An epic “Karens’ war” ends with the low-identity woman losing to the high-identity man, and America’s decency getting debased by a fight between two jerks.
The Central Park run-in between Amy Cooper, a white woman walking her dog off-leash, and Christian Cooper (no relation), a black man and bird watcher who took umbrage at Amy’s leash-law violation, is now the stuff of leftist legend. Amy is a racist, evil white woman and Christian is a noble, put-upon black man. But is that really what happened?
Dig a little deeper, and you discover a different story, one involving two hard-Left Karens (i.e., bossy, self-righteous people), both determined to impose their highly privileged senses of self on the other.
The Karen clash occurred when Amy was working through the Ramble in Central Park, with her dog off-leash, violating either a law or a rule (and it doesn’t matter which). Despite being seriously socially distanced in the outdoors, Amy was dutifully wearing her mask. Christian asked Amy to leash her dog, but she refused. At this point, she’s the jerk.
However, rather than just shaking his head at Amy’s general jerkiness, Christian decided that he was going to teach her a lesson. After a short back-and-forth, Christian, per his own Facebook page, told Amy, “Look, if you’re going to do what you want, I’m going to do what I want, but you’re not going to like it.”
I can say with absolute certainty that a woman who finds herself in a deserted area of Central Park with a strange man is going to be terrified upon hearing that last sentence. When someone says, “I’m going to do what I want, but you’re not going to like it,” that’s a threat. With those words, Christian made the bold move from being officious to being both a jerk and creep.
Christian then started throwing what he said were dog treats at Amy’s dog. They probably were, but Amy couldn’t know that. So, Amy’s got to have two thoughts running through her head: (1) He’s trying to distract my dog because he’s going to rape me; and (2) he’s going to poison my dog and then rape me. If Amy had grown up in San Francisco, of course, her gaydar would have told her, as mine instantly did, that Christian was not interested in raping her.
Christian, of course, never intended to harm either Amy or her dog. Instead, self-righteously, he was just going to teach her a lesson. As he said,
He told CNN he keeps dog treats with him to get dog owners to put their dogs on leashes because, in his experience, dog owners hate when a stranger feeds their dog treats and immediately restrain their dogs afterward.
With those words, Christian put gilded the lily of his jerkiness.
Please note that either Amy or Christian could have backed off at any time. Instead, both pushed harder at the other. They established themselves as true Karens: bossy people who will not back down from a stupid point because their sensitivity to slights and their overwrought sense of self-righteousness and entitlement means that they have to push every situation to the bitter end.
Then, Christian started videotaping:
To look at Amy, you’d think she was facing down a mob of drunken Hell’s Angels, rather than a middle-aged gay guy with binoculars scolding her for taking her dog off the leash. He’s a jerk; she’s a hysteric.
(By the way, Amy loses some serious points here because she’s strangling her dog. She’s not doing it on purpose, but her emotional instability reveals her as the same type of person who, in a rage, would throw her baby across the floor, as a young Italian woman did in a Romanian hotel.)
Aside from the video, which makes both Amy and Christian look like people everyone else would be wise to avoid, who are they?
Here’s what little we know about Amy, who’s scrubbed most of her online presence: Amy’s a 2003 college graduate from the University of Waterloo in Ontario. It is, of course, a properly woke campus. It’s no surprise, therefore, to learn that Amy’s a leftist:
[C]ampaign contribution information — with donations to Democrats such as Barack Obama, Pete Buttigieg, and John Kerry —leaked online earlier today appeared to suggest that Amy actually identifies as a liberal.
Her political ideology means that Amy is carefully politically correct. Note how, even in her fear, when she identifies Christian to the police, she calls him an “African-American man” rather than a “black man.”
Paired with Amy’s political correctness, though, is 21st-century feminism, which teaches women, especially college women, to believe that all men are rapists.
Let me insert a personal narrative here: A couple of years ago, when I dropped one of the little Bookworms off at college, I attended a “parents’ intro” about Title IX. The two presenters were prepared to tell us how they would protect our daughters. They were surprised to learn that the parents attending this introduction were worried about their sons getting destroyed by vindictive girls and anti-male campus administrators. To allay our concerns, one of the presenters told this story:
A boy at the college had a crush on a girl in one of his classes. He wrote her a note saying he liked her and asking her out. He went to her dorm to deliver it. Her roommate let him in, said that the girl was away, and told him he could leave the note on the girl’s desk, which he did.
The girl read the note and reported him to the school for a sex crime. As required by law, the school had to swing into full sex crime mode, interviewing the boy, changing all his classes so the girl would never have to see him, putting some sort of sex offender label in his record, etc.
Further inquiry revealed that, beginning in high school and continuing through to her attending the college’s freshman intro presentations, the girl had learned that whenever a guy she wasn’t interested in approached her, that constituted a form of stalking or sexual assault. The presenter told us that the school disabused the girl of her notions about all men being rapists and got her to dismiss her charges. By then, though, you can imagine how damaged that shy boy was.
Amy “Karen” Cooper could have been that crazed girl. Even though she knew that African-Americans are owed respect, her lizard brain was crying out, “It’s a man! It must be rape.” That’s the tension from cognitive dissonance that you see in her hysterical 911 call.
Christian, a Harvard grad, is also a leftist. Because he’s the hero in this matter, he hasn’t had to delete his Facebook page, so I captured these posts to give some insight into Christian’s worldview. What stood out for me is that he defines himself more by his homosexuality than by his race, but it’s still hard leftism all the way:
He didn’t like it when Trump got elected:
He (and his friends) believed that Trump was going to destroy gays (see the comments):
He loved the Obamas and was really sorry to see them go:
He’s all in on climate change:
He puts his efforts where his values are:
He is very pro-illegal alien:
Put simply, Christian is just another New York leftist.
In a just world, both of those stupid, petty Karens would be held up to ridicule. People would laugh at them, and they’d be embarrassed by their conduct.
However, we don’t live in a just world. We live in a crazy world that has victim hierarchies as its foundation. The female white Karens of the world don’t realize it, but they’re on the bottom of the victim ladder. The only people they’re better than are white men who are, of course, the enemies of all people.
Amy allowed her neurosis to lead her to tangle, not only with a black man but with a gay black man. If he’d been Muslim, it would have been a trifecta and she would have had to be executed. As it is, Amy’s life is destroyed, while Christian, just as awful a leftist Karen as Amy herself, is a feted celebrity.
We live in a sick culture. As an antidote, I propose to get myself a copy of Dan Crenshaw’s Fortitude: American Resilience in the Era of Outrage. Bruce Bawer’s review has sold me. (Bawer, incidentally, is a gay man who defines himself, not by his sexuality, but by his values. He recently wrote an incredibly powerful challenge to those NeverTrumpers whose values were always fake.)
Anyway, back to Bawer’s review of Crenshaw’s book. It takes as its starting point the way Crenshaw gracefully and graciously handled the stupid insult Pete Davidson threw his way on SNL:
It’s a serious, intelligent meditation on a culture in which victimhood is so highly prized that we’ve made an art out of taking offense – discovering racism and sexism everywhere, waging campaigns of personal destruction on the slightest of pretexts, and perpetrating ridiculous hoaxes à la Jussie Smollett. In such a climate, it was only to be expected that after Pete Davidson told that dumb joke, there would be calls for his head.
In his view, when millions of Americans are capable of being devastated (or are willing to pretend to be devastated) by some offhand remark, and are, moreover, prepared to go nuclear on those who’ve offended them, that’s not good for any of the parties involved, and it’s not good for America, either. Crenshaw approvingly quotes Thomas Sowell’s observation that “we have demonized those who produce, subsidized those who refuse to produce, and canonized those who complain.”
How can this be? Crenshaw’s answer: “today’s society…is swelling with the wrong role models.” Not a new observation, needless to say, but Crenshaw’s approach to the topic – and to the question of whom young Americans should look up to – is fresh, smart, and incisive.
If either Amy-Karen or Christian-Karen had read Crenshaw’s book, it’s likely that the now-infamous “Central Park War of the Karens” wouldn’t have happened. It’s not too late. Either of those two characters can still read the book, although I suspect that Amy-Karen is too wounded and Christian-Karen too successfully self-righteous ever to do so.