Biden’s Executive Order on Equity: It Will Create Greater Inequality
On February 16, 2023, President Joe Biden issued his second executive order to strengthen equity within federal agencies. Among other things, it ordered them to install equity officers and implement action plans with the superficial aim of making it easier for “underserved communities” to access federal resources.
Although there is plenty of commentary on the specific content of the new order, that is not what this article is about. Rather, the purpose of this article is to familiarize readers with the ideology behind equity. I do not intend, however, to come across as a doomsayer who believes all is lost. There are, after all, signs of improvement.
To begin with, it should be noted that equity isn’t unique to government. I am only highlighting the Biden administration because the executive branch is one of the most powerful institutions in the United States. Schools are another institution that consecrate equity. And although equity is usually referenced through diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), I will only focus on equity because it is the ultimate objective that the other letters are meant to serve.
First, let’s look at how the Biden administration defines equity. It is defined in section ten as, “The consistent and systematic treatment of all individuals in a fair, just, and impartial manner, including individuals who belong to communities that often have been denied such treatment.”
That doesn’t sound so bad, right? But one must ask: why is the word “just” there? Federal agencies should certainly be fair and impartial in carrying out their duties, but what does it mean for an office bureaucrat to do their duties in a just manner when, say, reviewing a student loan application? Moreover, why are community affiliations at the center of analysis? One would think that in disaster situations, such as the train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, the primary metric for obtaining aid is individual need. Alas, no.
Despite the inoffensive sentiment, the words do not mean what the average person thinks they mean. Rather, words like fair and just have special meaning to equity officers. You see, equity is informed by neo-Marxist thoughts, such as critical race theory (CRT) among others. These theories seek to draw a straight line from observed injustices to the institutions of society itself. That is, they argue that oppression is not
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