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Health officials delay meeting because 'urgency is a white supremacy value'

It was 2019 when we first saw the slide deck listing characteristics of white supremacy culture. You’ll note on the slide that the second characteristic of white supremacy is a sense of urgency.


We did some digging to find out the source of this wisdom, and it seems to be from the “White Supremacy Culture” chapter of “Dismantling Racism: A Workbook for Social Change Groups,” written by Kenneth Jones and Tema Okun and published in 2001. A sense of urgency “makes it difficult to take time to be inclusive, encourage democratic and/or thoughtful decision-making, to think long-term, to consider consequences.” One “antidote” is leadership that understands that things take longer than anyone expects.

Reason has a piece out about Oregon health officials delaying a meeting for this very reason: they recognized that urgency is a “white supremacy value.”

Robby Soave writes:

The [Oregon Health Authority’s] office for equity and inclusion, however, prefers not to rush the business of government. In fact, the office’s program manager delayed a meeting with partner organizations on the stated grounds that “urgency is a white supremacy value.”

In an email obtained by Reason, Regional Health Equity Coalition Program Manager Danielle Droppers informed the community that a scheduled conversation between OHA officials and relevant members of the public would not take place as planned.

It also appears to be slowing down the operations of a taxpayer-funded agency in Oregon. The community’s frustration is understandable: Government employees who are unprepared for meetings should not cite white supremacy as their excuse.


The influence of that 2001 study by Jones and Okun really can’t be overestimated. This stuff if taught by Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion departments everywhere, from academics to business to government.

Really. It was all laid out in that exhibit on “Whiteness” put up by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History & Culture. White people believe that hard work is the key to success and that you must always “do something” about a situation. It’s the same reason they’re trying to make math classes anti-racist by not requiring students to show their work or turn in homework on time.



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