My name is Karyn.
I’m the daughter of a Karen.
Karyn White sang songs.
Karyn Parsons acted.
Karen Clark Sheard sings for the Lord.
Karen Griggs is a famous violinist.
We all Black… so there’s that. But more importantly, calling a privileged White woman who uses her fragility in the eyes of White male police or authority figures to sicc them, often for their feigned fear of a Black person being by labeling their being criminal, on Black men and women is not worthy of some harmless joking moniker. She’s a parasite. She’s a human eating virus that needs an antibody and a vaccine. She is no joking matter. Jokes are not weapons. Jokes are often psychological and emotional mechanisms to tolerate oppression. You can’t fight oppression with a nickname.
Be clear, I’m not in agreement that it’s either racist or sexist, it’s a play on a Dane Cook joke and the “Fuck Karen” popular reddit rant. But like WE do… we elevate. So just like “oh my God Becky look at her butt” became “Becky with the good hair” … so evolved “Karen.”
“Karen”: First daughter of the House of Privilege, the portrayer of fragility, rightful Queen to the realm of bitter and racist attention seeking
Once a Daddy’s Little Girl, now she has a bad Bo-Rics cut, she’s worn down the treads of her Keds, those Mom jeans couldn’t get any more pleated to the thigh, and she’s minded everyone else’s business until she looks ten years older. From Princess to the Mad Queen. So she uses the one thing that she knows will get her some attention… her fragility. Let’s call her what she is… dangerous, racist, or liar. I’d prefer we call her criminal. Lock HER up.
I get the joke. I get the Becky joke. I get the Uncle Tom joke. The Dick (Richard) joke. Felicia, Stan… I got it. But the difference between Karen and the lot of Becky, Tom, Dick, and Felicia, and Stan is that her calling the police on bird watchers or picnic goers or management on perfectly respectful cashiers or customer service reps is meant to get Black people in trouble and likely scare us into submission. But in a time when police officers put their knees in the necks and backs and heads of unarmed Black men and women to the point they can’t breathe … calling the police on us for being and not for criminal activity is criminal… against humanity and against the law. That is where we should focus our energy.
Black people are not powerless. We are full of power. It is not defined on the same terms as White power… but it is still influential socially, financially, and politically. We have, as a culture, gotten justice by posting and rallying together against injustice on social media. We have made women millionaires in under a minute. We have watched pizza joints and clothing stores lose lots of customers and money. We have watched large, decades old fashion houses fall to their knees for a spell and rise back up with a council made of us to help them figure out how to right their wrongs. We elected the first Black President twice and then by withholding our votes (and “Karens” uniting behind their husbands) allowed the racist takeover.
Incumbent: The second son of racism, breaker of governments, and rightful king of the aryan brotherhood and white supremacy
We are far from powerless. But we are both reactive and sometimes unconsciously sadistic in our tolerance. There should be no tolerance for racism and injustice. No shuck and jive. No jokes. No bending the knee. Just kickin in the door…
Calling every White woman who earns the designation by racism “Karen” is a joke. We all often laugh to hide our tears. But they need to see our tears and feel our anger. When they hate us, they sentence us to death in the streets. We don’t have to give them the pleasure and energy of hate in order to let them know who TF we are.
Black people: The breakers of chains, crashers of glass ceilings, masters of creativity and beauty, rightful Kings and Queens of all people, the first people.
In that spirit, we shouldn’t label someone lying about a Black man’s criminality “Karen”, just a lying racist criminal. See something, say something. Speak truth to power. To do that effectively, we must stand in our own power, know who we are, and call out those against justice swiftly, consistently, and collectively. That’s for the culture.
We can’t add to our own oppression by failing to call it out big wide and open, then doing something about it. Again, it doesn’t have to be harmful but it can’t be a joke. What Black people know how to do better than most is hustle and create. We have to hustle and create ourselves a space of success that speaks to those who uphold these systems of oppression. We have to continue to police the police, and broadcast their actions. We have to catch racists in the act and broadcast their actions. We have to call for their jobs, their affiliations, their comfort. We have to use our success to influence our way into the right person’s office. We have to become that influenced by running for office. We have to vote. We have to curb our spending with people and companies that support racists. We have to show up and show out.
I wouldn’t be a fan of the “Karen” phenomenon if my name was something different. It’s Steppin Fetchit in response to blackface and the lazy negro stereotype to justify slavery. If we are gonna act, let’s act out a drama, call in Nope. Nope I will not be your target. I will turn the arrow your way. Nope we will not fear you. You will serve justice or be outed for injustice. Nope we will not use dull knives, we coming through slashing with sickles. Nope we wont be slaves to your racism and oppression. Dracarys.
Amy Cooper, her nickname is not Karen… just call her a criminal.
Cue Wyclef… “Someone please call 911…”