UPDATED: 7:10 a.m. ET, Nov. 17 —
Original story published Nov. 10:
The “Karen” phenomenon of white women weaponizing their privilege may have [relatively] lost some steam in recent months, but much like the coronavirus, not only has it been lingering the entire year but it’s also now coming back with a vengeance.
Only this time there is no viral video in which “Karen” stars. Instead, this iteration of Karen has been presented in the form of a federal government employee who is refusing to perform a crucial component of her job that is effectively obstructing America’s democratic process.
This particular Karen goes by the name of Emily W. Murphy and she’s the administrator of the General Services Administration charged in part with facilitating a peaceful transfer of power from an out-going presidential administration to the incoming one. And in a timely fashion, too.
But it’s been well over a week since Murphy has refused to issue the requisite “letter of ascertainment” that clears the way for Joe Biden‘s team to begin the necessary transition process. Biden’s incoming chief of staff has warned that any further delay in her doing so would also hold up the distribution of any coronavirus vaccine, an urgent prospect as the country braces for a strong second wave of Covid-19. It has all prompted a social media campaign to begin demanding Murphy sign the letter complete with a provocative video.
— Scott Dworkin (@funder) November 17, 2020
Of course, there’s an asterisk here that can’t be ignored: She was appointed by Donald Trump‘s administration — the same bunch backing a lame-duck president who has filed a flurry of frivolous lawsuits and ordered U.S. Attorney General William Barr to have the Department of Justice investigate his disingenuous and unsubstantiated claims of election fraud. (CNN reported that an official staffer who worked in the DOJ’s Public Integrity Section quit Tuesday morning, saying in an email that Barr’s orders were “abrogating the forty-year-old Non-Interference Policy for ballot fraud investigations in the period prior to elections becoming certified and uncontested.” Translation: Trump’s claims are bogus, at best.)
— NewsOne (@newsone) November 10, 2020
But back to the Karen thing… because the similarities are too glaring to let it go.
Much like other instances that earn white women the distinction of being called Karen, Murphy is breaking the law. That violation was committed when she refused to perform a particular duty her job requires, according to the New York Times.
“By law, Ms. Murphy, the head of the sprawling agency that keeps the federal government functioning, must formally recognize Mr. Biden as the incoming president for his transition to begin,” the Times reported in a news story published Monday. “It has been three days since news organizations projected that he was the winner of the election, and Ms. Murphy has still not acted.”
Now it’s four days.
But again — just like with many of the Karen instances — punishment and accountability are frequently elusive for white women weaponizing their privilege. The same has, thus far, been true for Murphy despite her clear and very public violation of federal law.
Republican leaders (read: white men) have argued that the transfer of power wasn’t immediate in 2000 when that election was also referred to the legal system. But that’s not an apples-to-apples comparison as that election involved the unexpected technical X-factor of so-called hanging chads and dimpled chads on paper ballots. That election also involved an immediate concession after news outlets called the race.
In contrast, neither has occurred in 2020 and the votes are still being counted to further pad Biden’s confirmed and certified lead by tens of thousands of votes, a margin that history has shown is likely to barely change after mandatory recounts are performed.
Of course, Murphy’s defiance to perform the work required by her government position shouldn’t come as any surprise to anyone who’s been paying attention. She’s only following the lead of Trump and his presidency and underscoring why 55 percent of all white women voted for his re-election (an increase from 2016), thus also voting for all of his racism, hatred, misogyny and ignorance that comes along with it.
This is America.
'Karens' Gone Wild: Videos Show Privileged White Women Won't Stop Trying To Police People
1. Courtside Karen
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PRAY FOR LEBRON pic.twitter.com/Z8oAhl2kqf— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) February 2, 2021
2. Arlo SoHo Karen
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Wow! This woman made baseless claims against @keyonharrold and his 14yo son at @arlohotels Arlo SoHo — then assaulted them, scratching Keyon & tackling his boy. Worse, the hotel manager defended & empowered her actions, and refused to apologize after her claims were proven wrong! pic.twitter.com/LqHboiAEd6— Ben Crump (@AttorneyCrump) December 27, 2020
3. Trader Joe's 'Karen'
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This is a Trader Joe’s today. In Los Angeles. Cases are through the roof in California. Is there any way to reach these people?— Joshua Potash (@JoshuaPotash) June 27, 2020
4. 'Karen' the angry neighbor
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hey guys!! this is my new neighbor!! pic.twitter.com/yZxsQD1daS— bailey (@bailey3jenkins) June 27, 2020
5. ‘Karen’ Pulls Gun On Black Woman And Daughter After Chipotle Argument5 of 26
6. Nurse ‘Karen’ Fired
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Caron Jones — that’s Caron with a “K” as in “Karen” 👩🏼⚕️ — also called the Black Lives Matter movement a "ploy" for Black votes before the North Carolina nurse got fired for her racist social media posts.https://t.co/WQn68gNToF— NewsOne (@newsone) July 1, 2020
7. St. Louis 'Karen'7 of 26
8. ‘Karen’s Husband’ Investigated After Calling Cops On Black Men
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9. Convenience Store ‘Karen’
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It was the I’m the wrong nigga for me 😭 pic.twitter.com/2Rv33NNn2k— HEAVYY ON IT 🗣💕 (@HeavyyCampp) June 25, 2020
10. Nurse ‘Karen’ Loses Her Job For ‘Black Privilege’ Video10 of 26
11. Seattle ‘Karen’ Has A Total Meltdown After Black Driver Records Her ‘White Tears’
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"I HAVE A BLACK HUSBAND!"— NewsOne (@newsone) June 23, 2020
A "Karen" in Seattle identified as Leah completely lost it when Karlos Dillard, a Black man, confronted and recorded her after he says he was the victim of her racist road rage.
The video has gone viral as Karening gets worse.https://t.co/X5ryYpQlhF
12. Officer ‘Karen’ Is Slammed For Crying White Tears Over McDonald’s Wait12 of 26
13. Kroger ‘Karen’ Blocks Black Mother From Pulling Out Of Parking Lot Over ‘Gatorade’13 of 26
14. San Francisco ‘Karen’ Who Called Cops Over ‘BLM’ Art
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A white couple call the police on me, a person of color, for stencilling a #BLM chalk message on my own front retaining wall. “Karen” lies and says she knows that I don’t live in my own house, because she knows the person who lives here. #blacklivesmatter pic.twitter.com/rOpHvKVwgP— James Juanillo (@jaimetoons) June 12, 2020
15. Karen the "Shorewood Spitter"15 of 26
16. Karen's husband
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17. Karen's other husband17 of 26
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Question: I get we’re living in stressful times but why do we keep seeing so many white women abusing workers like this? pic.twitter.com/UKfWG631TX— chris evans (@notcapnamerica) May 18, 2020
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Racism rots your brain pic.twitter.com/OuzPmyRN6d— Khary Penebaker (@kharyp) May 17, 2020
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On the next episode of “are white people ok? 👀”.... meet Red Lobster Karen 🦞 pic.twitter.com/ElgRipPyrU— Human Capital Stock. ✊🏽🦺🌈🧤🪑 (@angel_felixv) May 13, 2020
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I can’t believe this is real. This lady went out to video shame everyone who dared to have fun in the sun at the beach and then she yelled at a Trader Joe’s worker over social distancing.— Robby Starbuck (@robbystarbuck) May 18, 2020
Karen needs to just stay home and leave the rest of us alone... 🙄🤦🏻♂️pic.twitter.com/QUeZkRSudW
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K*ren: "Arrest me"— Scottie PIPM (@scottiepipm) April 23, 2020
K*ren: 😲 pic.twitter.com/5NJnPsSj8k
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I’m baffled. Just saw this on the news. Woman who drove 1.5 hours to go to the beach with her family complains about other people at the beach who have done the same as her. Does she not see she’s part of the problem #StayAtHomeSaveLives #COVIDIDIOTS pic.twitter.com/iowllyZEk2— Colm McAfee (@mcafee77) May 17, 2020
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Emily ‘Karen’ Murphy’s Illegal Defiance Is On-Brand After 55% Of White Women Voted For Trump was originally published on newsone.com