Latest language crime: “equity”


A new brick has been added to the wall of politically correct speech: "equity" -- a euphemism for more (and unending) racial and gender preferences in pursuit of an undefinable and unattainable goal.

It takes courage and clear thinking to resist the liberal preoccupation with racial/gender preference and language control.

[In George Orwell’s 1984] Syme [a Party official] encourages Winston to recognize that the ‘whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought’.   He explains that ‘in the end we shall make thoughtcrime literally impossible because there will be no words in which to express it.’  Syme refers to the fact that individual thought, rebellious or ‘unorthodox’ thoughts will be impossible and so, too, will the true concept of individual freedom.   Each concept will be expressed in just ‘one’ word.   Any ‘subsidiary’ meanings will be rubbed out and forgotten. (55).The party controls the mind through the control of language (Newspeak), the control of history (the past) and the control of war/ enemies, [via] the process of DoubleThink.

From Englishworks, “Orwell’s 1984 and the control of language”

Does the above sound familiar?  It should.

Liberal Newspeak proceeds apace, driven by what Tucker Carlson calls “lying, pomposity, smugness, and groupthink.”

The most recent entry (that I know of) is the addition of a political meaning to equity.  It’s the latest liberal buzzword.  It’s a feel-good word, suggesting equality.  But the new, politically correct meaning is totally congruent with the doctrine liberals have been forcing on the rest of us for decades: ever more obsession with race, gender, proportional representation, and preferential treatment.

But now we need a new euphemism.

Promising “equality” is too extreme, too direct – and, at the same time, too vague.  Is it supposed to apply to every area of life – education, employment, health care?  How would we define it?

So let’s go with “equity.”

Sounds like “equality,” and what’s wrong with that?   And so a new meaning is born.  As usual, to determine what a word really means, we must look to behavior.

Advocates of “equity” disingenuously claim it means providing the same opportunities and resources for everyone.    The first few Google hits turned up exactly that:

’Equality’ generally refers to equal opportunity and the same levels of support for all segments of society. … ‘Equity’ goes a step further and refers offering varying levels of support depending upon need to achieve greater fairness of outcomes.”

“’Equality’ means each individual or group of people is given the same resources or opportunities. ‘Equity’ recognizes that each person has different circumstances and allocates the exact resources and opportunities needed to reach an equal outcome.”

“There is a common misconception that ‘equity’ and ‘equality’ mean the same thing — and that they can be used interchangeably, especially when talking about education. But the truth is they do not — and cannot. All students should have the resources necessary for a high-quality education. …”

A visual analogy appears here – a shorter kid stands on a higher box to watch a ball game over the fence.

What “equity” really means

So far, so good.  We’ve been trying to achieve equal opportunity, whatever that means, for a long time (equal outcome sounds good but is hopelessly vague and impossible to recognize or measure; it’s just another pseudo-objective that justifies more race/gender preferences and “diversity” programs).

We already have countless laws, regulations, and practices to promote equal opportumity.  Why not just keep using equal opportunity?  Because equity has another new — sinister and hidden — meaning, which we find at actually comes out and says that equity is achieved by “Affirmative action policies (a.k.a ‘reservation’ and ‘quotas’ for certain marginalized sections of society); decisions by companies to consciously look for a female director for their board that is composed of all men.”

So equality of opportunity is not enough.

We need more direct and coercive interventions.  Expect more of the same, then, in the pursuit of “equity” —  diversity indoctrination, bloated diversity bureaucracies (an obscene waste of resources – what other society does this?), racial discrimination, and an obsession with “proportional representation,” as if that were a guarantee of the organization’s success (it is not) or proof of its virtue (in these days, probably).

Historical note: fairness and impartiality

I keep a few old dictionaries around for historical purposes, and guess what: Random House’s Webster’s unabridged dictionary, latest publication 2001, lists eight definitions of equity but does not include the new meanings, ‘equality of opportunity’ (what its proponents say it is) and ‘socially engineered equality; racial/gender preferences’ (what it is in practice).

Dictionary meaning #1 is ‘fairness, impartiality…’ – and today’s racial/gender preferences are anything but fair and impartial.

Achieving “equity”

There is no doubt as to how equity is to be achieved in practice.  As Pat Buchanan puts it, “Biden has moved the goal posts from equality of opportunity to ‘equity’ for all, which can only be attained by socialist action to even out wealth through quotas, affirmative action, and set-asides.”

Control through language

Another Orwellian language move by the people who really do believe in controlling thought and behavior by controlling language.  Limit the things people can say, give them soothing and misleading language, and you can hope to control their thoughts and actions.

And once more these language criminals, like Orwell’s thought-controllers, brazenly define something as its opposite:

“Discrimination [= ‘equity’] is Equality.”

Once again I call upon all academic linguists, especially the high-profile ones (talking to you, Chomsky), to stand up against these language abuses.  Why the silence?  My usual answer: they’re too comfortably tenured in the very institutions that promulgate these language crimes.