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What Makes Equality

When do we stop treating everyone like a suspected criminal (like the TSA does) and start using legitimate profiling to say ‘someone who acts like this, might be a criminal.’  We accept that there are false positives (they arrested everyone who was driving on the sidewalk that night), but when it’s proven that treating everyone ‘the same’ is no safer or better than attempting to use detective work, then we have to ask ourselves if we’re drawing the line in the right place.

Given the protests going on across the world, I think we’re not, but the argument has moved past racism and its inherit inequality, and into humanity in general being treated poorly because it’s not a corporation.  Yeah, a company can have more rights than an individual.

Right now, across the world, there is a movement to “Occupy Wall Street.”  I work in a building right where the “Occupy Chicago” protesters are banging drums and shouting slogans.  We are the 99%.  And we’re mad.  Yes, we.  The protests going on about inequality that, were it about skin color, would make the news like the Rodney King Riots of the 90s.  The 99% is not about rich people being rich, or corporations in general.  It’s about corporations being treated like people, without paying the same dues that people pay.  It’s about the rich paying less of a percentage in taxes than the poor.

Protesters hide their faces to drive home the fact that our race doesn’t matter, and we’re all Americans so we should all be equal in the law’s eyes.  But the fact is we’re not, and the fact is we are all prejudged by how we look, how we act, and where we work.  The fact is we are all treated differently because of that, and we all perceive the world differently.  The world is an unfair place, but that doesn’t mean we should shut up and lump it.

The Occupy protesters fight against a company being treated differently than a person, and by doing this, they erase the idea that people are different.  All things being equal is an impossibility, because even if all things were equal, we’d just find ways ala Harrison Bergeron to make them unequal again.  Is it more fair to punish the exceptional and reward the average than it is to allow the exceptional to rise above?

I don’t have an answer, but I can see that what we’re doing today is wrong, and it’s not working any more than segregation, or don’t-ask-don’t-tell.  “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights…”

Time to start living by that, America.