Time to pivot

Watched Stephen Colbert interview Biden:

For the first 20 minutes or more, Biden seems to be still on the debate stage, running against Trump, not leading the opposition. He begins to gather himself after that. But then Colbert asks him one question after another about what his plan is — for infrastructure, for jobs, even for how to distribute any vaccine that may be available in 2021 — very concrete questions that he ought to have concrete answers for, and he doesn’t. He seems to be saying that he will win because people understand how bad Trump is.

He and Colbert both eat some ice cream; it almost looks as if he needs a little sugar to get himself back on track. He picks up a pack of paper towards the end of the interview, as if he was reading from notes.

Colbert’s last question is about his son Bo and how the leaders of the country should respond to the grief people are feeling. He gives this his longest coherent answer. This is his strength, obviously: empathy.

But that was a week ago. Now with the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, here is a different response to grief:

And this from my friend Karen Ford in Mississippi (who is Black); she got it from a friend who is white:

This is so true and so WRONG:

I have privilege as a White person because I can do all of these things without thinking twice about it…

I can go jogging (#AmaudArbery).

I can relax in the comfort of my own home (#BothemSean and #AtatianaJefferson).

I can ask for help after being in a car crash (#JonathanFerrell and #RenishaMcBride).

I can have a cellphone (#StephonClark).

I can leave a party to get to safety (#JordanEdwards).

I can play loud music (#JordanDavis).

I can sell CD’s (#AltonSterling).

I can sleep (#AiyanaJones).

I can walk from the corner store (#MikeBrown).

I can play cops and robbers (#TamirRice).

I can go to church (#Charleston9).

I can walk home with Skittles (#TrayvonMartin).

I can hold a hair brush while leaving my own bachelor party (#SeanBell).

I can party on New Years (#OscarGrant).

I can get a normal traffic ticket (#SandraBland).

I can lawfully carry a weapon (#PhilandoCastile).

I can break down on a public road with car problems (#CoreyJones).

I can shop at Walmart (#JohnCrawford) .

I can have a disabled vehicle (#TerrenceCrutcher).

I can read a book in my own car (#KeithScott).

I can be a 10yr old walking with family (#CliffordGlover).

I can decorate for a party (#ClaudeReese).

I can ask a cop a question (#RandyEvans).

I can cash a check in peace (#YvonneSmallwood).

I can take out my wallet (#AmadouDiallo).

I can run (#WalterScott).

I can breathe (#EricGarner).

I can live (#FreddieGray).

I can visit a loved one in the middle of the night(#DarQuanJones).

I can ask someone to put a leash on their dog when it is required in the public park we are in (#ChristianCooper).


White privilege is real. Take a minute to consider a Black person’s experience today.


*I copied and pasted this…please do the same. 

Karen Ford

Published by helenaworthen

Labor educator, retired from University of Illinois, taught at TDT University in Ho Chi Minh City in the Faculty of Trade Unions and Labor Relations. Co-author with Joe Berry of Power Despite Precarity: Strategies for the contingent faculty movement in higher education, forthcoming (August 2021) from Pluto Press.

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