Apples and oranges. Individuals and groups. Individuals are clearly not equal. They are members of groups and will fall somewhere in the group's distribution. Groups have subgroups with their own distributions and while the subgroups have mean values they are stil a distribution, not a unity.

We would, or at least should, want a standard deviation narrow enough to indicate something as close to equality as can reasonably be expected but the differences in individuals in the group make equality an unreasonable expectation. We can strive to make it as fair as possible at best.

Years ago I took a corporate HR class, "Stephen Covey's Seven Habit of Highly Effective People" that had a central theme around concentric circles. It was quite good as those classes went. The outer circle is your circle of concern and the inner one is the circle of influence. The original subject of this was someone choosing to focus on what he had some control over (in his circle of influence) rather than focusing on things that are valid concerns but can become a greater obstacle than they naturally are on their own if you allow them to become the reason for your failures or shortcomings because you've assigned the reason to something outside of your influence. At that point you are just complaining rather than taking actions to improve your lot.

Has the complaining done some good? Yes. Where "the system" once forbade things based upon race and gender that is no longer the case. We have racial minorities and women in positions that they were once excluded from. The system has changed thanks to the social justice warriors. Racism and sexism still exist in individuals and it could be argued that they are ubiquous, but they are individual acting outside the system (law and corporate policies).

Just my opinion, as what you write is just your opinion, but I think that the battle now is no longer about the system but in the attitudes and of individuals. Racism and sexism are rooted in applying a negative expectation to an individual based upon a negative opinion of their group. Here on Medium, a well known writer says that all white people are racists (original sin of being born white?). That is a racist statement and a claim that it is not because of disparity in outcome are asymmetrical is disingenuous. I mention it because I don't see fighting racism with racism as a good tactic.

One of my best friends, a mentor, rightfully tells me that the first thing people see when they encounter him is the color of his skin. That can result in something in a continuum of "so what" to some negative strike against him. The thing is, at this point in history we can't accurately predict that result. We can say there are odds, but the odds don't always predict accurately.

This turned into a long ramble and I didn't want it to. At the heart of it is that I see individuals in all manner of diversity as individuals rather than members of a group as if that group membership defines them. While there is undeniably a great variation in attributes in individuals that makes them unequal, inequality of results across groups is a concern as I would like a sharp standard deviation where we approach equal results. The thing is, I see it as troublesome to assign a singular reason, like racism, to it. Is it a factor? Sure, maybe a big one, but there are factors that can't properly be ascribed to it. The tendency to want to maintain good standing in the tribe can result in a crab boil where you left other crabs pull you down. Asymmetry is not a binary yes/no.

Retired and living my golden years in a world full of angry people.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store