What is a Kevin and Karen Customer?
last week, a couple threatened a San Francisco parking garage attendant in a SUV when he stopped to help a man enter his own garage In response, the couple got out of their car and repeatedly called him racist names. The video shows that Mr. Michael Barajas doesn’t back down in the face of this attack, and instead confronts them about the incident on camera saying “That’s fine, call the cops! What are you calling the cops about, Karen?”
The event highlighted the fact that racism is alive and well in America. But it also illustrated just how much we focus on how Karens behave but don’t focus enough on who is doing what to whom.
Karen and Kevin are a customer and retailer. The hashtag #KarensGoneWild is a large section of Twitter dedicated to women who racially profile others, refuse to wear masks in stores, and generally behave with an inflamed sense of self-entitlement. Clips of men doing the same thing aren’t hard to find, but they often fail to garner the same degree of attention or outrage directed at women.
Since last week, 57-year-old Steven Dudek has called the cops on a party of five Black and Latino men accused them of harassing him. He shouted “White lives matter too!” in the middle of his phone call to 911. In May, a Minneapolis man named Tom Austin called the cops on a group of younger Black men for using the gym in their shared office building (He said he didn’t think they looked like they belonged there). A few weeks ago, a man caught on camera calling a black man “boy” and telling him to “fetch me some water.
Beasley-Barajas Affair: Some corners of the internet have been actively trying to fill the Karen-adjacent void, in their reporting of this incident.
The Fatherly website has previously used the term “Ken” to refer to Beasley. Quora and Reddit users are providing with a mixed bag of suggestions including “Thad,” “Donald,” “Frank,” “Greg,” “Todd” and “Kevin.”