What I Like Best About Karen Bass: She’s A Karen
We need to offer women a voice, and not assume all who speak are “bossy”
She was on the short list as Vice presidential contender as Joe Biden’s running mate. Karen Bass is a long- time activist. But I have to admit, with Mr. Dump Trump distracting every one of us with continual truck crashes at every break neck bend, I knew very little about Ms. Bass until quite recently.
Sorry, I had to jab a bit because, again, he’s a distraction. Such as recently, when he could only relate to civil rights hero, the late John Lewis, as someone who did not attend his inauguration, thereby making “a big mistake.” Or when Trump insults our troops and veterans.
Sorry. Maybe I’ve lost all respect for the office of the president. Maybe it’s the recent mayhem of Americans in battle fatigues threatening other American moms in yellow t-shirts. Or maybe, it’s the 1,000 people dying each day in a botched pandemic response.
Karen Bass, outward looking and forward acting, is the diametrical opposite of Mr. Trump. She worked her way into influence through systemic racism in Los Angeles during some of the most volatile years there. Not only Black in an almost all-white power structure. She is also a woman.
She is also a Karen. Literally.
This is personal to me, because I am very conflicted, as a “Karen” as to who, what, and why we constantly call people names. I know that some privilege allows a few mouthy broads to be unfairly — and sometimes tragically — annoying. Yet, I am not hearing enough support for introverted women, like myself, and almost every opinionated woman I know, who are programmed to be too careful. We walk on eggshells at work. We don’t say anything about the salad, even when it’s wilted. We don’t speak up when men are talking. We don’t dare rock the boat, tip the apple cart, or ripple the water.
We don’t forget to say “Sorry” almost every time we speak.
Female role socialized programming makes us this way. But, guess what? We need strong women voices. We need the Karens that are Karen Bass kind of women. Not whiners who just want their way, but real targets of racism and sexism, fighting for justice. They are often not heard because it’s all too easy to accuse a woman who speaks her mind, of being a “Karen.”
In that repressive toxicity, It’s hard to notice her existence. All the oxygen is continually sucked out of the room by roaring and spitting monster truck flames, din, and death counts.
In the California state house, Karen Bass has accomplished much reform — always with an indoor, but powerful voice — addressing fiscal emergency, drugs, racism, sexism, poverty and crime.
I liked it when I learned a “Karen” might well someday be our President. But now that I have learned so much more about her consistent, and determined efforts to shape influence and representation, while being Black and female, I have much more respect for her.
You might say, truckloads of it.
Our lives are connected by crisis now. Covid. Fires. Extinctions. Inequality. But finding those who wish to bring us together is more crucial than ever before.