out against equity and against some of the groups who promote it.  As a result the city of Philadelphia is pressuring the University of Pennsylvania to fire her even though she has tenure.  She is very brave because she knows that speaking the truth puts her job in danger.  In fact the Philadelphia City Council wrote a letter to the University of Pennsylvania asking that they reconsider her position at Penn and as a result the University is considering punishing her.  That punishment could be ending her job at Penn.

Frightening people into silence is totalitarianism.  If people are too afraid to stand up to totalitarianism the day will come when they will have to bow down to totalitarianism.  We need more people with the courage of Professor Amy Wax and Professor Glenn Loury if our country is to remain free.  If only a few people speak up they can lose their jobs but if everyone speaks up they can't all be fired and the cause of fairness and justice can win.

In the video Professor Wax mentions that a young man asked her how he could prevent his children going woke.  Going woke means becoming aware of the ongoing oppression of blacks and the guilt and racism of all whites.  The idea is that you are waking up to the horrible reality in America.  Of course some people would argue, myself included, that is not reality at all and that blacks are treated very well in America today.


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