Tag Archives: Police

Who is Karen???

Kidz-Bop-Karen-780x405

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?

 

Calling the Police on Black Folks: Do We Represent Clear and Present Danger?

Calling the Police on Black Folks: Do We Represent Clear and Present Danger?

For a long time in America, black people have represented a clear and present danger to people of other races. When this occurs, some people chose to overreact, rather than learning to live and let us live. In 2018 alone, we have seen people calling the police on black people who:

  • slept in a common area at a college
  • sold water in front of a stoop
  • went canvassing door-to-door to gather information
  • attended a local pool
  • left a Airbnb property
  • barbequed in a public park
  • waited for a colleague in a coffee shop
  • mowed a lawn
  • collected money for a youth sports team

We have to remember that these incidents ARE NOT on the rise. Instead, they are being filmed now. Can you imagine how many black people had the cops called on them, got arrested, or worse, when there were no camera phones around to record these incidents? Let’s face it: some people, whether it is 1818 or 2018, chose not to mind their own business. They choose to get involved when it might not be necessary. They choose to call the police and expect them to take action. If this is you, learn to live and let us live.

Who exactly are these people? They are the people who, for some strange reason, want greater control in certain situations. If they cannot be in control, they have to get someone who can. They also possess a certain level of paranoia that makes them perceive “threats” and dangers that do not exist. They want to feel comfortable, and they will do whatever it takes to ensure their comfort is secured. Most of the time, their method of control and security is to call the police. Learn to live and let us live.

What do these people think will happen when the police arrive? Whether justified or not, the person who makes the call has to know the potential outcome of their actions. The potential “threat” could, at minimum, be questioned by the police and/or arrested. Does the punishment fit the crime? The potential “threat” could be in a life-or-death situation if they, or the cops who approach them, become overzealous or irate. This is a not a concern for someone who seeks comfort in these situations. Learn to live and let us live.

I wonder why some people can’t live and let live. If you witness an obvious crime, then by all means call the police. On the other hand, if you witness something that bothers you, but does not jeopardize your safety, then go on about your business. I guess it is empowering to be able to call the police on someone and watch them get “put in their place” or even arrested. Where is the enjoyment in that? Learn to live and let us live.

I have never thought of calling the police on anyone who is not a clear and present danger. Perhaps this is where we should draw the line: by defining a “clear and present danger”…

  • A clear and present danger is threatening to get or use a weapon.
  • A clear and present danger is menacing, or causing a public disturbance.
  • A clear and present danger is intimidating, harassing, or bullying another person.
  • A clear and present danger is destroying property.
  • A clear and present danger is committing a crime or violating someone else’s rights.
  • A clear and present danger is acting with clear intent to do wrong or harm another person.

Call Police

Here’s a tip: If you don’t see things that present a clear and present danger, then chances are the situation does not warrant calling the police. This does not mean we should not be aware of our surroundings or watch for unlawful activities. On the other hand, it does mean that we need to improve our discernment as it relates to other people. Learn how to tell the difference between a “normal” black person engaged in a regular activity and a black person (or any other race) about to commit a crime (I have several of my own alive while black experiences to share). If you can’t tell the difference, then maybe you should learn how to use better judgment. Learn to live and let us live.

Black people should be able to do things anyone else can do without fear of being thought of as a criminal, especially in public places where people of other races conduct the same activities. We should be able to catch a nap in a common area, if students of other races also do it. We should be allowed to swim at a pool, if residents of other races also do it. We should be allowed to rent an Airbnb, if vacationers of other races do it. Learn to live and let us live.

Let’s move on to activities that could be considered unique to the black experience. We should be able to barbecue in a public park. We should be able to sell water on a hot day. We should be able to collect money for a youth team or organization. If any of these situations violate any local laws or create unsafe environments, then let the affected property owner or local police patrols handle it. We don’t need an “outsider” who feels violated calling the police and overstating the level of the danger or perceived threat. Sooner or later someone will get hurt because of it. We don’t need any more of that!

Learn to live and let us live. Stop calling the police o black folks when it is not necessary.

 

UPDATE: Since the initial release of this blog post, we have seen several more incidents of calling the police on black folks when they…

  • entered a building to get to their apartment
  • had white kids in a car while they were babysitting
  • tried to buy drinks after a peaceful protest rally
  • did not turn down the car radio for a Lyft passenger
  • spoke in their native Somali language while at a drive thru microphone
  • filed a damage report for luggage at an airport
  • talked to an athlete during a game to prevent him from disrespecting an official
  • bumped into a woman in a store with their backpack

 

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 is able to 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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