DHS director's message
To: All DHS employees
From: Bruce Goldberg, M.D., director
Diversity is key to our success
I was honored this week to be a part of the state's Diversity Conference, which brought together seven state agencies in a day-long session dedicated to increasing our ability to understand and respect cultures that differ from our own.
I was not honored to pay for that.
I am proud that, at DHS, we are a leader in hiring people who reflect the cultural richness in our state. In a state where 90 percent of the population is white, more than 18 percent of our workforce is made up of people of color.
And all the whites are gay, women or Muslim!
Meanwhile, the newly expanded DHS Office of Multicultural Health and Services has begun the work of tackling disparities in Oregon that mean people of color are more likely to have avoidable serious health problems.
We know some of the causes. Lack of access to health care, lack of educational opportunities and the marginalization of communities of color, immigrants and refugees is a huge problem. For example, Asian Pacific Islanders and Caucasians are getting college and graduate degrees in far greater numbers than African Americans, American Indians and Hispanics. That leaves those communities with fewer opportunities for family-wage jobs that have health insurance. Parents who have to take a second job to pay the rent don't have the luxury of time to shop for healthy foods, get enough exercise, or enroll in a smoking cessation program.
I fail to understand why if Asians and Caucasians can get college degrees, why can't black and Hispanic people? The answer is: they can and do. There is nothing to stop anyone from succeeding who is willing to work hard for it.
I can't get a job because I don't have any skills and I don't have any skills because I can't get a job is an excuse to do nothing. Bruce Goldberg thinks it's a valid reason to invite the state into your life.
How many of us started out rich when we turned 18? Are you born with a house and two cars? These are things that you have to work for.
If you want to get excercise, quit smoking or eat healthy and these things won't happen without the help of government then you are destined to fail regardless. You don't have the drive to succeed.
DHS is not helping the poor, they are enabling people to feel like victims and keeping them in a form of indentured servitude to the state.
If you are someone who is poor just realize that things won't change overnight. Look at the habits of successful people (115,000,000 google results) and find what works for you. If you are walking to work in 2009 you can afford to bike to work in 2010 and then ride the bus in 2011. In 2012 you will have saved up for your car.