“SoHo Karen”: Mental illness or racism “pure and simple”?

Woman who falsely accused Black teen likely to be charged and formally identified very soon.


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Soho Karen
Keyon Harrold and Soho Karen (Instagram)

Millions across America were shocked at the video. It suggested, sadly, that some folks have learned nothing from 2020.

The one minute of footage showed a woman aggressively haranguing a Black teenager whom she accused of stealing her private property. Others in the vicinity stood by and seemingly did nothing to intervene. The accusations would soon prove to be utterly false when an Uber driver returned her lost iPhone.

Most shockingly, however, this scene did not unfold in some decaying backwater of Alabama, or in a roughneck Midwest town where folks of color might feel generally unwelcomed.

It happened over the festive period in the nation’s largest, most diverse and arguably most liberal city, New York. It happened in one of Manhattan’s trendiest neighborhoods, SoHo. And it happened in the pristine and polished lobby of the supposedly upscale Arlo Hotel.

Yet, the still unnamed woman was indulged by Hotel employees and bystanders alike. She was allowed, unchallenged, to charge around like the proverbial bull in a china shop, demanding patrons empty their pockets and, eventually settling on 14-year-old Keyon Harrold Jr. as the culprit.

Were the woman’s actions “racism pure and simple” as New York’s Mayor Bill de Blasio was quick to declare? Or, was this just a deranged person who needed to be protected from herself as much as anything?

Today’s racists, unlike George Wallace, do not openly declare their belief in the differentiation of humanity based on continent of origin. So it is impossible to know for sure what is in their minds.

However, judging by the bizarre and misguided interview that SoHo Karen gave on Wednesday, it seems that she is just as likely to be afflicted by a serious mental condition, as by the virus of racism.

In her media foray, Soho Karen expressed no remorse for falsely accusing the teen, who is the son of famous jazz musician Keyon Harrold Sr. (The boy’s father defended his son from the crazed actions of his accuser and claims he was assaulted in the melee).

Instead, the unfortunate woman said she was worried about how she had been portrayed and expressed concern about what might happen next.

Thanks to the NYPD we are likely to get an answer to that soon.

Cops said on Wednesday that they have now identified the woman and that she will likely face charges ranging from assault to grand larceny. They are declining to release her name until she is apprehended and formally charged.

It is, however, only a matter of time.

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