Monday, 7 June 2010

On Equality.

I believe you will often see in modern life the habit of people putting forward a new principle of some sort and then simply carry on as if it is established and reasonable. One such principle is a naive and simplistic notion of ‘equality;’ the fanciful idea that it is fair to treat everybody equally and that will bring about equality of outcome. Will it? Let’s test it out.

Suppose a third of the population were benign vampires who would die if they ate garlic. Then suppose you passed a law saying everybody must eat garlic on Tuesdays. You are treating everybody equally, but as a result, vampires will be discriminated against because of the failure to factor in their problem with garlic.

It is an established fact that disabled people are discriminated against in employment recruitment. The statistics have proved it time and time again. One RNID survey said that employers are more likely to take on somebody with a criminal record than somebody who is deaf. Furthermore, deaf people are more likely to receive an inadequate education because of, amongst other things, poor access and inclusion. So disabled people, through no fault of their own suffer a double whammy when applying for jobs.

So applying “equality” without taking into account these unfair disadvantages is exactly like passing the equal law on garlic. It is using the pretence of fairness to maintain the status quo while allowing the perpetrators to falsely claim the moral high ground. And RNID is one organisation that loves to use this little trick. They are discriminating against deaf people with this false equality.

We should not confuse equality of treatment with equality of outcome.

See also: At the Rim.

1 comment:

MM said...

RNID makes giant play about access, yet, provides little or none to itself, it just uses spin to suggest it is a leading campaigner for rights and access, but ignores the fact charity begins at home, they should be leading by example, no wonder they cannot be taken seriously by deaf people. They are masters of online spin, with a repetitive but effective message always punctured with "The RNID says, the RNID demands, the RNID campaigns, the RNID....." This hides the fact they do nothing of the sort ! Will they shoot themselves in the foot when the name change occurs ? If they take the D out, as we ask, they are scuppered aren't they ? I also note they are encouraging 'activist' members to undermine the deaf too...