'Equity' or Fighting Crime: You Can Pick Just One
New York City mayor Eric Adams, who ran as a law-and-order candidate, has let down the voters who put him in office. Adams, it turns out, believes that the city's massive crime problem can be solved by going soft on criminals and instead placing the blame on alleged white racism. He is not at all different from the cadre of black mayors who refuse to deal intelligently with the rising contempt for the rule of law that has plagued American cities since the riots of 2020.
The argument put forth by these mayors is that we must reject the concept that everyone ought to be treated equally under the law. Who could have predicted that, a mere half-century after the Civil Rights Movement, equality would be replaced with a new form of racism known as equity?
What is equity? The objective of equity is not equality of opportunity, but rather equality of outcome. Everyone should have the same income, job success, house, neighborhood, etc. In an equitable world, equal justice under the law is anathema. The law must treat people differently based on their skin color. "Equity is based on the false premise of equal outcomes — not equality of opportunity or equality under the law," writes Elizabeth Economou in a Fox opinion piece, "whereby resources are seized from one group and given to marginalized or preferred groups."
Equity means we must give minorities, especially blacks, special treatment in order to even up the scales and compensate for past injustices. For equity to be reached, skin color must determine everything. The right kind of skin color is black or brown. White is the wrong color.
Equity brings with it a dubious travel companion: Critical Race Theory. CRT categorizes you as either oppressor or oppressed based on your race, sex, or sexual orientation. Blacks are oppressed; whites are the oppressors. To accept CRT, one must acknowledge the existence of systemic racism and white supremacy. CRT is unapologetically racist and anti-white.
Under CRT, it is open season on whites. The campaign for equity has spawned an inquisition where white people are considered unrepentantly racist and should be required to atone for their sins. One of the worst ideas ever invented by the Left, CRT wants to reintroduce racism and segregation to the forefront of American life.
Under the guise of ending oppression of blacks, CRT would remake whites into the new underclass. An example was provided courtesy of the City of Seattle, which inaugurated a training session for white city employees to "undo their whiteness" and affirm their "complicity in racism." Can you imagine if Seattle required all black employees to undo their blackness? That clearly would be unacceptable and attacked as outright racist. But doing it to whites is justifiable.
CRT is also used to justify murder, arson, and looting. Hundreds of American cities and towns have been destroyed by mobs acting in the name of social justice. Heather Mac Donald, author of The War on Cops, explains how it works. "One's alleged victimhood at the hands of a racist white male patriarchy entitles one to exemption from the rule of law and norms of bourgeois behavior," she writes. "Enough people are seduced and mesmerized and frankly lobotomized by the lies of identity politics and the idea that this is a racist country — which it is not — that they are willing to put up with the destruction of prosperity, of excellence, of future entrepreneurship."
The weakness of equity lies in the fact that we can't afford to combat racism with more racism. CRT has been repudiated by respected black figures such as Thomas Sowell, Shelby Steele, Bob Woodson, Candace Owens, and Larry Elder. They agree that systemic racism and the oppression of blacks are evils of the past. "Past oppression," writes black author Shelby Steele, "cannot be conflated into present-day oppression. Blacks are now the victims of liberalism and wokeness. That's what's keeping us down, not racism. 'Systemic racism' is an idea to capture more black victimization."
Steele put his finger on the real problem. "It is likely," he said, "that today's racial disparities are due more to dysfunctions within the black community." A tradition of black violence in urban settings is bringing civil society to its knees. In spite of a continuing history of violence, blacks are not being held responsible for their behavior. Black men make up six percent of the U.S. population. In 2015, according to Mac Donald, blacks in New York City committed 75 percent of all shootings, 70 percent of robberies, and 66 percent of all violent crime.
Ignoring the obvious connection between black criminality and black incarceration, Democrat mayors in cities such as New York, San Francisco, and Chicago — all of whom are black — continue to blame white racism. They are using equity and CRT as a diversion from dealing with the real problem — black crime and violence — and instead claiming that the actual problem is white supremacy.
Eric Adams has decided to follow in the footsteps of Seattle. He is forcing all New York City employees into CRT-inspired training with a deadline of March 6. "The training," explains a memo sent by the city, "provides all NYC employees with a framework to understand the importance of racial equity in the workplace. Become aware of systemic racism and the possible presence of racial inequality in your workplace. Understand the dominant cultural patterns of your workplace and whether they are hurting or helping your diversity, equity and inclusion goals."
In plain English, Mayor Adams is abdicating his responsibility to fight crime by pointing a finger at whites. Offering a hint of his true agenda, Adams has expressed his approval of the weak-on-crime stance of the new Manhattan district attorney, Alvin Bragg. Bragg won election "on a highly progressive platform advocating a prosecutorial focus on 'racial equity,'" Hannah E. Meyers writes in City Journal, "that embraces non-prosecution, minimizing detention in favor of decarceration and decriminalization."
"Adams should take crime seriously," suggests Meyers. "Allowing social programs to take the place of a serious crime-fighting policy is a strategy doomed to fail. Violent crime is a terrifying preoccupation for New Yorkers, especially black ones. Blacks make up roughly one-fifth of city residents, but they are wildly overrepresented as both perpetrators and victims. Eric Adams can do something about this reality. He can continue programs that encourage rigorous paths toward productive, stable lives, while supporting an accountable, intelligent, and well-manned police department. He can support equal opportunity by reaffirming the rule of law. And he can stand up for all New Yorkers by demonstrating that crime doesn't pay."
Instead, Adams has rejected both equal opportunity and the rule of law. His inane answer to the city's crime problem is CRT training that puts the blame on alleged white racism. I can only wonder which solution New Yorkers would prefer: (1) crime statistics that are finally brought under control by sensible policies from the mayor's office or (2) letting the city's white citizens know that their unconscious bias will not be tolerated by Mr. Adams.
Ed Brodow is a conservative political commentator and author of nine books, including his new #1 Amazon Best Seller, AMERICA ON ITS KNEES: The Cost of Replacing Trump with Biden. His website is www.edbrodowpolitics.com.
Image: Eric Adams, mayor of New York. Credit: Krystalb97 via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 4.0 (cropped).