If anything, they have become a depressingly regular occurrence. So regular and unsurprising, in fact, that many of these videos no longer go viral. In the latest such case this month, a year-old woman, a resident of a retirement community in Wildwood, Fla. She also allegedly hurled the Whopper at the employee. Communist China!
And in Bayonne, N. Emanuele had moved from Tennessee to New Jersey in December. The incident happened at 8 a. I thank her for being the strong Black woman that she is to remain calm and reserved during the entire ordeal. To read the comments of some white people now making an excuse or defense for this behavior is alarming and gets us to the real problem of this systemic situation.
Some people say memes of white women confronting people of color provide a handle on behaviors born of racist entitlement, while others point to misogyny, economic disenfranchisement, and even mental-health issues. This is a racist act.
And plain, old-fashioned entitlement. Last year, when his sons were 5 and 3 years old, he was on a weekend bike ride in his neighborhood, a quiet suburb in Southern California with picturesque houses situated amid generous lawns. He saw a cardinal and wanted to show me. It was one of those occasions a parent remembers: an ordinary moment when he and his family got to escape the rat race, the pandemic, pause and take a breath to enjoy the simple gifts of nature and fleeting childhood.
Blink and that 5-year-old will be What are you looking at? Alas, Fitzgerald remembers that day for another reason. For a moment, he wondered if he had made the wrong decision in moving there. Do you have a pass? Do you live here?
Such incidents have not gone away. instead, they’ve become another depressingly ubiquitous feature of modern life
It was a common practice in the first half of the 20th Century, but it was outlawed through legislation in the s and s. The practice continues to this dayand housing in many redlined areas is still worth ificantly less than similar homes in a non-redlined neighborhood. These incidents, others say, merely reveal a more explicit form or racism that permeates neighborhoods, workplaces, colleges and businesses across America. They see it as a generational transfer of white economic power that can express itself as an unfriendly neighborhood committee or a boss that overlooks a person of color for promotion.
Meanwhile, some white feminists argue that the Karen video meme has gone too far, smacks of misogyny and aggressively shames women, rather than men, who may be having a bad day, or suffering from other emotional problems.
Others say the Karen narrative trivializes the anger and economic disenfranchisement of a white working class that helped propel Donald Trump to the White House in Research, however, does suggest that Black people are either mistreated or, at the very least, treated differently based on their race more than white people.
Karen videos — whether crude or fascinating, alarming or trivial — can be roughly split into two groups: White people who confront and question people of color, and white people who show antipathy or rage toward authority — retail and restaurant workers who ask them to abide by social-distancing rules and wear face masks, for example — or ask to see the manager.
The phenomenon has been around in one form or another for years, but truly went global after the now-infamous standoff in Central Park. They both left the rambles in the park before the police arrived. Timing, perhaps, is everything. This happened on the same day that George Floyd, who was Black, died in police custody after a white Minneapolis policeman kneeled on his neck with the full weight of his body for nine minutes, 29 seconds, sparking nationwide Black Lives Matter protests. Last month, former police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
Criminal charges against Amy Cooper were dropped without a guilty plea in February after she completed a therapeutic program that included lessons on racial biases. The video has been viewed on Twitter over 45 million times.
The Amy Cooper video may have been unpleasant to watch, but it was not something seen as unfamiliar to many Black men. The only difference is that this was caught on an iPhone. Benjamin traveled nearly 30, miles around the U. During his travels, from tohe attended a three-day white separatist retreat with links to Aryan Nations in northern Idaho and in exurban megachurches in the South. Or Caucasian Arcadias.
Or Blanched Bunker Communities. Or White Archipelagos. I call them Whitopia. These viral videos of Karens asking people of color to explain themselves are the rust on the barbed wire atop the walls separating some White Americans from people of color. Some harassment runs the gamut from legal residency and ethnicity to sexuality. You made my day. Some people in these videos charge store staff at the entrancecough on patrons, or throw their baskets on the floor or groceries out of their cart.
After requesting to speak to the manager, she sat on the floor. A staff member politely asked her if she would like a chair. She cut a sad figure, one of pathos rather than someone who wanted to do anyone harm aside from the very real risk of transmitting COVID, that is. In a world where so much is not within our control, this was a defiant — certainly misguided — act in which she tried to wrestle some control over her own life.
But such theories may seem overly generous.
Take this recent trip to a hairdresser on Madison Avenue, as recounted by Gail, who asked to have her last name withheld. As she was paying her bill, Gail stood at the cash register next to a woman and her dog, who had been running around the salon without a leash.
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When asked to use her credit card, the woman refused to put it into the machine herself. But Gail seemed excited to tell the story.
I think I met a Karen! Can police officers be Karens and Kens too? While white women have been filmed for vehemently refusing to wear masks during the pandemic, Black men have even been targeted in stores for wearing them. A year ago, Kam Buckner, a member of the Illinois state legislature, was stopped by police after leaving a store while wearing a mask. You looked like you were up to something.
It was ironic, given the resistance among some white people to wearing face coverings. But explaining why a Karen or Ken questions Black people who are simply trying to go about their day is an attempt to rationalize the irrational, said Linda Clemonsthe CEO of Sisterpreneur, an organization aimed at empowering female entrepreneurs. It comes from someone who is racist or biased. They were already there.
There is a history of such action in America. But politics and government policies got in the way. White allies have always been there too — perhaps not in the s seen so publicly since the civil-rights protests ofClemons said. But the most recent Black Lives Matter protests spurred by the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and many other unarmed Black people at the hands of police have galvanized a new generation of white allies, she added.
In the 21st-Century U. Globalization and technological advancement have hit manufacturing jobs in many of the pivotal states won by Trump in The president-elect may have been paying uncredited homage to a speech by President Franklin D. Given the resentments aired in Karen and Ken videos, they appear to be divided along political lines.
Facing discriminatory labor laws and practices, they threw their support behind Roosevelt and ed with labor unions, farmers and progressives. Furloughs, layoffs, the stress of lockdowns and the re-emergence of the Black Lives Matter movement has left many Karens and Kens feeling insecure and threatened, Glass observes. There is a new social-justice power pushing them to look in the mirror. So the enforcement of rules like this may come as more of a shock.
The Karen phenomenon, meanwhile, has jumped from the social-media peanut gallery to the halls of power.
There is some agreement that the name Karen is associated with white women. Karen Attiah wrote in the Washington Post that, as a kid in South Dallas in the s, she introduced herself to other Black kids at the mall.
This is not the first time white people, possibly arrogant white people, have been given such sobriquets. In the 19th Century, African Americans called condescending white men and women, as well as slave owners and their wives, Mister Charlies and Miss Anns. It was a covert and safer way of discussing their behavior. Even some white suffragettes have been identified as having Karen-esque tendencies. That all changed.
Anna Howard Shaw, a white suffragette, turned her back on her Black compatriots in the movement. In recent times, other names have been used to refer to such individuals, mostly to allow for alliteration — PermitPatti, who refused to accept that a Black family was allowed into a neighborhood pool, and BBQBecky, who called the police on a Black family having a barbecue.
To be fair to Cook, he also said his friend group had such a person named Brian. In other words, such run-ins with Karens and Kens are not always — explicitly, at least — related to race. Karens and Kens are, one might assume, equally angry with their perception of the state of the world. But while videos of people losing their cool in stores and on airplanes feature both men and women, Karens make the news more often than Kens.
These videos are disturbing and chilling, but also mesmerizing and fascinating — they can rack up tens of millions of views online. So why do videos of Karens get more clicks than those featuring men? Because these scenes take place in clothing stores and supermarkets, places where women still go more than men? She flipped him off.