The Karen Next Door

During protests over racial inequity in American criminal justice, the Karen video became a common response to an incident of racist hostility. A case in Montclair, New Jersey, at first followed the familiar trajectory. Confronted by a white woman over a perceived assault, a Black victim of the false accusation posted a video of the argument and the inevitable call for police assistance. White allies responded with support for the Black victims, which is the intended effect of such videos. But the aftermath raised a host of unresolved questions about how best to think about and respond to such incidents.

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