A video of “road rage Karen” is going viral online, but there’s a lot more to this story and the people involved.
Karlos Dillard is a Seattle based comedian, actor and internet personality. He posted the viral video to his instagram stories on June 22nd. Dillard describes an incident of road rage with another driver, which he says quickly turned racially charged and offensive. The other driver has not yet been publicly identified.
Karlos went on Instagram live to say he was merging on the road when this “Karen” brake checked him, gave him the middle finger and yelled racial obscenities. He says Karen followed him for a few blocks, prompting Dillard to exit his vehicle and start recording ‘Karen’. She speeds away and at this point, Dillard says he followed the other driver to her home and began filming their confrontation.
A two minute clip is being circulated online, but the full video is over 15 minutes long. We encourage viewers to watch the raw footage in its entirety if you’re interested in this story. Karlos confronts the woman while she cries on the ground for several minutes. As the verbal dispute escalates, some bystander comes forward to the defense of the woman and some start to agree with Dillard’s story. A group of people start to gather around both the woman and Dillard, and lots of bystanders are trying to piece the full story together and his instagram story continues. Eventually Dillard and the woman have a conversation about the incident that ends in the woman trying to apologize and Dillard telling her why he felt she was in the wrong.
A lot has happened since the video was uploaded. To start, Dillard began using the video to promote his business ventures in some controversial ways. He allegedly used the video to promote his new book, and he created T-shirts to sell with quotes from the encounter. One shirt says “Keep that same energy Karen” and another “Karen…are you okay” and lastly, “I HAD a black husband – Karen” with the caption “you ruined my work day, so IDGAF about your white tears. Get your shirt, and before you come outta your mouth about making a profit off of pain look up US Slavery”.
That caption is referring to the massive amount of hate DIllard has been receiving, with people accusing him to overreacting in order to get fame and money from going viral. One comment says “How are you already selling T-shirts??? Something’s weird about this one! Are u and Karen a comedy team?” and another saying “Clout chasing over a middle finger. Grow up”.
People have also started searching through Dillard’s past online to find other incidents he has films and posted to out someone for being a ‘Karen’ or being offensive and rude. A tweet from May 29th of this year has Dillard saying “I just had a racist Asian lady demand to see my ID and my phone to prove that I was a Postmates driver…I told her she was being racist and she said Whatever N-word” and another from May 30th says “The restaurant called the police on us for peaceful protests. They refused to apologize, they need to be investigated”
A lot of people are labeling Dillard an instigator and saying he is harassing people and should be banned from social media. Here’s Dillard’s response from his instagram story on June 23rd. Dillard says “The fact that the internet is going through my resume trying to find anything possibly wrong and trying to belittle the trauma I experienced … I’m not comparing myself to black men that have lost their life, but don’t you think it’s funny that it is the same thing they do to men brutalized by police. They find mugshots, pass altercations, anything they can to paint a picture of you”
Here Dillard is comparing the internet response to his viral video to the response people had to the murder of George Floyd, with people finding his past criminal record and personal social media to justify his murder.
As of writing this article this video, Dillard’s twitter account is suspended for violating Twitter’s Media Policy. The internet seems conflicted on whether his response was justified or not.
One tweet said “She doesn’t care that she harassed that man. He probably tried to talk to her calmly, then she started throwing a tantrum, so he had to record it to save his own life. Another replied to this tweet by saying “He followed her and his story doesn’t add up. This was road rage man. Hopefully the truth will come out because his story doesn’t add up.”
Some people are critiquing that he followed her home saying “He followed her home for flipping him off in traffic? That would actually probably freak me out too no matter who it was” and another saying “He tailed her to her house in his car. She may well be racist, we don’t see what she did, but her reaction doesn’t seem unreasonable to a stranger who chased hr in a car and now knows where she lives”.
Other people are saying he had to record the interaction because black men are being arrested all throughout the country because white people falsely accuse them of being aggressive, such as the woman in central park who called the police on a man bird watching to get him arrested.
One tweet said “She’s claiming he’ll ruin her life? She could have destroyed his life by her accusing screams! She knew full well what that outcome could have been. Good thing he took the video” and another “I don’t want to think of how many people have been arrested or harassed based off their playing the victim privilege card”.
What do you think? Was the woman in the wrong? Wad Dillard in the wrong for following her home? Do either of them deserve this internet hate? We want to hear from you!