Covid-19 isn’t the only pandemic plaguing America. Over recent years America has been experiencing the pandemic of the Karens. For those of you that don’t know, a Karen or Kevin is a white man or woman that chooses to go out of their way to racially profile or just to stick their noses into a person of color’s business because they have the privilege to do so.
Videos such as “Central Park Karen”, “San Francisco Karen” and most recently “Victoria Secret Karen”, show that people of color doing absolutely nothing illegal and minding their business are approached by mostly white women that feel the need to tell them that they are going to call the police if they don’t stop what they are doing or leave.
In the Victoria secret video, you can see that the “Karen” is the aggressor, after attempting to attack the black woman, she screams for the woman holding the camera to get away from her as Karen follows her around the store. In the Central Park video, a woman said that she was attacked by a black man and even screamed and pretended that she was being attacked while calling the police. In each of these cases, each Karen was recorded of their childish and obscene behavior and later paid the consequences for it.
Some of these videos are completely ridiculous and logic is so far gone that you can’t help but laugh. You can see that in a lot of those videos the person recording is asked to stop and I am personally glad that they didn’t. The recording seems to be the only way that these people get justice. Social media takes it in their hands to find out who each Karen is, where she works, and make complaints as to what kind of person would do this if not a racist.
When you google Karen videos there are so many videos that appear on YouTube, and over one million posts under the hashtag Karen. This type of behavior is happening more frequently, some people speculate that they do it because they know if they call the police there is a chance that the “offending” black person would be shot for appearing to cause harm to someone white. Others believe that it’s another view of Jim Crowism.
Jim Crowism is the racial discrimination and segregation enforced by laws. It is the legal racism formulated under the ideology that White people were the “chosen ones”. Jim Crowism started after the Emancipation Proclamation and formulated several major known events such as the Reconstruction Era, the Civil Rights Act, the Great Migration, the Atlanta Race Riot, and Tulsa Massacre just to name a few.
During this time groups like the Ku Klux Klan were formed to aid in the terrorizing of the black people because they felt blacks are not their equal. However, the NAACP was also formed during this time to assist black people in getting the rights they deserved. Court cases like Plessy v Ferguson, the case that said segregation did not violate the 14th amendment, was a result of Jim Crow Laws and Brown v. Board became the case that ultimately ended the separate but equal law.
This was the time that people ridiculed people of color, forming stereotypes that still have stuck with us today. The state of our country is jumbled, between the COVID-19 virus and the “protector” using their power to harm it is no wonder why we are reverting back to our past. As the saying goes “history repeats itself” and we must learn our history in order to understand what is happening if we have any hope to try and prevent it.
Through the videos, you can see the hatred and white privilege as these people with full confidence tell someone that they aren’t allowed to do something. I watched a video of a person following and accusing a man of stealing her son’s phone because she saw on her Find Me app that it led to him. In the end, it becomes known that the woman had left her phone behind in an Uber. I have used that app and it doesn’t give you an exact place, just an estimate of where it might be but yet she accused and physically attacked this young man over a phone that was not hers.
It’s ridiculous that this is even a topic of discussion, and more so that people’s first response is to call the police without gathering enough information to assure that the person is guilty. The behaviors of Karens and Kevins are aiding in the fear most people of color have with the Law Enforcement as well as painting the law enforcement in a negative light when they are used more like a puppet for their racist unmotivated actions. The only way to fix the system is to find a way to stop the hate and abuse of power.
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