The uptick of the so-called “Karens” of the world has inspired meme-worthy video footage and even severe consequences to those who abused their white privilege. Now, a California lawmaker is proposing the CAREN Act, which will help authorities throw the book at anyone using 911 in a fashion that suggests that a person’s race is the reason for the call.
San Francisco Supervisor Shamann Walton introduced the ordinance on Tuesday (July 7) in City Hall, which would make discriminatory calls illegal.
“Racist 911 calls are unacceptable that’s why I’m introducing the CAREN Act at today’s SF Board of Supervisors meeting. This is the CAREN we need. Caution Against Racially Exploitative Non-Emergencies,” read a tweet Walton posted on Tuesday shortly after introducing the ordinance.
The CAREN Act stands for Caution Against Racially Exploitative Non-Emergencies as noted in the tweet, and would bolster already-existing laws against using 911 in an incorrect or non-emergency manner. The act comes on the heels of many well-publicized incidents of white people calling or threatening to call police on people of color despite not breaking any laws or exhibiting violence towards the individuals placing the calls.
In social media circles, the women who have carried out these potentially dangerous acts have been dubbed “Karens” and the slang term has gotten pushback with some even daring to call the nickname racist.
California states that filing a false police report via 911 is a criminal offense but as of now, there aren’t any legal ramifications for calling the authorities on someone due to how they look, their race, or religion.
On Twitter, news of the proposed Caren Act spread with approving comments and the requisite criticism one can expect on such a topic. We’ve got all sides of the reactions below.
San Francisco Lawmaker Proposes CAREN Act To Stop Racist 911 Calls, Twitter Has Thoughts was originally published on hiphopwired.com
*The CAREN Act passes*— Swarley (@swarleytalks) July 8, 2020
*Karen's collectively demand to speak to their representative* pic.twitter.com/GxzCAXt9dF
San Francisco: Proposes the CAREN Act— IPlayToWin (@_IPlayToWin_) July 8, 2020
I would consider the juvenile and racially charged bias behind the use of the name Karen as inspiration for the “CAREN Act” as something that is unacceptable. I am not a Karen and I do not know a Karen, but it is outrageous that a social media meme that targets older white women— rowsay (@mamarowsay) July 8, 2020
It should put Karen’s into an endless automated phone tree of successively higher and higher level managers without ever reaching anyone— Anthony Label (@anthonylabel) July 8, 2020
My husband used to be a dispatcher and he said this does happen; just calls about someone who wasn’t doing anything wrong (walking down the street etc) but wasn’t “someone they recognized” etc— LibertyForAll (@Pearl1776) July 8, 2020
My husband would always say he couldn’t send an officer for that.
Terrific! If it passes, maybe it can be a model for a national CAREN law. Great work!— Robinsixoh - 8:46; No Unity With Traitors (@robinsixoh) July 8, 2020
The CAREN Act is a well-crafted acronym of anti-racist legislation:— KCazares (@cazarespr) July 8, 2020
More thought went into this than all the “Karens” had, put together pic.twitter.com/4Dku3aNLSy
Every Karen after hearing about the CAREN Act: pic.twitter.com/ZSKdn9TcKi— Lesbe Anne (@LesbeAnne) July 8, 2020
whoever came up with the “caren act” name deserves a fucking RAISE & PROMOTION https://t.co/jesknO0NOV— allison zane🖤🪐 (@allisonzane2020) July 8, 2020
Karen & the crew holding emergency meeting to discuss The CAREN Act pic.twitter.com/2kcAmsELQh— Hana Perez🌊 (@HanaPerez88) July 8, 2020