Another day brings yet another appalling instance of racism in Donald Trump’s United States.
This “Karen” story features a black man who was out for a jog — and assault by a handbag. 17-year old Steven Johnson of the Bay Area was out for a run when he heard someone coming up behind him, yelling at him to get out of the way.
“There’s this lady coming behind me, she’s getting like really loud and yelling belligerent things at me, telling me to get out of the way,” said Johnson Jr. to NBC Bay Area. Thinking fast, he whipped out his phone and started recording her, which prompted her to threaten him and swing her bag at him.
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“I will smack your … head for taking a photograph of me! Get your f*cking phone off of me!” she screams. “I’m GONNA CALL THE POLICE!”
It is unclear what set her off in the first place, but Johnson believes he was targeted because he is Black. Johnson is a nationally ranked boxer but chose not to defend himself.
A Peninsula Teen shared video of a confrontation with a lady who he says started berating him as he was about to start his daily run.
He says he feels targeted because he’s Black.
He and his father say they’re rattled that a confrontation like this happened in the Bay Area. pic.twitter.com/zrBBdC56rF
— Sergio Quintana (@svqjournalist) July 3, 2020
His father was understandably furious. “I had to save up a lot of money, spend a lot of rent just so my son can run down to the store and not have to worry about gang violence. But now it ain’t even gang violence. It’s people in nice neighborhoods, so called nice neighborhoods, attacking children!” complained Steven Johnson Sr. to NBC News.
The fact that this woman specifically brought up the police makes it clear her animosity and fear was racially based. “Calling the police” on Black Americans is tantamount to a death threat. It is the act of calling to demand the enforcers of white supremacy remove this Black person from her space simply because she feels threatened by him.
The frequency that these incidents occur makes it very obvious how volatile white fear can be — and how deeply embedded it is, even in supposed “liberal” areas like San Francisco and the Bay.