A United State of Inequity
The most inequitable activity on the planet is the continued erasure of women’s agency to their full humanity. We see this in rape as a weapon and as a result of political conflict or as an expression of cultural class dominance. We see it in obstructing women from education. We see it when weaponized religion becomes policy as in the current religiously driven overturn of a woman’s right to an abortion in the United States.
The most inequitable thing on the planet is a gun. It weaponizes human impulse like no other implement can. When guns are supercharged like our current assault weapons available to everyday citizens, they become tools of personal genocide.
The most inequitable system of governance is democracy beholden to and guided by capitalism. In such a system, the only winners are people who can afford to be in the system where the group in charge keeps itself intentionally small. It was that way in 1789; it is that way today.
The most inequitable document in modern use is the original United States Constitution. Written entirely by men, some of whom held human beings in hereditary slavery. Some of these men created more wealth through rape, creating new owned offspring. The Constitution was designed based on their flawed and limited understandings of ethics, faith, justice and “enlightenment.” The Constitution was designed to both privilege and excuse their ignorance and brutality.
This is a United State of Inequity.
We cannot retrofit equity. Equity cannot be an overlay. Equity needs to be more than “at the heart”…it needs to be at the beginning…the foundation…the cornerstone. The original intention must be equity for equity to be achieved.
And then again, maybe we don’t want equity. Maybe our culture, that seems so addicted to competition, only wants winners and losers. Maybe our culture has to be made of haves and have nots. Maybe we only want religion that functions as a barrier and not as an embrace. Maybe we are so accustomed to looking for “first” class we don’t recognize that a “first” always implies that there is a “second.” Maybe we don’t want equity.
In order to come even close to the beloved community we so often talk about, that we toss off like a throwaway when we preach or advocate for those “less fortunate”, we must first commit to equity. That commitment asks us to be fully willing to make the public statements and decisions that will require giving up some if not all of the “good life” we have been accustomed to. We have to be willing to go back to square one and question what it is we are willing to actually fight for. We have to believe it is possible, or it will never come to pass.
Most of all, we must understand that the price of equity is not more than any of us can afford. Because ultimately, equity is something none of us can afford to live without.