In today’s “Yep, water is still wet” news, a white woman displays her aversion to the very idea of minding her own business while a Black man can’t even do his job without a white person questioning whether he belongs where he is.
In Houston, another Karen has gone viral after she was recorded harassing and then calling the police on a Black federal census employee for simply standing in front of her neighbor’s house as he went door-to-door collecting data for the 2020 census, according to International Business Times. In a video posted to the man’s Instagram account, he can be heard trying to explain to the Paul Blart: Mall Cop of Karens that he’s only “minding my own business.”
“But you’re in front of my neighbor’s house and I might need to ask what you’re up to,” the woman responded.
“You’re calling the cops because I’m Black? Is that what it is?” the man asked, to which the woman replied, “No, because you’re in front of my neighbor’s house and you need to leave.”
“Why do I need to leave?” the man inquires.
“Because you don’t have a reason to be here,” she answers.
At this point, it’s already clear where the disconnect between these two citizens is coming from. In a Karen’s mind, a Black person who refuses to submit to what they think is a reasonable line of questioning indicates that the Black person is guilty of something. They perceive our refusal to answer their questions—which they have no business asking in the first place and no authority to demand answers to—vindicates their suspicion. How the fuck would Karenzilla know whether this man had a “reason to be here?” Meanwhile, Black people subscribe to much simpler logic: We ain’t got to tell you shit.
For this Black man, like for many of us, it doesn’t matter that he had no plans to break any laws. It doesn’t matter that he’s a government employee conducting official business in the area—none of that shit is any of this nosy-ass white woman’s business. So when she informed him that she was calling the police, he responded, “Go ahead and call the cops. I’ll wait for the cops, actually. I have no problem on that. Y’all gotta learn to stop messing with Black people.”
She then says “Police?” as she places the phone to her ear before walking away. She can then be heard giving the responder a description of a “Black male” who is acting “obnoxious” in front of her neighbor’s house.
“He doesn’t need to be here,” she says over the phone. “He’s yelling at me.”
“I’m not yelling. I’m talking loud so you can hear me,” the man explains as he moves towards the woman.
“He’s approaching me right now,” she tells the responder before completing her description of the census worker with some help from him.
The woman then falsely claims that the worker is walking towards her in a “threatening” manner even though the man is standing about 15 feet away from the woman on the sidewalk, recording her from a distance.
“The police is on the way,” the woman says after hanging up. The video ends with her telling one of her neighbors, “I called the cops on him.”
“If I don’t post a follow up that probably means Karen was successful and the police shot me like they popped that mentally ill kid 21 times,” he captioned the video, referring to the fatal shooting of Nicolas Chavez by Houston police officers in April.
Fortunately, there was a follow-up Instagram post.
“Thank You @houstonpolice for arriving promptly 2 hours later!” he wrote. “They saying she didn’t call the police, but that not what the operator mentioned. They told me they already had a call from this area but couldn’t give me any arrival details. Only reason I stayed this long is because I wanted this Karen to learn to mind her f*ckin business. Back to the money because I’m [on] the clock right now.”