The phenomemon of the Karen has become an internet thing in recent years. Similar to police brutality, it’s one of those things that people swear doesn’t exist until people started filming and sharing proof. We’ll add that it dispels this narrative of how white people are the cultural norm to follow in society.
A week ago, Nigerian American Ijeoma Ukenta went shopping in Victoria’s Secret when she started getting harrassed by a woman in the store. The woman in question, Abigail Elphick charged at her multiple times, attempted to hit her and as soon as she saw she was being filmed, completely denied trying to hit her despite that being filmed seconds before it came out of her mouth.
Elphick left the store on her own without being arrested or charged but admitted in the police report that she was in the wrong and had a panic attack when she realized she was being filmed. All of this was captured on Youtube, much longer than the viral TikTok going around.
In a subsequently created GoFundMe page created by Ukenta for legal representation to handle the matter, her original goal was $20,000 but has so far raised over $100,000. She wrote in the description, “I was treated like it was 1920 in Short Hills Mall. I was assaulted and harassed by a white woman and nothing was done by the security nor the police.” She continues: “I’m looking to hire me an excellent attorney who can help me bring light to this wrong.”
One supporter wrote, “Honestly, the lack of concern and responsiveness on the part of the police is what pissed me off the most. Good luck to you, Ma’am. May you f*ck them up in court (Karen included).” Another said, I am appalled by this woman’s behavior toward you and the dismissive attitude of mall security and police. You should be able to buy a d*mn pair of panties in peace without random people freaking TF out at you for living while Black. Best wishes and good luck with your legal action. I hope you’re successful.”
A statement has been released by Victoria’s Secret saying, “The video taken in our store is unsettling and we have initiated a full investigation. Our associates followed our protocols and immediately called our Emergency Operations Centre as well as mall security for support during the altercation between our customers.”
There have been plenty of times where people have been removed from stores for far worse. Good for her for raising this type of money. It shows that the public wants something done about these situations. She’s since created a Twitter account and she was banned from TikTok over the experience. Imagine filming someone attacking you and you be the one to get into trouble. Updates will be given as they’re made available.