Equal Opportunity for All Should Be Our Goal

By Rob Meyne

  • Jan. 21, 2024
  • 5-min read

In 2011, Chicago pastor Corey Brooks lived for a while on the roof of an abandoned motel in his South Side neighborhood. He was protesting urban violence and hoping, through contributions, to raise money for a community center.

Brooks is a longtime advocate for people in his neighborhood, a devout Christian, and a respected leader. In the thirteen years since he lived on that roof, Brooks has learned firsthand of the damage being done to young blacks by contemporary Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) efforts and Critical Race Theory (CRT).

Brooks has become a vocal and effective opponent of DEI, CRT, and other schools of thought that teach Americans that you’re either a victim or an oppressor based on your skin color. Brooks writes intelligently and clearly in a piece from Tablet Magazine. It is worth the read.

DEI has evolved into a catch-all phrase that leftists use to refer to everything that is good and worthwhile about fighting racism. If DEI a just referred to good faith efforts to lift up people who might need a helping hand, that would be one thing. No serious and sane person would object to that. That is not what DEI is. As is so often the case with the gospel of the left, the reality of their policies is different from their rhetoric.

It is likely that most people who embrace equity – people who run our schools, have jobs in corporate HR, or maybe work for a non-profit – talk about the concept as if it is a general, all-encompassing effort to pursue a fair and equal world. One doubts that most equity devotees can even define what it means. Most such people no doubt mean well. But the problem is they end up giving energy and momentum to a disastrous concept they don’t actually understand.

The people who implement equity as a policy, however, know that it isn’t the same thing as equality of opportunity. Equity demands equal results based on one’s membership in a group; equal opportunity has a goal of a color-blind society, where effort, talent, and merit matter and skin color cannot hold you back.

In practice, as it is actually implemented by government, DEI tells us that wealth, opportunity, rewards, and benefits should be allocated according to race, sex, and national origin, not by merit. It is all about racial quotas and rejects the role of merit in our society. DEI is perfectly suited for a socialist society but is antithetical to our own.

CRT is an intellectually vacuous set of objectives that have their roots in the Frankfurt School of communism. Yes, no one likes to admit that, and it doesn’t make one sound less conspiratorial to point it out, but it is true. Critical theory in general began with Marx and others who saw all of society as a war between the classes.

Communism is all about the battle between the haves and the have-nots. Applied to race, as it has been in the past couple of decades, critical theory is not just a philosophy, it is a set of policy recommendations. It basically mirrors communist thought, obsessing on class struggles, only with skin color and other characteristics replacing the discussion of the proletariat. If you like the basic foundation of socialism or communism, you will love CRT. If you value freedom and equal opportunity, not so much.

Manifestly, DEI is not a cure for racism, it IS racism. Any policy that penalizes or rewards people based on their skin color, or similar group identification, is racist. Period. That simple truth is upsetting to the woke crowd. That’s ok. They are often upset by the truth.

You cannot give an advantage, resource, or preference to someone based on their skin color without disadvantaging everyone else. Case in point: admissions policies at Harvard and UNC, which were ruled unconstitutional in ’23, penalized Asian applicants and rewarded black applicants. The schools defended those policies, even though they were clearly racist. (As an aside, it is incredibly stupid that the politically correct crowd refers to “Asians” as if they are one group. Koreans, Taiwanese, Chinese, and Thais are hardly all the same. Perhaps nothing shows their ignorance more.)

Clearly, equity is the opposite of equal opportunity. Equity allocates resources and opportunities according to skin color, rejecting individualism, equal opportunity, or merit.

In the world of DEI and CRT, groups matter, but individuals don’t. DEI’s proponents teach us that all white people are oppressors, black people are victims, and racism is the only explanation for the fact that groups reach disparate levels of achievement.

CRT explicitly rejects classical liberal thought and reasoning. It simply states, as if it were a truism handed down by Zeus himself, that the only explanation for different groups in a society having different levels of success or achievement is racism. They offer no evidence or logic behind the claim; they just say it is so. They also embrace post-modernism, which essentially holds that NOTHING is actually true, that everything is malleable and subject to interpretation.

In addition, disciples of DEI and CRT maintain that racism is built into our society and is inevitable, ubiquitous, and resistant to change.

(Just for fun, ask someone to give one example, any example, of a federal policy that inherently treats black people unfairly, and you are likely to get a blank stare. They claim such examples are abundant but can’t think of one. Try it yourself. Name ONE major U. S. program or law that treats black people unfairly based on their race. Just one. We’ll wait.)

DEI and CRT are in essence admissions that the left’s prescriptions for raising up all Americans have not been sufficient. Instead of looking at themselves and wondering if we should try different strategies, the DEI crowd has simply decided that any differences must be the result of racism.

DEI dogma also embraces an incredibly hateful, bigoted, and illogical theory: white privilege. It is ironic that people who support CRT and DEI – people who think of themselves as open-minded and non-judgmental – promote a belief that is astonishingly racist. All white people aren’t the same any more than all black people. And all white people aren’t privileged any more than all black people are oppressed.

Yet if you admit that white privilege is a lie, the entire justification for DEI and CRT soon falls apart. A college professor, president, or pastor who believes in white privilege is just as racist, bigoted, and ignorant as someone who believes all black people are inferior.

DEI and CRT are the opposite of equal opportunity, and they have no place in a free and just society.

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