I Watched A Black Community Activist Dismantle A Karen in a Viral Video and I Have Some Thoughts

This Is What Speaking Truth to Power Looks Like


2.) Do white people not know camera phones exist? Like, every phone has a camera. Your grandpa who’s still rockin’ the Nokia flip phone has a camera. I’m not saying only white people get caught doing dumb shit on camera phones, but they currently lead the world in getting blatantly racist and ignorant shit caught on tape.

3.) Connie is the perfect name for a Karen.

4.) Becky with the Chromebook left because she got caught perpetuating some bullshit about Robert E. Lee being a gracious slaveowner and got called out on it in a way white women never do; without the least bit of protest from anyone else. Everyone let her get her just desserts. You know the nation is having A Moment (TM) when a black man shouts down a white woman’s foolishness and everyone in the room is just like “yup, you right, you right.”

5.) My dude is preachin’…is Gary Chambers a preacher? He must be a preacher. My Dad’s a preacher, and you don’t just get this specific cadence from nowhere. Hold on. (*goes to Google*) I knew it! He is a minister! I don’t know how many of y’all have heard black preachers preach in person, but god GAWD, that man is preachin’ and everyone in the room is his congregation. This man had me reaching in my pocket looking for the collection plate.

6.) Connie has such a Karen haircut.

7.) Of all the shit white folks hold onto, the heritage of a bunch of insurrectionist domestic terrorists is the most confusing. It’d be like wanting a statue of Benedict Arnold. Everyone recognizes him as a traitor, but the guys who actually literally tried to destroy the United States are “honorable men”? Fuck that noise. No one named a high school after Benedict Arnold and no one should name one after Robert E. Lee’s trecherous ass either.

8.) In this country, we really don’t talk about how thorough racist white folks were in dismantling pretty much any of the gains black people earned during Reconstruction. P.B.S Pinchback was Louisiana’s first black governor in 1873, and they still haven’t elected another black person. The country didn’t have another black governor period until goddamn 1990. Whenever someone tries to claim that the fight for civil rights and against racism ended in the 1960s, remind them that America elected it’s first black governor the same year Law and Order debuted.

9.) I don’t know how much white people get this concept (part of white privilege is being able to be thought of as an individual instead of as a group of stereotypes), but sometimes black people will see another black person speak and instantly feel like that person’s family. For example, I was pretty much on the Hilary bandwagon in the rose tinted days of 2008. Barack didn’t convince me to vote for Barack; Michelle convinced me to vote for Barack. Because I knew someone who reminded me of so many strong black women in my life, so many moms and aunts, wouldn’t be talking about how good her husband was unless she meant it.

The passion this man speaks with is palpable. Every word, every thought is calculated, in record time. It takes me back to going to church with my Dad on Sundays and spending the obligatory and customary three to nine hours at a church, depending on which holiday it was and how many reprises a gospel hymn would get while the pastor was doing his sermon. He seems like family. And his righteous anger feels completely and utterly justified. At another time, I would be scared that white folks would dismiss him as an angry black man. But in this moment? The man’s words have power. They can make people think.

10.) Connie apologized in the way that is typical of white people who have to issue apologies for saying and doing racist shit; she doesn’t say that her wrongs were wrong, just that they were insensitive and caused people pain. There’s power in saying “I was wrong”. It takes a degree of humility. And if Connie wasn’t such a Karen, she would resign and be content with the fact that she fucked up. Instead she said “after prayerful consideration” she won’t be resigning at this time.

I have no doubt that Connie thinks she’s the wronged party here, and that’s precisely the problem. Connie held up a racist institution, defended the legacy of a brutal slaveowner, insulted the members of her community and her colleagues by not even pretending to give a fuck about what they were saying, and then rather than saying “I’m sorry”, stormed out of the room when she was confronted. She still hasn’t apologized for that shit.

White people like Connie should stop feeling sorry for hurting our feelings and start feeling sorry for doing wrong-headed, bigoted shit. Our feelings will recover; we’re used to white people’s racist bullshit, be it blatant racist pandering like Trump or naming a bunch of shit after noted slave owners and then claiming “history” when the country wants to stop naming shit after a bunch of Confederate losers.

You don’t combat racism with mushy “I’m sorry I hurt your feelings” garbage. You combat it by saying “I’m wrong, here’s what I’m going to do to make amends for what I’m wrong about.”

Doing anything else just makes you a Karen, even when your name is Connie.

About KC Complains A Lot 135 Articles
KC Complains A Lot is another refugee from Deadspin. He enjoys writing and not caving to pressure from herbs.


  1. I would love to see PBS and Ken Burns do a major rewrite of the Civil War series that took all of the segments where some wheezing pipe smoker prattles on about the morning ol’ Bobby Lee stood up in his stirrups and fixed his loyal men with a sad, steely look…

    …and then did a record scratch and inserted an accurate historian who noted how the previous evening Lee ordered his army to seize every free Black person they could and send them down to slavery in Georgia.

    For that matter, every time they show a map with arrows, they broke in and admitted they were treating slavery during the war as a sideline and an abstraction, instead of as ongoing, brutal institution. And how they barely told the story of Black resistance during the war and how that tied the Southern war effort in knots.

    And they absolutely ought to press the problems of racism in the Union, and how they sowed the seeds of the betrayal of Reconstruction. It’s not a simple story of right and wrong, more like evil vs less bad.

    The Civil War by PBS was a modern day Gone With the Wind. It paid lip service to the idea of right and wrong, but ultimately gave comfort to millions of people who wanted to believe in cuddly, kindly Bobby Lee and a South that made a few small, easily corrected mistakes.

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