San Fran has had enough and would like to talk to a lawmaker.
At long last, there’s a “Karen” we can all get behind.
San Francisco lawmaker Shamann Walton announced in a tweet yesterday that he has introduced an act to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors that can help block unwarranted calls to the police on the basis of discrimination. It’s name? What else would it be besides the CAREN Act.
The name is an acronym for Caution Against Racially Exploitative Non-Emergencies. If passed, CAREN will “make it illegal for people to contact law enforcement solely to discriminate on the basis of a person’s race, ethnicity, religious affiliation, gender, sexual orientation or gender identity.” Quite the contrast to the original Karen, I’d say.
If you’re unfamiliar with the term ‘Karen’, it began as a meme for rude and entitled women who are seen as being over-dramatic and demanding in unnecessary situations, usually in a place of business, like a retail store. A common Karen catchphrase is “I’d like to speak to the manager.”
Recently, the term Karen has taken on a whole new meaning as white women have—on more than one occasion, unfortunately—taken it upon themselves to call the police on innocent people of color because they’re claiming to feel threatened or unsafe. *eye roll*
One of the most infamous examples is Amy Cooper, who called the police to tell them “an African American man was threatening her life” after he simply asked her to put her dog on it’s leash while he was bird watching. She lost her job, her dog, and was arrested and charged with filing a false report. While this specific case resulted in—well, karma—not all cases do, and a good portion of them fly under the radar.
Walton also noted that many of these cases can even occur in our own neighborhoods all the time—we just don’t see them. In his native Bay Area, a white woman called the police on a child selling bottles of water to raise money for a trip to Disneyland after her mother lost her job. At a public park in Oakland, another white woman called the police on two black men using a charcoal grill.
“This has always happened, but with smart phones and social media, we are seeing it recorded and subsequently broadcasted on the news,” he said, “there are countless others that do not get news coverage or do not get reported.”
He further explained that the CAREN Act was part of a “larger nationwide movement to address racial bias and implement consequences for weaponizing emergency resources with racist intentions.”
If this act gets passed, it’ll be the battle of the good Karen’s vs. the bad—because after all, not all Karen’s are bad. This one’s for you, Good Karen.