Some of you are aware of today’s hot news story about Amy Cooper, a white woman who got into a confrontation with a black man – Christian Cooper, in Central Park after he reprimanded her for not having her dog on a leash as required by law. The two people are unrelated.
The particular location of the park where the incident occurred is called The Rambles. Honestly, its a notorious cruising spot and has been since the 1970s. It’s also popular among naturists who frequent the area to bird watch and marvel at in the well-manicured landscapes. Christian, a naturist, as reported by NBC New York, asked Amy to leash her dog out of concern that unleashed pets can destroy the bird’s natural habitat.
What ensued was something captured on video that went viral as yet another “Karenism” – a white woman calling the police to report a black person doing something illegal when they are actually not. Some of the most recent examples have been of a “Karen” calling the cops on black people for BBQ’ing, having a picnic on a lake, selling cold bottled water on a hot day, volunteering graciously to mow a neighbors lawn as a courtesy, studying in their own dorm at Harvard, chilling in their college library, attempting to visit friends in a luxury condo building, trying to enter their own apartment lobby, dropping off a package in a gated community, being in their own house, and more.
Oh, when Karens take a walk with their dogs off leash in the famous Bramble in NY’s Central Park, where it is clearly posted on signs that dogs MUST be leashed at all times, and someone like my brother (an avid birder) politely asks her to put her dog on the leash. pic.twitter.com/3YnzuATsDm
— Melody Cooper (@melodyMcooper) May 25, 2020
Amy refused to leash her dog and what happened next was outrageous and potentially dangerous. Infuriated that he starting to record her with his cell phone when she refused to leash her dog, Amy retaliated by declaring,
“Fine, I’m going to call the cops, and I’m going to tell them there’s an AFRICAN AMERICAN MAN threatening my life!”
This sparked a firestorm across on the internet as we see Amy actually make the call as threatened. I awoke to this latest lesson in “Karenology and hopped on Facebook to engage and discuss with my peeps. Imagine my surprise to discover, despite the overt horrific, false, and negligent actions of Amy Cooper, which could have gotten Christain Cooper killed, some white people were chiming in and coming to her defense.
One of the comments came from a man I will call Glenn, who expressed skepticism about the Christian’s true intentions. Despite visible video of Amy escalating matters and calling the police to make a false claim, almost instinctively, it was to her that Glenn gave her his support as he proposed,
” Well I’m confused, why did he start to record her anyway? That’s weird for him to do something like that? Weird”
Such a response is troubling to me as most people should be far more “confused “by a white woman lying to 911, falsely claiming that a black man is trying to kill her in the park when video evidence proves that to be a complete fabrication. An African American woman participating in this robust Facebook conversation chimed in with a comparison to the recent murder of Ahmaud Arbery an innocent man killed by white supremacists in Georgia, who then lay on the victim to spin a false tale of criminality to justify their crime.
Was Glenn’s “confusion” as to why Christain was filming the incident just a naive attempt to segue into defensive reasoning? People record altercations every day to capture someone in the wrong as evidence of a law being broken. That is not new. In this case, having a dog off its leash was illegal, and Amy Cooper can be seen on video breaking that law. In 2020, it is instinctive for black people especially to record incidents because of systemic injustice and false claims, just as we see exhibited in the video.
In fairness, sometimes I know to keep in mind that people who don’t look like me will never really understand my plight, and that’s not their fault. However, I do wish more of an effort could be made by them to try to be at least aware of racial injustice as represented through the decades with a plethora of examples. In our nation’s ugly history of racism, there are endless stories of black people who met their fate at the hands of vengeance and retaliation over a lie told by their white counterparts. We have enough to contend with as a community, so now we have to accept this nonsense as part of our existence too? I will not.
As the Facebook thread continued, a dear friend shared a story of a woman’s arrest in Florida just yesterday for drowning her autistic 10-year-old son. She initially reported the crime, blaming it on a “black carjacker.” A few days before this occurred, elsewhere in America, an innocent black delivery driver was detained by overzealous HOA members (racists) of their gated community. They blocked him and wouldn’t let him leave, convinced he must have been on the property with mal-intent. He wasn’t. He had just made a delivery to a resident and was simply trying to get on with his day.
Incidents such as these are thankfully becoming just as unacceptable to white people as they are to us. For millions of black people, though, this is just another typical day in our lives in America.
As for Amy Cooper, who has pretty much lost her job as an investment banker, and her anonymity since the video went viral, I give her no sympathy. For those so-called Facebook “friends,” I encountered who support her actions, it was disheartening to see them align themselves with a person who exhibited such careless and reckless abandon.
Most notably was this angering exchange which I will share, removing the person’s name,
“I’m gonna throw my hat in the ring here, play Devil’s Advocate, and get skewered for it: Was she irresponsible for having the dog off-leash and letting it muck up the flowers? Yes. Did she have a good reason for having her dog off leash to exercise, given the closure of the dog park? Yes. Was it a dangerous, aggressive dog? No. Nothing wrong with the dude asking her to leash it; she should have, but you could understand why she didn’t.
When he turned the video on is when everything turned sour. She felt threatened. I would have felt threatened if someone began videotaping me as part of a confrontation! Everything she did from that point forward was a series of gut-motivated, off-the-cuff reactions coming from a place of anger and fear. She wasn’t thinking of Ahmaud Arbery in that moment, of police brutality against blacks, or of how she was mishandling her dog. She was mad, and she was scared, and she thought of the most threatening things she could do or say in revenge against a man who, ultimately, cost her her dog, her job, and her life as she knew it.”
This man’s commentary is possibly one of the most offensive representations of white privilege I have ever encountered. All the defensive reasoning he affords the person who has broken the law is staggering, and he does so by contorting a tale of fear from the delicate white damsel in distress, terrified by the big scary black man … who merely asked her to leash her dog.
By result of Amy Cooper’s own decided actions, yes, she has pretty much lost her job, livelihood, and anonymity since Christian Cooper’s sister posted the video that went viral with over 20 million Twitter views. However, before that happened, Amy did not consider what her false claims of violence might do to Christian’s life and livelihood if it resulted in a criminal record. Nor did she recognize or even care about the ultimate result of death he might have met at the hands of police officers responding to her claim of a man threatening her life.
This is possibly the worst era in American history for anyone to be without a job. I feel for all who are in this situation. But do I have sympathy for an unemployed racist who first attempted to ruin a life before fate flipped it back at her at ruined hers instead?
That’s a NO for me Daaaawg.
At this time, Amy Cooper has issued an apology, you know, because that’s what Karens do – after they get dragged on Twitter and lose their jobs.
This piece is an opinion piece by one Contributing Writer for Instinct Magazine and may not reflect the opinion of the magazine or other Contributing Writers.