All cartoons are created equal
But my equal opportunities are bigger than your equal opportunities
'Equal opportunities' is a concept denoting the bundle of rights, claims and privileges which all residents of the UK (legal and illegal) are given by the government. The main role of a government, especially a Conservative government that wishes to show how good they are, is to give everyone their equal opportunities. All human beings are born equal, and thus deserve to demand their fair share of equal opportunities from their elected representatives, plus an extra portion of equal opportunities for those whose ancestors suffered from historical grievances.
Good man, he can start by organising all the different races into the correct groupings and giving each racial group their designated equal opportunities. He needs to send out an official from No 10, armed with equal jobs, equal promotions and guaranteed equal pay rises for all the races. The darker your skin, the bigger your bundle of equal opportunities needs to be, to face our very serious issues to do with racism and atone for historical grievances.
What next, after you've been given your equal opportunities? This can get a bit tricky because sometimes, you look around and other people seem to have bigger equal opportunities than yours. Their job is better. Their promotion is swifter, and they got a heftier pay rise. This has enabled them to own a bigger house, drive a bigger car, and go out with prettier people.
How did this inequality happen? All the opportunities are supposed to be equal! The opportunities could not possibly be equal, because by looking around you can see that some people were given better stuff! Time to complain.
Complaining is done by filing a discrimination claim under the Equality Act. Politicians can say whatever they want, but your real power comes from filing Equality Act claims. Time to get started, my friends. Let's get equal opportunities done.
The first step in proving that your equal opportunities are not fit for purpose is to find someone with whom to compare yourself. In legal terminology this person is called a comparator. The success of your case depends on selecting the right comparator.
The comparator must be someone who was given bigger equal opportunities than yours. You will prove this by showing that they have more money, wealth and power than you. They eat better food and wear better designer gear and generally have an easier life. Unfair!
The comparator has to be a different race, because the size of equal opportunities is measured by reference to race. If you are black you can't select rich black footballers or a billionaire like Kanye West as your comparator. You also can't choose someone like Oprah Winfrey because although she's a billionaire (which will help your claim) she is also a woman (and selecting women would be unfair). Reader, you need a white man.
You can't select a poor white man who grew up on a sink estate and doesn't have two pennies to rub together, as that won't work for your equal opportunities complaint. Poor white men are 100% irrelevant to equal opportunities campaigns. Your white male targets must be rich. Pay attention.
I would recommend selecting someone like Elon Musk. It's patently unfair that Elon Musk was given equal opportunities that include space travel and cool electronic gadgets, when your equal opportunities didn't include any of that.
Now you have a suitable comparator, you can move to the next step which is proving institutional racism. Institutional racism magnifies the equal opportunities of white men at the expense of everyone else. The legal test for institutional racism has two stages.
First, because we wisely chose a comparator who dabbles in inter-galactic travel, we must show that building space rockets requires skills and qualifications which were given to Elon Musk and were not given to you. This is easy to show. Do you have a degree in Physics? Do you have any experience in space travel? Enough said. Proceed to stage two.
Second, we must show that people like Elon Musk, that is all white men (pay attention) are more likely to be handed space science skills and qualifications on a plate than, let's say, black women. This is called disparate impact or indirect discrimination - it is unfair for space science qualifications to be needed when everyone knows that the government gives white men equal opportunities that include space science qualifications. Yet black women are given poxy equal opportunities that include nothing.
Once you have proved that white men are overrepresented among space scientists, it follows that black women are underrepresented. Your case of institutional racism is thus proved. Congratulations. Now for your remedy.
To fix the serious problems with racism the government will now be required to equalise your opportunities. This can be done in a few ways:
As this example shows, once you spot a lack of equal opportunities it's easy to fix the situation. It's also easy to select a comparator. The only difficult part comes at the beginning, when the equal opportunities are being handed out in the first place. At that early stage, to be fair to the government, it's very difficult to know whether the opportunities are equal or not. We have to wait and see what people do with their equal opportunities, as that will reveal whether the opportunities were equal or not in the first place.
I know my equal opportunities are not the same as Elon Musk's equal opportunities. Just by showing up as a white man, dripping with his white privilege, he was handed a huge fortune on a plate. I'm not jealous of him or anything, and I haven't an envious bone in my body, but I have often wondered why it's fair that he gets to invent cool gadgets and I don't? This bothers me because we are the same age, and yet he earns more money in one second than I will earn in my lifetime. How did that happen, if we were both given identical equal opportunities? I feel like I should have the same things he has. Just because he is a white man does not mean his life has more value than mine.
These inequalities prove that institutional racism exists. The only difference between Mr Musk and I is that he is a white man and I am a black woman. I call racism. We are exactly the same in all other respects, equal in the eyes of God. Yet he gets to live a fun life going on space adventures while I am forced to spend my entire life stuck on earth, complaining about racism and furiously decolonising my syllabus. How many of us will never have the opportunity to travel to Mars, just because of the colour of our skin? The battle for equal opportunities has only just begun.
Scholar, Writer, Friend