In June of this year, the Lumina Foundation (in partnership Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors) gave $50,000 to the Southern Adventist University to fund the social justice subtexts of racial justice and equity. In September, Southern Adventist University announced a faculty opening for a Vice President of Unity and Inclusion.
Racial Justice and Equity
Racial justice occurs when institutions give equal opportunity to people of all races. In the United States, racial equality, has become a law that regardless of what race an individual is, they will receive equal treatment, opportunity, education, employment, and politics. That is equality of opportunity.
Equity, as used in this social justice context, means equality of outcome, and the dismantling of ‘white privilege’ (whatever that is). For hundreds of years, common sense has taught us that all people should be treated equally regardless of race, and thus allowed to rise or fall in keeping with their individual commitment to hard work, self-reliance and personal responsibility. This is equality of opportunity. But equality of opportunity does not promise equality in the outcome. People have different levels of skill and put different amounts of effort into work that they do. Some individuals are lazy and some are motivated (1 Timothy 5:8; Proverbs 10:4-5; 2 Thess. 3:6-10).
Equality of outcome (equity) is a Marxist idea in which effort and intelligence are negated so that everyone is equal in the end. This is the basis of communism: if someone has more, then it’s because they unfairly took it, cheated, or had an racial/ethnic advantage. Equity on a college campus calls for “targeted intervention”— an academic counterpart of affirmative action that regards “white privilege” as public enemy number one. These are social justice factories, churning out a steady stream of social justice warriors into our society.
Here is the paradox of equity: the state must treat individuals unequally in order to enforce equality of outcome. An illustration:
The Lumina Foundation
The Lumina Foundation is a large Indianapolis-based foundation, dedicated to funding Barack Obama’s 2009 goal of increasing higher education in America. They also opposed Indiana’s 2015 Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), a bill that protects free exercise of religion and freedom of conscience for individuals and businesses in Indiana. They have called for the advancement of LGBT rights, claiming that LGBT rights are important to business. In summary, this is a leftist organization, giving 50K to Southern Adventist University for the implementation of a social justice agenda.
“Equity” in this context does not mean “equality” or “fairness.” It means racial identity politics—an ideology that blames minority students’ academic challenges on institutional racial bias, repudiates Martin Luther King, Jr.’s color-blind ideal, and focuses on uprooting “white privilege.” Southern Adventist University not only accepted the money, they appear to have applied for it.
The Open Letter
The intrusion of this ideology at Southern Adventist University (SAU), coupled with the cost of tuition, led the concerned parent of an SAU student to write this open letter:
“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9).