A TikTok video of a woman harassing an Asian woman for having her dog unleashed on the grass in The Battery, a park in New York, went viral.
“Don’t yell at me,” the Asian woman says in the clip. “You’re overreacting, Karen.”
The on-screen text of the TikTok reads, “Asian American woman harassed with racial slurs, followed and spat on multiple times by a Karen for having her dog in the park. There were several other caucasian owners with their dogs playing at the same park, but she didn’t bother them.”
In the video, the “Karen” in question, an older white woman, tells the dog owner that there are no dogs allowed unleashed on the grass and proceeds to tell her that she can’t read English.
“Because I’m Asian?” the woman questions in response. “Are you fucking racist?”
As the Asian woman talks, the white woman pretends she can’t understand what is being said and says she, herself, must not be speaking English.
“Apparently you don’t have to do anything that Americans have to do,” the white woman says.
According to the Battery Park City Authority, unleashed pets are only permitted at the three dog runs and are not allowed in or on any green spaces. Leashed pets are allowed on hard surfaces, such as sidewalks.
While some said there are rules for safety reasons, others were outraged at the white woman’s use of racial slurs to make her point and commented on how she targeted the Asian woman in particular. This incident occurs at a time where anti-Asian crimes increased by 335% compared to May of 2020 in New York City.
“The moment she went racist, it didn’t matter about the dog being on a leash,” one user commented.
Others made jokes about how all “Karens” seemingly look the same.
“Where’s Karen’s leash?” one user quipped.
This is not the first time the Karen was filmed berating an Asian person about their unleashed dog. In another video recently shared on Reddit, the woman tries to lure a dog into traffic by calling out, “C’mon puppy,” as she claps her hands and runs in the direction of the road.
“They don’t put a leash in your country?” the woman asks an Asian man, before trying again to lure the dog into traffic.
The New York City Health Code does require people to leash their dogs in open public places without fences with fines between $200-400, but people say there’s a respectful way to enforce that rule.
“There’s a way to tell someone to put a leash on their dog,” one user commented. “This isn’t it.”
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