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Firefighters use fire hoses to subdue the protestors during the Birmingham Campaign in Birmingham, Alabama, in May 1963. | Source: Michael Ochs Archives / Getty


Is it just me, or are some of these Karen and Ken antics starting to get a little too on the noose—I mean, nose?

Take, for example, in Queens, New York, where a Black dinner party was sprayed with a water hose by the hosts’ white neighbor, which allegedly happened after the hose sprayer’s wife came to the dinner party uninvited with her German Shepherd.

The partially recorded incident, which took place on Sept. 17, 2022, has prompted a lawsuit from the Black hosts against the White neighbor alleging the Black party members were “humiliated, put into fear, embarrassed and degraded.”

From People:

In the clip, the guests can be seen reacting to getting doused by neighbor Marcus Rosebrock in the backyard of the Forest Hills, Queens, home of Yves Duroseau, the head of emergency medicine at Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan, and his wife Claude.

“I’m videotaping the neighbor throwing water at us,” the woman videotaping the incident can be heard saying.

According to the lawsuit, Duroseau, who was the first doctor in the United States to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, and his wife, who are two of the 19 plaintiffs in the case, were hosting a surprise birthday party for Duroseau’s younger sister Rose Duroseau at the time.

According to the lawsuit, the guests at the party included Rose’s friends from Fordham Law School, her alma mater, as well as Rigo Morales, cofounder of the Recording Academy’s Black Music Collective.

The lawsuit alleges that at about 9:50 p.m., when the party was winding down, a White female neighbor “entered the Duroseau home uninvited with a large German Shepard and demanded that the music playing in the backyard be turned down.”

Duroseau allegedly told the woman that the party “would be winding down soon” and asked her to “leave his house and his property.”

I mean—come on, guys. A water hose? A dog that is of the same breed as the average police dog? Are these people sure they didn’t respond to a Black gathering in your neighborhood by reenacting a Jim Crow-era civil rights protest? Because it’s giving Mr. and Mrs. Bull Connor. Rosebrock’s attorney is claiming the Karen and Ken Kouple’s actions were justified and weren’t motivated by racism, but it just seems unlikely that these white people did what they did to a group of Black people and didn’t realize how it would look. It’s as if they were handing the plaintiffs and their attorneys their narrative on a silver platter.

More from People:

Shortly after that, Rosebrock allegedly “took his water hose and began water hosing” partygoers in Duroseau’s backyard “to get them to disperse, creating a scene reminiscent of 1960’s Birmingham, Alabama, when White law enforcement officers used fire hoses to douse, assault and batter African Americans participating in civil rights demonstrations in an attempt to get them to comply and disperse.”

“We experienced a very specific, very heinous type of attack that harkens back to a dark period of this country’s history,” partygoer Katya Dossous said in a statement obtained by PEOPLE. “A monstrous, racist, hateful tactic historically used against people of color. An attack I believe was premeditated, deliberate and thought out with the intent to make us feel less than, like animals.

“Water hoses have long been used against people of color. Mr. Rosebrock chose this specific method with the intent of dehumanizing us,” she added. “It was deeply disheartening and demoralizing to be subjected to a hateful crime at Doctor Duroseau’s home, during a joyful birthday celebration for my friend of 30 years.”

Now, if any of those Black people would’ve responded by reenacting a more recent iconic moment in Birmingham history by hopping over that fence armed with folding chairs, they’d be wrong, right?

Meanwhile, Rosebrok’s attorney, Brandon Gillard, seems to be sticking to the white racism denial playbook by saying the video didn’t show what was happening before the recording started, and describing the Black people who got hosed as “aggressive and violent.” (Again, this is really just textbook Anti-Blackness 101, is it not?)

“This one minute and 12-second clip is a snapshot of a series of incidents that happened over a span of an hour,” Gillard told People. “The clip doesn’t show what happened before or after.”

Gillard also said his client “refutes any characterization that he is racist or that his actions were racially motivated.”

“To compare Plaintiff’s aggressive and violent actions at a house party with those of the peaceful protesters of the 1960s is a false equivalence and is disrespectful of the legacy of those who suffered indignities while fighting for civil rights,” he continued.

Gillard, of course, doesn’t bother with any specifics regarding what “aggressive and violent actions” the hosed Black people at the “house party” committed. Was it the loud Black music that was “aggressive and violent” towards the white neighbors’ innocent and pure Caucasian ears? Did the Black people diverge from the non-violent resistance that happened during the civil rights protest the white neighbors’ actions were reminiscent of? Maybe they came through with the folding chars after all.

Either way, this just feels all too familiar.


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