Things That Matter

‘Ken’ and ‘Karen’ Strike Again: White Couple Blocks Latino Man From His Own Apartment Building

Another day and another white person – or in this case, a white couple – have terrorized a person of color and gone viral in the process. Many are calling this white couple ‘Ken’ and ‘Karen’ after video shows them blocking a Latino man from entering his own apartment complex.

Michael Barajas, the Mexican-American man who the couple targeted, filmed the incident just as the couple became violent and threatened him with further violence.

The encounter is just the latest after a barrage of similar instances of racial profiling that have continued over the backdrop of anti-racism protests. 

A now viral video shows a white couple blocking a Mexican-American man from entering his own apartment complex.

Michael Barajas was pulling into his apartment complex’s garage in San Francisco, when he became the latest victim of a ‘Karen’ and ‘Ken.’ He had just returned home from grocery shopping and used his key fob to open the building’s garage door when suddenly a white SUV pulled in ahead of him and refused to move forward.

The couple in the white SUV claimed Barajas was trespassing, called him a criminal and threatened to call the police.

“That’s fine. Call the cops. Why are you even calling the cops about, Karen?” the video shows Barajas responding.

In an Instagram post, Barajas said the white man “thought I was trying to tailgate them to break in and rob them.” One of Barajas’ neighbors, who is also white, was outside smoking and intervened in the situation. The driver then got out of a white SUV with Florida plates, beat the neighbor up, “and threatened to shoot us if we didn’t leave,” said Barajas.

Barajas says he started filming the incident once the couple got aggressive and threatening.

Barajas, 28, told NBC’s Bay Area affiliate KNTV that the situation kept escalating and turned dramatic when the white man in the car got aggressive, which prompted him to start recording.

“Given the current political climate, and certainly I’m Mexican American, and that rhetoric of us being criminals, it just hit hard, it hit close to home,” Barajas told KNTV.

After several minutes, a bystander who also lives in the apartment complex, intervened. “Dude, pull into your space or go!” the bystander said.

The man, who has since been identified as William Beasley, then exits the SUV from the passenger side, confronts the person who hit his car and reportedly assaults him by knocking him to the ground, according to ABC7 News

According to Barajas, the woman in the SUV then got out to try and coax Beasley back into the car. She also allegedly tried to pay Barajas and the neighbor (who had been assaulted) to not call the cops or file charges.

Since the video’s release, the white man – William Beasley – has been fired from his tech job.

Barajas shared the video of the incident to his Instagram, where it has been seen more than 150,000 times.

Since the video was uploaded, APEX Systems, where Beasley was an employee, has fired him after conducting an internal review of the incident. In a brief statement, they said they would not “tolerate violent or racist behavior of any kind.”

And the apartment complex where the encounter took place, SOMA Residences, said in a statement that they’re ‘actively working to resolve’ the incident and do not condone ‘violent acts, aggression toward any residents, discrimination and harassment.’

Barajas said he’s satisfied with the outcome and feels inspired to keep speaking out on behalf of minorities.

Credit: Michael Barajas / Facebook

From his apartment complex to the bystander who intervened on his behalf, Barajas said he’s grateful for the response he’s received and for how far he’s been able to come in life.

“I’ve always been from a really poor, poor immigrant family, so I think what happened just struck very hard for me. I felt, for me, that I do not belong here,” he said in a now-deleted Instagram post.

In the same post, he questions what would have happened had this happened to an undocumented person and didn’t know how to handle the situation? It’s a very good point that will cause many people to pause and re-examine how they react to situations like this one.

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A 70-Year-Old Mexican-American Woman Was Attacked Because Her Assailant Thought She Was Asian

Things That Matter

A 70-Year-Old Mexican-American Woman Was Attacked Because Her Assailant Thought She Was Asian

Photo via @the_asian_dawn/Instagram

In another incident that highlights the anti-Asian sentiment that is on the rise in recent months, a 70-year-old California woman was attacked in Eagle Rock, earlier this month. According to news reports, a young woman attacked her while she was exiting the bus to pick up groceries.

The elderly woman, who goes by Becky, is Mexican-American. But her attacker yelled an anti-Asian slur at her before physically assaulting her.

According to AAPI news site Asian Dawn, Becky’s attacker was a 23-year-old woman who was also riding the bus with her. The woman did nothing to provoke the attack. The young woman ended up dragging the older woman from the back of the bus to the front of the bus. Becky ended up in the hospital with a broken nose, a concussion, two severely swollen eyes, and chunks of her hair torn from her head.

According to Becky’s son, who only goes by Pete, while the family are Mexican-American, people often mistake their family for being of Asian descent. According to Pete, no one intervened to stop the young woman from attacking his mother.

“Nobody would help. Not even the bus driver,” the woman’s son told The Eastsider.

Finally, the young woman stopped her attack after a fellow passenger called 911. The police were able to apprehend the young woman after issuing a bulletin for her arrest.

According to Pete, his mother has a long road of recovery ahead of her. Already suffering from lupus and arthritis, her mother is having trouble walking. Her leg is badly bruised from the assault.

The fact that the victim was Mexican-American serves to illustrate how ignorant and hateful these racist attacks are. There is no rhyme or reason to hate.

Many are linking the rise in anti-Asian hate crimes to the COVID-19 pandemic, as the virus originated in Wuhan, China. The violent racists that have been attacking people who appear to be of Asian descent believe that Asian-Americans are somehow personally responsible for the pandemic.

If you to support the #StopAsianHate cause, donate to organizations like gofundme.com/AAPI or the Asian American Legal defense fund here.

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Here’s How You Can Help Daunte Wright’s Family After He Was Killed By Police

Things That Matter

Here’s How You Can Help Daunte Wright’s Family After He Was Killed By Police

Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Police have taken another Black man’s life, this time it’s 20-year-old Daunte Wright. Protests have broken out in cities across the country as the nation reacts to the killing of yet another young Black man.

But as the nation reacts to the murder, Wright’s family – his mother and child – need all the support they can get right now and thankfully there are many ways that we can all be better allies while helping support the family that Wright leaves behind.

Daunte Wright is the third high-profile police murder in Minneapolis.

Daunte Wright was driving to his older brother’s house with his girlfriend on Sunday afternoon, when police pulled him over for expired tags. Police said they found an existing warrant for Wright’s arrest and attempted to handcuff him.

Bodycam footage revealed Officer Kim Potter shot Wright when she claimed to be reaching for her taser. He died on the scene, just 10 miles from where former police officer Derek Chauvin is on trial for the death of George Floyd.

According to CNN, Daunte’s death is at least the third high-profile death of a Black man at the hands of police in Minnesota in the last five years. And Daunte Wright’s death comes less than a year after the police killing of George Floyd, which sparked protests around the world.

Daunte Wright leaves behind a family still struggling with such an immense loss.

Daunte’s mother, Katie Wright, spoke out about the fear he experienced before his death. Daunte called her after the police pulled him over, at the suggestion of his older brother. “I know my son was scared. He’s afraid of the police, and I just seen and heard the fear in his voice. But I don’t know why, and it should have never escalated the way it did,” Katie told Good Morning America on April 13.

According to Katie, Daunte believed he was getting pulled over for his hanging air fresheners, then she heard “scuffling” and an officer told him to hang up the phone. “I tried to call back three, four times and the girl that was with him answered the phone and she said that they shot him and he was lying in the driver’s seat unresponsive.”

If you’d like to help support Daunte’s family and demand justice, below are a few resources and action items:

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