Free Karen Incident in Central Park Essay Example
A quick internet search of the name “Karen” or with a hashtag before it returns hundreds of thousands of memes, all of the white women demanding a black person leave a particular space or call the cops on a black person. The most famous meme belongs to Lisa Alexander, who called the cops on Mr. James Juanillo for spray painting “Black Lives Matter” on his own house (Lang, 2020). Karen represents white, middle-aged women displaying overt signs of white privilege, entitlement, racism, and shamelessness in their discriminatory actions. These women call the cops when they do not get their way, which is often discriminatory or racist, as evidenced by the Central Park Karen in the assigned video. Racism is a problem present in modern society, and Karens epitomize the vice.
Date Added: March 22, 2022
Karen has become the symbol of white privilege and racism in recent times, popularized by the need for black people to protect themselves by having video evidence. Karens began with demanding to speak to the manager and have now evolved to calling the cops, knowing fully that an encounter between the police and a black person might result in the death of an innocent person. The meme is not merely a comical statement but rather a reflection of how the problem of racism continues to be perverse in society today (Queen, 2020). The protests revolving around the killing of George Floyd after a call to the police and the resulting Black Lives Matter protests changed the dynamics of what was once a funny categorization. Presently, Karen is closely tied to white supremacy and privilege, the capability of white people to use police force to harass innocent black people.
America as a country was founded on the concept of racism and white supremacy. While hundreds of years may have passed since slavery was abolished, racism is well and alive in America, overtly practiced by Karens. These individuals have always existed in society, but with the era of cellphone video recording, they are becoming popular. In most instances, Karens get to have adverse outcomes in their personal or professional lives after they go viral for their racist acts or actions. For example, Karen lost her job in Central Park, her dog and Lisa had her business boycotted, and her husband was fired from his job (Lang, 2020).
The meme Karen is an attempt by social media to confound the problem of white entitlement. These white women have taken it upon themselves to police black people and call the real police on harmless black people going about their day or those who would not cede to their outrageous demands (Greenspan, 2020). The increased number of Karens, some of whom go unrecorded, can be linked to instances of police brutality. Whiteness is used as a marker needing to be protected even when there is no imminent danger. White women are being exposed as vessels for oppression against black people through their lies.
Karen has become the stand-in name for white entitlement, which can be recognized by a large population, both in America and globally, thanks to social media. The unification of the various villains by the name Karen is used to standardize and bring to focus their entitled and often racist actions and statements against black people. The widespread application of the meme and the name highlights how serious the problem has become and how white women (people) will not hesitate to claim black people are committing an offense (Romano, 2020). Some of the Karens have objected to being called the name because it is a label that sticks. Being called racist may sound too complicated and need more proof. However, with Karen, there exists a standardized name for white women’s entitlement.
Greenspan, R. E. (2020, October 6). How the name “Karen” became stand-in for problematic white women and a hugely popular meme. Insider. Retrieved from https://www.insider.com/karen-meme-origin-the-history-of-calling-women-karen-white-2020-5
Lang, C. (2020, July 6). How the “Karen meme” confronts the violent history of white womanhood. Time. Retrieved from https://time.com/5857023/karen-meme-history-meaning/
Queen, R. (2020, June). How the name “Karen” became a stand-in for white entitlement. Towleroad. Retrieved from https://www.towleroad.com/2020/06/where-did-karen-come-from/
Romano, A. (2020, July 21). How “Karen” became a symbol of racism. Vox. Retrieved from https://www.vox.com/21317728/karen-meaning-meme-racist-coronavirus