Senator Tom Cotton (R., Ark.) questioned President Biden’s nominee for attorney general Merrick Garland regarding Biden’s executive orders on “racial equity” on Monday.
Policies built around the relatively new concept of”equity” attempt to adjust for differences in background and economic status of the people affected by those policies. The term is used by the Biden administration in a different manner from “equality.”
“Equality suggests, ‘Oh, everyone should get the same amount.’ The problem with that, not everybody’s starting out from the same place,” Vice President Kamala Harris said on Twitter two days before the election.
During Garland’s nomination hearing at the Senate on Monday, the prospective attorney general told Cotton that he thinks “discrimination is morally wrong. Absolutely.”
Merrick Garland: Yes, I think discrimination is morally wrong. Absolutely.
Sen. Tom Cotton: Are you aware President Biden has signed an executive order stating his administration will affirmatively advance racial equity, not racial equality but racial equity? pic.twitter.com/bXlqDiV4Zx
— USA TODAY Politics (@usatodayDC) February 22, 2021
“Are you aware President Biden has signed an executive order stating his administration will affirmatively advance racial equity,” Cotton asked. “Not racial equality but racial equity?”
“Yes,” Garland responded. “And I read the opening of that executive order, which defines equity as the fair and impartial treatment of every person, without regard to their status, and including individuals who are in underserved communities where they were not accorded that before.”
Cotton previously brought up the issue of equity versus equality, in a hearing for Biden’s nominee for Housing and Urban Development secretary Marcia Fudge.
“Just to be clear then, it sounds like racial equity means treating people differently based on their race. Is that correct?” Cotton asked during the January hearing.
“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,” Fudge answered.