Washington Post has promoted Karen Attiah to write a regular column, a year after she stirred controversy by saying white women were ‘lucky’ that black people are ‘just calling them Karens and not calling for revenge’.
Attiah, 35, will be writing on ‘race, international affairs, culture, and human rights’ for the Post’s new Voices Across America initiative, the newspaper said in a statement on Thursday.
The journalist, who had been the Post’s founding Global Opinions editor, tweeted that the regular columnist job was ‘a dream I have had for a long time.’
It comes nearly a year after Attiah drew backlash over her fiery tweet last June 28, saying: ‘White women are lucky that we are just calling them Karens. And not calling for revenge.’
It has since been deleted.
Later, in her comments section, she doubled down on the remark, saying: ‘I’m just saying. Be happy we are calling for equality. And not actual revenge.’
Karen Attiah, 35, will be writing on ‘race, international affairs, culture, and human rights’ for the Post’s new Voices Across America initiative
Washington Post opinions editor Karen Attiah tweeted last June that white women were ‘lucky’ black people were calling them ‘Karen’s and not calling for revenge’
Shortly afterward, Attiah shared the apparent threats she has received from white men as a result of the tweet.
She posted a tweet on July 1 showing a text from an unknown number which told her to ‘be careful with hate’ and that ‘revenge only begets revenge’.
It warned Attiah that her comments would ‘wake white men who will protect their women’.
Another email she shared referred to Attiah as a ‘monkey’ and an ‘ape’, telling her she was angry ‘because white women are beautiful’.
‘I explicitly said Black people *ARE NOT* calling for this [revenge],’ she wrote, as she shared a screenshot of the message she received, which she claims is from a white man.
‘A good amount the threats and hate mail I’ve been getting are white men threatening me with violence to —*checks notes* protect “their” white women.
‘Exactly the point I’ve been making about “Karen” behavior all along.
The message Attiah shared appeared to have been sent to her on June 29.
The Washington Post opinion editor shared screenshots of the texts and emails she says she has been receiving since she posted a controversial tweet about white women on June 28
The text told Attiah to ‘be careful with hate’ and that ‘revenge only begets revenge’
‘Be careful with hate. It is a very dangerous and thankless master,’ it began.
‘Calling for revenge only begets revenge. You don’t want to wake white men who will protect women, and come after you and yours.
‘We are all human beings with souls. Some of us, have the training, experience, and background to find you and yours in an effort to make an example of racists like you’.
On June 29, Attiah had shared another email in which the writer asked ‘Did the monkey actually speak?’
‘Did the white-woman-wannabe n***** speak?’ it continued. ‘You’re just angry because white women are beautiful. ALL men agree on that. White men, black men, Hispanic men, Asian men … all agree that white women are much more desirable than some low IQ’d, low rent, hood rat n*****.
‘And that would be you. All black women do is appropriate white culture and try to mimic beautiful white women. And you know it. Revenge? lol you’re a** is about to be grass you ugly ape.’
Attiah shared a further screenshot of an email that called her a ‘monkey’
The email told her she is ‘just angry because white woman are beautiful’
Attiah later retweeted further responses agreeing with her tweet
She reposted this tweet that responded to the text screenshot she had shared
‘Them: “Karen is a racist, dehumanizing slur!”‘ Attiah wrote with the screenshot. ‘My inbox, after challenging racism.’
‘”Karen” = naming and shaming the *choice* to engage entitled, aggressive and racist behavior. But the N-word? I didn’t choose my skin. The two will NEVER be the same.’
Later that day, Attiah retweeted other users who had responded to the tweet.
‘There were serious arguments by white men in the 1860s that Black men should not get the vote bc then they would have the power to access white women,’ one read.
‘Denying the suffrage to Black men was a way for white men to protect “their” women.’
‘Honestly, women (including those who happen to be white) don’t need white men treating them as property. Especially because those white men “protecting their women” often are the same violent ones who will beat/kill them,’ another said.
opinion editor who said white women are lucky black people aren’t looking for revenge has hit back at criticism blasting America as a ‘racist and patriarchal society’.
The Washington Post’s opinion editor Karen Attiah, 35, has said that the ‘toxic ideas of white masculinity’ is linked with America’s racism and must be dismantled
Attiah, 34, tweeted white men have the ‘notion of “protecting” their women from Black people’
Attiah later shared images of threats she has received from white men that have accused her of being racist following her tweet that white women should be lucky black people are ‘just calling them Karens’.
She also tweeted about the nickname ‘Karen’ being retired for ‘dangerous white women’ and said that the ‘toxic ideas of white men’ made them believe they needed to protect ‘their women from black people’.
‘America is a racist *and* patriarchal society,’ she wrote.
‘We cannot dismantle the full range of oppression in this society without addressing how toxic ideas of white masculinity interplay with the notion of “protecting” their women from Black people.’
On July 4, she also shared an article entitled ‘Yeah, It’s Time to Bury the Cutesy ‘Karen’ Nickname for Dangerous White Women’.
‘I agree with this,’ she added.
Attiah later shared a post retiring ‘Karen’ as a nickname for ‘dangerous white women’
She later added to the her argument of white men threatening ‘aggressions against us’
Attiah commented the following day on the idea that she was ‘aggressive’ reposting a tweet that read: ‘If we do anything in this society other than smile & go along to get along we have to brace for accusations of being angry, aggressive Black women.
‘Meanwhile we have to constantly navigate ppl’s misogynoirist aggressions against us & the social fixation ppl have w/ degrading BW,’ continued.
She later hit out at a Twitter user who accused her of ‘racist views’ and said ‘every day I see and talk to a black person without incident’.
‘You want a gold medal for that? Lol,’ she responded.
Attiah was born in Texas to Ghanaian immigrants. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University, before going on to study in Accra, Ghana on a Fulbright Scholarship.
She later obtained a Master’s degree from Columbia University before joining The Washington Post.
Attiah has become a prominent media figure in recent years, and famously recruited slain journalist Jamal Khashoggi to The Post prior to his death.
She has also appeared on CNN and has spoken at a Glamor magazine Women’s Summit. Her Instagram shows her cozying up to a number of celebrities for selfies.
After widespread outrage, Attiah deleted her tweet from June 28 – but she appeared to insinuate that it was not because she regretted her remarks with further posts. She is pictured speaking on stage at Glamour magazine’s 2018 Women Of The Year Summit
Attiah’s Instagram shows her posing for selfies with a number of prominent celebrities. She giddily posted this snap with Josh Groban, writing: ‘Omg. It happened. I have no words’
Her ‘revenge’ tweet sparked outrage from users who called for her to be fired.
‘Oh so insulting generalizations based on race and gender are okay now? Or are they only okay for you? Just trying to understand the rules,’ conservative writer Matt Walsh replied to Attia.
‘You threaten white women with violence. WashPo what is your response? The world is watching and waiting,’ another tweeted.
Soon after, the hashtag #fireKarenAttiah began circulating on Twitter.
Around the same time, a number of prominent people were fired – or ‘cancelled’ – for their controversial social media posts but The Washington Post has not publicly commented on Attiah’s incendiary tweet.
After widespread outrage, Attiah deleted her ‘revenge’ tweet – but she insinuated that it was not because she regretted her remarks.
She retweeted another user who stated: ‘When I tweet something and then delete it, it’s not because I regret it. It’s almost never that. I just want to say some s**t real quick and then leave.’
‘Same. Lol,’ Attiah wrote above that message.
It is unclear whether she was privately reprimanded by The Washington Post and forced to take down her message.
Attiah’s post sparked widespread backlash. Several asked whether Attiah would be fired from The Washington Post for her remarks but the publication has not commented
Attiah is seen backstage at a show with comedian Patton Oswalt in 2018
Later June 29, Attiah appeared to tire of the backlash, writing: ‘Adding another shot to my drink’.
It later seemed as if she wanted to shift conservation away from her controversial remarks, tweeting: ‘Anyway…’
However, social media users continued to blast the editor and piled on pressure for The Washington Post to make a public response.
‘Last night @KarenAttiah of @thewashingtonpost posted this incredibly racist screed where she condemns all white women and makes an implied threat of violence. Has The Washington Post condemned this? Has anyone on the Left?’ Matt Walsh wrote.
Another predicted that Attiah would not be terminated by The Washington Post.
‘There is no greater privilege than getting to be wrong about everything and paying zero price for it. Congrats,’ the person sarcastically remarked.
Another described Attiah’s tweet as ‘hateful’, while other asked why Twitter hadn’t flagged it for inciting violence.
Attiah with Andre Leon Talley in another of her Instagram posts
One of Attiah’s recent opinion pieces in The Washington Post
In her tweet, Attia reference the derogatory term ‘Karen’ – a new nickname being given to entitled, white women who are caught on camera trying to assert themselves over people of color in social situations.
In the past year the ‘Karen’ nickname has taken off, after multiple videos of white women throwing tantrums in public.
While many of the exchanges are undoubted examples of bigotry, others are less clear cut.