Karen Johnson, a white woman living in McLean, VA recently displayed a Black Lives Matter sign on her living room window. Johnson and her family moved to the ninety-six percent white neighborhood eleven years ago ostensibly because it was in a good school district.
“With all of the racial injustice in the world right now, I want to send a message to every Black person passing by my house that their lives matter,” Johnson said, unaware that no Black person has passed through her street in over a year.
To further demonstrate her commitment to fighting racial injustice, Johnson posted several pictures of herself on Instagram holding the Black Lives Matter sign. “If you’re someone who doesn’t want to talk to Black people, then you are part of the problem, and you should just unfriend me now,” Johnson captioned one of the pictures, not realizing she can’t remember the last time she had a conversation with a Black person.
“White people need to stop living in a bubble,” said Johnson, who has seen every episode of Friends but doesn’t know the channel number for BET.
Although Johnson outsources every undesirable task in her life — from scrubbing the toilets in her house to polishing her toenails — to women of color, she is deeply committed to empowering minorities whose voices have been marginalized. That’s why she suggested her book club read more books by women of color.
“Equality is important. Everyone deserves an equal chance in life,” said Johnson, who recently paid $2,000 for her daughter’s SAT prep course. “The c-suite in American companies needs more diversity. There are too many corporations governed entirely by white people.”
Johnson, a certified public accountant, has served as Chief Financial Officer of a mid-size company for the past ten years. Although she could comfortably transition into a well-paid emeritus role and create an opportunity for a minority to fill her c-suite-level position, Johnson wasn’t actually referring to her own job when she made that remark. She was talking in theoretical terms about what other white people should do.
“It’s important for me to use my voice to fight racism,” Johnson clarified. The cornerstone of her brand of anti-racism is using her voice (without incorporating any action). “Never underestimate the power of speaking up.”
Johnson’s main vehicle for fighting oppression is posting about it on social media and amassing likes. At press time, the self-proclaimed social justice warrior has yet to donate to any civil rights organizations or spend time with people of color outside of service-based interactions.