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  • Writer's pictureKaren L

Kase for Karen/Case for Caren

Laugh all you want. LOL. OMG. You, too, if you are lucky, will be middle aged and older some day. Let's get some basics out of the way. Black Lives Matter. I believe in masks. I am the mother of two children who are brown. I am the oldest daughter of Holocaust survivors. I abhor the dangerous systemic racism that permeates our institutions. The police shamelessly target young men of color. If you know me, you know that I fight for those who are disadvantaged.

If you prefer to call me a racist, go ahead. As we say, "it is a free country." Please, for your sake, refer to Ibram Kendi's book, How to be an Anti-Racist. Kendi, a proud black man, clearly states that anti racism is a belief in policies that treat all people equally or not unfairly based on race. Anger towards white people is understandable, but to spew disdain towards caucasians is not anti-racism. It is merely switching one "racism" for another. So if you want to hate white women go ahead. I know I have an inborn privilege. The black/white discrimination is ancient, with deep roots which permeate almost every culture known to humankind. Also, read about Gandhi, Eleanor Roosevelt, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, and Jimmy Carter, among a myriad of important,contemporary thinkers and doers.

Please realize, you are being sexist by using the epithet, "Karen." Hatred of women is equal opportunity. Misogynists hate all women, no matter their color. Why not Karen and Kris or Caren and Connor? Why just the women? It is easier for everyone to yell at women. We are not as scary as men. And criticizing women is a national pastime. Frequently, I observe women being the target of disdain, ridicule, and aggression. Young black women need to realize that for every white Karen, there is a black Karen who is your aunt, grandmother, or mother. 

Memes of any sort are bad. I am extremely careful not to utter these code words, since they hurt one way or another. Actually, memes are stereotypes, the latter being extremely dangerous as history has demonstrated. Use of these words, ideas, metaphors perpetuate hatred, misunderstanding, and racism, the basis for genocide, slavery, and murder.

As Kendi wrote, we all have racist thoughts occasionally. But thinking, then analyzing, and finally self-monitoring are different than tweeting out an incendiary message that goes viral. I am not Amy Cooper. I keep my dog on a leash, and I would not call the police about a black man who is birding. But, whoever started calling Amy Cooper a "Karen" is immature and wrong. Amy Cooper has psychological issues which she needs to address. And she committed a crime, but, she too, can repent for her bad behavior. I repeat, I would only call the police if in imminent danger, whether the person is white, black, yellow, or brown. I have witnessed what the police do to men and women of color. 

Our country has committed sins--slavery being the most obvious. However, the treatment of Native Americans has been criminal. All races have been treated unfairly at some point in history. OK, call me racist if it makes you feel better. 

I know hatred. For years, I hated Germans. My family lost their lives, homes, country, and livelihood due to the Nazis. Sometime in middle age, I realized that blaming Germans was senseless. First, most of the Nazis are gone. Secondly, there are more decent Germans than not. The rise of Nazism occurred due to complex issues in an environment fertile for hatred. Ordinary people allowed themselves to be coerced by fear-mongering sociopaths. Sound familiar? Germany has made tremendous contributions to European civilization. I am German Jewish, so why would I hate the culture that nurtured and supported my ancestors for centuries? 

I know this is not the same as being Black in America. I understand! The United States owes African Americans land, reparations, and actual equal opportunity. But my name is Karen because my mother chose the moniker. I want these advantages for Black, Hispanic, and Native Americans. Why would you think otherwise because I look like a "Karen" and happen to be actually, Karen?

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