Karen Is Most Certainly White And Racist, According To NYT Writer

Karen Is Most Certainly White And Racist, According To NYT Writer

Karen Is Most Certainly White And Racist, According To NYT Writer

It seems that we have been hearing the name, Karen, a lot, especially over this past year. Finally, an analysis from The New York Times explains the phenomenon of the “Karens” we encounter on a daily basis. Just what we needed, right?

Ligaya Mishan normally writes food reviews for The New York Times Style Magazine but decided it was time to attack a more pressing issue plaguing our society. We all know one…The Karen. Mishan’s musings are accompanied by a collage of white women with various updos “looking away” (artwork by self-proclaimed, second-wave feminist, Carmen Winant).

Honestly, I was reading through this last night and fell asleep but the gist of the whole article? Karen is white and most certainly, a racist. Mishan cites the infamous Central Park Karen. But we all know there are many types of Karens we may have the misfortune of meeting in our encounters. Take a look.

As you can see, Karens come in all shapes and sizes…and genders, apparently. Yes, this YouTuber argues that there are male Karens. But Ligaya Mishan? Well, Karen is most certainly always white. Karen is also, most certainly racist. Just look at all of these examples of bias and racism and tell us these women are not named “Karen”!

This manifests alarmingly in confrontations with people of color, particularly Black people, as recorded in numerous videos posted on social media, including those of Karens who have called 911 to voice suspicions about an 8-year-old Black girl selling bottles of water on the sidewalk in San Francisco, a 9-year-old Black boy in a deli in Brooklyn whose backpack bumped against a white woman (“I was just sexually assaulted,” she told the police) and a Black man entering his own apartment building in St. Louis, all in 2018; a Black uniformed UPS worker delivering packages in Atlanta in 2019; and, in 2020, a Black man bird-watching in Central Park and Black children swimming in a pool at the hotel where their family was staying in Williamston, N.C.”-Ligaya Mishan

Mishan, who grew up in Honolulu, went on to Princeton and then to Cornell for her MFA from Cornell in poetry. She did not hesitate to mention this herself in a candid interview. Her mother is an educated woman (yep, she threw that in there) from the Philippines. Her dad is an Englishman and they fell in love and settled in Hawaii. She was supposed to be a poet but ended up “slumming it”, I guess and writing about food in New York City. Oh, the life!

Widen the lens and any white woman — every white woman — could be a Karen, if she’s perceived as taking for granted the advantages bestowed by her skin color and ignoring the labor and suffering of others.”-Ligaya Mishan

Hmm. Wanting others to know your educational pedigree out the gate, I dunno, seems a bit Karen-like to me. But, hell, I’m just a simple white girl from a New York Italian family who came off the boat in the early 1900s. I must be a “Karen” because I am calling out an AAIP woman who is educated. Oh, right. I’m a racist. Got it, Karen. I mean, Ligaya. White women who do not consider themselves to be a “Karen” must fall in line and comply to what some elitist food snob says in The New York Times Style Magazine because she went to Princeton and Cornell and is waaaaaayyy smarter than they are on the subjects of social discourse, right?

After all, Mishan’s article seeks to enlighten white girls like me. All of this time, I thought the “Karen” was my former next-door neighbor who shared a driveway with me. The one who claimed my (then) 7-year old dented her car (it was parking lot dents). The one who threw a fit and sent a group text to all moms in the cul-de-sac who had kids who played in OUR driveway to stay off HER side of the driveway when she and her little whiny brat weren’t outside. The one who refused to let her little girl go out and play with squirt guns because (GASP)-guns! The one who came at me because she saw me talking to my Korean neighbor the day after she told my Korean neighbor to “stay off (HER) property” about something that had absolutely nothing to do with her. But Karen is so much more than the insufferable white girl with the asymmetrical bob hairdo. She is every white woman. And she is a racist. She doesn’t have to even try.


But, alas, after quoting a bunch of poets and authors, Mishan admits that she, too, could be a Karen.

Still, if Karen is a potentiality in every privileged woman — and I include myself here, as a half-white, half-Filipino woman of a certain education and class, ever alert for the Karen within — she also represents an opportunity: to question ourselves and how we move through the world, beyond just feeling mournful and vaguely sorry.”-Ligaya Mishan

Of a certain education and class. Had to throw that one out there again, didn’t ya? See, Mishan is one of our “betters” who has the stage and is telling other white or half-white women that they are all racist and all, inherently, “Karen” because of unintended bias. She wants you to know she is one of the elite. She makes no bones about it. Ergo, she can come up with some thought-provoking $hit about who she thinks the Karens of our society are while pretentious AF readers drool over her wordsnithery and how we should all embrace the Karen within. While she seeks not to generalize, she generalizes and puts all white women in the box. We all may as well be named Karen. Stereotype much, Ligaya?

Photo Credit: Jonathan Pagel/FlickR/Creative Commmons/Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)/Cropped

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