During her show on MSNBC Wednesday night, Joy Reid felt compelled to defend Senator Elizabeth Warren against tweets from Elon Musk in which he called Warren "Senator Karen."
Reid claimed that Musk was "…misappropriating black vernacular for misogynistic purposes" by using what is effectively a slur against white women. Reid has used the term herself, notably calling Tucker Carlson a "white, male Karen."
On Monday, the "tax the rich" progressive politician tweeted out a Boston Globe news article about Musk being named Time Magazine Person of the Year for 2021 and said, "Let’s change the rigged tax code so The Person of the Year will actually pay taxes and stop freeloading off everyone else."
Musk told Warren to "stop projecting" and shared a link to a Fox News article describing Warren’s history of falsely claiming to be Native American.
Warren was likely referencing Musk’s illegally leaked IRS files that show he paid no federal income taxes in 2018 through legal tax minimization strategies and that the majority of his wealth is not earned from traditional income streams. Musk does pay an enormous amount in other taxes, a fact he pointed out.
Musk replied, "If you opened your eyes for 2 seconds, you would realize I will pay more taxes than any American in history this year. Don’t spend it all at once … oh wait you did already."
He added, "You remind me of when I was a kid and my friend’s angry Mom would just randomly yell at everybody for no reason. Please don’t call the manager on me, Senator Karen."
Reid felt compelled to wade into the debate and defend the career politician from Massachusetts, who was a guest on her Monday night show. Before the duo got into a justification for expanding the Supreme Court, they slammed Musk.
Reid pointed out that Musk was named Time Magazine Person of the Year, and said this was "actually an insult to any number of people who should have been named Person of the Year, because Elon Musk is, I mean, he's the worst."
She complained both that he didn't pay enough in taxes and that his company wasn't even profitable until 2020. She complained that he made use of carbon offset credits, a program of the federal government wherein companies that have lower emissions can get credit for that effort. Reid doesn't like that Musk doesn't support President Biden's policies, either, and complained that he spoke against the administration's stalled massive spending bill.
And Reid complained about Musk's ego, saying he is too "thin-skinned" on social media. "Elon wasn't happy," she said of Musk's reaction to Warren's concerns over his tax payments, "so he did what he always did and stomped his little feet and insulted Senator Warren, calling her an angry mom and referring to her as Senator Karen."
Reid said "So for so many reasons," she said of the self-made billionaire and entrepreneur who has created thousands of jobs and technological advancements, "being a freeloader and a selfish and disrespectful one and for misappropriating black vernacular for misogynistic purposes, Elon Musk is the absolute worst."
Reid used the term "Karen" when she accused Kyle Rittenhouse of being a "Karen" who uses "male, white tears" to garner sympathy. The CAREN Act was introduced in California to prevent people from making unnecessary police calls against minorities.
The term Karen can be tracked back to 2005 to a Dane Cook comedy special. Cook is a white comedian. And there's the Karen of Mean Girls, the subreddit r/F***YouKaren, which has more than 600,000 followers and is "dedicated to the hatred of Karen."
By the time August 2020 rolled around, the concept of a Karen had become something very particular, and perhaps this is where Reid's memory starts. In August 2020, Sonia Saraiya wrote in Vanity Fair that a Karen is a conservative, probably a Trump voter, who benefits both from the patriarchy and from feminism.
Saraiya writes that Karens are "…helpmeets to white nationalism" and that the term "has become so indispensable in the online discourse of 2020."
"A nickname drawn from African American vernacular," Saraiya continues, "a Karen is a type—lately the type of woman who protests pandemic lockdown because she needs to get her nails done, but more broadly, the type of white woman who calls the police to report and infringement on her privilege, even when she’s the one breaking the rules. It's not the most precise language—'white nationalist racist gender traitor' seems a bit stronger—but it gets us to some kind of understanding. It’s a start."
Reid doesn't think Warren is a Karen, and she doesn't think Musk has the right to use the slur against white women because she believes it is a slur that only African Americans like herself can use against white people.
Reid's summation of Musk, who has paved the way in advancements in space exploration and pioneered electric vehicles which will reduce world carbon emissions infinitely more that Warren’s virtue-signaling ever will, as "…the absolute worst," shows that Reid, with her thin-skin, is more of a Karen than any of those she has slurred with the term.
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