Thoughts On “Karen” and … Another DAMMIT

Sometime last year, I noticed I was seeing more and more news stories about women named ‘Karen’.  Now, I’ve known a few people named Karen in my live, and in fact even have a niece who is so-named, a former co-worker, and one of my daughter’s bandmates.  But suddenly there is a surge of women with this name.  I wondered if it were a generational thing, or what.  But then one day I read an article that ‘splained it to me.

Apparently ‘Karen’ is the name given to women who act like grade-A jerks, being racist and intolerant in this, the 21st century.  It rather makes me feel sorry for women who were given the name ‘Karen’ at birth and are stuck with it in this, the era of having to name every behaviour.  I have written about a few ‘Karens’ before , but today I have another one for you …

Last June, a woman named Debra Hunter was shopping at a Pier 1 store in Jacksonville, Florida where she was loudly verbally abusing the store’s staff.  Another customer, Heather Sprague, began recording the altercation because …

“I wanted her to know she was being held accountable for her actions. It only took her to decide she was done and to leave the store, which really was the goal.”

But, once Hunter turned and saw that she was being recorded, she flipped Ms. Sprague off and then walked over to her and coughed directly into her face.  This at the height of the coronavirus pandemic.  What Hunter could not have known is that Heather Sprague is a cancer patient, currently undergoing treatment for a brain tumour, but I somehow don’t think it would have made a difference even if she had known.

On Friday, a judge in Jacksonville sentenced Hunter to 30 days in jail and also ordered her to pay a $500 fine, serve six months’ probation and participate in a mental health evaluation along with anger management.  Hunter’s husband pleaded in her defense that they had faced numerous hardships leading up to the incident, including losing everything they had in a house fire …

“It was like air being inflated into a balloon, and it finally got to the point where she couldn’t handle any more air. And then she finally rubbed up against something and just popped.”

Hunter told the judge her family has paid the price for her mistakes, adding that her children continue to lose friends, and that they don’t go out in their community anymore.  It is sad that Mr. Hunter and the children are paying the price, but it doesn’t negate what Ms. Hunter did, and frankly from all I’ve read, there has been no sign or remorse or apology.

Okay, so there are lots of ‘Karens’ in the U.S. today, but … what do we call a guy who acts like a jerk?  Shouldn’t there be some equivalent for males?  Hmmmm … how about a ‘Mitch’ … or a ‘Tucker’ … or a ‘Matt’?

And now I must turn from the topic of Karens to … yep, you got it … another tragedy, another Black man killed by a white cop.

On Sunday there was another tragic shooting death of an unarmed Black man by a white police officer, this time just about ten miles from Minneapolis, where the trial of Derek Chauvin is entering its third week.

The victim’s name was Daunte Wright.  Say his name … SAY HIS NAME!

Duante Wright

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz says he and his wife are ‘praying’ for Duante Wright’s family.  Sorry, guv, but that does not help … it does not help his family and it damn sure does not bring him back to life!  Keep your goddamn prayers and do something useful, like initiate some police reforms in your damn state!  First George Floyd and now Duante Wright.  How can you even sleep at night???

It started as a traffic stop.  Mr. Wright called his mother and told her he expected they had stopped him for the air fresheners he had dangling from his rear-view mirror, which is illegal in Minnesota.  But, when police checked his license they discovered that he had an outstanding warrant or warrants, so they attempted to take him into custody.  Mr. Wright jumped back into his vehicle and as he was attempting to drive off, Officer Kim Potter, a 25-year veteran of the Brooklyn Center Police Department, shot him through the window of his vehicle.

Mr. Wright managed to drive for several blocks before striking another vehicle.  Mr. Wright was pronounced dead at the scene.  He was 20 years old.

Officer Kim Potter

Yesterday it was reported that Officer Potter shot Mr. Wright “by accident”, that she thought she had fired her taser rather than her gun.  She’s been on the police force for 25 years, she’s president of the Brooklyn Center Police Officer’s Association, and she didn’t know the difference between a gun and a taser???  Oh please, don’t take me for a damn fool!

This community is already stressed, with the trial for Derek Chauvin, the officer who brutally murdered George Floyd, taking place just down the road a piece.  Naturally, protesters gathered ‘round the police department on Sunday night after Mr. Wright’s murder.

Police ordered the protesters to disperse, and when they refused, they were hit with tear gas, some were arrested, and shots were fired, though in honesty I do not know whether the shots were by protesters or police, as details remain sketchy.  Today, the schools are closed in this suburb of Minneapolis and the Minnesota Twins (a Major League baseball team) postponed their game against the Boston Red Sox.

I also do not know what the warrant or warrants against Mr. Wright were, but given the fact he was only 20 years old, I’m guessing they weren’t serious enough to end his life over.

This country has many, many causes for shame, but this … racism in police, the very people we hire and PAY to protect us … is among the biggest reasons that we should all hang our heads.  R.I.P. Mr. Duante Wright … you deserved better.

53 thoughts on “Thoughts On “Karen” and … Another DAMMIT

  1. To me, it seems that a very large number of people, however precious their lives, can be considered disposable to a nation. And when the young children of those people take notice of this, they’re vulnerable to begin perceiving themselves as worthless. It’s atrociously unjust and desperately needs correcting.

    Although their devaluation as human beings is basically based on race, it still reminds me of the devaluation, albeit perhaps subconsciously, of the daily civilian lives lost (a.k.a. “casualties”) in protractedly devastating civil war zones and sieges. At some point, they can end up receiving just a few column inches in the First World’s daily news.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. About Karens, I had never heard the name as a pejorative before this post, and I really do not agree with its use. It is on a level with incels calling women Stacys for not wanting to have sex with boorish asshole chauvinists.
    Why not just call these women superior bitches (double entendre intentional!) Using proper names blows back on the people who use them. They are no better than their targets.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Jill, to me shame has caught the last train and left town. People should not need to be shamed to treat people like they want to be treated. Some guy named Jesus said that. People should not need to be filmed to do the right thing, but even then it does not seem to help. Our law enforcement are there to protect us, all of us. Full stop. We must hold everyone to account, include elected officials when they emulate the behavior we don’t want. I don’t need a false bravado from elected officials acting tough. I want them to be a leader, not jerk. Keith

    Liked by 4 people

    • Yep, just when you think they can’t go any lower … they do. Humans seem to be brilliant at finding methods of cruelty, finding ways to put down others. WHY??? As you know, I am not religious, am a non-believer, but if people believe in Jesus, then why don’t they follow his advice? I will never understand … the evangelicals cherry pick the parts of the Bible they choose to believe, ignore the rest, and expect us to all respect them? Sigh. Sorry … a bit of a rant tonight … product of my mood. Forgive, please?

      Liked by 2 people

      • Jill, a friend calls them “Cafeteria Christians.” They just pick the parts of the bible they like and ignore the rest. I am still confused by this prosperity ministry that goes on where God blesses you when you have a lot of wealth. Really? Keith

        Liked by 1 person

      • ” … if people believe in Jesus, then why don’t they follow his advice? I will never understand … the evangelicals cherry pick the parts of the Bible they choose to believe, ignore the rest, and expect us to all respect them?”

        Sometimes I wonder whether there are Christians — I mean the fans of the Old Testament angry-vengeful creator and followers of (what I term) institutional Christianity — who subconsciously wish that Jesus had not been so publicly contrary to contemporary conservative values thus politics. I can imagine institutional Christians generally finding inconvenient, if not annoying, having to reconcile the conspicuously contradictory fundamental nature, teachings and practices of the New Testament’s Jesus with those of the wrathful, vengeful and even jealous nature of the Old Testament’s God the Father.

        I’d suggest such non-Christian ‘Christians’ might seek out a faith that’s more reflective of their own nature. So vocal as they are, they make very bad examples of Christ’s true message, especially to young impressionable observers.

        … Please pardon my bit of rant, tonight.

        Liked by 1 person

        • No need to apologize for the rant … I do it all the time! These, as the saying goes, are the times that try men’s (and women’s) souls.

          Personally, I see religion … all religion, not only the Christian one … as the cause of most of the world’s troubles. I don’t really care what anybody chooses to believe, but when they attempt to force their beliefs on others, then it becomes a problem. That is what I see happening in the U.S. today … evangelicals want government policy to reflect their beliefs, they would happily erase the ‘separation of church and state’ ideology.

          Liked by 1 person

          • The bitter irony is that some of the best humanitarians I’ve met or heard about were/are atheists or agnostics who’d make better examples of many of Christ’s teachings than too many (whom I refer to as) institutional Christians (i.e. those most resistant to Christ’s fundamental teachings of non-violence, unconditional compassion and non-wealth). Conversely, some of the worst human(e) beings I’ve met or heard about are the most devout practitioners of institutional Christian theology.

            As for religion/theism (much of which I also disapprove of), I believe that if it wasn’t religion/theism, a different form of fanaticism or extremist belief system would take its problematic place. One might look at Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge concept of the righteous society as a scary example of this.

            Having said that, however, I can see how there could be no greater perceived justification for or the-end-justifies-the-means motivator of inhumane/immoral behavior than ‘the Almighty has willed it!’

            Liked by 1 person

            • As a non-believer myself, I think that most atheists and agnostics are better exemplars of Christ’s teachings than most Christians, for we largely follow the “live and let live” philosophy, as well as the one about treating everyone as we hope to be treated. And when I hear ‘Christians’ claim that “god” put Donald Trump in the Oval Office, then I am convinced that their ‘god’ is naught but a hoax, a figment of their imagination. That said, I do have friends who are devout Christians who care about others, who help where they can, and who are not bigots. Sigh. It takes all kinds, they say … I guess so, but I could live happily without certain kinds.

              Liked by 1 person

              • You may already have heard me say this, but too many monotheists have created their God’s nature in their own angry, vengeful image. I personally picture Jesus as being one who’d enjoy a belly-shaking laugh over a good, albeit clean, joke with his disciples, rather than always being the stoically serious type of savior.

                Meanwhile, it seems, when a public person openly fantasizes about world peace, a guaranteed minimum income and/or a clean, pristinely green global environment, many theological fundamentalists immediately react with the presumption that he/she must therefore be Godless and, by extension, evil and/or (far worse) a socialist. Yet, Christ’s teachings epitomize the primary component of socialism — do not hoard morbidly superfluous wealth when so very many people have little or nothing. That’s just how upside-down (I’m sad to say) so much of institutional Christianity has become.

                Liked by 1 person

                • All you say is true. I think that most Christians … and perhaps most followers of other religions like Judaism, Hinduism, and Islam as well … have made the rules based on their own prejudices and whims. My friend, Rachael, says she won’t stop eating beef, driving her large gas-guzzling SUV, or anything else because her “god wants me to be happy.” Rather like the ignoble televangelist who, when asked how he could justify his lavish lifestyle, said, “God wants me to have nice things”. Convenient, isn’t it? Another tool in their toolbox to use as needed to keep their followers in line, a promise that will never be fulfilled.

                  Liked by 1 person

    • What disturbs me are the law-enforcers who will storm into suspects’ homes, screaming, with fully-automatic machineguns or handguns drawn, at the homes’ occupants (to “face down!”), all of whom, including infants, can be permanently traumatized from the experience. On some occasions, these ‘law-enforcers’ force their way into the wrong home, altogether. That’s potentially when open-fire can and does occur, followed by wrongful deaths to be “impartially” investigated.

      I’m led to believe that some of these (mostly male) people get into such fields of employment for the sheer power-trip of it all. Perhaps people who deliberately choose and train for such professions of armed and unarmed authority (e.g. store security guards and SWAT teams) should introspectively ask themselves WHY they’re willfully entering the profession. I know I would.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I certainly agree with much of what you say. Some in law enforcement do enter the field for the feeling of power over others, though I like to think the majority do so for more humanitarian reasons. Personally, I would like to see guns taken out of the hands of police, but in a nation where there are more guns in the hands of civilians than there are civilians, that is obviously a pipe dream. In recent years, however, our police are reminiscent of the ‘Brown Shirts’ of the Nazi regime, and that is an intolerable situation. As a child, I was told to always trust a policeman, that he is our friend. I cannot, in good conscience, tell my grandchildren the same. Instead, I tell them if they see a policeman to turn around and leave the area. Sad.

        Liked by 1 person

          • The gun nuts in this country are another thing altogether! Yes, I have a number of friends in the UK who tell me that the police still do not carry guns, except in certain situations. Personally, I would like to see every gun in this country destroyed and never another one sold. Just tonight, about an hour ago, I received word of another mass shooting, this one claiming the lives of 2 adult women, 2 teenagers, and one 3-month-old child! Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.


    • It took me forever to figure it out. I was continually amazed that all the racist, idiot women were named Karen! Sigh … no joke on the gun/taser. The officer and the chief of police both resigned their positions today.

      Liked by 1 person

        • Exactly … they will be replaced by others who may be even worse. Today, however, Officer Potter was charged with manslaughter, so perhaps others will see that and think twice before acting in such a manner. Maybe.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Lets hope others will think twice. If its trained over decades, they cant simple chance the behavior. Its like a soldier is trained to shoot. For my part, I had the experience that I almost shot a supervisor during an exercise. We played a war-related encampment and he played an attacker. It’s good that we only had blank cartridges.

            Liked by 1 person

            • OH MY!!! I can’t imagine! Yes, I’m very glad you only had blank cartridges! Yes, for decades now, police officers have gotten by with unconscionable acts of violence and even murder of Blacks and other minorities because they have powerful unions standing behind them. It is time for that to stop. If Derek Chauvin (the officer who murdered George Floyd) is not convicted, there will be bloodshed in the streets here, I am sure of it. Sigh.

              Liked by 1 person

  4. There has been a name designated for the same type men behaving badly. Kevin. No matter what you call them ‘jerk’ is appropriate and the nice version of what this human thinks. No excuse is good enough for takin your frustration out on another. Everyone has a story, a history and challenges to deal with. Perhpas the anger management class will help her. This truly is the worst I have seen in human behavior on a large scale in my life. Or perhaps we just haven’t had such quick and easy access to viewing it before.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Thank you for bringing these questions up about “Karen,” particularly the question about a male counterpart. Maybe we can just use words that describe the behavior like, mean, entitled, …. there’s got to be something better. As for the shooting, I am still surprised and appalled every time this happens, especially in situations where the person who was stopped is moving AWAY or otherwise is NOT A THREAT. Shooting (with any incapacitating weapon) a person driving a car makes them a greater threat as shown by the additional accident. I still believe there are good cops. But our law enforcement system needs a complete overhaul in screening, training, mental health screening and support, etc.

    Liked by 2 people

    • There are so many words I can think of to describe these bigoted, entitled people. Sigh.

      Like you, I never stop being horrified and appalled, no matter how many times it happens — and it has happened plenty of times in the past decade. Yes, when an officer says he “feared for his life”, but the body cam shows the suspect running away, there’s something wrong here. I do believe there are good cops, but the bad ones cause all to be painted with a broad brush. Psychological profiling as a requirement for joining any police force would be a tremendous start. But so much needs to be done, while so many in our system still believe that white people are the only ones of value. Sigh.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. What Officer Potter was thinking we will never know, but there was no reason for her to have either a gun or a taser in her hand. Yeah, DUANTE WRIGHT was not wanting to be arrested, but he was not threatening anyone when he chose to drive away. He was trying to protect himself. For Potter to shoot him with anything was far beyond the scope of her policing powers.
    But she was determined this little pipsqueak was going to respect her authority. No way was he going to turn his back on her. Whatever she intended, a taser or a gun, she crossed the line. Now a man is dead, a family is grieving, and a city is up in arms because Potter chose to exert her authority to pull a trigger, any trigger.
    I doubt she is under arrest, or in jail–the news report we got did not say–but any civilian who had done what she did, on video, would be in jail right now. Why isn’t Kim Potter?

    Liked by 3 people

    • Many countries … most in the Western world … do not arm police with guns. The difference, though, is that in the U.S., it has to be assumed that anybody the police would come into contact with is armed, for over half the population here own guns. Some own arsenals. Not defending Officer Potter or Derek Chauvin or any other officer who has killed, but it is the reality in the U.S., that we are a lawless, gun-crazed society. An update … Officer Potter and also the police chief have resigned their positions.


      • Yes, I heard that on the news tonight. But still nothing about pending charges. Do resignations cut off pensions in Minnesota? I don’t think either person, especially Kim Potter, deserves a pension after such a serious accidental crime.
        And, we know all about gun ownership in the US, Canada is not as bad but still not like other countries. The thing is, so we are told, most gun owners are responsible people, so it goes that they would not draw firearms on unarmed cops. And if they do, they deserve whatever happens to them.
        Responsible gun-owners? The is no such thing, as far as I am concerned.


  7. The Karen’s are a plague but a different kind of nastiness than the men who resort to violence, the Cuthberts. As for police violence it’s out of hand and not made any better by having Unions that defend any action they take and who suggest they should not be accountable for actions taken while on duty. They should no more have a free pass than I should.

    Liked by 2 people

    • The Karens, sadly, are raising children and passing their hatred of other on to the next generation. Where does it end??? Sigh.

      You know I agree with you that the police violence, especially against Black, Hispanic and Asian people is so out of control that I don’t know how it can even be reigned in. One step at a time, I suppose. I read coverage of today’s defense in the trial of Derek Chauvin (the officer who murdered George Floyd) and I was so furious I could have killed, I think. After some 6 medical examiners said that it was Chauvin’s knee on Floyd’s neck that killed him, and numerous police bigwigs said that no, that use of force was NOT called for, the defense drags up some Bozo who says it was perfectly appropriate! Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. If I had seen a cop right after reading that, I would have bashed his head in with my rolling pin! Sigh. We fight and we fight, but the bottom line is we are getting nowhere.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Having seen the video of the shooting on our 6:00 pm news, it does appear that the police officer genuinely thought she was holding a taser. But that doesn’t negate the harm caused by what she did. Hopefully she’ll be charged with manslaughter or whatever is the equivalent over there. I’m grateful that here in Aotearoa police aren’t routinely armed so such a mistake isn’t likely to happen. Even so, a taser wouldn’t be deployed unless there was some threat to the officers or the public. Neither appeared to be the case with the Wright incident.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Maybe, but as you say, that doesn’t negate the life that was taken … and would she have reached for either a taser or a gun if the young man had been white? I doubt it. Today’s news is that both the officer and the police chief have resigned their positions. You’re right … in the UK and in your country, as well as many others, police aren’t armed to the teeth. And they don’t need to be, because guns aren’t as common as peanuts like they are here. Police going into any situation here have to assume that someone in the crowd is going to have a gun. Sigh.


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