Culture

Meet Ken And Karen, The Couple Who Pointed Guns At Protesters From Their Mansion’s Lawn

This is what white privilege looks like.

ken and karen

Over the last month, the Black Lives Matter movement has seemingly spread to every corner of the globe. It’s been five weeks since protests sparked by the death of George Floyd kicked off. They’ve since expanded to demand justice for other victims of police brutality, like Breonna Taylor, Elijah McClain, and the many Indigenous Australians who have suffered through systemic racism and injustice.

But the Black Lives Matter protests have also morphed into something larger than the individuals they are commemorating. They have moved the Overton window on calls to defund the police, made systemic racism in the criminal justice system a global conversation, and torn down monuments to racists all over the world.

But as with any kind of social movement, there has been backlash from people uncomfortable with the status quo being challenged.

Protesters in the US have been met with force from police, from All Lives Matter ‘advocates’, and from their own President. Yesterday two people from St Louis, Missouri perfectly epitomised this, when they pulled guns on protesters for walking past their house.

The photos are absolute insanity — a white couple waving guns at peaceful protesters who just want police to stop killing them.

So, naturally, the internet did what it does best, and mocked them to hell.

What The Actual Hell?

Yesterday in St Louis, hundreds of protesters were marching towards mayor Lyda Krewson’s house, demanding her resignation after she doxxed advocates of defunding the police by reading their names and addresses on Facebook Live.

To get there they marched through a gated community, which took them past the home of a white couple who have since been dubbed ‘Ken and Karen’.

This particular couple do not appear to be chuffed that protesters decided to take that particular route while demonstrating against systemic racism.

Now, there are people out there who aren’t a fan of these protests — they’re usually content with posting racist stuff on Facebook, or screaming abuse at protesters.

Ken and Karen decided to take things one step further, by defiantly staring the protesters down from the safety of their lawn while waving what appears to be a pistol and a semiautomatic rifle.

Naturally, they’ve been turned into a massive meme.

It’s almost a perfect illustration of what the movement is all about — a white couple, emerging from a literal mansion, so comfortable in their own privilege that they’re seemingly unconcerned that there might be repercussions for waving guns at people.

Meanwhile, in Colorado people were being pepper sprayed for going to a park to watch violinists play in memory of Elijah McClain, who died after police put him in a chokehold last year.

The couple have since defended themselves, telling a local news channel they feared for their lives.

But the incident also mirrors the way that other peaceful protests have been escalated by outside forces, usually police, who have moved in with tear gas and batons to threaten protesters at other rallies around the country.

The unnecessary act of aggression was amplified further when Donald Trump tweeted a video of the incident.

Who Are Ken And Karen?

Ken and Karen are actually Mark and Patricia McCloskey, two personal injury lawyers who run their own firm.

Their website, which has since been removed, also identifies Patricia as a member of the Missouri Bar Association ethics-review panel.

According to Business Insider, Mark is representing a Black man who was, ironically, a victim of police brutality in April last year.

At the time Mark told the Associated Press he’s “glad that the law enforcement agencies are subject to the same standard as everybody else”.

Well, if there’s one thing the internet loves to hold to the same standard, it’s Karens.

The memes have been absolutely A+ today, so here’s a round up for you.


Feature Image: Laurie Skrivan/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP