It was all good for Karen’s about a week ago – well, maybe not all good because a few of these women have lost their jobs and gained some unwanted attention due to their discriminatory shenanigans. Approximately two days ago, two tweets rang out loud and clear to put an end to these Karen crusaders, who believe they are doing the right thing by calling the police on black people for pretty much existing. Member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, Shamann Walton introduced the CAREN Act and California State Legislator, Rob Bonta introduced AB1220 alongside the CAREN Act as an ally of Walton’s cause.
Racist 911 calls are unacceptable that's why I'm introducing the CAREN Act at today’s SF Board of Supervisors meeting. This is the CAREN we need. Caution Against Racially Exploitative Non-Emergencies. #CARENact #sanfrancisco— Shamann Walton (@shamannwalton) July 7, 2020
Excited to announce our partnership with Supervisor @shamannwalton ! Today, we unveiled our two-prong strategy to join forces and stop discriminatory 911 calls: #AB1550 and the #CARENAct. Using 911 as a tool for your prejudice towards marginalized communities is unjust and wrong! pic.twitter.com/NBfBaLe6x2— Rob Bonta (@RobBontaCA) July 7, 2020
The “CAREN Act” (Caution Against Racially Exploitative Non-Emergencies) was introduced on Tuesday at a San Francisco Board of Supervisors meeting by Supervisor Shamann Walton. The ordinance’s name is a twist on “Karen,” the name social media gives people making racially-biased 911 calls. In a joint statement, Walton and Bonta said that false 911 calls leave victims with “long lasting emotional distress and trauma” and explained that they’re hoping to establish “civil liability for the person committing the discriminatory 911 call and monetary fines.”
The CAREN Act would make callers “liable for damages no less than $1,000,” according to a press release from Walton’s office. Following that same course of action, AB1550 would make it unlawful to call 911 based on a person’s race and could result in that caller facing hate crime charges. The legislation would also “allow the person harmed to sue the caller making a fraudulent 911 call for no less than $250 and up to $10,000 in damages.”
Whether it was Amy Cooper in Central Park or a myriad of the other racially motivated made by entitled white people, this Karen phenomenon is nothing new and should be taken very seriously. Just research of the story of Emmett Till. I’m sure most already know but just in case, Till was a 14-year-old black child from Chicago who was lynched in Mississippi in 1955, after being accused of offending a white woman, Carolyn Bryant, in her family’s grocery store for allegedly flirting or whistling at her. Carolyn Bryant, accused Till of physically grabbing her and making lewd comments at the time. The brutality of his murder and the fact that his killers were acquitted drew attention to the long history of violent persecution of African Americans in the United States. Till posthumously became an icon of the civil rights movement.
Like many of these cases, we found out later the initial accusations were completely fabricated and false. In 2017, Carolyn Bryant Donham, who was divorced and remarried, was back in the headlines after author Timothy Tyson revealed that Bryant admitted to him in a 2008 interview that her 1955 accusation against Till was false. A black child died and countless others have died or been imprisoned for similar lies so the CAREN Act is just a start and a must.