“EQUITY” versus “EQUALITY”
These two terms may sound similar but they could not be further apart in meaning.
“Equity” is the new buzzword among liberal politicos. This controversial concept is very different from the traditional American value of “equality.”
Last week, the Alaska Watchman website posted an essay by its founder & editor Joel Davidson explaining the difference between Equality and Equity.
Joel Davidson writes that the classic value of “equality” means that every person’s inherent dignity is equal and therefore everyone is entitled to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Equality goes hand in hand with the idea of equal opportunity. However, no two people are the same. Everyone has their own unique abilities and talents and circumstances in life. Thus, while equal opportunity is important, equal outcomes are not possible.
The idea of “equity” on the other hand, writes Davidson, “claims that all people should enjoy the same level of income, possessions, and influence over the culture regardless of personal merit, talent, intelligence or achievement….Equity warriors believe everyone deserves the exact same outcomes.”
Davidson explains that equity programs empower those in charge “to choose winners and losers based on quotas defined by race, gender identity or any number of other characteristics which certain officials find useful for their overall political agenda.”
In Sum: Equity is sort of a combination of Affirmative Action and socialism.
The Mat-Su Health Foundation is now pushing an Equity Agenda
Recently, the Mat-Su Health Foundation posted two new RFPs (Requests for Proposals) on their website. (HealthyMatSu.Org.) They are looking for consultants to conduct an “Organizational Equity Assessment” and to provide “Health Equity Facilitation” – i.e., ongoing support and facilitation to the MSHF’s new Health Equity Committee.
Here are highlights from the “Organizational Equity Assessment” RFP.
Let’s Analyze this RFP in depth:
If you read through the RFP carefully, you will see a liberal use of other political buzzwords – diversity, inclusion, an “equity lens,” “dominant culture”, privilege, intersection(ality), etc.
The MSHF seems to be mixing up racial equity with health equity. Of course, they will tell you that these things are related. However, there is already substantial health care equity here in Alaska due to expanded Medicaid, Denali KidCare, Medicare, and free health care for Alaska Natives. Plus the Alaska workforce is made up of a fairly high percentage of federal civilian and military, state, and local government employees – all of whom have good health insurance. The people who are most likely to NOT have good health care here in the Valley are middle class white people – those who are above the income level for expanded Medicaid but who do not hold good jobs with insurance and cannot afford to buy an Obamacare policy. Where is their white privilege?
One page 1, under the heading “Background”, the RFP reads “The MSHF sits on the traditional lands of the Ahtna and Dena’ina Peoples.” This is a “Native Lands Acknowledgement.” (And a lot of virtue signaling!) This is a fairly new trend led by Non Profits and Colleges.
That paragraph continues: “Twelve years ago, the board and its staff of the MSHF were 100% white. Today, 25% of the board and 25% of the staff represent races and cultures outside of the western white culture in a community where 85% of the people are white.”
The population of the Mat-Su Valley is approximately 83% white, 11% Alaska Native, 5% Hispanic, 3% Asian, 2% Black, and 1% Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander according to the MSHF’s newest “Community Health Needs Assessment.”
Matsumuckraker Math: What is going on with this chart? The total percentages add up to 105%! If White is 83%, then all other categories should equal 17% but the other categories equal 22%!
Thus, the MSHF’s staff and board are already more “diverse” than the Mat-Su Valley as a whole.
On page 2, the MSHF continues by stating that “While we have made some headway in leadership (they must be referring to the racial makeup of their staff & board), we have struggled to advance conversations about health equity among our board and staff.”
What do they mean by “advance conversations?” Is what they really want is for everyone at MSHF to agree to the same liberal “equity” agenda?
YES. Look at page 9 again. This is from Appendix A, the manifesto of the recently formed MSHF Health Equity committee. Read through this committee’s KEY RESPONSIBLITIES. A. “Ensure all board members & staff are working off of a shared definition of equity.” B. Identify ways that the dominant culture (i.e. that pesky Western White Culture noted on page 1 of the RFP) and privilege may be influencing the Committee’s goals, strategies, and definitions of success. C. Identify and build practices – such as understanding racism and privilege…
(What about conservatives who are not drinking the lefty KoolAid? Is there no room for them at the MSHF?)
The RPF notes that some of the MSHF staffers and a few board members attended a training put on by the group “Undoing Racism By the People’s Institute and Beyond.”
Here is the website for “Undoing Racism” – https://www.pisab.org/
Here is that group’s list of principles:
The Undoing Racism seminars are controversial. Here is an essay from a conservative website The College Fix:
The MSHF’s Director Elizabeth Ripley has embraced the concepts of White Privilege and “structural racism.”
Here is an essay she wrote this past summer. It was published in the Anchorage Press in June and republished on Philanthropy Northwest’s website in July.
Ms. Ripley believes that white people benefit from the “structural racism” which she claims is built into American financial, educational and healthcare systems.
She also states that if white people don’t do anything, if white people are passive, they actually help proliferate racism.
She wants white people to examine “our thoughts, words, world views, and actions.”
See the highlighted quote below.
Last week, the Trump administration banned “Critical Race Theory” trainings for federal employees.
This memo from the Director of OMB explains the reasoning for the ban.
“Federal employees have been required to attend trainings where they are told that “virtually all White people contribute to racism” or where they are required to say that they “benefit from racism.”
These type of “trainings” not only run counter to the fundamental beliefs for which our Nation has stood since its inception, but they also engender division and resentment within the Federal workforce.”
Here is some commentary on Twitter about why Critical Race Theory can be destructive:
What exactly does the MSHF plan to do to implement its EQUITY AGENDA?
This is unclear exactly – and that is why they are hiring a consultant – but there are some hints on page 3 of the RFP.
They would like their grantmaking awards, scholarship awards, Human Resources and Management Processes, its Website and Advertising and Communications to all be conducted through “an EQUITY LENS.”
Does this mean that the MSHF is going to a quota system? Are scholarships going to be given out not based on a person’s aptitude or grades but on the person’s race or ethnicity or age or “gender identity”? Are staff and board members going to be chosen for the same type of “reasons” instead of merit? Is this fair?
IS THE MSHF PRACTICING WHAT THEY PREACH?
WHO IS PAYING FOR THE MAT-Su Health Foundation’s EQUITY AGENDA?
The answer is: The citizens of the Mat-Su Valley.
People who get treatment at the Mat-Su Regional Hospital contribute to the MSHF. So do the State and Federal governments who pick up the tab for Medicaid and Medicare patients.
The Mat-Su Health Foundation (whose official name is the Valley Hospital Association) is the non profit partner of the hospital and gets all of its funding from the hospital. The MSHF gets about one third of the net revenues each year. This adds up to over $25 million per year.
THE MSHF built themselves a luxurious brand new building in 2018
The citizens of the Mat-Su Valley also paid for the Mat-Su Health Foundation’s fancy new building located at 777 Crusey Street, Wasilla. The cost was likely over $20 million.
It is 46,000 square feet! The foundation has so much extra room, they are advertising for tenants to lease out some of the building.
Note: Of course, the tenant has to be the “right fit.” The MSHF is not housing the homeless or drug treatment programs in their beautiful new building. “Certain Restrictions Apply” reads the listing below.
Is this equitable?
How much HEALTH EQUITY could have been paid for if the MSHF has used its (our) money to pay for more healthcare instead of this lux building?
Here is the real estate listing from Realtor Jeff Goyette (husband of former MSBSD superintendent Monica Goyette.)
Are the salaries of the top executives at the Mat-Su Health Foundation equitable?
In her essay on racism, Ms. Ripley opined that “Our nation was built on racist ideas that defended slavery and the exploitation of people of color for white people to thrive economically.” She also wrote, “Because America excluded people of color from wealth-generating policies for centuries and removed them from resource-rich land, they tend to be poorer…” “As people of privilege, whites can’t see the structural racism built into our financial, educational, and healthcare systems. We benefit from these systems and so do our children.”
CEO Elizabeth Ripley’s total salary & benefits package equals $240,256.
The Chief Financial Officer’s total salary & benefits package equals $201,587.
Many of the other staff members make well over $100,000 too.
This salary data is from the most recent tax return for this non profit entity: