The Karen who wants you to lead DEI

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 assigned your Black colleague to lead the equity component in strategy planning, though this has nothing to do with her role at work. Further, you did not ask her in advance, assuming she would have both the expertise and the willingness to take on this work without extra compensation. 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:

  • Exploitation of labor in the form of “voluntelling” a person of color to do work they did not agree to
  • Gross stereotyping through the assumption that any Black person would, by nature of being Black, know how to lead a team through strategic equity planning
  • Gaslighting and denial of responsibility for your actions, claiming to have seen equity training as one of your colleagues “strengths” outside of her race, rather than confronting the racism within your assumptions
  • Leveraging groupthink to prioritize your level of comfort (in this case, giving an order to a Black woman in a group setting where there is little opportunity for discussion) 
  • Lack of comprehension that Black people are already doing extra work to navigate the absence of “equity” in the workplace, all day, every day, and do not need the added, formalized task of leading others along
  • Paternalism; using your position of power to make decisions for your colleagues with no input, followed by refusal to accept feedback or see the harmful impact of your actions
  • Centering yourself, your experience, your feelings and your reputation; further burdening the person you already harmed by insisting on a follow up conversation so you can assuage your own feelings around your racist actions, rather than simply confront and correct them

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.

Sincerely, 

My Karen Translator

*** DO NOT RESPOND TO THE PERSON YOU HAVE ALREADY HARMED.*** 

If you have questions or complaints, please email support@mykarentranslator.com.

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