WA’s first director of equity was fired after saying she didn’t trust Mexicans because they could choose to be white, among other indiscretions

News & Politics

Dr. Karen Johnson was fired as the first director of the “Office of Equity” for Washington state after she made derogatory comments about Mexicans and other people, including white people.

Those were some of the revelations found in an investigation by the Washington State Office of Financial Management into the termination of Johnson’s employment earlier in May. She had held the position since May 2021.

KING-TV obtained a report of the allegations through a public records request.

The report accused Johnson of making unreasonable requests of staff and running a disorganized office.

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Among the accusations were that Johnson made several inappropriate comments about people in relation to race.

“This may take some time for me because I generally distrust Mexican people,” she reportedly said during a group discussion. “Mexican people have the option of being white when it is convenient for them.”

She also accused a white person of “cultural appropriation” because they were wearing their hair in a braid.

Others said she commented on their physical appearance, including allegedly telling one person to wear lipstick and another that they were too fat.

Johnson says she was fired because she was pushing for accountability at state agencies in relation to equity.

Gov. Jay Inslee, a Democrat, responded to KING that her claims had nothing to do with Johnson’s firing but that the equity office had problems and budgetary issues.

Johnson said she was considering legal action over her firing and denied being prejudiced against any group.

“I believe everyone belongs because everyone is human,” said Johnson.

When asked about her alleged comments about Mexicans, she denied having any animosity against Mexicans.

“That was not my takeaway from the conversation,” she added.

The mission statement of the equity office was as follows: “Promote access to equitable opportunities and resources that reduce disparities and improve outcomes statewide across state government.”

Here’s more about the firing of Karen Johnson:

Gov. Inslee says equity director fired for ‘problems’ within agencywww.youtube.com

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