How Did Equity and Equality Become Different Things?

A preview of coming attractions in societal lunacy is coming your way. Thanks, California.

By Dennis Boone

Ever since it became clear that Joe Biden would be the Democratic standard-bearer in 2020, I turned the knob on my interest in the presidential race to zero. Then broke it off. I was never a big Donald Trump fan, and Uncle Joe has typified Beltway Buffoonery since the year I graduated from high school.

My assessment of the two-party system’s best and brightest was roundly confirmed in the first presidential debate last month, when two geezers spent 90 minutes shouting at each other to get off their lawns. The local congressional races haven’t inspired much interest, either: I see them as largely foregone conclusions, and don’t expect much change among members of the bistate delegations come January. State House and Senate races? Yawn.

But there is one contest I’ll be closely following as the votes are counted Nov. 3: the outcome of California’s vote on Proposition 16. I guess they used up all the regular integers trying to calculate the state budget deficit there, and had to start again from scratch: Prop 16 would overturn Proposition 209, which voters approved nearly 25 years ago.

And just what ill-informed piece of stilted thinking did those voters sign off on back then? Why, it’s almost Hitlerian or Stalinesque—by today’s standards of racial groupthink, anyway. Take a look at what the barbarians of that era were up to:

“The state shall not discriminate against, or grant preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin in the operation of public employ-ment, public education, and public contracting.”

Well, now. THAT can’t stand, can it? What’s that all about? Fairness? A level playing field? Dare I say it: Equity? Guess not. California’s governor, its senator-turned-vice-presidential candidate, virtually every member of their party establishment, academia, Hollywood and a great many 1 percenters from Silicon Valley are richly funding the effort to get rid of that outrageous display of color blindness.

Normally, I don’t care much about whether California retains its geologic grip on the rest of the continent or slides into the deep Pacific blue. Especially since my older daughter went full Snake Plissken last year and escaped from L.A. for a suburban D.C. ZIP code.

But this vote isn’t just about California.What starts in the Golden State has a bad habit, eventually, of making its way to the Midwest. I believe oncologists refer to this process as “metastasization.” So this vote is a precursor to a bigger decision ahead about what kind of country we want to be.

Hard as it is for some people to believe, a few of us dinosaurs were actually alive to hear a Martin Luther King Jr. speech. We found it inspirational.

Hard as it is for some people to believe, a few of us dinosaurs were actually alive to hear a Martin Luther King Jr. speech. We found it inspirational. We came of age the first time around for that “long overdue conversation about race” after the Watts riots. We supported the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Voting Rights Act a year later.

We came to understand equality in America as meaning everyone stood unchained in the eyes of the law: the college admissions office, the C-suite and HR department, the apartment leasing office, playgrounds, restaurants, theaters—the whole megillah. We saw state-sponsored segregation fade into history; we witnessed integration of the suburbs (come to think of it, why doesn’t anyone ever lament black flight from the urban core?) and reintegration of the city’s center.

We’ve seen—and embraced—inter-racial marriage (check the Census stats on it now vs., say, 1970); we cheer the athletic, artistic and business achievements of all races, and we support those exceptional performers with our dollars.

Now we’re told: That’s not good enough. Even if we’re not the sinners, we are stained by an original sin that goes back generations.

To which I say: The hell with that.I don’t care if you’re black, white, brown or striped like a zebra: I was raised to see you as an individual, not a color. I raised my own kids to see people—all people—the same way. Anyone who objects to that, or who spits into a hand extended in friendship because I’m melanin-deficient, is the one who has the problem we should be discussing.

I can only hope the voters in Cal-ifornia take the high road, and refrain from spitting back.

It won’t come out of the presidential, congressional or statehouse bean-counting when the votes are in, but a message is about to be delivered. We’ll know a lot more about where this nation is headed on the morning of Nov. 4, by looking to the west.

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