Karens have had a challenging year. We’ve seen many of their employees come out of hiding and throw some entertaining tantrums over everything from Trader Joe’s mask policies to Black families at the park.
The latest viral video showcases a New Jersey Victoria’s Secret model who broke down in tears inside the store when another customer, Ijeoma Ukenta, accused her of trying to hit her.
Karens have long been humiliated in public, including Amy Cooper (known as “Central Park Karen”) who made headlines last summer when she called 911 to threaten a Black bird-watcher in Central Park. The video went viral, serving as a reminder of the racism Black people must endure daily.
The investment banker was terminated from her position at Franklin Templeton Investments, a multibillion-dollar asset management firm she had worked for. She is suing her employer for racism and alleges she was wrongfully terminated without receiving the same thorough investigation that male employees would receive.
She had a turbulent relationship with her former partner, Noah Syndergaard, which was the subject of numerous rumors. It’s reported that they broke up over an issue regarding sex and she eventually managed to flee the country.
Since her incident, Cooper has become an internet celebrity as a tarot card reader and YouTube channel with over 1 million subscribers. She has even been dubbed a “powerful woman” by some.
Cooper achieved notoriety after she called 911 to threaten tarot card reader Christian Cooper (who she claims is no relation) when he requested she obey Central Park’s leash law and put her dog on a tether. The video she shared went viral, leading her to be known as “Central Park Karen”.
Due to this incident, the district attorney’s office in Manhattan dropped charges against Cooper. However, it is important to remember that even though her charges were dismissed, she still faces criminal repercussions if found guilty of making false reports in the third degree.
Kmele Foster, who reported this story for Common Sense, stated that it was “a classic case of police working to the advantage of the bad guy.” Amy sent Christian the message that police would do anything for her — including arrest him, brutalize or kill him — but she wasn’t going to allow that to happen.
She was also a symbol of the deep-seated racial tension that has been simmering in America for centuries, and her actions demonstrate how the American justice system disproportionately targets people of color. It’s up to us all to break this cycle and ensure everyone – regardless of race or gender identity – receives equal treatment.
Have you ever watched a video online and come across a white woman referring to herself as “Karen?” The term gained popularity online after videos emerged showing middle-aged women harassing people. Karens were easily identifiable by their blonde bob haircut, offensive behavior and often racist attitudes.
Karens come in many forms, but they all share one trait: They enjoy public displays of anger and racism. This can include calling the police on Black people for being part of a group or asking retail and restaurant managers to call the cops on rude Black customers.
Some years back, Twitter user Dillard captured a video of Karen named Miya Ponsetto attacking 14-year-old Keyon Harrold Jr. for allegedly stealing her phone. The video went viral and was later shared to his Instagram story by Dillard himself.
The video has since attracted over 70,000 likes and received over 2,500 comments, earning it the title of “one of the most hysterical and racially charged video clips” to have gone viral recently.
Another instance of Karen being publicly humiliated is the now-famous BBQ Becky video, which depicted white woman Jennifer Schulte harassing a group of Black people for eating at a barbecue. She recorded everything and refused to leave even after police arrived on the scene.
She eventually had her video removed, but it remains a popular satire on white privilege. With more than 8.9 million views on Twitter alone, the clip has gained immense attention.
Dillard asserted during the interview that he needed to document these kinds of situations because he was accountable for his own actions and simply wanted to get to know her better. Furthermore, he quipped “I don’t know why I’m calling her Karen, but I want to do it anyway in order to show people what it means.”
Karens have become the latest victims of public humiliation on social media. While some have been called out for their actions, others have been praised for their integrity and bravery.
Recently, you may have encountered many women being called Karen on Twitter. While this term is typically used to denigrate other women, it can also be construed as a misogynistic slur.
Unfortunately, men often use this term too. According to Amnesty International, every 30 seconds a woman receives an abusive message from a man on Twitter.
What began as a harmless hashtag has degraded and dehumanized women of color. It also serves to demonstrate the legacy of white supremacy that has never been fully eradicated, still being exploited by many in power today.
One recent instance occurred in 2021 when a Karen woman was publicly humiliated. When a Black woman attempted to take her phone out of a purse at the mall, she was racially profiled by a Karen who told her to “go back to her hood”.
This incident is not the first time this has happened. In California, a white woman blocked a Black delivery driver from leaving her gated community and called the police.
It’s evident that this problem is getting out of hand, and we must act. We need to reach out to our local leaders and demand concrete consequences for Karens who are behaving inappropriately.
Although this task may appear challenging, it’s actually much simpler than you think. All that needs to be done is ask Karen who’s causing the trouble how she can alter her behaviour.
In addition to confronting these women, showing empathy for their situation can be an effective tool in teaching them that their actions are unacceptable in society. For instance, if you observe a woman being violent towards another, focus on her suffering instead of focussing on her own insecurities and help her calm down.
Though we cannot guarantee an end to harassment, this is a positive step forward. With your help, we hope to find ways to prevent similar instances from arising again in the future.
Nelson DeJonge (better known as Walter Sisulu) was a South African politician and one of the leading figures in the anti-Apartheid movement. As one of its founding members and champions of desegregation, his commitment to democracy and the abolition of apartheid ultimately earned him 27 years in prison; however, in 1993 he won the Nobel Peace Prize.
He fought against the National Party, a white-only government at that time that established segregation in South Africa. The ANC and its supporters committed to overthrowing this government but had to battle against many who supported it nonetheless.
Mandela and other activists were arrested and imprisoned multiple times. His political views were often criticised as dividing rather than uniting the country, leading him to be convicted of hate speech multiple times.
After his release from prison, he continued his activism and rose to become one of South Africa’s most prominent figures. He earned a reputation for his tenacity and courage in the face of overwhelming opposition from both government and police forces in South Africa.
He served as President of South Africa during a period of transition to democracy after apartheid. He is widely credited with unbanning political parties, freeing political prisoners and entering negotiations with the liberation movement despite intense pressure from his conservative base.
His legacy is complicated, and many South Africans remain dissatisfied with his actions during that period. While some hailed him as a hero, others felt that he did not do enough to curb violence and was an enemy to their nation’s history of racism.
He was the first black man to serve as president of a major western country, uniting South Africa’s black population through national rebirth. However, white Afrikaners felt he had failed to curb political violence during his tenure and feared his role in transition from minority white rule.
Ultimately, de Klerk lost the presidency to Nelson Mandela in 1994; however, his legacy is fondly remembered by many South Africans. In a speech commemorating his passing, President Cyril Ramaphosa noted that de Klerk “made great contributions to liberating Africa and creating a new South Africa.”