Back on August 15, 2019, managing editor Dean Baquet apologized to the New York Times staff for the ignominious failure of the Times’ management’s Plan A to push Trump out of office—RussiaGate—and promised the Times was now going all in on their Plan B to get rid of Trump—nonstop coverage of Racism.
On May 26, 2020, the big race news in the national media was not yet some local police blotter item in Minneapolis about the death of George Floyd. Instead, it was the Central Park Karen and her confrontation with the Gay Black Birdwatcher. The hysteria over the Central Park Karen was so intense in the day or two before George Floyd became, seemingly to news media readers, the most important man who ever lived that I have to believe that if George Floyd had never existed, the social media and legacy media would have inflated some other minor racial incident over the next week or two into a similar frenzy of racist hate against whites and unleashed the Mostly Peaceful Protests anyway.
As a reminder of that national psychotic break, from Newsweek’s Opinion section, the Central Park Karen speaks out:
Nov 07, 2023 at 4:30 AM EST
By Amy Cooper
… 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.
Today, I want you to read and understand the whole story. Not just what the media told you. And after you assess both sides—please tell me—was my never-ending cancel-culture sentence a just verdict?
On May 25, 2020, in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, when anxieties ran high, I took my dog—whom my life revolved around—for a walk.
I visited Central Park in the morning, during the hours when dogs were allowed off-leash. On my way home, I chose to take an unfamiliar path, landing in “the Ramble,” a secluded area of Central Park.
There seems to be some question about what the leash rules are in the Ramble, a favorite of birdwatchers and gay men who like sex in the bushes.
Seconds later, I heard a voice boom: “Get out of here. You shouldn’t be here.” I saw a man who began yelling at me that my dog should be on his leash.
Before recording me, Christian Cooper yelled out: “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.”
Those were his exact words. Words Christian admitted to saying, on Facebook, the very day of the incident.
I was a female, alone in a secluded area of Central Park, with a man yelling at me and threatening me. As a victim of a sexual assault in my late teens, I was completely panicked for my safety and wellbeing.
Then Christian, who did not own a dog, bizarrely tried to lure my dog to him with treats, immediately raising a red flag. News stories of poisoned dogs quickly came to mind.
His story is that he carries dog treats to cause unleashed dogs to want to run to him for the treat, forcing the owner to put on the dog’s leash. That could be true. On the other hand, it’s hard to expect any dog owner to figure out instantly that that was his intention.
My mama-bear instincts kicked in. I immediately pulled my dog tight by his collar, fearing that something would happen to him.
Acting from a place of panic and vulnerability, I told Christian that I was going to call the police and what I planned to say, hoping that would be enough to dissuade him from his earlier threat.
Instead, Christian taunted me to call the police. Seeing no other choice, I called 911 and described the man who was threatening me. But due to very spotty service in the park, I had to repeat my description of Christian multiple times.
The 911 tape makes it very clear that the dispatcher couldn’t hear me due to the poor connection—yet this fact went unreported, skewing perceptions of my actions.
There were never any racial implications to my words. I just felt raw fear, and desperately wanted help.
Later that day, Christian took to Facebook to proudly describe to his followers that he instigated the encounter and boasted that he keeps a bag of dog treats to lure in off-leash dogs.
I was not the first or only person Christian Cooper had threatened in Central Park.
Jerome Lockett has stated that Christian also aggressively threatened him, luring in his dog. Jerome said he knows of two fellow dog owners who experienced the same behavior from Christian, but they don’t want to come forward because they are white, and Christian is Black. They fear being canceled—as I have been.
None of this was reported. Stark omissions in coverage completely altered my life. And there is no correcting after the fact. I, and others affected by this incident, could only live in the false, hateful narrative.
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.
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.