Critical Race Theory Comes to State Employment

Sam Hales
12 June 2021


Below is a slightly modified letter I sent to my employer's Diversity, Equity and Inclusion team. As an agency we recently have been invited to attend sensing sessions regarding an Equity survey that the newly created state Equity Office sent out. I believe it is an open survey that all can look at. If you are not a state employee I ask that you do not submit your final response, but I recommend you go through the survey so you can see what has generated all the Equity and Critical Race Theory discussion that I address below.

Equity Office Survey

Context Around This Letter

I am blessed to work in a great agency. I have a great boss and teammates. I also respect the senior leadership in my organization. Recently our senior leadership has created a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion team called WIRED (WaTech Inclusion, Respect, Equity & Diversity). I know several people on this team and they are all good people. It is my firm believe that both the senior leadership or WaTech and the people on the WIRED team truly want to create a work environment that is welcoming and supportive of all. As such, they have supported the Equity Office believing this office has the same goals. Based on the survey above and my knowledge of Critical Race Theory, Antiracism and Equity (as used by the CRT advocates) I do not believe the Equity Office has simply the goal of making state employment welcoming to all and supportive to all. I believe their agenda is apply CRT and Antiracism thinking to state employment. I firmly believe this thinking is racist, dangerous and un-American. I also believe that most people who support Equity do not understand what Equity means in the context of CRT and Antiracism. 

During the sensing session which I was a part of I expressed my opinion that I fundamentally disagreed with the survey because I do not accept the CRT foundation behind the Equity Office's use of Equity. I expressed that by not giving an option to voice my opinion within the survey that I did not agree with it intentionally skews the results of the survey. The leadership of the sensing session were very respectful to me and all who were present and welcomed me to provide further feedback. The letter below is the feedback I gave them. 

My Edited Letter to our DEI team

Let me begin by focusing on where “we” agree. By “we” I mean the governor, Equity office, WaTech leadership and WIRED and I. We agree that it is our common goal to serve the citizens of Washington to the best of our ability. Additionally, we agree that WaTech should be amazingly good at our job and should be an amazing place to work. As part of those two criteria it is essential that every single current and future employee at WaTech feels valued and supported. Every employee, current and future, who shares WaTech’s values and is competent at his or her job should be treated with dignity and respect. Regardless of an employee’s background, gender orientation, gender identity, race, religion and political affiliation they should one and all feel like they are a valuable part of the WaTech team. Based on this shared set of beliefs I believe I now differ with the direction the Equity Office, as shown in this survey, intends to take us.

The Equity survey we just took and discussed is deeply steeped in the vocabulary and ideology of Critical Race Theory as best explained by Ibram X Kendi. I believe this ideology will damage not only WaTech, but the state and nation as a whole. In support of my argument I have attached a Kendi friendly article that was a review of one of his books. It is from there that I will draw the vocabulary and definitions that are deeply concerning.

I have three areas surrounding this issue that concern me that I will address here. They are definition of Racist and Anti-Racist, Equity and party politics and non-partisan government service.

Kendi, as stated in this article, defines racist and antiracist as:

RACIST: One who is supporting a racist policy through their actions or inaction or expressing a racist idea.

ANTIRACIST: One who is supporting an antiracist policy through their actions or expressing an antiracist idea.

So, since he does the intellectual sin of defining a word with the word, we have to ask what is a racist policy. To that Kendi says, a racist policy is any policy that results in inequitable outcome by racial group. Equitable being that generally all outcomes should reflect the general racial make up of the society. In his particular focus this means that Black America should have approximately 13% of the wealth, income, leadership positions, house ownership, etc.

With these ideas laid out, let me explain why these ideas, which on the surface seem reasonable and good, are actually deeply harmful, divisive and dangerous.

Based on the above definition of racism and antiracism every White child in America is a racist because they are not actively supporting antiracism. I highlight White in this regard because though not specifically stated in this article, Kendi and others have advanced the intellectually invalid idea that non-Whites cannot be racist because they do not have power. With this understanding we must conclude that every White child in America is a racist. This is an absurd and abusive idea to teach our children. As such, any White employee at WaTech who is leading a kind and caring life, but is not specifically taking antiracist actions as defined by Kendi is also a racist. This ideological framework is divisive and racist in the common definition of racism where one group is inferior or superior based on the color of their skin. This ideology runs completely counter to the training we have received from the state on dignity and respect.

Secondly, Equity as defined by equal outcomes, is one of the most dangerous ideas in human history. Judging people and their outcomes by the color of their skin and not by the content of their character goes against the ideals on which our country was founded and on which all our great civil rights leaders have based their argument for equality before the law. Additionally, history shows over and over again that to achieve equity governments need immense power that is not checked by the consent of the people. Political power must be removed from the people and given to an “elite” who are able to regulate the people to achieve the desired equity. Whether it is the Soviet Union, Communist China or modern Cuba where all of these societies were ostensibly pushing for equity the government power required to achieve this end was disastrous. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Kendi argues ( that the US should create just such an approach. He would create an all powerful Department of Anti-Racism that has the same power that the communist party had in the USSR, Communist China and Cuba. We would move from a country governed by the consent of the people to a country governed by the antiracist elite. Equity is a very dangerous and un-American ideological framework that would damage WaTech and everyone who practices it.

Lastly, my concern with this survey and its implied support and advocacy of CRT, is that this is highly partisan. As a state employee my employment is non-partisan. I serve the citizens of Washington under the guidance of the governor and the legislature. In this regard it should be irrelevant what party I am in and the parties of the governor and legislature. Critical Race Theory, and the ideas of antiracism and equity, are currently only supported within the democratic party and left leaning fringe parties. There is zero significant support for these ideas within the republican party and supporters. So, by imposing Critical Race Theory on me through the Office of Equity you are imposing a specific party ideology on me. As a non-partisan state employee that is unethical and I believe illegal.

Let me highlight what I believe some of the likely direct negative impacts on WaTech will be if we continue down the CRT path. To achieve Equity the possibility exists that race becomes the first and foremost factor in hirings and promotions. This will cause division and tension as a racialized work-place coalesces around the racial groupings instead of individual performance. The antiracism training and policies, intended to achieve equity of outcome, will impose racist division on the organization as it targets White employees to eliminate their racist thinking and behavior even though there may be no specific thinking or behavior by any that is racist. This will inevitably cause deep resentment among many who subscribe to the ideas of Martin Luther King and not Kendi. By this I mean, MLK taught us that we should judge people by the content of their character and not the color of their skin. Kendi and CRT believe the opposite and that equal outcome is what matters by skin color. Additionally, it will alienate every worker in WaTech who does not support the antiracism and Critical Race Theory ideologies. As I have explained earlier, there is no support for these ideas within the republican party and republicans. This will inevitably bring party politics and division into a non-partisan state work-place. These are just some of the immediate negative impacts of following the imposition of Critical Race Theory.

Once again, let us find the ground where we agree. Everyone at WaTech should feel included and be treated with dignity and respect regardless of their background. Racism and sexism have no place anywhere and especially not at WaTech. Eliminating these behaviors is a shared goal we can all work on together. Ensuring that every American can achieve their best in accordance with our founding principles is something we can all agree on. Where I disagree with the ideas being pushed forward by the Equity Office within this survey, is the means of how we achieve inclusion of all Americans regardless of race. Where we agree is that all Americans should be included in the American dream. Critical Race Theory, Equity and Antiracism as defined by the leading CRT advocates will not get us there.

Thank you for your time and willingness to receive my feedback. Sam