At schools and universities, people have faced discrimination by racist Karens. Whether it was a teacher who shouted at a student of color or one who was racially abusing a white teacher, these stories demonstrate how racism still permeates our society today.
Some of these incidents can be linked to mental health concerns about the coronavirus, while others stem from systemic racism that has existed for a while. While this issue may not be easily captured in a viral video, it remains present nonetheless.
1. A student was racially abused by a teacher
One recent example of racism at schools and universities can be seen in Sophia Rosing, an 8th grade science teacher in her second year who was filmed repeatedly calling out a Black student by name. The video went viral on social media with more than 5 million views; it took place at the University of Kentucky campus and Rosing ultimately pleaded not guilty to all charges brought against her.
This isn’t the first time a teacher has been caught on camera using racist epithets. Indeed, there are numerous stories highlighting incidents where educators have made offensive comments or used inappropriate language in the classroom.
Though some may consider these incidents innocuous, they are actually examples of an increasingly troubling problem in America: white privilege. This form of racism manifests itself in many different forms.
Many incidents are captured on video, but there are also cases where the person involved isn’t visible at all. For example, in Central Park’s case with the water-seller, she wasn’t even named Karen – instead being referred to as “Permit Patty,” while another woman who called police during a family barbecue was simply known by her nickname: “BBQ Becky.”
Recent cases of racialized harassment have come to light, often taking place in public spaces where they are often captured on video. While these instances are far from being the norm, they serve as reminders of the continued oppression people of color face in America today.
For others, Karen and Ken videos are essential tools to expose how racial bias pervades our society. They can help eradicate racism from schools and workplaces, serving as an impassioned call for change.
Some who view these videos as necessary and revealing do acknowledge the sexist nature of focusing on white women over white men. “We live in a sexist society,” Aram Sinnreich, an associate professor of communication at American University in Washington, D.C., observes that any form of public shaming will necessarily have a gendered component.
2. A student was racially abused by a student
Racially harassing students at school or university can leave them feeling vulnerable and upset. Schools can help prevent this kind of abuse by providing adequate resources to address any complaints made. Furthermore, it’s essential that the alleged victim knows their rights and understands what steps they can take to protect themselves.
In the UK, racial harassment can take many forms. It may be directed directly at individuals of colour or ethnicity (including mixed race or multiracial backgrounds), as well as those belonging to religious communities.
Discrimination takes many forms, from making you feel unable to join activities associated with your ethnicity, religion or nationality to humiliating and degrading you.
Racial trauma is an unfortunately common experience for those from disadvantaged groups and can be devastating. It affects your self-worth, relationships, as well as your capacity to focus on studies or work.
There are various ways you can seek assistance and it’s always best to speak with a trained therapist or psychiatrist for support. Additionally, having close friends who share similar experiences can reduce the isolation that often follows racism.
Another approach to preventing racism is encouraging students to stand up for each other and speak out against any incidents of racial abuse taking place on their campus. This could be done through talking to teachers or school staff members, writing letters to administrators or even bringing an incident into the media spotlight.
Additionally, speaking to the administrator of your college or university can be beneficial and they should implement policies and procedures that ensure all racially offensive behaviour is addressed. These should be accessible to all students, with a grievance process so students can voice any issues with the person responsible for handling them.
3. A student was racially abused by a student
If you are a student experiencing racism abuse, it can be devastating and have an effect on your mental health. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to help ease the distress.
Before anything else, ensure you can access the support you need. This could include seeing a therapist or finding people willing to discuss racism with you. Having conversations about racism not only helps you comprehend what’s going on but it gives you courage to speak up when feeling unsafe.
You may find it beneficial to reach out for assistance from family and friends. They can assist with dealing with any feelings of shame or self-doubt you might be facing, as well as offering support and encouragement in dealing with any experiences of racism you have had.
It is wise to explore your local council’s support services. They can give you information on how to access assistance if you are being racially abused, as well as how to report the abuse to police if necessary.
When a racist incident occurs, you should notify the police and adhere to your practice’s reporting guidelines. They will investigate and take necessary action.
According to the severity of the abuse, it may be necessary for you to remove the patient from your care. In such cases, notify your PCO immediately and confirm in writing that they will no longer receive services from you.
Additionally, make sure the victim is kept informed of any developments in their case and likely changes. Doing so will prevent them from feeling ignored or like no action has been taken.
Furthermore, you should consider taking steps to prevent future incidents of this sort from occurring. Displays and newsletters reminding students that you take racial harassment seriously as well as encouraging them to report any instances of bullying or racially abusive behaviour they witness.
4. A student was racially abused by a student
No matter the best intentions of administrators, students, and faculty at schools and universities, racially charged incidents of violence and harassment are unfortunately all too frequent. In extreme cases, these cases have even led to students committing suicide or other acts of self-harm.
News reports state that a student at University of Kentucky was filmed assaulting a Black female student worker with a shopping cart and using racial slurs. Sophia Rosing, 22, an American, was arrested on November 9 and charged with several offenses such as assaulting a police officer, disorderly conduct, and public intoxication.
Video footage appears to show Rosing attempting to physically abuse the student and using more than 200 times of the n-word during the exchange. She allegedly also spited on her and placed her hands on her during the ordeal.
Though not a student at the University of Kentucky, the victim in this case was living in one of its dorms when Rosing entered her room intoxicated and threatened her.
In addition to verbal abuse, she was hit on the face with a shopping cart and spit at as she attempted to flee. Following this incident, UK suspended her and permanently banned her from campus.
CPS immediately referred the incident to their special crime and counter-terrorism division for investigation, in order to guarantee that these allegations would be treated fairly.
There are numerous ways a person can cope with the effects of racial trauma. Some of these include receiving support from family and friends, taking medication, and making lifestyle adjustments.
Another way to cope with racial trauma is talking to others who have gone through similar experiences. This can be beneficial as it provides people with understanding of how to manage a situation that may seem insurmountable.
If you or someone close to you is dealing with racial trauma, it is essential that they seek professional assistance. A therapist can assist in recognizing the signs and finding a treatment option that works for each individual.