PHILADELPHIA MAGAZINE: Because hell hath no fury like a mildly inconvenienced middle-aged Caucasian lady, the Internet gave this genus of white privilege a name: Karen. In Internet memes, she is invariably pictured with a South Philly mom cut — think Kate Gosselin’s kicky cowlicked bob gone rogue. Current mood: She would like to speak with the manager, please. Lately it seems like the Karens have gone wild in America, as you’ve no doubt seen all over the Internet: freaking the fuck out at Red Lobster and Trader Joe’s, calling the cops to report flagrant BWB (barbecuing while Black), calling the cops to report a Black girl selling water on the sidewalk, calling the cops to report a Black, Harvard-educated science editor in Central Park for having the temerity to ask her to put her dog on a leash as required by law.
And now the Karens are armed and dangerous. Just last weekend in St. Louis, a husband-and-wife team of personal-injury-lawyer Karens emerged from their gilded palace of slip-and-fall — wild-eyed and barefoot, with guns drawn and itchy trigger fingers trembling — and literally took aim at a group of Black Lives Matter protesters who had gate-crashed their private street on their way to the mayor’s house. (Yes, males can be Karens, too. I can’t think of a more ignominious death than to be gunned down by a couple that one wag on Twitter dubbed Guns N’ Rosé.) “I was terrified that we’d be murdered within seconds, our house would be burned down, our pets would be killed,” Mark McCloskey, who is brandishing an assault rifle in video of the incident, breathlessly told an interviewer afterward.
This was a new plot twist: Usually, Karens don’t lock and load; they call the cops. Karens love to call the cops; it’s their go-to move. Their idea of dispute resolution is to dial 911 and — usually through a veil of fake hysterics and crocodile tears — falsely report that whichever Black person(s) she is currently arguing with is in fact threatening her life. Karens are at least woke enough to know that bad things tend to happen to Black people when the cops show up — which is, of course, why they call them. The Bonnie and Clyde of the Brooks Brothers set notwithstanding, Karens don’t personally inflict violence on their perceived enemies; they order it over the phone, like a pizza. MORE