Crescenta Valley High School

Equality v. equity: What is the difference?

In every video posted on social media concerning African American lives, there is a handful of people commenting on the “injustice” of focusing solely on black lives. These are the people who made #AllLivesMatter a trending hashtag on Twitter.

Although yes, everyone’s lives hold equal value, the purpose of the Black Lives Matter movement (BLM) is to highlight the minority. In no way is this movement belittling others’ hardships. After all, the name of the organization is Black Lives Matter, not only Black Lives Matter.

Those who are offended by the movement of BLM are the people who fail to understand the difference between equality and equity. Equality is the idea of treating everyone the same. On the other hand, equity deals with the idea of bringing everyone to an equal platform.

To elaborate, equality would be imposed when a teacher gives all of the students the same notes and lectures. Equity, however, is portrayed when the teacher supplements visual-learning students with graphs and verbal-learning students with lectures. Equity focuses on assisting a person or persons to success, while equality highlights equal treatment for all.

Relating back to the BLM movement, those who view the organization as “unfair” fail to recognize that this movement expresses equity, not equality. In other words, BLM highlights the African American community in order to supplement for their lack of representation. The lack of comprehending the difference between equity and equality is also seen outside of the BLM movement.

Pride month is held in June. It celebrates the advancements made towards the LGBTQ+ community and looks forward to further improvements. Offending heterosexual people, however, is not one of pride month’s purposes. The purpose of pride month is to highlight the unrepresented minority, not to belittle the majority. Stating that it is “unfair” for the LGBTQ+ community to have a month dedicated to themselves is like when a child who owns hundreds of toys is jealous of a child with one toy.

Again, I would like to emphasize that all lives are important. However, what baffles me is the fact that some privileged people choose to steal the spotlight of an unrepresented persons. It angers me when these people justify themselves by stating that it is for “equality”. Equality does not put everyone on the same platform. It is, in fact, equity that brings forth success to diversity of people.

So, the next time you see someone comment on a BLM video with a #AllLivesMatter, remember that it is equity, not equality, that will bring forth justice and equal representation.

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