Debra Katz Discusses New Notions of Equality and Fairness with the Christian Science Monitor

Katz, Marshall & Banks partner Debra Katz was quoted in a recent article in the Christian Science Monitor titled “Meritocracy and the History of Biological Differences.” The piece analyzes how historical views of racial and gender differences have contributed to the American notion of meritocracy – a discussion made more pertinent due to recent events such as the Google Memo and far-right protests in Charlottesville.

The author argues that knowingly or not, arguments against affirmative action – whether from Google or the White House – play into a narrative that socioeconomic differences among racial or gender lines are natural and deserved. This toxic idea is offensive and damaging to individuals who suffer from these misnomers. But when stretched to their extremes, this false perception of “fairness” plays into the hands of fringe extremist groups whose movements are based on the idea of racial superiority.

This is one of the ways that “this administration has given license to neo-Nazis and other fringe ideas,” says Ms. Katz. “These kinds of views about the gender inferiority of women and racial inferiority of African Americans have been discredited forever, but now they’re being use to decry the discriminatory treatment that white men feel they’re experiencing,”

The article goes on to review the history of abusing science as a political weapon to disenfranchise certain groups. The author concludes that the American view of individuality has been embraced by nearly all sides of the political spectrum. Whether our differences are seen as a strength or limitation will determine whether women and minorities will be empowered to reach their potential, or restricted to a predetermined place.

Read the full story here.