Former Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson blasted the progressive push for racial equity as "what we used to call racism."
In a new opinion piece published Monday, Carson argued that liberals' shift to prioritize equity over equality is antithetical to the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s ideals and "would reward and punish people because of the color of their skin."
Current HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge explained during a confirmation hearing that equity is different than equality in that it requires treating people differently.
"From my own perspective, the difference is that one just means that you treat everybody the same," Fudge said. "Sometimes the same is not equitable."
Carson warned Monday that pursuing "equity" is dangerous.
"Rather than equality of opportunity, equity would mandate equality of outcome," he wrote in The Washington Post. "This goal is not only un-American — it is impossible to attain," the former Cabinet secretary added.
"Proponents of equity see no problem with treating groups of people differently based solely on race, as long as it serves their agenda," Carson wrote. "This is what we used to call racism, and those not blinded by identity politics still recognize it as such."
Supporting racial equity has become a common theme among progressives, with an advisory board for Loudoun County Public Schools in Virginia going so far as to demand that teachers who criticize equity training be fired from their jobs.
Additionally, Oakland, Calif., recently unveiled the framework for a local universal basic income (UBI) program for residents. The caveat is that the residents must identify as Black, indigenous or people of color and make under half of the area's median income.
Carson, in his op-ed, brought up the "end results" of governance based on race or ethnicity, such as with the Lebanese, Rwandan and Yugoslavian governments.
"Redistribution agendas driven by race-based victimization narratives that demonize entire groups are bound to fail on many fronts," he wrote, adding that "distributing government benefits and burdens based on the accident of race or gender is guaranteed to produce resentment among the disfavored group."
"Rather than teach our children that they are victims of a racist system in which they can only be made whole by making people who have done nothing wrong pay for the past sins of others, we should teach them that they are in charge of their own dignity and their own future," he argued.