The Only “Illness” Is White Privilege
The video that went viral on social media shows a Karen—Abigail Elphick’s white tantrum alter—having what some have called a mental breakdown. There is humor but also fear because Abigail shows how far white women will go to get their way. Like the video on TikTok showing white girls crying on cue, white women can be deadlier than white men. For the same reasons white liberals are a larger danger for many Black people and people of color. They come in the guise of innocence. They come as “allies”, until they aren’t given what they want. Whether that be a thank you, feeling comfortable, they will unleash their full white privilege then.
White people love attributing mental health issues to white women and men acting racist as though the two are synonymous. It’s a harmful lie meant to shield the perpetrator of harm from the brunt of accountability. Put simply, the stages of white Karendom bears striking similarities to a child who rarely hears the words no. Her behavior is abhorrent, but the society that gave her the belief that all must bow before her white women status is equally at fault. And at the helm of society is white supremacy.
Granted some of us may have not seen the whole video. I saw the opening of the second, which showed Abigail on the ground shaking and I thought “did she have a seizure or was she tased?” Little did I know the tantrum started a whole video before this and if you only saw clips on twitter, you missed out on that “fainting spell.” Comical in a train wreck, bad acting way, terrifying or both, it is and never will be a mental breakdown.
The video begins with Abigail Elphick taking a swing at Ijeoma Ukenta in a Victoria Secrets. Ijeoma, rightfully, requests security come. As soon as Abigail realizes she’s been caught on camera she begins to cry. She uses her position of white woman to try and first make Ijeoma stop recording and, when that is unsuccessful, get the employees and customers in the store to make Ijeoma stop recording. Let’s break down the funny and scary.