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23 Jun, 2020 21:07

Rude ‘Karen’ shamed in viral video, but who’s really stoking racism?

Rude ‘Karen’ shamed in viral video, but who’s really stoking racism?

It’s a sight we’re all familiar with. An entitled white woman called out for her alleged racism is shamed in front of the world in a viral video. But in the most recent case, things aren’t exactly what they seem.

In video footage shot in Seattle on Monday, black Twitter user Karlos Dillard confronted a middle-aged white woman who, he said, had cut him off in traffic then flipped him off. Following the woman home, Dillard asked her to speak to him outside her house, but the woman refused, covering her face and attempting to hide her license plate from his camera.  

As the argument progressed, Dillard claims that the woman called him a racial slur. The sobbing woman denies this, saying that she has a black husband. As the woman cries, Dillard explains her offenses to bystanders, drawing attention to her house. Dillard posted a full-length video of the encounter to his Instagram channel, but there is no proof that the woman had used the language Dillard said she did.

Ragging on ‘Karens’ – slang for a particularly pernickety breed of middle-aged, usually white women who demand to see the manager, who loudly complain about customer service, and who feel unduly threatened by minorities – has become the stuff of internet sport, but there are two sides to every story.

Though a horde of internet activists demanded the woman be shown no mercy, there is no evidence that Dillard is telling the truth. Furthermore, he attempted only last month to publicly humiliate an Asian woman who asked to see his ID when he was at work picking up food from her for delivery, and supposedly called him a “n***er.” 

In the less than 24 hours since Dillard posted it, the video has amassed more than six million views and has been reported by several media outlets, most of whom have focused on the woman’s white tears,” “theatrics and “total meltdown.” However, most didn’t mention the fact that Dillard’s Twitter username, ‘Wypipo_h8’ is internet shorthand for “White people hate,” or the fact that Dillard, a self-described “viral video star” has already tried to monetize the woman’s alleged racism by flogging t-shirts making fun of her.

Likewise, the woman’s crying and her attempts to hide her face and plate were likely more than just “theatrics,” as African-American beauty magazine Essence described them. Viewers were left with no idea what happened before the encounter, and the woman’s behavior may well have been an attempt to save her livelihood. Indeed, amid the current trend of online ‘Karen-shaming’, those who have tried to respond have been punished for standing up for themselves. 

When California woman Lisa Alexander called the police on a man stencilling ‘Black Lives Matter’ on a sidewalk outside his property earlier this month, the cosmetics company whose products she distributed cut its ties with her. Her husband, who recorded the encounter, lost his investment banking job, even after Alexander apologized publicly to the stenciller, a Filipino man.   

Also on rt.com What else? Woke mob wants more blood after ‘Ultimate Karen’ fired for calling police on black man

In New York, Amy Cooper – dubbed the “Ultimate Karen” by woke netizens, was fired from her financial services job last month after she was recorded calling the police on a black man in Central Park, who scolded her for having her dog off his leash. Cooper, who claimed the man threatened her dog, later apologized for her role in the encounter, but was still ousted from her job.

By Tuesday afternoon, Dillard was facing mounting backlash for the video, with conservative pundits dog-piling his replies to call him a “grifter,” a “race hustler,” and a “sociopath.” His employer, delivery firm Postmates, was also alerted to the video, and said it was investigating the issue.

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