The Making and Dismantling of The Karen

Anna Taylor, DEI Consultant

Anna Taylor

DEI Consultant

Description

Innocence and virtue of the white woman are the cornerstone of the “Damsel in Distress” archetype that has become what is known today as the “Karen.” Their protection has been and continues to be the justification of racist policies to racist individual acts. In constructing this “Damsel in Distress,” concurrently the harmful Black female personas of "The Jezebel," "The Sassy Black Woman," "The Angry Black Woman," and "The Strong Black Woman," were also constructed. With the creation these opposing stereotypes, Black women have essentially been excluded from the white supremacist patriarchal construct of womanhood and therefore from protection. Similarly, Black men are absent societal protection with respect to their relationship to white women, but stemming from a different racist precept. “Protecting” white women from Black men, has been a strategy that prevents Black men from ingratiating themselves into white society. The recent surge of the Karen incidents caught on video, demonstrates that white women are not only aware of their protected status in society but use it to covertly manipulate and dominate Black people when their place of dominance is challenged.

 
Oct 16th, 11:00 AM Oct 16th, 11:50 AM

The Making and Dismantling of The Karen

Innocence and virtue of the white woman are the cornerstone of the “Damsel in Distress” archetype that has become what is known today as the “Karen.” Their protection has been and continues to be the justification of racist policies to racist individual acts. In constructing this “Damsel in Distress,” concurrently the harmful Black female personas of "The Jezebel," "The Sassy Black Woman," "The Angry Black Woman," and "The Strong Black Woman," were also constructed. With the creation these opposing stereotypes, Black women have essentially been excluded from the white supremacist patriarchal construct of womanhood and therefore from protection. Similarly, Black men are absent societal protection with respect to their relationship to white women, but stemming from a different racist precept. “Protecting” white women from Black men, has been a strategy that prevents Black men from ingratiating themselves into white society. The recent surge of the Karen incidents caught on video, demonstrates that white women are not only aware of their protected status in society but use it to covertly manipulate and dominate Black people when their place of dominance is challenged.