Central Park Karens are everywhere.
Unless you’ve been under a rock, you’ve seen the viral video of the so-dubbed “Central Park Karen,” where two New Yorkers clash, each trying to outdo the other in feats of idiocy. It all began over a dog that wasn’t on a leash where he should have been. A birdwatcher got annoyed by the dog and took it upon himself to police the woman with the dog and film her. It’s a tale of two people behaving badly, yet only one of them got fired and lost her dog. I’ll let you guess which one. (WARNING: Watching this video may lower your IQ.)
A white woman called the cops on an innocent African-American man in Central Park after he politely asked her to leash her pet as unleashed pets are not allowed in the park. She has now lost custody of her dog, Henry, seen choking in the video.#CentralParkKaren #AmyCooper pic.twitter.com/7zN4iDVaBR
— Lil Mixtapez 💿 (@LilMixtapez) May 26, 2020
Yep, she called the police and tried to use the man’s race against him. What a garbage thing to do. And she was choking the hell out of her dog. But in all of this, the only one I feel really bad for is the dog. Mr. Birdwatcher could have moved on. He could have asked her to leash the dog and when told no, he could have continued on his way. Instead, he filmed her and escalated the situation. The only thing this proves to me is that lockdown is making us all go crazy. We’re losing our social skills. Here’s how that exchange should have gone down.
Birdwatcher: Excuse me, madam, but your dog is supposed to be on a leash. Would you mind strapping him up?
Karen: Why certainly, kind sir. I apologize.
Birdwatcher: Have a nice day!
Karen: You too!
But that’s not how it went. Instead, it had to be made into a viral video that got Karen fired and sent the animal rights people after her so hard she had to give up the dog. Karen was wrong. It’s true. But what is this new power everyone seems to think they have to police their neighbors?
Snitch culture isn’t cool
Snitch culture has become wildly popular in the COVID-19 pandemic. Suddenly, neighbors who normally wouldn’t spit on you if you were on fire are keenly interested in every move you make and are virtuously vindicated by their peers if they turn you in for not socially distancing properly at your weekend neighborhood chat on the driveway. STOP THIS.
We are not the police. Can we please stop acting like it? In fact, what we should be doing is coming together and pushing back against the police who are so clearly out of control all over the country. It started with arresting moms at playgrounds, ladies doing nails in their homes, and has culminated in the murder of George Floyd on the streets of Minneapolis in broad daylight and in front of rolling cameras. They’re out of control. They need policing. Not us. We’re not the ones destroying the Constitution. It’s the police and the governors and the unelected bureaucrats in every town and village across this nation.
Central Park Karen is not the problem
So while the police are tearing the constitution into shreds, kicking children off playgrounds, arresting mothers, killing people in the street, what are we doing? We’re yelling at each other about a dog that isn’t on a leash. This is not helpful. I worry about the mental health toll that the lockdown is taking on Americans. Suicide hotline calls are up by 600 percent. Doctors are reporting that suicide attempts are way up. The fact that the world can go completely ape over a woman who won’t put her dog on a leash when the crime of the century is happening to you right now—your government is turning into a dictatorship and is setting the Bill of Rights on fire before your eyes—is amazing to me.
Go yell at your town supervisors. Go yell at the health departments. Go yell at the police. But for God’s sake, stop yelling at one another.
Megan Fox is the author of “Believe Evidence; The Death of Due Process from Salome to #MeToo,” and host of The Fringe podcast. Follow on Twitter @MeganFoxWriter