On March 15th, 2021, registration for Summer and Fall sessions at Florida State University started, and a class that was originally available during class Session C, has been removed from the course catalog and will no longer be offered by the university.
The recently removed class was offered by FSU’s Program in Women’s Studies and was titled, “The History of Karen: Weaponizing White Womanhood.” The class was designed to focus on the history and the evolution of racism and how it is “weaponized” by white women. Karen, meaning the term created by the internet community that is a slur for an angry (sometimes racist) white woman.
The class was going to be taught by Dr. Meghan Martinez, an alumnus of Florida State University with a M.A. and Ph.D. in African American History. Martinez specializes in researching racial violence and lynching in the early 20th century.
After a flyer for the class was posted onto FSU’s website, criticism of the class’ subject started to stir controversy. As first reported by Campus Reform on March 27th 2021, the flyer includes the title of the class, an angry emoji with the hairstyle that is recognized by the internet community as the “Karen haircut”, a picture white women in KKK robes, and the infamous picture of Elizabeth Eckford of the ‘Little Rock Nine.’
Campus Reform also noted that one of the books planned to be used in the class, Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower, was written by Brittany Cooper, Associate Professor of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Rutgers University, who was previously criticized by Campus Reform for tweeting, “F*ck each and every Trump supporter.”
Preston Scott of The Morning Show with Preston Scott reached out to FSU concerned about the “use of taxpayer dollars…to offer a course with an obvious slant of hate, divisiveness, and bigotry.”
By March 30th, 2021, the flyer was taken down from FSU’s website and the class was “withdrawn and will not be offered” according to the office of FSU President John Thrasher.