President Joe Biden has proclaimed a commitment to embed the quasi-Marxist “equity” ideology throughout the government.
“We need to make the issue of racial equity not just an issue for any one department of government; it has to be the business of the whole of government,” Biden said in remarks on Jan. 26 before signing an executive order and three memoranda.
In a related release, the administration said that “systemic racism and discrimination in our economy, laws, and institutions have put the promise of America out of reach for too many families of color,” promising to take steps to “root out inequity from our economy.”
Equity is a concept tied to the “critical theory,” which slices up society into identity groups based on race, gender, sexual proclivities, and other factors, while dividing the groups into oppressed and oppressors, similar to how Marxism labels people as oppressors or the oppressed based on class. In political parlance, equity commonly refers to equality of outcome, rather than equal treatment.
The ideology assumes that if an “oppressed” group on average gets a worse life outcome, it’s primarily because of “systemic” discrimination by an “oppressor” group.
Biden highlighted that black and Hispanic Americans have higher unemployment rates and higher rates of contracting COVID-19, the disease caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, and prompted the audience to “imagine” what would happen if the government provided pre-kindergarten to all children, gave young people access to start-up capital, and enabled everybody to “buy a home.”
“Housing is a right in America,” Biden proclaimed.
He touted his earlier executive order “that will, for the first time, advance equity for all throughout our federal policies and institutions” as well as his reversal of the executive order of his predecessor, President Donald Trump, that banned federal agencies, contractors, subcontractors, and grantees from instructing their employees to follow the tenets of “critical theory.”
Biden further highlighted his decision to abolish Trump’s 1776 Commission, which was tasked to advise the president on the meaning of the American founding and issued a report on the matter. Biden called the commission “counter-factual.”
“Unity and healing must begin with understanding and truth, not ignorance and lies,” he said.
The commission pointed out that the current identity-based ideology is mutually exclusive with the American founding ideals that “all men are created equal,” by substituting individual rights for rights dependent on one’s identity group, according to Matthew Spalding, a professor of constitutional government at Hillsdale College and the executive director of the commission.
“You have rights because of your group, your ethnicity, your race,” he said in a recent interview with The Epoch Times’ “American Thought Leaders” program.
The ideology is “oddly akin” to the “group rights” argument leveled by John C. Calhoun, who served as vice president from 1825 to 1832, in defense of slavery, Spalding said.
Biden’s new executive actions include an executive order that cancels federal contracts with private prisons, calling it a first step “to address systemic problems in our criminal justice system.”
Private prison operators condemned the move as a political gesture, since they house less than 10 percent of federal inmates, who will need to be moved to already overcrowded government facilities.
Biden also signed a memorandum that directs federal agencies to report on their implementation of a 2000 executive order that directs them to have “regular, meaningful, and robust” talks with Native American tribes on federal actions that affect them.
Another memorandum directs federal agencies “to ensure that official actions, documents, and statements, including those that pertain to the COVID-19 pandemic, do not exhibit or contribute to racism, xenophobia, and intolerance against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.”
The order could in effect cause government officials to avoid linking the CCP virus to its country of origin.
Yet another memorandum directs the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to review whether to revoke two regulatory actions of the Trump administration.
One, “Preserving Community and Neighborhood Choice,” relaxed the rules for HUD grantees to prove that they are actively furthering the goals of the 1968 Fair Housing Act, which prohibited discrimination in housing based on race, sex, and other categories. Trump’s HUD secretary, Ben Carson, said the agency no longer needed grantees to submit lengthy reports on how they intend to further fair housing, as the goals would be achieved by focusing on the administration’s Opportunity Zones strategy instead.
Another rule clarified what counts as discrimination based on “disparate impact,” giving entities accused of discrimination more tools to claim a valid defense (pdf).