An online crowdfunding effort to support a white woman accused of trying to criminalize a group of young Black men over a public bicycle rental has surged within its first 24 hours.
The generosity shows that Sarah Jane Comrie is receiving outsized sympathy along with C-notes for what’s largely been characterized as racist behavior, suggesting she is being rewarded for her actions.
Comrie’s uncle started the GoFundMe account on behalf of his niece, who he said has been “unfairly painted … as a racist ‘Karen.'”
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But there is video evidence of Comrie attempting to weaponize her whiteness — a hallmark of what’s become known as Karening — by appearing to pretend to cry while yelling for “help” against a perceived threat that ultimately seemed to have more to do with the young men’s skin color and less about the bike they were arguing over.
Bob Roe, Comrie’s uncle, says on the GoFundMe that those allegations have been “proven” to be “a lie.” But to be sure, there is no such definitive proof of anything a white woman cried for help from a group of young Black men who were not shown doing anything to threaten her. If history is any indication — and it usually is — that type of behavior is typically exhibited in a racist context that has “proven” to have deadly consequences for the accused. See Emmett Till for more on that.
As an example of how Comrie purportedly doesn’t have a racist bone in her body, Roe claimed on the GoFundMe that she “is a dedicated healthcare worker who … holds racial justice and equity dear, and has dedicated her life to serving NYC’s most challenged individuals.”
What Roe does not address on the GoFundMe is Comrie’s behavior, which is the very reason she went viral in the first place.
Nevertheless, donations have been pouring into the GoFundMe, which already exceeded its goal of $35,000 on Friday morning, less than 24 hours after the crowdfunding effort began. As of early Friday morning, nearly 900 donations of up to $1,000 have been made to help Comrie pay for her legal bills, which her uncle said are already “mounting.”
Those legal bills are likely in reference to Justin Marino, an employment lawyer representing Comrie to help her keep her job as a physician assistant with NYC Health + Hospitals (NYC H+H), which has placed her on leave pending a review.
Marino alleged to NewsOne in an exclusive interview on Thursday that it was Comrie who rented the Citi Bike first before the group of young Black men forced her to place it back in the docking station so they could use it instead.
But the video never showed her saying that even as the young Black men insisted they paid for it first. Marino attributed Comrie’s silence on that front to a stressful situation that contributed to it not occurring to her to say she paid for the bike and show proof. Marino also claimed alleged receipts show the bikes being rented one minute apart, an assertion that doesn’t match up with what is shown on the video, which lasts longer than a minute.
Coincidentally, none of that information is included in the GoFundMe that Comrie’s uncle started for her.
And even if it was, though, chances are that it wouldn’t stop people from pouring money into the account, as evidenced by the millions of dollars currently being raised on behalf of a white man accused of manslaughter for choking to death an unarmed homeless Black man on the subway in the same city.
This is America.
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