When Amy Cooper called the police on Chris Cooper, who was birdwatching in Central Park, she repeatedly told the dispatcher that she was being threatened by a Black man, using her white privilege and overt fear of his blackness against him. She has been charged with filing a false report.
The internet uses the name Karen to refer to white women like Cooper who use their privilege to be rude or harm others.
"People may now have heard about the use of the name Karen to describe certain middle-aged white women who are calling the cops on Black people minding their own business," WGBH News' Callie Crossley told Boston Public Radio on Friday.
Crossley highlighted one San Francisco politician's efforts to combat "Karens" through a cleverly named ordinance.
The Caution Against Racially Exploitative Non-Emergencies Act, or CAREN, makes it illegal to fabricate false racially biased reports or 911 calls.
"This is outrageous behavior, it's happening, it's been documented," said Crossley. "Maybe this will stop people."
Callie Crossley hosts Under The Radar on WGBH.