Equal Opportunity: A Better Choice Than Social Justice

A guest blog post in the EdWeek Update newsletter this week suggests that schools should foster “social justice” rather than focus on “kindness.” The naivete of the author is apparent, or the intent of the author is more ideological than honest. Here’s my take…

The drumbeat of “equity” and “inequality” is beginning to sound like the same old tired left-wing meme that everything would be peaches and cream if only the world (or the evil U.S.) would shift from “equal opportunity” to “equal outcomes” which is another word for socialism or communism. With this shift comes a severe loss of what the author describes as “improved …freedom…”

What the promoters of “social justice” do not seem to want to acknowledge is that the necessary tools to make everyone “equal” on a societal level involve a massive re-distribution of wealth that necessarily results in denial of freedom to the half of the population that must give up the fruits of their labors to balance those “scales of justice”. Equal opportunity puts success in the hands of every individual to be embraced or discarded as the individual chooses. Sadly, in some cases, that choice is made by parents that do not have the best interests of their children foremost in their thinking.

What has created more “injustice” within our society than any other single factor is not as much racism, capitalism, or bigotry of any kind but rather the breakdown of the family and morality which has their foundations in one’s faith in God. While that might not be a popular concept these days, it is nonetheless valid. Yes, one could argue that there are instances of racism and bigotry in our country and our world, but there always will be. And capitalism has been proven time and time again to have lifted more people out of poverty than any other economic system of production and innovation.

Perhaps its past time to examine what progressivism and the social welfare programs have really been about and understand that “equity” is another euphemism for uniform mediocrity and tearing down one sector of society for the benefit of another and nothing more than a tool of the elitists to create turmoil intended to prevent unity and enhance their control over all of us. What the author may believe in her own mind is a good thing might not wind up producing her desired result. Where socialism or communism has been instituted or attempted, devastation and human misery has followed.

Kindness is something that we all should get behind. No argument there. Even the author supports it (in spite of her blog’s title). With kindness comes empathy and with empathy comes charity (honest, personal love). Charity, to be legitimate, must be heart-felt and voluntary. “Social justice”, on the other hand, is often camouflaged as “charity” but requires that forcible re-distribution occurs at the hand of government. This is in no way charitable or loving. That is the fly in the ointment of “social justice” that so many do not understand, and leftists are desperate to hide.

Let’s face it. What the author is really talking about is largely economic equality. So lets look at economic success. It requires effort. It requires engagement in education. It is not something that is, as so many try to claim, controlled by the teacher. The teacher can present the material, but the student must engage the subject matter and work to absorb it. To do that, they must be encouraged both during and outside of school hours.

If you don’t believe this, ask yourself a question: Which children, more often than not, excel in school and in life? The answer is usually (and there are always some exceptions) the children from traditional, intact, families regardless of race or other factors.

Schools might produce better results if they would focus on teaching academic subject matter while encouraging student’s understanding that they can control their own success. In the process, treating everyone with kindness and understanding will make the world a far better place for the effort.

Tom Stark

Tom Stark’s career began with Air Force service, including a year in Thailand and Vietnam, and progressed through a variety of manufacturing and service positions to Manager of Security, Safety, and Transportation for the Orange County (FL) Convention Center. He graduated from Barry University in 1994 and soon after embarked on a second career building custom furniture as an entrepreneur for the last 20 years. He unsuccessfully ran as a Tea Party candidate in the 2010 Congressional race (WV-01). Tom currently writes and advocates for smaller more prudent and less intrusive government, strengthening families and protecting life while building free market principles that make America stronger. He is now 70, retired, and residing with his wife in Weston, West Virginia.

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