I get your point, Karen. You’re not a meme. You’re an individual. Fine.

But I’m having a hard time telling if your comment about privilege is serious or sarcastic — humorous or offensive.

Here’s why:

  1. Someone who starts out with money they didn’t personally earn or generate themselves is not “self made.”
  2. Someone who inherits money from their parents has access to generational wealth, which is priveledge by definition.
  3. There’s also the fact that you are white — another priveledge you inherited from your parents and grandparents and ancestors over generations. You could’ve grown up dirt poor and not inherited anything (in which case “self made" would be an accurate description), you would have still had a better shot at success as a self-made white entrepeneur than a black entrepreneur person starting out with a trust fund. Claiming otherwise is no longer acceptable.
  4. Being both white AND generationally wealthy gives you double priveledge.
  5. Being successful in acquiring your own wealth above and beyond the wealth you started out with adds another layer of priveledge.
  6. Being oblivious to fact that you are privileged makes you the epitome of privileged white people memes.
  7. Being named Karen — well, I think you can see where I’m going with this.

Changing your hairstyle isn’t enough, Karen.

Maybe you’re trying to be funny with your snappy one-liner after-facts, but I need to tell you woman to woman and writer to writer that your argument doesn’t read as sarcastic — it comes across instead as ignorant.

Your argument that you are a Karen but not THAT Karen would have been much stronger — and less offensive had you started out by acknowledging the ways in which you are indeed quite similar to the Karen that everyone is talking about. Self-deprecation goes a long way to smooth things over when writing about sensitive topics, but without first acknowledging your flaws — your audience has no idea where you actually stand.

Unfortunately, the editors of this publication failed you in distributing your story without warning or advising you on these obvious problems that I (and most likely many others) observed upon a single reading.

I’m sharing these thoughts not to admonish you but to encourage you to try harder next time. If possible, revise and resubmit this story with the suggested improvements.

I hope you can receive this critism in the intended spirit, which is sisterhood and collegiality.

I want you to be recognized and valued as accomplished individual named Karen. Am I right that is where you were going with this? I hope you will take the necessary steps to improve your storytelling so readers can get to know the real Karen — the one with the cool hair :-)

All the best!

Queer Black Woman w/ Disabilities and Indigenous Roots | Health educator & former healer now healing herself | Quora @April-M-Hamm | LinkedIn @April-Hamm #WEOC

Queer Black Woman w/ Disabilities and Indigenous Roots | Health educator & former healer now healing herself | Quora @April-M-Hamm | LinkedIn @April-Hamm #WEOC