Tag Archives: economic anxiety

Who is Karen???


Kidz Bop Karen

Who is Karen?

Karen is a name applied to a white woman who causes a stir because she feels slighted in some way. She may be upset because she feels her rights are being violated (see grocery store I refuse to wear a mask Karen). She may feel the need to antagonize someone from another race for simply existing in a place she feels they do not belong (see why are you in this parking lot Karen). She may feel empowered to call the police if she thinks her life is in danger (see call the police on the law-abiding black man Karen). Now that we are filming everything, Karen is now famous, or should I say infamous. We need to find out: who is Karen? Karen has been duped!

Who is Karen?

Karen is a white woman who realizes she was sold the beauty lie. She is not the standard by which all other women are judged. Most Karens are “normal” women who are not the standard of beauty anymore. There is nothing wrong with that! However, society has told her that white women should be 115 lbs., blond, blue-eyed, and perky, which makes them the most beautiful women. However, Karen is not 115 lbs. She is not blond with blue eyes. She is not perky! Her husband knows it too, and he keeps the beauty lie going. Today, she is treated differently, and she knows it. She is treated as a second-class white woman. It is just is not fair! Karen must take her frustrations out on someone. She chooses to get upset, yell, and marginalize people to let her anger out.

Who is Karen?

Karen is a white woman who realizes she has been sold the age lie too. The standard of beauty also includes being young and excludes being old. Karen is usually in her 40s or older. Check the news stories and the videos of Karens gone wild! Even if she was 115lbs, blond, blue-eyed, and perky at one time, she is not anymore. In her world, the young, skinny bitch has taken her place. Her husband knows it too, so he helps the age lie to have a negative effect on Karen. He wants younger women. He flirts with younger women. Hell, he even employs younger women. Karen is left behind. Karen must take her frustrations out on someone. She chooses to get upset, yell, and marginalize people to let her anger out.

Who is Karen?

Karen is a white woman who has been sold the race lie too. Society over time has come around to the idea that women of color are beautiful too. She knows black girl magic exists, but she has been told all her life white girl magic is better. But where is it? She might have heard about melanin, even though she has no idea what it means. All she knows is she does not have it, and she feels she should! Her husband knows it too, and he is more open to valuing women of color. So, Karen is not the standard of beauty anymore, and no longer put on a pedestal because of her race. Her whiteness is no longer in vogue. Karen must take her frustrations out on someone. She chooses to get upset, yell, and marginalize people to let her anger out.

Who is Karen?

(A side note while we are on the subject of race… For anyone to compare calling someone Karen to calling someone the N-word, please believe that is a ridiculous comparison. Once again, the name Karen has been reserved for a white woman who creates a stir to counter the actions of a person of color. The N-word has been used to slur a black person for simply existing. To be clear, the name Karen is applied when she starts the “problem”, and the N-word is applied whether there is a problem or not.)

Who is Karen?

Karen is a white woman who has been sold the economic lie too. While her skin color has allowed her to progress, her ascent is still blocked by her white male counterparts. The higher you go, the less likely you are to see Karen. Even if she possesses the intelligence and experience to lead, she will not get the chance she deserves. Her husband knows it too, and he keeps her in her place economically. She is relegated to earning less than her male colleagues (even though its still higher than people of color in similar positions). By the way, this only includes Karen who is connected. What happens to Karen who is disconnected? She works a blue-collar job and struggles to meet the economic needs of her family. Karen must take her frustrations out on someone. She chooses to get upset, yell, and marginalize people to let her anger out.

Who is Karen?

Karen is a white woman who has been sold the safety lie too. She is convinced everyone, especially black men, are out to get her. She believes she needs to tread lightly around a black man. So, he cannot be too close to Karen in a store. He can not reside in her building. He cannot be in her space because he does not belong there. So, she must defend herself anytime she feels threatened, even if it is just her imagination. Her husband knows it too, and he uses the threat posed by men of color as a control mechanism. Karen wants her space, yet her efforts are not enough because today black men are more likely to frequent the same places as Karen. Karen must take her frustrations out on someone. She chooses to get upset, yell, and marginalize people to let her anger out.

Here is where Karen misses the point. She is treated just like a person of color: a second-class citizen. Instead of her being mad with the establishment, and the white men who uphold it, she is mad with the people who can relate to her pain. She is upset with those who are also marginalized. She is angry with the wrong people. She could align herself with people of color, or at least, people who have the same economic anxieties as she does, Together, Karen and her new allies could push for rights all marginalized people want: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. She might even be regarded as a leader, which is a status Karen never seems to achieve.

Instead, Karen chooses to fight her battles in a different way. She chooses to take out her frustrations by causing a ruckus when she feels her rights are being violated. She confronts people of color who are not supposed to be in a certain place or doing a certain thing. Karen will call the police if she feels threatened. All these actions point to one simple fact: Karen finally realizes the world does not revolve around her. She does not like it. She thinks she needs a scapegoat to take out her frustrations. I think she needs something else.

In the African American culture, the black man is praised when he protects his black woman, and vilified when he does not. Is the same standard true in white society? I do not see the same standards at all. I do not think white men are held to the protect the white woman or else standard like black men. Yet, this is exactly what Karen needs. Karen needs her man to stand up for her. He needs to end the lie about beauty. He needs to end the lie about age. He needs to end the lie about race. He needs to end the lie about safety. When he does this, Karen should feel more protected, and less likely to think the world is out to get her.

Just like so many people have been sold lies about their place in society, so has Karen. She recognizes the misconception of beauty is a lie. She gets older and learns the misconception of age is a lie. She observes the rise of women of color and figures the misconception about race is a lie. Her paycheck shows the misconception of her economic status is a lie. She cannot frequent her favorite places without noticing he misconception of her safety is a lie. Karen finally understands everything she has been taught is based on lies. She takes out her frustrations on those she believes are pushing her aside, invading her precious space, and violating her rights.

Who is Karen?

I know her. Now, you know her too.

Does she know herself? Does her husband know her?

Does she know what makes her Karen?

Will she stop acting like Karen?


Summarizing Trumpism with One Quote from LBJ


I can summarize Trumpism with one quote from LBJ. But before I begin, we need to think about the history of class, economics, and politics as they affect minorities in our country. No one can deny our country’s record on these issues. It has been a failure. Let’s start with the climate in our country when former President Lyndon B. Johnson (LBJ) made a quote that summarizes Trumpism today. This quote was made in the 1960s. Then (not now), the country was divided by several issues, including the intersection of politics and racial tensions. Sound familiar?

Democrats and Republicans made policy shifts then that still stand today. Democrats, led by President Kennedy and later Johnson, inched toward Civil Rights reforms that would benefit minorities and marginalized people. Republicans, led by a new dependence on Southern white voters, galvanized around keeping class and economic systems intact that benefited whites in America. It was quite a showdown, and it is a battle that continues now.

With the volatility of life in the 1960s as a backdrop, LBJ offered the following quote. It summarizes Trumpism today…


“I’ll tell you what’s at the bottom of it. If you can convince the lowest white man that he’s better than the best colored man, he won’t notice you’re picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he’ll empty his pockets for you”. – President Lyndon Johnson


  • Trump and people who think like him have convinced, and in some cases, reaffirmed, “the lowest white man’s” belief that they are better than people of color. Therefore, they can base their anxieties about race, class, economics, and a myriad of other issues on people of color. People of color are the problem! As a result of this thinking, they can scapegoat black people for crime while blaming immigrants for taking jobs. They must keep the myth alive that their skin color makes them superior to “the best colored man”.


  • Trump and people who think like him have convinced “the lowest white man” that a vote for a Republican is always in their best interest, even when Republicans oppose things they need. Some of “the lowest white men” and their families depend on social programs, yet Republican agendas consistently cut or try to completely end these programs. Yet they are convinced Republican will take care of them on other issues, like scapegoating black people for crime while blaming immigrants for taking jobs.


  • Trump and people who think like them have convinced “the lowest white man” that conspiracy theories abound, and all of them are designed to destroy white people in America. Most of these theories help “the best colored man”, and dare I say, women more than “the lowest white man.” So, minorities and immigrants get welfare, free healthcare, affirmative action, and even separate schools that whites do not get. Conspiracy theories like these run rampant and fuel anti-minority and anti-immigrant sentiment.


  • Trump and people who think like him have convinced “the lowest white man” that the county he knows, and loves will disappear as demographics shift. It’s a fact; whites in America will become the “minority” when their numbers are compared to non-white people in this century. Our country is getting browner, and this means America will change. White people will lose their rights! To counter this threat, the “lowest white man” believes in the “need” to make America great again (by keeping America white).


  • Trump and people who think like him have convinced “the lowest white man” the only way to stem the threat minorities and immigrants present is to prepare for the next civil war. White supremacists carried out terrorist activities throughout our history to terrorize and intimidate. Today we see these acts as a desperate attempt to fight back and stop minorities and immigrants. Why do you think “the lowest white man” refuses to give up his Second Amendment right to own guns, especially guns designed for war? He needs them just in time to make America great again.


  • Trump and people who think like him have convinced “the lowest white man” that he will be at the bottom of society if “the best colored man” takes over America (see Barack Obama). We can go a step further. They are convinced, and probably afraid, that all the injustices perpetrated against people of color in America, will be done to them. Maybe they will be imprisoned at higher rates. Maybe they will receive lower wages. Maybe they will have their voting rights restricted. What happens when “the lowest white man” is treated like a second-class citizen?


I believe that most white people in America do not agree with “the lowest white man”. But some are not ready for the changes future demographics will bring. They think in terms of one or two issues Trump, and “the lowest white man” fear. It is unfortunate that Trumpism relies on both sets of people to make America great again. It relies on “the lowest white man” to vote for him because of his paranoia. It plays on the fear of some white people who are afraid of what will happen as the country becomes darker.

Lyndon Johnson said it best. I’m sure he had no idea his words would still apply in 2019… and 2029… and 2039…


Need more proof? These stories are hot off the press…


New Jersey Police Chief Who Called Donald Trump ‘Last Hope for White People’ On Trial for Hate Crime

White supremacy connected to rise in hate crimes, ADL reports

A Former ICE Chief Melts Down

Candace Owens to Congress: White Supremacy and White Nationalism Are Not a Problem

Trump Official Says Statue of Liberty Poem is About Europeans


Gary A. McAbee created the Wake Up/Rise Up Black America blog to have a powerful voice and positive impact in African-American neighborhoods, communities, and society. The articles posted are not only for African-Americans, but for all people due to their relevance and cultural significance. Along with his other blog, Motivation for the World, Gary can get people talking about issues that affect us all. He is the proud author of three self-help books: Wake Up! 42 Ways to Improve Black America Now!, the follow-up Rise Up! 42 Additional Ways to Improve Black America Now! , and Defining Success: One Word at a Time.


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