Recent events involving a white woman calling police on an African American birdwatcher in Central Park has caused celebrities and social media users to take notice of what appears to be becoming an increasing issue. These encounters are commonly referred to as “Karens.”
Karens are white women who believe they possess special rights, which they use to threaten or harass people of color. From calling the police on a Black birder to refusing to wear a mask at a store and demanding to speak with the manager, Karens have become an all-too-common sight in America.
Amy Cooper, known as “Central Park Karen,” has become the target of public outrage after she called the police on a Black birdwatcher for asking her to put her dog on a leash in Central Park. However, it wasn’t until after video went viral that this incident made national news.
Christian Cooper, who is Black, posted the video of his encounter with Amy Cooper on Facebook which has since been viewed millions of times. He says he was birdwatching in Central Park Ramble, an area where dogs must be on leashes, when he noticed Amy Cooper walking her unleashed Cocker Spaniel.
In the video, Christian Cooper asked Amy to put her dog on a leash but she refused. When Amy called 911 to report what he did, it was claimed he was Black and had threatened her.
Amy Cooper, a former insurance portfolio manager at Franklin Templeton, filed a lawsuit on Tuesday alleging the company discriminated against her based on her race and failed to investigate the incident before firing her. According to Cooper, those who sought her destruction have been given credence within the company by giving credibility to those “who sought its destruction”.
On May 25, 2020, Amy Cooper was birdwatching in Central Park while walking her beloved Cocker Spaniel, whom she’d adopted several years earlier. She was in the Central Park Ramble – a semi-wild part of the park known for its abundant bird life – with her dog by her side.
She had been taking her dog to the park without a leash for years, but an encounter at the park left her traumatized about bringing out her pup in public.
After the video surfaced, Franklin Templeton tweeted their opposition to racism and issued a statement with the hashtag #NoToleranceForRacism that garnered over 200,000 likes on Twitter.
Cooper claimed in her court filing that the tweet was defamatory. Her lawyer, Andrea Paparella, maintained it slandered her by insinuating her actions were racist when they weren’t.
Abrams held that Franklin Templeton’s statements did not amount to defamation as they weren’t based on any facts not already public knowledge. Furthermore, the video didn’t prove any facts about Cooper’s racial animus, so she could never have been terminated for this reason.
Ambrosia from Dr. Phil
Recently, there has been much debate surrounding the slang term “Karen.” Many consider it derogatory and indicative of racism; used to refer to an angry, entitled white woman who uses her inherent privilege to control other people’s behaviors or gain power.
The term is also being applied to women who are seeking awareness of their own racial biases and seeking assistance from others. A documentary called Deconstructing Karen has become a hot topic in the media, at the center of this debate.
For instance, the documentary follows white women who host two-hour dinners they call “Race 2 Dinner,” to initiate honest conversations about race. Their aim is to make white women confront their own racism and how it has affected them.
Recently, Ambrosia claims she was falsely accused of being a “Karen.” As she shared the story about having an emotional breakdown over COVID-19 policy at UPS store, Dr. Phil could hear tears streaming down her cheeks.
She claims she felt like a racist but had no malicious intent. However, Roa and Jackson misinterpreted her feelings, criticizing her for crying and labeling her as a “Karen.”
Her behavior was seen as cynical by White women, yet she wasn’t being racist or misogynistic – rather, she simply expressed how confident she felt in herself.
It is essential to be aware of your rights in public. Attorney Mitra Ahouraian discusses with Dr. Phil how she can safeguard herself against being recorded and posted online, as well as her thoughts on whether it’s legal to delete posts and videos online.
Real estate discrimination remains a significant issue in the country, as housing markets become tighter and many Americans struggle to find affordable homes. Experts are discussing solutions and laws that could be changed to prevent further discrimination in this sector of real estate transactions. A fair housing lawyer believes there are some laws that should be altered to combat this problem and help alleviate some of these pressures on consumers.
The phrase “Karens” has come to represent an array of middle-aged white women whose racist and entitled behavior is becoming increasingly publicized. Initially used as a byline for anti-vaxxer moms, its associations with sexism and racism are becoming more widespread and dangerous.
Karens’ anger, which is often captured and shared online, stems from a complex mix of personal issues and societal difficulties, according to Lillian Glass, a communication and body-language expert. Furloughs, layoffs and the stress of lockdowns have left some Karens feeling insecure, Glass noted.
This has led them to vent their anger on others – often Black people, but sometimes white people as well. As a result, several municipalities have passed the Caution Against Racist Non-Emergencies Act which requires police officers to be alerted to calls about Black or brown people’s safety before dispatching them.
These cases have brought to light how a few Karens can perpetrate various violent and discriminatory acts against other members of their community. Additionally, they have the capacity to involve police into their own violent activities – something which only serves to embolden them further in these endeavors.
Last year at the University of Kentucky, a racist Karen was exposed in a video that went viral. Sophia Rosing, 22, an ex-student there was recorded using racial slurs against Kylah Spring – a freshman worker in Boyd Hall on campus.
Rosing repeatedly hit and kicked Spring during their altercation. She also called her “bitch” and used the N-word in jest.
Her actions were captured in a series of videos posted to social media platforms, where they have been viewed over 2.7 billion times. The footage has sparked calls for Rosing to be expelled from the university.
Her lawyer, Fred Peters, revealed to NBC that his client is “deeply embarrassed” and intends to withdraw from the university. He added that Rosing is currently taking part in a “sensitivity program” to help her cope with this experience.
Permit Patty is one of many white women who have earned themselves amusing online nicknames for calling police on black people for minor issues. Others include Barbecue Becky, Golfcart Gail and Talkback Tammy.
These videos have not only gone viral, but they’re a sign of something bigger: since 2018, social media users have been identifying white women who behave badly and called the police on people of color for doing things like shopping at CVS, eating in Starbucks or sleeping on couches in college dorms.
In 2018, a video surfaced of white woman named BBQ Becky calling the police on a black family for eating barbecue. This went viral and eventually caught the attention of the White House, who declared itself outraged by these “racist and entitled Karens” and announced it would be taking action against this practice.
This year, the term has been expanded to refer to any middle-aged white woman who attempts to call the police on black people for their behavior. This conflation of “Karen” poses an issue because it allows more subtly racist white women to believe they don’t need to be called Karens and then act accordingly when they do.
To combat this, a social-media account has created an online “Karen Hall of Fame”, documenting notable cases and their associated hashtags on Twitter. This account is an extension of Black Entertainment Television network’s website “Black TV”, and its focus is on documenting noteworthy incidents.
Recently, Permit Patty – the CEO of a medical marijuana company in San Francisco – decided to step down. Her former customers have not taken too kindly to this development, sending her messages with the hashtag #PermitPatty and threatening her with harassment.
KTVU obtained a 911 call that shows Permit Patty wasn’t acting out of anger, but rather trying to reach someone on the phone to discuss an 8-year-old selling water outside her home. She asked to be connected with “someone to discuss that” but then the call ended abruptly 17 seconds later without further explanation.