Here's a mouthful: Diversity hire for Washington's brand new diversity office fired amid reports of anti-diversity
Talk about a bureaucrat from the underworld. According to the Democrat governor who hired her, there were "concerns" with Dr. Karen Johnson's professional performance, so he had to let her go — but the details of Johnson's firing make for a spicy spectacle. ("Concerns" doesn't quite fit; "nightmare" seems more appropriate.)
In 2020 and under Governor Jay Inslee, Washington State established the brand new Office of Equity (OOE), and in March 2021, Inslee appointed the bureau's first director, Dr. Karen Johnson. After two tumultuous years, Inslee's office fired Johnson sometime around mid-May, and according to one local news outlet, the reasons were budget issues and "high vacancy rates and turnover." However, her firing also came amid a host of (rather ironic) investigative findings.
From the Seattle Times:
Investigators found Johnson micromanaged and made unreasonable requests to employees, 'was disorganized and lacked adequate structure and process,' 'made inappropriate or insensitive comments to some staff members,' and publicly criticized some workers.
The investigation, spurred by claims of Johnson's inappropriate workplace behavior by 'multiple individuals' working in the Office of Financial Management and the Office of Equity, was conducted by MFR Law Group, of Mill Creek.
Did I mention that Dr. Johnson is a black woman? Can somebody say "diversity hire"?
Less than a week ago, the state published that final report (which began in November 2022) on Johnson and the allegations made against her. Now, I know you'll never believe this, but the very person hired to promote diversity and inclusion seems to hold seriously bigoted views, particularly against certain minorities. From the document:
One individual (White) described an incident they perceived to be evidence of bias against Mexicans. During a group discussion, Dr. Johnson said of a staff member who self-identified as Mexican, 'This may take some time for me because I generally distrust Mexican people. Mexican people have the option of being White when it is convenient for them.'
Yikes, that's a big oof.
The report also asserted that Johnson had reprimanded women in the workplace for failing to wear makeup and chided a "White" staffer for wearing her hair in a braid, accusing the woman of "cultural appropriation."
Another outlet reported:
According to the investigation, the OOE had an overall attrition rate of 29% since it was created in March 2021. Five employees resigned between 2022 and 2023, and all of them cited Johnson's 'chaotic, overburdened, and disrespectful workplace culture.'
In a predictable turn of events, Johnson is apparently considering "legal action," as she claims she was fired for "pushing for accountability at state agencies."
Huh, imagine that...
Two of my favorite 20th-century thinkers are Dr. Thomas Sowell and Dr. Walter E. Williams (both of whom just happen to be black, like Ms. Johnson), and I believe that it was one of them who, at one point, scrutinized affirmative action in one particular way: the policy is actually more detrimental to the black worker, as white employers are less inclined to hire them. Why? Well, for the exact reason shown above by Dr. Johnson — in the event a white employer needs to fire a black employee for entirely legitimate reasons, the employee may just cry "racism!" As Johnson noted:
No Black person in their right mind ... wants to be leading this kind of work, convincing [W]hite people they want to do something they have no intention of doing[.]
Ah yes, the ol' trusty "race card"!
Prior to her very brief tenure as the OOE director, Johnson was the first "Equity & Inclusion Administrator" for the state's prison industrial complex, and her staff biography read, "Dr. Johnson ... teaches weekend intensives on implicit bias and dismantling racism in the public sector."
Why are these Democrats so bad at governing? A job position that exists to forcibly compel equal outcomes by crippling high achievers is only going to draw a candidate with lax ethics. Does someone maybe want to tell Mr. Inslee that hiring people based on the color of their skin or their "gender identity"/chromosomal makeup rather than the content of their character is a crap shoot?
Image: YouTube video screen grab.