… I’m Amy Cooper, but you probably know me as “Central Park Karen.” You may not know my name, but you probably know my story—or at least the two-minute version of the story that was broadcast all over the world without key facts or context. Everyone believed and amplified one story: That a white “Central Park Karen” called the police on an innocent Black man, a bird watcher, because of the color of his skin.It was just a trivial dispute between a bird watcher and a dog walker. Nobody would care, except that one was a straight White woman, and the other a gay Black man.
While he was the one who aggressively sought a confrontation and threatened her in a secluded, the incident made him a rich tv celebrity, while it ruined her life:
As Christian’s video went viral, my life, as I knew it, was over. All my personal information was released online. I received many hundreds of threatening graphic images, death threats, and hate mail, which continues to this day.So how does anyone believe that there is systemic racism against Blacks? Bad-behaving Blacks get rewarded, while Whites get punished.
My employer fired me the day after the incident without ever taking the time to learn the facts. Clearly in survival mode, my company released a strong statement distancing itself from me, effectively blacklisting my career.
In a frantic and desperate attempt to stop the avalanche of hate and death threats, I issued a public apology at the recommendation of a PR company. But it did nothing. I was forced into hiding.
Over three years later, I am still in hiding. I am scared to be in public. I still can’t get a job that meets my qualifications. And there have been long stretches of unemployment. All leading to thoughts of self-harm.