A 19-year-old recently filmed and posted to TikTok a woman sitting on her friend’s car amid a parking spot dispute on May 23. The video not only generated over 18 million views, but it also opened up a larger conversation currently circulating around white privilege and entitlement.
The video immediately received comments from infuriated viewers. “I love how in [the] majority of these videos it’s always the white ppl starting the problem and then when they’re recorded they trying taking the phone,” one user wrote in response to the clip.
The video gained viral traction on the heels of multiple violent incidents that exemplify the dangerous results of white privilege on Black and brown bodies — as seen through Amy Cooper calling 911 on Christian Cooper in Central Park on May 25, and the killing of George Floyd on May 26.
These incidents (among others, including the killing of Ahmaud Arbery on Feb. 23, 2020) represent a fraction of racist violence, oppression, and implicit bias that Black Americans continue to face, prompting the VP of the City Council of Minneapolis to urge her colleagues to consider racism a public health crisis.
Such instances, which have become frequented offenses against marginalized communities, have spawned the phrase of someone being a “Karen,” a slang term that’s typically used to describe a middle-aged white woman who is unjustly assertive or entitled based on white privilege.
Savannah Soares captioned the clip “KAREN.” It is important to note that this term originated online to put a name to those who have pushed white privilege and discriminatory practices.
The video starts out with the woman trying to grab Soares’s phone and asking someone nearby if they’re leaving their parking spot.
“Get off her car, get off of her car!” Soares tells the woman, who is half-sitting on the front of the car but insists she’s simply “leaning” against it.
“Come on up Krista,” the woman calls to someone out of the frame.
“Krista, don’t move up,” Soares responds.
It becomes clear that the woman is somehow related to another driver in the situation named Krista — as either her mother or mother-in-law — and had started the fight with Soares and Soares’s friend over a parking spot so that the woman, Krista and the woman’s “new grandbaby” could go for a walk.
“There are two spots open right there!” Soares’s friend shouts.
“Krista, this is your right spot,” the woman calls again to the other driver. It’s apparent even in the TikTok that there are two spots open and a third car is pulling out as well.
“There are two spots!” Soares screams, exasperated. “Get in your damn car and take a spot!”
“I would have just ran her over,” one person commented on the TikTok.
“We not gonna talk about how she had the audacity to try and grab your phone??” another person wrote. “I cannot with this Karen.”
“The fact that she LITERALLY has a live laugh love shirt…” a third user pointed out.
More from In The Know: