A viral video from three years ago of an Ethiopian woman accusing an Asian bubble tea shop of appropriation over their restaurant name has recently reappeared on some social feeds, drawing fresh discussion over some people dubbing the woman as ‘Black Karen.’The woman, who was identified as Alewia Tola Roba, recorded herself entering Trap Tea – The Boba Plug in Aurora, Colorado, to pick up an order.
While she’s at the counter, she asks one of the employees if the shop is Black-owned, to which the worker tells her it’s not and that it is Indonesian-owned.Roba then asks the worker if the restaurant is using Black culture to gain attention because of the name Trap Tea.
The worker says no and tries to explain to Roba the meaning behind the restaurant name, but Roba begins accusing the shop of appropriating the terms “trap” and “plug” from Black culture to earn customers.People called an Ethiopian woman “Black Karen” after a viral video from three years ago resurfaces showing the woman heatedly accusing an Asian bubble tea shop of appropriating Black culture because of its name Trap Tea.
(Photos: Twitter)The word “trap” refers to trap music, a subgenre of hip-hop that originated in the South.
It comes from the term “trap house,” which refers to a building where drugs are sold.
The word “plug” is also a popular slang term that points to a person who is known to sell goods and services of interest, sometimes drugs.When the video first populated, many people went on the offensive against Roba because of her unhinged approach to trying to expose the restaurant, especially after she called a Black customer a “coon” in the video.
Now that the video has reemerged online, people are calling her a “Black Karen.”The term ‘Karen’ garnered enormous popularity in recent years after videos were frequently recorded and shared of white women calling law enforcement, store managers, or other authorities on Black people over trivial matters as a form of weaponization.Many rebuked the use of the term to refer to a Black woman.Black Karen is a literal oxymoron.
Karen’s can’t be black and you’re trying to co-opt a term black folks created to call out the folks who weaponize the police against black people.
It’s kind of similar to the story your covering about a business called “Trap Tea”.
https://t.co/5EqA3fXI7W— Jazmanian Devil (@Jaz_manianDevil) August 16, 2023“First off stop with this ‘Black Karen’ nonsense as that within itself is an oxymoron.
I can appreciate her passion and she is indeed right however she went about it the wrong way in my opinion.
Instead of bringing attention to the appropriation she just sounds unhinged,” another X user commented.“Calling someone a ‘black Karen,’ is like calling someone a ‘black white person.’ It’s definitely not the right term to use,” another person wrote.And calling someone a “Black Karen” is another brilliant example of White people not understanding what racism is.
They honestly believe anyone can be racist.
Not true.— Samuel F.
Reynolds (@UnlockAstrology) August 16, 2023“Y’all stay trying force our terminology to fit what y’all want…and it’ll never be that.
‘Black Karen’ is so oxymoronic it’s not funny.
Worse than folk tryna repurpose the word ‘woke’.
Non Blacks will never fully understand our dialect, and will continue to look foolish trying to,” someone else commented.In the years since the video went viral, the shop changed its name to Banned Boba.Roba’s crusade against the shop happened in 2020 at the height of a renewed movement to support Black businesses.
Many African-Americans made a deliberate effort to circulate their dollars within the community.Coming soon is Destah, a premium video-on-demand streaming service that delivers the best selection of curated urban culturally themed content available.