Gather round children, for you need to hear the story of how things used to be — before the memory of those better times begins to fade from the consciousnesses of those whose lives have been forever changed by our current reality.
It wasn’t really very long ago, although the intervening years have made it seem like eons have passed.
But it was not far in the past when the average American would be ashamed at expressing their racist opinions publicly for fear of overwhelming censure by those around them.
Yes, there was a time when newspapers published articles about how racism had ended because we had elected a racially-mixed president, a time when the Supreme Court was so certain that voter suppression had been eradicated sufficiently in the former Confederate states that they ended federal supervision of election practices in those states, a time when “white power’ was heard more frequently in clothing detergent ads than spewed forth with potentially coronavirus-laden droplets from the mouths of angry, maskless people whose traditional dominance is being questioned by a restive underclass of oppressed and exploited minorities.
Now, largely thanks to Donald Trump and the cynically greedy right-wing media outlets who parrot each other’s words back and forth to each other in an evil echo chamber, the nation finds itself with its social mores stripped and newly emboldened racists stepping out of the closet to proudly display their bigotry.
Until that is, someone tries to video their behavior and threatens to expose their prejudices to an even wider public on social media.
Given that such viral exposure for their worst instincts could lead to dismissal from their jobs as suddenly sanctimonious employers face threats of business boycotts by the more socially conscious members of our society, the proud racism that they displayed becomes a liability that they’d rather avoid having disseminated for everyone else to witness.
At least that seems to be the case in the latest “Karen” video to take the internet by storm.
This one takes place in a Home Depot in Illinois, where a white woman was confronted by another patron for her refusal to wear a required mask.
While the unidentified maskless offender seems perfectly happy to declare that she believes that her status as a white woman automatically grants her the privilege and entitlement to do whatever the hell she wants, the rest of humanity be damned, and state her allegiance to “white power, ” she simultaneously tries to block every effort by the woman confronting her to record her face by holding her own phone in front of her to block the camera.
She even tries to swat the camera out of the other woman’s hands as she tries to dance around in order to get a clear shot of the racist woman’s maskless face.
You can watch the encounter in the video attached below.
Apparently this woman believes that her entitlement extends to a lack of accountability for her own deeply offensive opinions and her extreme selfishness in ignoring public health orders that she likely believes her skin color exempts her from observing.
Luckily, the woman who captured the video of the encounter managed to get a few frames with the privileged woman’s face in the clear so that her identity can be discovered. She will soon likely face internet infamy with her name as well as her face associated forever with an ideology that in times past would have had her ostracized by polite society.
Unfortunately, in Donald Trump’s America, she could likely be the subject of a presidential retweet and become a right-wing celebrity of note in deplorable circles filled with people who share her condemnably regressive opinions.
If only these people would realize that the shame they bear comes from the racist views that they hold and not in the circulation of their faces on the internet, as they did in the not-too-distant past.
Original reporting by Tom Boggioni at RawStory.
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Vinnie Longobardo is a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music and art.