Cal’s Summer Internship Experience
Equity vs. Equality; How they’re similar but also very different
Equity and equality are both terms that are used frequently when we talk about race, and racial justice. Equality is when everyone is given the same amount of resources and help no matter what their background includes. Equity is when we give different races and groups the amount of resources they need to be equal with everyone else. Some communities need more resources to have an equal playing field than others do. For instance, white people, or people with caucasian descent usually need less resources than traditionally marginalized people need.
This is important because people talk about the importance of “an equal playing field,” but the way the world works is that if we all give everyone equal resources, things still won’t be equal. People with Caucasian descent need less resources. If we give them the same amount as other communities need. It still won’t be an equal playing field. If we stagger the amount of resources we give to different communities things would be more fair. We only need to give white communities a certain amount of resources, and then we should give other communities the amount of resources they need to catch up with white people.
The reality of it is that White people are given more rights and privileges than other people are. As seen above, with equality there isn’t an equal playing field. With equity there is. And in reality it is nowhere near either. It’s important to shift the dialogue from making everything equal, to making everything equitable. So what can we do to help. It’s important to remind people and to shift the conversation to “let’s make everyone equal through equity” and not “everyone deserves the same resources.” It’s important for everyone to be given money, support, and help, but we need to tailor those resources to everyone’s needs. Equity vs. equality is also seen in our education system. One way white people continue to stay on top of our social hierarchy is through having better schools. School districts shell out the same amount of funding to all schools in their districts. They don’t do a good job of giving more resources to schools based on the school’s need. When we as a society begin to value education for everyone and distribute our wealth and resources to the people who need it most, we will begin to even out the playing field. And it’s important to know how our resources affect people. It’s smarter and more beneficial to instead of putting more police officers on streets and neighborhoods that have a lower socioeconomic status to distribute money for community centers, and after school programs, and mental health professionals. Once we change the way that children are being raised, we will be able to change how the world works out for them in the long run.