In their Sept. 7 letter, “Follow federal agency’s lead for racial equity,” the Mishlers state that “systemic racism … is taking place” in this country and that “equal rights and protections” can be pursued through President Biden’s mandated equity agenda. I challenge both ideas.

Equality means the same treatment for everyone. Equity means the same outcomes for everyone. The two ideals clash. Equity requires the unequal treatment of Americans to ensure that outcomes are equalized. Equity’s worldview starts with the premise that systemic racism creates unequal outcomes between races. Equity proponents, therefore, argue that retributive actions are necessary to correct those wrongs and that past discrimination justifies present discrimination. Equity advocates believe that people who have done nothing wrong should pay for the past sins of others. From this perspective, equity is a doctrine gone too far, moving beyond advocacy and into the realm of blatant discrimination. Affirmative action, ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, is a perfect example. I am not questioning the good intentions of equity supporters. I am questioning the wisdom and legality of equity-based policies.

The rationale for equity is past injustices. No one denies the United States has a history of racism. Even after the Civil Rights Act in 1964, moral atrocities continued. However, it is now 2023 and we are right to be skeptical of claims that America continues to be a deeply racist country. Thousands of asylum seekers, people of color, surge across our southern border weekly. Would they make a perilous journey, traveling thousands of miles through several other countries, to reach one that practices systemic racism? No. Asylum seekers are not stupid people. They know what many Americans do not know, acknowledge, appreciate, celebrate and often deny – the United States is the greatest country on this planet. God bless America.

Nancy Chesley

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