Central Park ‘Karen,’ Amy Cooper, Remains Unrepentant About Central Park Karen-ing
In God-Just-Shut-Up-Already news, that white lady who made an unhinged call to cops about the man who was birdwatching while Black is back! Andâwouldnât you know itâsheâs defending all that dog choking and racism she did in Central Park last summer.
In case you need a refresher, this is what that looked like:
Appearing on the Honestly with Bari Weiss podcast this week, Amy Cooper phoned in from an undisclosed location to say that, âItâs been a hard year of having to stay silent and watch things be said across the world that were untrue.â Cooper then doubled down on the Scary Black Man narrative that she used during her call to the cops in the first place.
âSuddenly, I heard this loud booming voice behind me,â Cooper said, âscreaming something to the effect of âGet out of hereâ or âYou shouldnât be hereââsomething like that. Whenever you hear something loud, you naturally just startled a little bit. And I turned around and immediately saw this man standing there looking, you know, like heâs very annoyed that Iâm in there.â
Cooper continued: âAnd then he utters something that sounds to me like a threat. That heâs going to do something to me that Iâm not going to like … Iâm trying to figure out, âWhat does that mean?â … Is this guy going to lure my dog over and hit him with his bike helmet? … And if I end up over there, am I going to get hit with this bike helmet?”
Later still, Cooper says: âItâs really weird because heâs still standing there, you know, same very physical posture, and suddenly out of him comes this voice from a man whoâs been very dominant towards me. Suddenly, you know, almost this victimized voice, saying, âDonât come near me. Donât come any closer.â Almost like heâs terrified of me. To me thatâs even more terrifying now because youâve gone from screaming at meâif you kept screaming at me, at least it was consistent, but now his whole verbal demeanor has changed. That made no sense to me whatsoever.â
Of her decision to call 911, Cooper says: âIâd looked around. Iâd explored all my options. I tried to leave. I tried to look for anyone who was around. There was no noise, no sound. And it was, you know, it was my last attempt to, sort of, hope that he would step down and leave me alone.â
During the 80-minute podcast, journalist Kmele Foster offers several nuggets of info that the listener is supposed to treat as astonishing revelations, but only offer broader context to the incident. These include the fact that the 911 call Amy Cooper made was almost inaudible to the dispatcher on the other end of the line, so she had to keep repeating herself. In addition, Cooper talks about a sexual assault she endured in her teens that she says impacted her emotional response in the park.
Foster spends some time establishing that Christian Cooper was sick of dog walkers in the birding areas of Central Park. There is an audio clip featured in the podcast of Christian Cooper speaking at a community meeting on the matter. Foster also says he found two other people who Christian Cooper had admonished for walking dogs off leash, who said they had felt threatened by him in the park. (Neither wanted to speak on the record.)
All of which is interesting, but fails to answer the most important question of all: Why did Amy Cooper stay in the park, with a man she says was afraid of, when he was specifically asking her to stay away from him? Why did she opt to move closer to him, when she had already retrieved her dog? And why did she call the cops, instead of walking away when she had a clear opportunity to do so?
We already knew the answers to all of those questions; the fundamentals of this story remain unchanged. The fact that Amy Cooper is now trying to persuade us otherwise (after issuing an apology for her behavior in May 2020) only serves to make this entire incident even worse.
Copyright 2021 KQED