Disparities Don't Prove Discrimination
57% of federal prison inmates are White and 93% are male. 70% of the players in the NFL and over 80% of players in the NBA are Black. Jews have won 22% of Nobel Peach Prizes despite being only two percent of the population. These statistics show disparities between people groups - yet these facts are not disputed or part of any mainstream discourse in the Critical Social Justice movement today. Why you ask? These facts don't fit their neat, overly simplistic, view of the world today.
The National Center for Education Statistics reports: at the bachelor’s degree level, the number of degrees awarded in the U.S. overall increased 54% (from 1.2 million to 1.9 million) between the 2020-21 and 2015-16 academic years. Bachelor's completion among Blacks increased by 75% (from 111,300 to 194,500) and Whites: +29% (from 927,400 to 1.2 million). Even though the percent of degrees awarded to Blacks rose significantly more than whites, there's a loud group in academia that is screaming racism is to blame for the fact that the actual number of degrees awarded to Blacks isn't equal with the number awarded to Whites.
Census data holds inconvenient truth for the radicals that are flipping higher education on its end.
Census data holds an inconvenient truth for the radicals that are flipping higher ed on its end. Of the entire US population (328,239,523), 12% are Black and 72% are White. In the 2015-16 academic year, 10% of all bachelor's degree holders were Black and 63% were White. The percentage of Black bachelor's degree holders is proportionally much more in line with their national representation than that of Whites. In the logical world, this would be considered a feat. The radicals choose to disregard this fact and focus on the actual number of bachelor's degrees completed, which clearly shows more Whites receive bachelor's degrees than Blacks. This is a key tenet of their agenda to force equity in higher education. In the context of the Critical Social Justice (CSJ) movement, it's important to understand the difference between the words equity and equality:
1. Equity: justice according to natural law or right, specifically: freedom from bias or favoritism
2. Equality: The quality or state of being equal
Be careful. Read both definitions again. These sound similar, but have starkly different meanings and are often used (incorrectly) interchangeably, which is misleading and inaccurate. Simply put, equality is providing the same level of opportunity and assistance to all segments of society. Equity is providing various levels of support and assistance depending on specific needs or abilities to make equal outcomes. Do not let anyone tell you differently. Equity, in context of the current social justice movement, justifies racial biases and quotas for marginalized populations, in order to reach the same outcomes of the perceived advantaged.
Let's take a look. In the context of the example above, in order for bachelor's degree-holding between both races to become equitable, 31% of the entire US Black population would have to complete a bachelor's degree to meet the 1.2 million awarded to whites - that equates to every single Black 18-24 year-old, plus some. Tell me that's reasonable. Often, because this kind of an outcome is so unreachable (purely due to the literal demographic proportions that exist in our nation's population), standards are lowered to reduce the outcomes for those that are perceived to have greater opportunity (in this case - and in most cases now - Whites) to lower the bar for realistic outcomes for Blacks. While percentages can be statistically useful in describing a studied population, it is unwise to make the leap that equity is the answer for all disparities. But advocates for CSJ are bound to this logic: rather than asking 'is racism occurring here?', it's absolute necessity to ask 'where is racism occurring here?' That one additional word sets the stage for the massive paradigm shift we're seeing today.
Examples of equity executed in public education include: the adoption of the Common Core curriculum, the push for test-blind or test-optional admission to colleges and universities, hiring quotas for faculty and admission quotas for enrollment divisions.
While advocating for equity is often approached from a true desire to help those in need, it is a dangerous precedent to set in society, especially in education. It devalues the individual abilities of students and forces unnecessary spending at public institutions (taxpayer dollars) on initiatives that are sure to be fruitless in comparison to their lofty goals. A statistical disparity is often nothing more than that. While the data can be accurate and show a real look at how data is distributed, simply relying on data alone cannot be reason enough for calling foul play. There always has to be an ulterior motive to make that leap.
Written by: Dan Freeborn, Founder and Host of Freeborn & Liberty