Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development nominee Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-OH) appeared to advocate for socialist practices on Thursday as Sen. Tom Cotton (R- AR) quizzed her on the difference between equality and equity, telling the senator, “Sometimes, it’s not level if you just say, ‘Let’s just treat everyone the same.’”
During Thursday’s Senate Banking Committee, Cotton asked Fudge to further explain the Biden administration’s position on prioritizing racial equity, particularly in housing.
“Earlier this week, President Biden used the phrase ‘racial equality’ at a press availability, but immediately corrected himself to say ‘racial equity.’ What is the difference between racial equity and racial equality?” he asked.
Fudge told the senator the main difference is “one just means that you treat everybody the same.”
“Sometimes the same is not equitable,” she said before offering an example.
“You know, if you say to me that ‘I’m going to give you five dollars” and you’re going to give my friend five dollars – my five dollars is not going to necessarily go as far because my friend already has a mother and father who are wealthy and they are giving them…” she began before using homeownership as an example, appearing to promote socialism:
Let’s do it this way. Homeownership. Let’s take it that way. They say, “Let’s make everything equal.” But it’s not equal because even though I meet all of the qualifications, to qualify for a loan — I’ve got the right credit score, etc., — but I don’t have the down payment money because my parents can’t afford to give me down payment. There is no wealth coming to me. Where most people who are not – that don’t look like me have options that I do not have. Just to say to treat us all the same is not the same. Equity means making the playing field level. Sometimes it’s not level if you just say, “Let’s just treat everyone the same”:
Cotton then asked Fudge, “Okay, so racial equality means treating everyone the same, correct?” to which she agreed, adding that the “same” is “not always fair.”
“So just to be clear then, it sounds like racial equity means treating people differently based on their race. Is that correct?” he asked.
“Not based on race, but it could be based on economics. It could be based on the history of discrimination that has existed for a long time,” she said. “It could be based on educational levels. It could be based on many things, not necessarily just race.”
Notably, Vice President Kamala Harris (D-CA) promoted socialism mere days before the presidential election, sharing a video explaining the difference between equality and equity:
“So there’s a big difference between equality and equity,” Harris said in a video posted to her Twitter account on Sunday. The video featured an illustration of two individuals about to climb a mountain. Each was given two ropes, which a white man used to begin climbing. The other man, who appeared to be black, was unable to reach the rope, as he stood several feet lower than the other man.
“Equality suggests, ‘Oh, everyone should get the same amount.’ The problem with that, not everybody’s starting out from the same place. So if we’re all getting the same amount, but you started out back there and I started out over here — we could get the same amount, but you’re still going to be that far back behind me,” the narration continued.
“It’s about giving people the resources and the support they need so that everyone can be on equal footing and then compete on equal footing,” Harris, who narrated the video, continued, concluding that “equitable treatment means we all end up at the same place”:
There’s a big difference between equality and equity. pic.twitter.com/n3XfQyjLNe
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) November 1, 2020
Thursday’s hearing coincides with Biden continuing his record-breaking executive actions, including an executive order “advancing racial equity and support for underserved communities through the federal government.” The order, in part, requires executive departments and agencies to “recognize and work to redress inequities in their policies and programs that serve as barriers to equal opportunity.”
The order itself defined equity as the “consistent and systematic fair, just, and impartial treatment of all individuals, including individuals who belong to underserved communities that have been denied such treatment, such as Black, Latino, and Indigenous and Native American persons, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and other persons of color; members of religious minorities; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) persons; persons with disabilities; persons who live in rural areas; and persons otherwise adversely affected by persistent poverty or inequality.”