Equity, Equity, Equity. What a word you are – you sound a little like your cousin “equality”, but you are somehow fresher, snappier. So many have written or made videos about how you two are different, but why are people making such a fuss about you, in particular?
Because, Equity, though you may seem footloose and fancy-free, you have hidden depths. You demand an acknowledgement of the legacy of historical wrongs. You demand attention towards continuing bias and oppression (the African American Policy Forum does an excellent job of summing all this up in cartoon form). You envision – and you demand – an end to harm and a path to collective liberation.
But many people have trouble seeing you for what you are, particularly when you call yourself Racial Equity. Often you get sandwiched between “diversity” and “inclusion”, two seeming buddies who are actually carrying a great deal of hidden baggage. Diversity celebrates difference without asking who benefits, while inclusion welcomes without asking who is hosting. These are not your buddies. In fact, they are working against you, telling others that if we all just come together, unite in our differences, that… sorry, I’m going blank here.
Racial Equity, you require something of us. In the workplace, for example, you require we acknowledge (among other things):