A ‘Karen’ could be in real trouble now.
The name has become synonymous with women who call police because they are illogically afraid of people of color or are wrongly accusing them of crimes. Now, it will be associated with legislation to combat that behavior.
The CAREN (Caution Against Racial and Exploitative Non-emergencies) Act is expected to go into effect after a San Francisco Board of Supervisors vote today. The hate crime legislation would allow the targets of racist, unnecessary 911 calls to sue the callers. The legislation has unanimous approval from the board of supervisors.
The “CAREN” name of the bill does not have unanimous public approval. Most of the eight written complaints came from women with a name resembling “Karen” who support the premise but want a name change, according to Associated Press.
“911 calls and emergency reports are not customer service lines for racist behavior,” supervisor and bill sponsor Shamann Walton told AP. “People of color have the right to do everyday activities and should not be subject to being harassed due to someone’s racial bias.”
The legislation provides the right to file a civil suit for discrimination of any sort—race, sex, age, religion, disability, gender identity, weight or height. Similar motions have been introduced in the California Assembly and Los Angeles City Council.
“This is not hyperbole,” San Francisco Human Rights Commission Chief of Staff Brittni Chicauta said to AP. “This is an established pattern reflected in the disparate treatment of Black people and other people of color in our city and in our country.”
Put the phone down, Karen. You could be in real trouble.