The Karen who “represents her race”

Dear “Karen,” 

My Karen Translator is a service for BIPOC dealing with everyday racism from colleagues, friends, family, acquaintances and more. My Karen Translator aims to shift the burden of education and growth onto white people who have, consciously or unconsciously, acted out white supremacy in any number of ways.

We were recently informed you confronted the leader of Black Girls Pole – a successful organization with a large following, creating inclusive space and celebrating Black women in the pole community – because you were worried about white women. We’re here to give you an opportunity to reflect on this with the shared goal of fighting white supremacy everywhere it arises, including within oneself. 

We found this incident to have the following “Karen-like” (white normative, white-centric, white supremacist) characteristics:

  • White entitlement; stealing the time, emotional labor and intellectual offerings of a Black woman because of your…
    • …deep desire to protect the racial hierarchy manifested in you having hurt feelings, and…
    • …doing so with breathtaking sloppiness, laziness, misspellings, misinformation, illogic and stream of conscious arguments in the face of well-reasoned and thoughtful responses
  • Relentless ignorance; refusing or refuting any information that contradicts your white-centric worldview (i.e. that there is a lack of diversity in the pole community)
  • Making the false claim of “reverse racism” (see The Karen who still believes in reverse racism) at the mere sight of a hashtag indicating a sacred space for women of color
  • Blaming the existence of racism on the people brave enough to call it out
  • When backed into a corner, making the racist claim that you “don’t see color” and only see “beautiful people doing pool (sp).”
  • Centering own feelings as an individual in the face of massive, historic, systemic injustice rooted in slavery and genocide

White women do not own feminism or fitness. You don’t get to define what it is, who does it, where it takes place, or with whom. This is not your space no matter how badly you want to intrude. As @blackgirlspole pointed out beautifully, you have plenty of space already.

We hope this experience inspires you to act more boldly against racism anywhere it arises and join the life-long fight for racial equity and Black liberation.


My Karen Translator


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