Washington State’s Office of Equity, established by Governor Jay Inslee (D-WA) in April 2020, recently came under scrutiny for sending an email to state employees that contained an incendiary quote from Stokely Carmichael, an activist and author. This revelation comes on the heels of the state repealing a long-standing law against subversive activities.
Governor Inslee announced the creation of the Office of Equity with high hopes of fostering an anti-racist state.
In December 2020, “I declared that Washington will be an anti-racist state and committed to taking actions that hold our state to that commitment,” said Inslee in a press release. However, an email sent out by the office appears to paint a different picture.
A Gateway Pundit reader alerted us to an email circulated by the Office of Equity. The email questions not just the societal attitudes towards racism but also seems to indict the entire capitalist system that forms the backbone of the United States.
The email featured a quote by Carmichael that not only equated capitalism with racism but also explicitly stated, “If you’re anti-racist, whether you know it or not, you must be anti-capitalist.” The language and the message have raised red flags about the Office’s agenda, given its mandate to foster equity and justice.
Below is the full email:
“If a white man wants to lynch me, that’s his problem. If he’s got the power to lynch me, that’s my problem. Racism is not a question of attitude; it’s a question of power. Racism gets its power from capitalism. Thus, if you’re anti-racist, whether you know it or not, you must be anti-capitalist. The power for racism, the power for sexism, comes from capitalism, not an attitude.” ~Stokely Carmichael (Author of Ready for Revolution: The Life and Struggles of Stokely Carmichael)
Interestingly, this incident occurred around the same time when the state repealed RCW 9.81, a law aimed at criminalizing activities meant to overthrow, destroy, or alter the constitutional government, according to a local resident who reached out to The Gateway Pundit.
RCW 9.81 is a chapter of the Revised Code of Washington (RCW) that deals with subversive activities. It was enacted in 1951 during the Cold War era.
Subversive activities are any activities that are intended to undermine, weaken, or overthrow a government or social order. They can be carried out by individuals, groups, or organizations, and they can take many different forms.
Subversive activities can be motivated by a variety of factors, such as political ideology, religious beliefs, or personal grievances. They can also be carried out in response to perceived injustice or oppression.
“Subversive organization” means any organization which engages in or advocates, abets, advises, or teaches, or a purpose of which is to engage in or advocate, abet, advise, or teach activities intended to overthrow, destroy or alter, or to assist in the overthrow, destruction or alteration of, the constitutional form of the government of the United States, or of the state of Washington, or of any political subdivision of either of them, by revolution, force or violence.
“The Office of Equity is clearly a subversive entity,” the local resident told The Gateway Pundit.
However, the law was repealed in its entirety by SSB 5087, laws of 2023. This bill aimed to remove language from the Revised Code of Washington that had been identified as defects and omissions in the laws. The bill was passed along party lines in the 2023-2024 Regular Session and was signed/enacted on 04/20/2023, with an effective date of 7/23/2023.
With RCW 9.81 no longer in effect, the local resident is concerned that organizations like the Office of Equity, that propagate a message challenging the existing economic and social system, now operate without checks.
While the Office of Equity’s website boasts a team led by expert consultants, their identities are shrouded in secrecy, listed only by numbers.
According to the local resident, “the office has three employees; all women; making good salaries. These three have at least five years of employment history in the Washington State Employee System.”
- Johnson, Karen – $132,900
- Varley, Cindy – $32,500
- Tisdel, Tashy – $25,800
In 2021, Gov. Jay Inslee named Karen A. Johnson, PhD, director of the newly created state Office of Equity.
In May 2023, Inslee’s office fired Karen A. Johnson as the director of the newly created state office.
“She launched this groundbreaking office and contributed greatly to starting this important work,” Inslee spokesperson Mike Faulk told the Seattle Times. “However, the office has experienced a lack of stability in agency operations and the work environment, including high vacancy rates, high employee turnover and budgetary concerns.”
Faulk added that “we remain committed to the work and the success of this office moving forward. We determined this will require new leadership.”
Faulk said Johnson “was provided the opportunity to resign and chose separation instead.”
On August 23rd, Gov. Jay Inslee named Megan Matthews as the new director of the Washington State Office of Equity.
Gov. Jay Inslee today named Megan Matthews director of the Washington State Office of Equity. She has served as acting director of the agency since May.
Matthews has worked with the Office of Equity since April 2021 as the assistant director for shared power, leading multiple aspects of the agency’s work. Her portfolio includes driving the agency’s overall strategy, developing and implementing budgets, legislative and public relations, developing and publishing the community compensation guidelines as directed by ESSB 5793, and working with the governor’s office to craft executive orders promoting equity in employment opportunities across Washington.