Friendly reminder: erasure is not equality.
Eehhhhhh, the statement “We are all the same” (something I used to say quite a bit myself) is NOT typically stating that there is no difference from anyone else and that you can say and do the same things to/with each and every person and it’s totally okay. When I would toss this language around, it was to say that I see no one person as being any better or worse than anyone else. I did recognize that everyone wasn’t necessarily on the same social standing and that there were certainly disadvantaged people. It’s totally faulty language and I see no issue with correction, but please do understand this is usually not said with ill intent.
oh, if only “I didn’t intend it to be taken wrong” really solved the world’s problems. Sorry mate, I can’t correct myself or this comic’s point for you.
Here’s the thing I was hoping to avoid typing: A lot of us, and by us I mean the majority of little white kids that my era’s education catered to, were told to ignore things like race and creed. To flat out pretend it didn’t exist and not to acknowledge it. For 8 year old me who watched Arthur and Wishbone, that was great. My best friend was a black girl named Keisha who was a muslim. I gave zero shits about this. I didn’t actually realize it until recently when I remembered her brother was named Muhammad, and her mom wore a scarf sometimes. But here’s the dark part: the reason I didn’t give a damn wasn’t because my teachers and tv cartoon specials told me, “let us teach you about these things, so that when you see them, you understand that everybody’s differences shouldn’t stop you from trying to be their friend” or whatever. I had no idea what Islam was, I had no idea about the difficulties that non-white people dealt with, none of that was told to me. Of course I didn’t think about it, because I was completely ignorant of it. That isn’t, yknow… right. And however innocent and naive I was, that’s still wrong.
See, equality is misunderstood. I didn’t learn this until way after this time. Lots of ignorant people consider it that everyone is dealt the exact same hand and if you can’t manage, fuck you, we tried, it’s your problem. But equality isn’t something you’re given and have to work with. Equality is a goal achieved through means. The best example is this- imagine a fence. Over the fence is a baseball game. One guy, who is very very tall, can’t enjoy the game because he has to hunch over to see it from his seats. One guy, who is short, can’t see over the fence. One guy is slightly taller than the fence and so, isn’t having a problem. The fence is the same height for everybody, obviously. Is that equality? No, equality is giving the tall guy a chair, and the short guy a box to stand on, so they can all watch the ball game together. This isn’t rocket science, but it feels like so many people cannot grasp what it is that people want when they ask for “equality”. We want a box or a chair, so that we can enjoy life like you do. The amount of butthurt over “well that’s not my problem if you don’t have something. Why should we cater to you?” or “Hey, I can see perfectly fine. If you have a problem, that’s your deal.” or “well, we built the fence as well as we could! Sorry if we can’t please everybody!” or so on and so forth. Surely these sound familiar to some of you.
the road to hell is paved with good intentions, and the sooner the harsh lesson is accepted that what you intended doesn’t really matter as much as how others feel- if you’re not a massively selfish person, you’ll realize that. Good luck!
There are problems problems with the word equality, but that’s mostly because people don’t understand the existence of the word equity. What is being described is equity, and it is also what people are fighting for! By all technicalities, equality means everyone gets treated the same—but that isn’t fair. It’s like only having stairs so that people with wheelchairs get treated the same way as everyone else, but that means they’re not being treated fairly.
Equity, on the other hand, is putting that ramp there because then the people in wheelchairs can also have access to the building. Because equality doesn’t mean equity, there is this massive mix-up of what it is that all these groups are struggling and fighting for and people always get defensive and say “well, we’re treating you the same—that’s equality!” They’re technically right, but oh so very socially wrong. It’s the same excuse used against affirmative action programs.
Anyway, long rant on the importance of semantics aside, the response above is basically perfect. A++++++ Even just speaking from personal experience, it is honestly the most dismissive and patronizing thing to have somebody tell you that “we’re all people” because, yes, we are—but we are all very different people and certain groups of people, because they are different, struggle with different issues that all need to be addressed.