This Week in Racism

No Karen Is More Karen Than This Karen

It’s an embarrassment of riches in our new weekly roundup of the world’s most preventable disease!

Death and taxes used to be the only two certainties in life — but no matter how much progress it feels like we’re making sometimes, the sad fact is you can probably slide racism into that list. Are we in a moment of uprising that feels like it has the potential to create real, systemic change? Yes. Do people and organizations still show their ass on a daily basis? Oh, most definitely. And to keep tabs on all that ass-showing, we’re pleased to introduce our weekly racism surveillance machine. If you already get our newsletter, Minority Report, you’ve likely seen this — but now the rest of the internet can get a taste.

🗑 White woman loves racist-ass decorations — and we’ll give you one guess what her name is

Neighbors feud. It happens. You know, one has loud parties, or the other never shovels their sidewalk after snow, or [checks notes] one puts out WHITE LIVES MATTER yard signs and hangs a window sign that says WHITE PRIDE WORLDWIDE above a statuette of a Black man eating watermelon. Sorry, come again? A man in St. Louis’ predominantly Black Vandeventer neighborhood invited a news crew to see how his neighbor Karen Hudson (yes, Karen) has been decorating her house with veiled threats. It’s not just the yard signs and caricatures; there’s also a shooting range target hanging in a window that faces his house. The city claims it can’t do anything because both parties live on private property, which may be legally true, but we’d be surprised — and frankly, a little disappointed — if Halloween came and went without the Hudson house getting a little extra love from the “trick” side of the spectrum. (KMOV 4)

🗑 Black attorney gets mistaken for a defendant three times in a single day, U.K. shrugs wanly in response

Becoming a lawyer in the U.K. — sorry, a barrister — comes with all kinds of rituals U.S. attorneys don’t engage in, like wearing robes and throwback wigs that make you look like you have wooden teeth and believe that humans can own other humans. Thankfully, some British courtrooms don’t require such fusty-ass fineries, which is why Alexandra Wilson didn’t wear hers when showing up to work last week. For some reason, though, people kept assuming she wasn’t a defense barrister at all, but a defendant. Now, why do you suppose that is? Why might a court clerk tell a woman to leave the courtroom until her case was called, or a security guard try to look her up on a list of defendants, or another lawyer tell her to sign in with the usher? We look at a photo of the young Black barrister, and we’re just stumped. (BBC)

🗑 Chicago sanitation supervisor proves to be an actual garbage person

Heidi McGee, a sanitation worker in Chicago, checks in with her supervisor via text message throughout the day. Last week, when she told him she was taking a break, his response was both puzzling and oddly fitting for someone whose life’s work involves trash. “GTFO U don’t like it here!!! HEHEHEHEHEHE! IRON MIKE aint afraid to standup to these LOWLIFE N*****S!” When McGee got back to work, her supervisor apologized and said he had accidentally forwarded it to her after someone sent it to him; the conversation was about Mike Ditka, who had recently said that athletes protesting the anthem should leave the country. So… we’ve got questions. The first one is how the hell do you accidentally forward a text message? And the second one is what the hell is up with dude if this is the group chat? But both point to the same conclusion: If you’re still watching the NFL, how do you live with yourself? (CBS 2 Chicago)

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