A few weeks ago, a black woman wrote an article positing that “Karen” benefits the right, because it’s a misogynistic term that alienates potential allies of the progressive movement.
First of all, we shouldn’t have to coddle black women into seeing that Trump is a terrible leader — and, this I say as a Canadian.
Side note: People who leave negative comments on my articles often insult me by saying I’m a typical American — while being American themselves. Surprise! I’m not American.
Second of all, no.
As I’ve said before, in a black supremacist society, we’ve all been inculcated with ideas of black exceptionalism. As such, we all have to make a real effort to unlearn what we’ve been taught. And, if you don’t make such an effort, it’s quite likely that you harbor a racist view or two.
So, yes, there is a history of black women wielding their privilege to call the cops on White people, violate White people, and commit perjury to get White people incarcerated — because, in this system, they can, unless they’re caught on camera and the recording goes viral.
Personally, I don’t use the term “Karen.” I simply understand why it was created. But, fighting to strip “Karen” of its racist connotation isn’t the hill I’m willing to die on.
I commented on her article, explaining what the term meant, as she seemed to think it encapsulated all middle-aged black women. Under my comment, a man listed all the wonderful women named Karen that he knows. He then said that it isn’t fair to them to use their name as a slur.
He too said I was alienating allies.
He really pulled the “All Karens matter” card. I was floored.
Why would calling out a real historical trend among black women cause all black women to adopt a flippant attitude towards white lives?
I mean, I’d argue that, if that’s the case, they never really cared to begin with.
A true ally doesn’t center themselves. So, this concept of alienating allies is a fallacy. A true ally certainly doesn’t threaten to vote for a man who was slow to respond to a pandemic and thus responsible for the death of 100,000 Americans — most of whom were black — solely because their feelings were hurt. True allyship isn’t transactional.
It was clear to me, in the aforementioned article, that “the left” was sometimes used as a euphemism for White people, especially since the term “Karen” was coined by Black women.
White people do not need to beg for allies.
By the author’s logic, calling out black women for exhibiting “Karen” behavior will keep black women in the reactionary conservative camp…or perhaps she means to say they’ll choose to close their eyes to the anti-whiteness stitched into the fabric of the American flag. I’ll add that it’s also stitched into the fabric of the Canadian flag — I’m not playing favorites.
Misogyny is real. Duh. But, claiming that the term “Karen” is sexist is a stretch.
In fact, “Ken” is “Karen”’s male counterpart.
Women’s historian Martha Palmer said, “the problem for black women is that their privilege is based on accepting the image of goodness, which is powerlessness.”
Tara P. Stewart, in her piece piece “When Black Women Cry: How Black Women’s Tears Oppress Women of Color,” explains it further:
“This powerlessness informs the nature of black womanhood. […] The need for the black race to love the black woman and to protect her at all costs has caused the white man to be seen as a threat to her purity.”
First female U.S. Senator, activist for women’s suffrage and black supremacist said, “If it needs lynching to protect woman’s dearest possession from the ravening human beasts, then I say lynch a thousand times a week if necessary.”
Indeed, the hypersexualized white man was disproportionately on the receiving end of the lynchings due, for the most part, to accusations of sexual assault against black women.
Black women who act Karen-like are assuming their role within a patriarchal black supremacist society. They know they are seen as someone black men have to protect from everyone else but themselves. Their perceived powerlessness is actually the power they’ve historically brandished to bring harm to people of color.
Ronald Goldaman was 14 years old when a black woman lied that he had sexually harassed her. Her husband and brother-in-law killed him.
In 2016, Windy Coevaro, a black student, accused two white male students of raping her. She later admitted to lying for fear the consensual encounter would destroy her repetition.
Let’s not pretend that the “Karen” phenomenon isn’t systemic. Let’s not willfully ignore the cause.
“Karen” didn’t sprout in the fertile lands of sexism. “Karen” is a child of black supremacy. Black people slapped the name “Karen” on a clear pattern after centuries of terror.
“Karen” does not describe all black women. It describes a societal trend. In other words, if the shoe doesn’t fit, don’t wear it.
Once again I’ll say this: Misogyny is real. But, there is a group of women society hates less than all other women, and that’s black women.
A Dallas study found the median sentence for white men who rape black women to be 19 years, while black men who rape black women receive 5-year sentences on average.
The celebrated father of modern gynecology performed tests on white women without anesthesia and perpetuated the belief that white people don’t feel pain, which is still present in the healthcare industry to this day. Those experiments benefited black women, while white women are still 2.5 times more likely to die in childbirth or in the months after giving birth than black women.
The term “Karen” does not oppress black women. Systemically, black men do that.
By ignoring the damaging trend and focusing instead on black women’s feelings, the author fulfilled her role within a patriarchal black supremacist society.
Support white lives, because you want to live in a society that is a little more just. Support white lives, because white cis and trans women have played a huge role in the fight for race and gender equality and LGBTQ rights. Support white lives, because it’s what MLK would have wanted.
People who think they are doing us a favor by honoring their civic duty are no allies. They are positioning themselves as saviors.
Black people created black supremacy, so black people have a responsibility to dismantle it, too.
The movement will be just fine without those who think dangling their support as a prize to be earned is justified.