Column: Karen Bass’ Latino-Black family is everything the ugly audiotape is not.
I want to hear the real voice of Karen Bass’ family.
The family, as they appear on her Facebook page, is a complex mix of the very well-to-do and very poor, the rich and the poor. It is a complex mix of the successful and the struggling, the healthy and the unhealthy, the middle-class and the lower class, as well as some who claim they don’t fit into the neat little boxes that define race.
It is not easy to tell just how far the family have fallen. And how they remain on the “unhappy” side of the black-Latino continuum.
But when I visit, I’m surprised by how much has truly changed for the better in the two decades since Bass first began her life of adventure and success in politics, and the family’s trajectory has been a steady upward climb. The life she now has is more affluent than anything she could have dreamed of at the time she embarked on a career in public accounting. The family she now manages has the means to do for herself, and her children, what she would have done in the public sector.
But it is not easy to tell just how far the family has fallen. And how they remain on the “unhappy” side of the black-Latino continuum.
In 1992, Karen Bass was hired as an accountant for the city of Philadelphia. Her parents were teachers.
In 1993, she married her childhood sweetheart, the son of a doctor, and the family had the beginnings of professional standing. The boy, now 20, had landed a job at the local newspaper, and Bass worked in the accounting department of the daily. She was, in those early years, the epitome of the well-trained and up-to-date young professional.
That, however, was just the beginning.
In the year 2000, Bass got the job at the Federal Communications Commission.