This week in White Women Need to Sit the F*ck Down: Amy Cooper, a white woman, called the cops on Christian Cooper (no relation), a black man who asked her to put her dog on a leash, in an area of Central Park where dogs are required to be leashed.
Karen Amy Cooper was caught on camera, and the video of the incident has gone viral.
Christian Cooper recorded the video and has told news outlets that he began recording after he had asked Amy Cooper to put a leash on her dog. The two were in the Ramble, a designated area of Central park where dogs are required to be leashed so as to not disturb the birds. Christian was enjoying a morning of birdwatching.
In the video, Amy Cooper asks Christian Cooper not to record her, and walks towards him, her dog in one hand and its leash in another. Christian Cooper calmly asks her not to come close to him. Amy Cooper then threatens to call the cops and tell them “an African American man is threatening me.” She then proceeds to make the call, and tells the police that an “African American man” is threatening her and her dog.
Christian Cooper does neither of those things, but instead calmly continues filming while she repeats herself to the cops, each time with more and more feigned panic in her voice. Eventually, she puts the leash on her dog, Christian Cooper thanks her, and appears to walk away as he stops recording.
You can watch the full video, shared by Christian Cooper’s sister, here:
Oh, when Karens take a walk with their dogs off leash in the famous Bramble in NY’s Central Park, where it is clearly posted on signs that dogs MUST be leashed at all times, and someone like my brother (an avid birder) politely asks her to put her dog on the leash. pic.twitter.com/3YnzuATsDm
— Melody Cooper (@melodyMcooper) May 25, 2020
After the video went viral, a lot of people were pissed, rightfully so. A white woman threatening to call the cops on a person of color is essentially a death threat since we all know how police tend to handle situations like that. Getting shot by police is a leading cause of death for young black men in America. Historically, white women feigning victimization in encounters with black men (and young boys) have lead to their deaths. Remember Emmett Till?
Amy Cooper weaponized her whiteness — fully aware of its lethal force — against Christian Cooper when she called the police. And all because he *checks notes* asked her to put her dog on a leash.
Both parties spoke to CNN about what happened before the recording. Amy Cooper told reporters that Christian Cooper came out of a bush, screaming at her about the leash. Christian Cooper says he was not screaming and was actually pretty calm.
I mean, seeing as the video shows Amy Cooper losing her ever-loving shit while Christian Cooper just kind of chills, I know who I believe.
After Amy refused to leash her dog, Christian said, “Look, if you’re going to do what you want, I’m going to do what I want, but you’re not going to like it.” Then he did what he meant by that, which was take out some dog treats from his pocket and feed them to her dog. Amy Cooper claimed that he threw the treats at her dog, but Christian Cooper denied that.
Christian explained to CNN that in his experience if you feed dog treats to an unleashed dog, the owner gets mad and finally puts a damn leash on the pup.
So, I guess “bird watching” and “feeding dogs treats” can be added to the list of things that white women will call the police on black men for.
Since the video surfaced, Amy Cooper was placed on administrative leave and then later fired by her place of employment, Franklin Templeton.
Following our internal review of the incident in Central Park yesterday, we have made the decision to terminate the employee involved, effective immediately. We do not tolerate racism of any kind at Franklin Templeton.
— Franklin Templeton (@FTI_US) May 26, 2020
Amy Cooper told CNN she wanted to publicly apologize and also added, “I’m not a racist. I did not mean to harm that man in any way.” White woman caught on camera doing something racist then claims to not be racist. Groundbreaking.
In his comments to CNN, Christian Cooper said, “I videotaped it because I thought it was important to document things. Unfortunately we live in an era with things like Ahmaud Arbery, where black men are seen as targets. This woman thought she could exploit that to her advantage, and I wasn’t having it.”
In this instance, a white woman is experiencing the consequences of attempting to bring harm to a Black man by using her whiteness as a weapon. That is how this should go. Actions have consequences, and they often suck.
But you know what consequences would have sucked more? If Amy Cooper’s attempts were successful, and the police showed up to the scene with the understanding that a black man was threatening the life of a scared, defenseless white woman. Luckily, the person who actually deserved to suffer the consequences of her actions did in this case.
And, yes, Amy Cooper also mistreated her dog in this video, and has since surrendered it to the shelter she adopted it from. You shouldn’t choke your dog, but first and foremost, you shouldn’t be racist.
Images: Melody Cooper on Twitter