What is the difference between racial equity and racial equality?


I am familiar with the term “racial equality”, but a lot of current agendas state that the objective is “racial equity”, and equality seems to have left the conversation. Are they the same thing?

In: Other

Equality means treating everybody equally.

Equity means preferentially helping disadvantaged people.

Equality means you give everybody the same stuff.
Equity means you give people the stuff they need.

Well one more explanation via example: giving everyone the same standardized right handed desk (the ones that swivel up for the desk surface) is equality.

Giving left handed people left handed desks is equity.

Equity is about leveling the playing field. Sometimes that means certain people get things others don’t. But it’s not an extra privilege being handed out. Left handed people don’t get an advantage over everyone else by getting a left handed desk. It’s just the same amount of convenience as everyone else for someone who has a different background and needs.

People argue over the specifics, of course. Not least of all because no race is actually monolithic anyway. Not all Black people will want or need the same things. But the implication of proponents is that we need to at least bother to try.


Racial equality refers to the idea that everyone has the same opportunities, be it education, career, or family life, regardless of where they live or the color of their skin. One idea that could help achieve this is “school choice.” The idea is that even if you live in a specific area, you can choose to go to a school in a different local district if you believe it will provide better opportunities.

Racial EQUITY is the idea that the everyone has an equal OUTCOME, regardless of career, education, location, or business practice. Recently, there was a bill put forth to assist “minority-owned” businesses, an not “non-minority-owned” businesses. These words are euphemisms for white-owned or not white-owned. [this](https://www.forbes.com/sites/korihale/2021/01/05/heres-what-the-new-round-of-ppp-loans-means-for-black-owned-businesses/?sh=2e0438e546ee) article lays out what the assistance looks like. They frame it like black owned businesses are doing worse than white owned, but to me, that doesn’t make any sense.

At any rate, I hope I’ve sufficiently answered your question.