In his 1946 book Politics and the English Language, George Orwell stated: “Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful, murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind".  Clever language is nothing new to our political discourse.  To the uninitiated, the words equity and anti-racist sound like high ideals to be championed in our schools.  “Equity just means equality”, a Board Trustee told the audience in a 2021 School Board meeting at the Nevada Joint Union School District (NJUHSD).  Who wouldn’t want to be Anti-Racist?  That’s probably what most in the audience were thinking when the NJUHSD Superintendent unveiled his “Anti-Racism and Inclusivity Task Force” in June of 2020 (backed by 1,000 phantom signatures collected via the internet).  The Board was contemplating the Superintendent’s initiative to bring equity and anti-racism measures to Nevada County Schools.

    According to the Glossary of Education Reform, equity is defined as:

…. the principle of fairness…equity encompasses a wide variety of educational models, programs, and strategies that may be considered fair, but not necessarily equal.  It has been said that “equity is the process; equality is the outcome,” given that equity—what is fair and just—may not, in the process of educating students, reflect strict equality—what is applied, allocated, or distributed equally.

    In plain language, equity is the re-distribution of opportunity in pursuit of equal outcomes.  It is the opposite of equality of opportunity, which is a founding American principle.  What is “fair and just” is a subjective matter specific to the eye of the beholder.  Merit is the language of the old, “racist” system that you were probably raised in from wherever you came from in America.  Allison Collins, the San Francisco School Board Commissioner stated it succinctly: “When we talk about merit, meritocracy and especially meritocracy based on standardized testing, I’m just going to say it…those are racist systems”.  (Newsweek, March 7, 2022)

    If you wish to understand the definition of anti-racism, you are directed to the work of Ibrim X. Kendi, as defined in his multi-million copy best-selling book How to Be an Anti-Racist:  

“But if racial discrimination is defined as treating, considering, or making a distinction in favor or against an individual based on that person’s race, then racial discrimination is not inherently racist. The defining question is whether the discrimination is creating equity or inequity. If discrimination is creating equity, then it is antiracist.”

    So being Anti-racist and a proponent of equity in education provides school administrators the opportunity to correct past imbalances or perceived present imbalances by evaluating and taking action based on a student’s race – usually with no understanding of who has enjoyed “privilege” and who has not.  It is the opposite of our Country’s founding principal of equal treatment under the law.  

    Don’t think it’s happening?  In 2021, the University of California noted it will no longer use SAT scores to determine admission to the University system (NBC News via Associated Press, May 15, 2021).  What are they going to use?  It is not clear at this point.  In what might provide a clue of the process to come, the California State University at San Marcos reached an agreement with first year and transfer students that are members of the Coalition of Black and African American Education for college admission (The College Fix, March 4, 2022).  

    A poll conducted in 2021 indicated that 34% of white respondents lied about being part of a racial minority to improve their chances of admissions and financial aid (Yahoo News, Bryan Ke, October 26, 2021).  75% of those that lied were accepted into the school they applied to.  The students are beginning to understand that in our present affliction, outcome is no longer the result of hard work and self-determination – that’s America’s racist past.  It’s now about conforming to the political language and ideology of equity and anti-racism.

Contributor: Jonathan Kors, September 2022


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