Equality vs. Justice

Equality vs. Justice

A quick rundown on the difference between equality and justice:

A lot of people say that they treat everyone equally. Everyone gets treated the same. Now, a) I don’t believe you, because biases are unconscious and we frequently don’t notice when we treat people unequally, but also b) even if you DO treat literally every person you encounter the same, that is still fundamentally not fair. Because if last year’s election has taught us anything, it’s that a majority of people do NOT treat everyone equally. And the foundation of this country is built on inequality. (like, it’s built on literal slavery and genocide, y’all. Pretty unequal.)

So treating every person equally, with respect and dignity and kindness, does not actually do anything to level the playing field in this country.

Justice implies trying to actually make a situation right. If you treat everyone the same, and some of those people begin in a disadvantaged state, you’re not really helping. You’re not hurting, sure, but don’t you want to be a source of good in this world?

Look at the people around you. Who does society treat worse? Give those people extra help. Call your politicians on their behalf, donate money to their causes, do extra emotional labor for them, speak up on their behalf when they aren’t around. Strive for justice.

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