Are all human beings really created equal?
If so, the most reasonable explanation for a persistent inequality of wealth and rewards between males and females and blacks and whites is that the game has been rigged.
Ideology is political religion, said conservative sage Russell Kirk. And what is the defining dogma of America’s political religion or ideology in 2022? Doesn’t it say: “All men are created equal”?
But as with any religion, a fundamental question must first be asked and answered about this formative dogma of liberal ideology. Is it true? Are all human beings really created equal? Are all races and ethnic groups equal? Are men and women equal? Are all religions the same? Or do we just agree to accept that as true – and treat them all equally?
We agree that all Americans have the same God-given rights to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” the same constitutional rights enshrined in the Bill of Rights, and the same civil rights enshrined in federal law. But where is the historical, scientific, or empirical evidence for the defining dogma of American democracy that “all men are created equal”?
Thomas Jefferson, the statesman who immortalized the words, did not believe in equality, let alone justice. The way he lived his life testifies to that unbelief. When he wrote the Declaration of Independence that contained the famous words, Jefferson was a slave owner. In this document he speaks of the British as “brothers” bound to us by “ties of our common kinship”, ties of blood. But not all who fought against us were equal to the British. There were, Jefferson wrote, those “ruthless Indian savages whose well-known rule of warfare is indiscriminate destruction of all ages, sexes, and conditions.”
In an 1815 letter to John Adams, Jefferson celebrated “a natural aristocracy among men. The reasons for this are virtue and talents… I regard the natural aristocracy as nature’s most precious gift for the instruction, endowments and government of society.” Jefferson was an aristocrat, not a democrat.
Abraham Lincoln opposed slavery but did not believe in racial or social equality. Although he quoted Jefferson’s “All men are created equal” at Gettysburg, in an 1858 debate with Stephen Douglas he had conceded that “then we cannot make them equal,” adding that the white race in America should retain the superior position .
With the Brown v Board of Education With the desegregation of public schools in 1954 and the civil rights statutes of 1964, 1965, and 1968, a national effort was made to bring about the social and political equality that Jefferson’s words of 1776 seemed to promise but failed to deliver.
At Howard University, Lyndon Johnson took the next step in 1965, declaring, “Freedom is not enough… We seek … not just equality as law and theory, but equality as fact and equality as outcome.” Yet more than half a century after the Civil Rights Revolution, income and wealth are not equal. Balanced representation also does not exist in professions such as law, medicine and higher education.
President Joe Biden’s people have promised Black America that they will enact and deliver this equality of outcomes. If there is no equity now, the Biden administration will enforce it. And why not?
If all men (and women) are created equal, the most reasonable explanation for a persistent inequality of wealth and rewards between men and women and black and white is that the game has been rigged. An inequality of wealth and rewards exists because “systematic racism” coexists alongside “white privilege” in American society.
The remedy is also clear. As Ibram X. Kendi, author of How to become an anti-racisthe said New York Times‘ Ezra Klein: “Racist politics is defined as any politics that leads to racial inequality … the intention of the policy maker does not matter. It’s about the bottom line.”
Therefore, a policy that ensures an equal place at the start but consistently does not provide an equal place at the finish is de facto racist. If Asian and Black children are in kindergarten in the same grade and Asian children are studying math in 12th grade while most Black children are still trying to master algebra, under Kendi’s rule racism alone can explain such a regular outcome.
The solution to persistent inequality? mandate capital; order equality of results; Prescribe equal rewards for black and white. Force the government to develop policies that deliver equal results.
But what if inequalities have another explanation? What if Asian Americans were naturally superior at math? What if an inequality of reward in society is mainly the result of an inequality of talents and skills? What if it is truer to say that, based on human experience, no two people were ever created equal than to say that all people are created equal?
As Kirk said, ideology is political religion. What we are witnessing today is the refusal of true believers in egalitarian ideology to accept that its core doctrine is not only untrue, but demonstrably false. What we are witnessing in America is how true believers behave when they realize that the church they worship in was built on a bright and shining lie and reality must inevitably bring it down.