One of the many reasons Karens are a constant nuisance in the lives of Black people is that we never really know when we will encounter them. Obviously, Black people don’t walk around perpetually fearful of white people like they historically are of us. Otherwise, we’d be crossing to the other side of the street when we see them and clutching our purses and wallets when we end up on the same elevator. So, even though anti-Blackness and white fear are things we’re well accustomed to, we can still be caught off-guard when all of a sudden there’s some melanin-deficient person minding our business and calling the cops because they felt threatened after we committed the egregious and heinous crime of simply existing where they think we shouldn’t be. (*gestures widely toward everywhere*)
Meet Alonzo Harmon, a Black man who works as an HVAC technician in Golden Valley, Minnesota.
Harmon recently shared a video on TikTok that he recorded when he showed up to do his job. Harmon told the Daily Beast that his customer, for whatever reason, didn’t believe that he’s an HVAC tech, or didn’t believe he knew what he was doing, or she just couldn’t believe that Black people have jobs or something like that.
Either way, the video begins with a Karen Krying to the Kops and claiming the Black man who was simply trying to do what he’s paid to do was threatening her, which he clearly was not.
“She is on the phone with 911 right now,” Harmon can be heard saying at the beginning of the video, while his customer can be heard saying on her call that the Black man “said I’m rude and he just threatened me right now,” which, again, he did not.
“What threat did I make toward you,” he asked. Karen, of course, ignored the question and identified herself to 911 dispatch as “Elizabeth.”
Eventually, the woman can be heard crying hysterically and sounding fake-distressed, an act that must be listed in the first chapter of the Karen’s Instruction Guide To Black People Removal.
“Please, please, please! I’m so scared right now!” the woman can be heard shrieking. “I’m shaking right now! Please, please!…I’m so scared!”
Harmon told the Daily Beast he was there to do a routine air-duct cleaning and that his Krazed Karen Kustomer was rude to him from the moment he arrived.
Just the way she cut me off when I tried to explain things,” he said. “When I entered the home, the first thing she says to me is, ‘They let you do a job like this?’”
Again, this is nothing new. Black people dealing with folks who assume we’re not qualified to do the job we’re doing is as common as Caucasians who assume the recipe they’re following just forgot to include raisins.
Harmon said that once he started doing the job, the woman was watching “over my back” and “asking me the same question on how I got the job.
“What was my interest in the job, do I actually know what I’m doing? Like, do I actually know what I’m doing in the home and stuff like that,” he continued.
He also mentioned that there was a language barrier between him and the woman, who has a non-American accent, but, honestly, it’s clear she speaks Karenese quite fluently.
Anyway, it’s unclear how the woman went from interrogating Harmon about his qualifications to be an employed person to doing her best (or worst) Karen in distress performance while on the phone with 911, but a police spokesperson told the Daily Beast that officers responded to the call and “spoke with the gentleman recording the video.”
“She basically was putting my life in danger, just because of what’s going on in the world with Black men and police obviously, police brutality, stuff like that, and just the way that she tried to portray what was going on,” Harmon said.
And that’s the thing: These encounters may be humorous once we know that the Black person being victimized by the fake Karen victim left unharmed, but it should never be dismissed or forgotten that Karens are dangerous.
Hell, maybe we should be crossing to the other side of the street.
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