Recently, a slew of videos on social media has been showing Caucasian women attempting to police people of color.
Allow us to introduce Karen.
This phenomenon, that is growing in force and intensity, has a power that is been blinding. However, what is happening is not some obscure threat that communities of color can take lightly.
In fact, when you examine history, this is direct and very visceral obstacle that must be neutralized.
From a white woman in a park that accuses a man of color of “threatening my life” before calling 911; to an officer of color being followed and harassed for being falsely accused of breaking and entering his own apartment building.
The incidents are getting more and more outrageous and potentially dangerous at the same time.
‘Karen’ normally shows her head when people of color are doing things that they find personally offensive. However, the real audacity of it all is that they fabricate scenarios and escalate tensions to involve law enforcement.
A Pattern Of Manipulation
Throughout the years in America, there have been numerous incidents where ‘Karen’ showed her privilege with fatal consequences.
Let’s start with the most infamous one, the 1955 case of Emmett Till. The young Chicagoan came to visit his family in Mississippi. While there, he was accused by a white woman of whistling at her.
When word got out, a lynch mob came, took Till and murdered him.His mother, Mamie Till Bradley, held a public funeral service with an open casket. Her goal was to show the world the disasterous effects of racism and privilege in America.
Fast-forward to 2012 and the case of Trayvon Martin who was stalked, provoked, and murdered by a male version of ‘Karen’ in George Zimmerman.
The case took directly challenged the state of Florida’s controversial stand your ground law and it’s apparent ties to institutional racism.
History is like a carousel constantly repeating. Now, with the rise of community vigilantes seeking to provoke and challenge people of color, there will undoubtedly be casualties.
However, as a hip hop community, we are comprised with a heavy base of color. It must be pointed out when people of color are being policed for the perception of being dangerous.
As history has shown, a generation can be destroyed over one false accusation by a ‘Karen’. If we’ve truly got us, it is our charge to eradicate that very real and potentially fatal threat.