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!
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.
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.