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Don’t Call Amy Cooper A “Karen,” Call Her What She Is

Emily Pandelakis

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Amy Cooper called NYC 911 and said on May 25, 2020, "I’m going to tell them there’s an African-American man threatening my life,” she said to him while dialing.

Remember BBQ Becky? She was the white woman who called the police because there were black people having a cookout near her.

If that had happened in 2020 she’d have probably been called a Karen. White women who complain about service, who have “let me speak to your manager” on the tip of their tongues, anti-vaxxers, women who do wear masks, women who don’t wear masks… they’ve all been collectively lumped together as “Karens.”  There have even been discussions about whether “Karen” is the new “n-word.”  (The answer is no, by the way.)

When Christian Cooper, the birdwatcher in the Ramble area of Central Park, recounted the story of his Monday approximately 8 AM encounter with Amy Cooper on Facebook, he called her a Karen, as did the viral tweet that his sister Melody posted, along with the video that put Amy Cooper’s behavior on everybody’s timelines.  

 

Karen is a meme.  There is a viral TikTok about how to become a Karen, and countless memes poking fun at Karens.  It has become funny, fodder for internet comedy. 

To call someone a "Karen" means they are a Caucasian ultra busy-body; but very often, it isn't funny when "Karens" try to throw their weight around.

What Amy Cooper did, faking hysterics in a 911 call, begging the police to come to her rescue, because she was being ‘attacked’ by an African American Man, was not fucking funny.

“I’m calling the cops,” Amy said, phone in hand, while her dog squirmed and she callously twisted the pet’s leash so the anxious animal stopped squirming. “I’m going to tell them there’s an African American man threatening my life.”

It was dangerous, selfish, and could have resulted in Christian Cooper’s murder at the hands of police.  For the record, she was fired by her employer, financial firm Franklin Templeton, the day after the ugly park scene. 

This, on the same day, a video of George Floyd went viral – a video in which viewers saw a black man, on the ground, with a white cop’s knee on his neck. In Minneapolis, Floyd was begging for help, telling the officer, “I can’t breathe.”  He was prone, raw footage indicates his hands were cuffed behind his back, and he was begging for the cop to remove his knee from the back of his neck. Onlookers gathered, one person taped the scene on their phone.

“They gonna kill me, man,” Floyd (see below) said. “I cannot breathe,” he repeated, and the cop, removed from active duty after the video made the rounds, kept his knee on the neck.

The 46 year old Floyd was pronounced dead at 9:25 PM ET on Monday.  

Derek Chauvin (below) has been identified as the “law enforcement” agent who had his left knee on Floyd’s neck. 

That Minneapolis cop with his left knee on the neck of George Floyd has been identified as Derek Chauvin.

Back to the Central Park incident.

Amy Cooper weaponized racism because a black man dared to tell her to put her dog on a leash.  She didn’t complain to his manager, or yell at a worker.  If we lump Amy Cooper in with other “Karens,” her behavior is trivialized. She’s part of a meme.

So don’t call Amy Cooper “Karen.” 

Call her racist, call her evil, but don’t call her Karen. 

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