Amy Cooper, a white woman who called 911 on a Black bird-watcher in Central Park last year, is suing her former employer for firing her, arguing that she is a victim of racial discrimination. https://t.co/cWGxoj1LYl
— The New York Times (@nytimes) May 27, 2021
Amy Cooper—better known as “Central Park Karen”—filed a lawsuit against her former employer.
Most of us remember the angry women who called the cops on a Black birdwatcher—because he asked her to put her dog on a leash.
She threatened the innocent man by saying, “I’m going to tell them there’s an African American man threatening my life.”
Thanks to modern technology, the victim was able to capture this sad moment at Central Park that is most probably just the tip of the iceberg. I am pretty sure that this is not the first time someone threatens a Black person to call the cops based on false accusations.
One could think that she had learned her lesson after the national outcry about her terrible behavior—but that is not what actually happened.
Just a year later, Amy Cooper decided to sue her former employer for racial discrimination—let that sink in. Cooper sees herself as the victim of this entire situation.
She feels that she was not given a chance to explain her side of the story; she points out that she apologized by saying, “I reacted emotionally and made false assumptions about his intentions when, in fact, I was the one who was acting inappropriately by not having my dog on a leash.”
We all make mistakes, no doubt about that, but Cooper’s apology clearly shows that she doesn’t even understand the problem. She admits that she reacted emotionally and made false assumptions. Cooper refers to the wrong assumption that the birdwatcher was threatening her, while common sense tells us that she made a different false assumption.
She assumed that she would get away with this, and she probably would have if there was no video of the incident that went viral.
Just like Derek Chauvin, she thought that it’s not a big deal to be racist and that she would get away with it.
If a White person told her to put her dog on a leash, what would have been her reaction? Calling the cops? I don’t think so.
The victim decided not to sue Cooper because he feels that she already “paid a steep price” for her actions—but I am not too sure about that.
There are two types of apologies:
1. Sincere apologies
We all make mistakes. Understanding how we hurt others helps us to learn from these mistakes.
If Cooper realized that she was trying to use white privilege to get out of an uncomfortable situation, we might be able to forgive her. If she asked herself why she felt entitled to threaten an innocent man by calling the cops, she might be able to set an example for all the other Karens out there.
She had the chance to shift from being part of the problem to being part of the solution.
We all know that person who always has an excuse for everything. Continually finding excuses is like practicing it—folks get better at it.
I would love to be a fly on the wall when Cooper discusses the incident and her getting fired with one of her friends. Knowing that she feels entitled to sue her former employer for canceling her gives us an idea of her main goal—she wants her old life back and doesn’t want to be known as Central Park Karen anymore.
Portraying herself as the victim simply shows that she still doesn’t understand the underlying problem of this incident.
Everyone who is defending Cooper by supporting her crocodile tears about losing her job should ask themselves, “Why is that? Why am I feeling that way?”
If the answer is something along the lines of, “You never know with Black people, many of them carry weapons…or similar,” then you might be part of the problem too.
The dude she felt threatened by is a birdwatcher. He didn’t come across as aggressive in any way during the incident. So, let’s assume for a moment that Cooper was really scared of him—what was her reason? Is it because he is Black?
This is not about her learning to hold back her emotions next time—this is about understanding these unfounded fears. Our goal shouldn’t be to silence all Karens—our goal should be teaching them that there is no reason to be angry or scared.
Imagine you are out in a park watching birds knowing that other people might see you as a threat to public safety and call the cops. That sucks, right? Why should any Black person have to go through this?
This is not about one woman making a mistake. This is about prejudice and entitlement in combination with white privilege—and as long as Cooper doesn’t understand this, I won’t forgive her.