Hanging out doing nothing with your close friends is practically a right of teen passage - one that, thanks to the current pandemic, many teens aren't getting to experience right now.
A small group of Black teens recently found open space at a public park so that they could safely hang out together. The group was standing on the grass talking, laughing and playing with their phones when a White woman approached them shouting at them to "knock it off."
We don't even make it ten seconds into the video before she tries to put her hands on one of the young Black men, who quickly moves away from her and tells her not to touch him.
@Pardusco / Reddit Screenshot
This Karen is convinced the Black teens are in a gang and even demonstrates one of the "gang signs" that she claims she witnessed one of the young men making. Yes, she pulled out the old racist "gang sign" trope.
The woman continues accosting the young men until someone points out that SHE approached THEM. She tells them it's because she has grandchildren and she doesn't need anyone hurting them. Karen's voice cracks as she talks, sounding like she is on the edge of tears over her grandchildren being in danger.
Those grandchildren are not present anywhere in the video, the Black teens had done nothing except stand in the grass, and the only person raising their voice or elevated in any way is Karen.
The whole video is about two and a half minutes long and cringeworthy from beginning to end.
Warning: the video contains harsh language.
The young men tell her that she seems "drunk or crazy" and that's the point at which Karen decides to really go for it. She whips back around and comes back to the boys, getting in their faces.
They tell her to please not watch any more TV or the news, suggesting that is why she is so fearful and suspicious. Karen continues aggressively approaching the young men, prompting them to repeatedly ask her to back up.
The young man holding the camera asks her repeatedly to stay away and not hit him. He has to step back several times trying to stay away from her.
Karen eventually backs the young man into a wooded area.
@Pardusco / Reddit Screenshot
Despite being the aggressor, Karen tells the teens she isn't afraid of them and challenges them as if they are the threat, again continuing to push towards the Black teen who is trying to back away from her.
"What are you going to do to me? I'm not afraid. I'm a school bus driver, I'm not afraid. You know what? I'm right here."
He replies to each of her statements as she fires them off.
"I'm not gonna do nothing to you."
"I see you. Back up."
Karen continues telling the Black teens who were doing nothing to "knock it off" before telling them to stay away from the neighborhood, at which point the young man recording tells her he lives there just like she does, so he can't stay away.
She demands to know where he lives. He smartly refuses to give his information to an aggressive stranger. One of the other teens asks if she thinks they're too Black to live there, to which she scoffs and replies that two of the grandchildren she mentioned earlier are Black.
She frustratedly asks why they're giving her a problem. They do not hesitate to remind her that SHE is the one approaching and harassing them. They have been trying to get away from her. They did nothing and are not the ones giving anyone a problem.
At this point Karen finally explains what they were doing that was so suspicious.
The young Black men were posing for pictures. That's it. That was what they did that, to her, meant they were in a gang and a threat to her, her neighborhood, and her grandchildren.
Oh, also, someone keeps breaking the basketball net. Not them, just someone.
The teens drop a bomb on her when they tell her they were the ones who bought the net in the first place and everyone in the neighborhood knows that, and knows how it keeps getting broken.
In the end it's pretty clear that Karen was the aggressive outsider here.
Throughout the encounter the young men stay polite, calm, composed, and maintain their sense of humor. That doesn't mean they don't call it like they see it, though.
Reddit did too.
"I doubt she actually thought they were in a gang, because if she had really thought so, she would have been too scared to even talk to them. Also, if she had thought that gangs were a serious problem (they actually are), she wouldn't have gone up to talk to them in person and try to warn them away."
"I'm afraid that the kids hit the nail right on the head: She thought they were 'too black' for the neighborhood. I don't usually accuse people of racism, but the reasons she gave leave me no alternative." - presumptuouslogos
"Dude, how calm & sincerely they asked her every question. The way their voices got lighter at the end of each sentence to convey absolutely zero anger. 10/10. Would NOT have that patience myself." - potential-carnival
"How do you react properly in this situation? The woman continuing to approach this young man and getting real close. What is the right way to act if you told her to stop coming close because you feel threatened or something? Like a serious question I wouldn't know how to get out of there without any trouble" - _silent_eyes
"She sees anything they do as some sort of criminal activity. This is the kind of stuff that caused the deaths of people like Tamir Rice and John Crawford III. The kind of stuff that ruin the lives of kids who don't want to end up like Kaleif Browder so they just accept what the justice system does to them at the behest of people like this Karen. This crap is depressing." - 5050Clown
"You know the worst part about this is that she's going to tell all of her friends that she went face to face with a group of violent gangsters on her way to the pool." - woupsea
We sincerely hope this woman sees the video and has a realization about her behavior -- and that she takes the advice these young men offered her and lays off the news...and the polls.