In Wednesday’s paper, New York Times reporter Reid Epstein suggested the white residents of Wausau, Wisconsin were against racial equality for the “people of color” within their community, and was rewarded with front-page placement of “County Sought To Be Inclusive. Not All Agreed.”
The text box on the jump page was arguably even more grotesque in its navel-gazing: “Opposing views of racial equality in a small town.”
Read that phrase again, because there’s a bait-and-switch happening here. It’s not in fact “racial equality” being argued about in Wausau, but the much more fraught concept of “racial equity,” a radical left-wing concept that’s escaped from academic, one which the paper consistently refuses to outline.
Epstein began (click “expand”):
A standing-room-only crowd packed a drab courthouse meeting room one recent night and tried to resolve a thorny, yearlong debate over whether Marathon County should declare itself “a community for all.”
When George Floyd was killed in Minneapolis last May, communities and businesses all over the world engaged in a reckoning over social justice, diversity and inclusion. But while scores of other communities adopted new policies and issued proclamations vowing to make progress, the residents of Marathon County, with a population of 135,000 that is 91 percent white, couldn’t agree on what to say.
A year later, they still can’t.
About the only consensus that has emerged is that the prolonged fight over a four-word phrase has only made things worse, ripping at the communal fabric in this central Wisconsin county and amplifying the tensions that had been simmering before Mr. Floyd’s death.
Epstein skipped over any nuance, ignoring the left and the media’s own stoking of racial divisiveness over the last year:
The racial divisiveness that President Donald J. Trump stoked during his four years in the White House endures in the daily life of towns like Wausau, exacerbated by the deaths of Black Americans at the hands of white police officers, and leading to new battles over whether racism is baked into local institutions. Wausau is an old paper mill town now filled with working-class manufacturing workers, medical professionals and people who work in the tourism industry, but the schisms here serve as a window into the ways that opposing views of racial equity have roiled American life.
Notice the conflict between “racial equality” (which few Americans oppose) and the far more far-reaching left-wing concept of “racial equity.” Ben Shapiro parsed the differences in February:
Equality, in the traditional understanding, means something simple and easy to implement: the protection of the rights of all individuals, along with the invasion of none of those rights. Equity means something different….Equity, in the common political parlance, means that each group should receive the same outcome as every other group.
Epstein quoted the document, which indeed says “equity,” not “equality.”
After six revisions and countless hours of negotiation and debate, they arrived at a document calling for the county to “achieve racial and ethnic equity to foster cross-cultural understanding and advocate for minority populations.”
There’s that word “equity” again, which The Times falsely conflates into a synonym for “equality,” fretting that some “older conservative white residents” got in the way “when a handful of young progressive people of color won county board seats and began demanding more input.”
Epstein reduced those “people of color” to an undifferentiated bloc, as if the Hmong and the African-American experience is identical, snarking that “[t]he word ‘equity,’ which was included in the resolution, served as a trigger for many, who made the false claim that memorializing it as a goal would lead to the county’s taking things from white people to give them to people of color.”
Earth to Epstein, but that “trigger” was wholly justified:
And Mr. Harris pleaded with his white colleagues to see people of color as equal citizens. “People of color have come here,” he said. “They want to contribute, they want to be accepted and acknowledged.”
Wait, who said that they aren’t equal citizens?
Towards the end, Epstein revealed: “Ms. Lo and Ms. Campbell both said they were contemplating moving away from Wausau to someplace more welcoming to people of color.”