Why I’m Not Making Fun of “Officer Karen”
I get why people are making fun of this video. I don’t think “Officer Karen” is who people are really upset by, though.
The officer in the following video is talking about how she basically had a panic attack waiting for her McDonalds order to get ready.
You know something…you should just watch the video now.
OK…so this lady is very upset that she was so affected by reports that NYC cops had been poisoned by their Shake Shack order (an investigation found no evidence that the food had been tampered with, so there IS that) that she was too afraid to eat her food.
I think what some people are REALLY offended by, though, are the comments people were leaving about the video. Many of the supportive comments were along the lines of “Cops are people too!” and “Let’s try to be nicer!” But other supportive comments were tinged with animosity toward the Black Lives Matter movement. And, of course, there were plenty of racists who got into the act.
But, “Officer Karen” isn’t responsible for everyone who comments about her video. I mean, she’s responsible inasmuch as she CHOSE to go on Facebook Live and share her emotions. It’s not like she’s a completely passive bystander in all this. Here’s what I THINK she may be:
I think there’s a very good chance that what we are looking at is a human being who is displaying signs of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. And, before someone suggests it, I’m not saying she has PTSD over the Egg McMuffin. I’m saying, I think she’s possibly one of THOUSANDS of police officers who have PTSD but, for a number of reasons, don’t seek help for it. Those reasons could include “not wanting to look weak to other cops” to “if you talk to a counselor honestly it may negatively impact your career”. And, I can imagine that both of those examples could be even worse for a female officer.
I think cops may have PTSD because of things they experience in their work. I don’t have to be the first person to see a murder scene. I don’t have to see what a deadly car accident REALLY looks like up close. I have a close friend from childhood who’s not even a cop; he works for Child Protective Services in my hometown and based on things he’s told me I think HE probably has PTSD. It may not be possible to do the job of a police officer WITHOUT having some amount of PTSD. Combine that with a prevailing ethos that discourages seeking help or counseling and I think it’s a very bleak situation.
In addition to possibly tens of thousands of cops on the job with PTSD you’ve also got potentially MILLIONS of citizens going about their daily lives with Stress Disorder. You know who deals with A LOT of stress? People in our poorest communities who also happen to be (surprise, surprise) overwhelmingly black and brown. So…cops on one side under tremendous amounts of stress without a way to deal with it. Citizens on the other side who are also carrying around lots of stress without a good way to cope.
Most of us are lucky. We’re somewhere in the middle. We’re not going to be expected to stick our head inside a driver side window and pray to God that the driver isn’t having a worse day than I am. Most of us also aren’t going to have a drive by shooting as a regular feature of living in our neighborhood. Sure, everybody has SOME level of stress. It just seems like some of the MOST stressed out people in our society are also perversely PITTED against one another.
So, I can understand how “Officer Karen” is an easy target. I just don’t think making fun of her does any good for anybody.