Stories of young black men becoming automatic suspects if anything goes awry within a five-mile radius of them are depressingly common. We have this latest example when it appears that a woman unknowingly left her phone behind in her Uber ride. After entering the lobby of the Arlo hotel in Soho in New York City and discovering that her phone was missing, she saw a 14-year old black adolescent who was with his parents using a phone and immediately accused him of stealing it and proceeded to tackle him to the ground. All of this was captured on security videos and also by the boy’s father.
Inevitably the woman, who has not yet been publicly identified, has been rechristened as ‘Arlo Karen’ or ‘Soho Karen’.
She then ran away and police put out a call for help in identifying her. She called in to CNN and claimed that she was the victim in the whole incident. The police say that she has since been identified, which should not have been hard since she was apparently registered at the hotel, and are looking for her but she seems to be not in hiding.
The NYPD claimed they were looking for SoHo Karen and that she was wanted for multiple crimes.
She’s literally out and about, not even wearing a mask that conceals her face or identity, buying McDonalds.
— Shaun King (@shaunking) January 2, 2021
While such stories have become depressingly common, one thing that struck me was that this woman was clearly in a panic over the loss of her phone. I wonder how much of her irrational behavior was due to the fact that the phone has become so essential to her that its loss would make her go berserk. Her cry of “Please get my phone back! I cannot not have my phone!” is indicative of the fact that she views the device as such an integral part of her life that she cannot live without it.