Surely, the Ridley Township lady caught in a kerfuffle on the lawn of the VFW at the Black Lives Matter march on Saturday has become another of the symbolic ‘Karen’ characters folks love to meme.  She’s receiving a lot of attention because of her position on the Ridley school board and a large group of people have petitioned she step down. 

As interesting as it will be to see how things work out for Chatty Karen Ridley (not her real name), it does serve as a distraction for what made Saturday such a ‘contentious’ protest in Ridley Township, as the Daily Times describes it. 

The contention appears to be between Black Lives Matter and Support the Police. To me, those two movements are so different that’s it’s almost like comparing apples to oranges. 

Black Lives Matter is mainly driven by the response to unarmed black people being killed by police. Support the Police – well, I’m not sure what support the police is. BLM folks say they aren’t anti-police, they’re just tired of particular police officers getting away with murder. 

To better understand what Support The Police means, a few comments in the paper from the “Back the Blue” rally to support police Sunday afternoon in Ridley Township gives a few clues…

  • We just want to show we respect them and we are appreciative of all the hard work they do.
  • We can’t have our cops being slaughtered.
  • The event would give members of the public a chance to talk to police officers and share some of their thoughts. We have to get this anger out of us.

I could be wrong, but I don’t know anyone heavy in the Black Lives Matter movement who doesn’t agree with those points. However, it still isn’t clear to me what Support The Police means. Maybe I need more examples of where they’re not receiving support or what exactly support is. 

As the lady from Folsom who marched with the BLM folks on Saturday wrote in her letter to the editor today…

I am therefore dismayed that counter-protesters correctly assumed they would be safe to shout racial slurs, intentionally choke the marchers with trucks spewing plumes of black smoke, rush the protesters right in front of the Ridley police, and break Delco Resists’ megaphone.

These counter-protesters claimed to be supporting the Ridley police, but the police should not have accepted their support.

I would like to believe that the Support The Police folks can recognize the problem with a knee to the neck for 9-minutes that ends up killing a man over a $20 counterfeit bill. Or the Chadds Ford black man who got pulled over for no apparent reason followed by the police saying some pretty nasty things to him before putting him in handcuffs in his own driveway. Or the Allentown cop who put his knee on a guy’s neck in the midst of all this George Floyd protest. Or the cop that shot and killed Rayshard Brooks for the crime of falling asleep in his car. Or the cops who shot the lady 8-times in her bed after breaking into the wrong house. Few cops are punished and these things just keep on piling-on adding to the frustration and disgusts of many.

People ask if police training is the problem and I always hesitate to answer. In all the cases I just mentioned, the common denominator is the presence of rookie cops on the scene. One could easily assume they are doing only what they were trained to do since they are fresh out the academy. What other excuse can you cling to? A bad hire, maybe? The belief that they’ll be okay regardless of their actions?

And then there’s Chatty Karen Ridley. Folks allege she was saying some foul things and from the photos I saw there’s no question which fingers she raised. But, she says she was only saying nice things like…‘I am so racist, yet I fought for you.’  reference to her service with the U.S. Army from 1996 to 2004.

Well, she certainly picked her side in 2020 by not joining the people in the streets she claims to have fought for from 1996 to 2004. On this day, she choose to support veterans and first responders, and to protect the VFW against vandalism.

The thousands who have signed the petition against her say…

what are we teaching our children by allowing this grotesque display of privilege and racism? A person with this amount of hate towards anybody should not be on a school board! 

The dozens who have signed the petition in support of her say…

People have the right to protest however they see fit. This is America and is a constitutional right not to be infringed upon. 

Can’t we say the BLM marchers have a right to protest how they see fit, too? Weren’t they the ones infringed upon? I wasn’t there so I can only go on what I read, see, and hear.

“This is a clear case of defamation of character, based on fake news spreading on Facebook and other outlets,” according to the supporting petition. “It is even more upsetting, that BLM has disrespected our Law Enforcement, but now are also defaming the character of a Veteran who was wounded in action while fighting for our freedom’s as Americans! (sic)”

Here we go again with the extra stuff. Maybe this is a case of defamation of character based on what’s been said, written, and recorded on Facebook. But who has been disrespected more by law enforcement: the unarmed dead black people or the law enforcement folks who hardly get a slap on the wrist for the role they play in the death of unarmed black people? And, how would you describe the character of Chatty Karen Ridley for yelling and screaming (allegedly) at the peaceful BLM marchers who weren’t giving her an ounce of thought when they got out of bed and lined up for the march. 

I love parades. As I think of all the parades I’ve attended it’s because I relate to the people in the parade and their customs, or I just love the music, costumes and revelry. I’ve never attended a St. Patrick’s Day Parade or a Columbus Day Parade, but, to the surprise of some, I have attended a few Mummers Parades because I like the music and costumes regardless of their issues with race and my issue with being around a bunch of drunks. I still have a good time when I’m there.

I wonder why all those folks in Ridley Township came out to a BLM parade when they knew they didn’t relate well with BLM folks. There’s no fun in that. When your concept of BLM means ‘Burn, Loot, Murder’ or you’re yelling stuff like “Black Lives Splatter,” that parade isn’t for you. Stay home with the kids and teach them your values. It doesn’t need to be on display for all to see. 

Now Chatty Karen Ridley is the poster child for all the so-called anti-protesters, even though the BLM march wasn’t a protest against Ridley Township specifically. 

The BLM folks have gone home now leaving the locals to figure out how to remedy their new school board dilemma. In reality, Chatty Karen Ridley is just a distraction to help us forget about the weekend that no one really wants to talk about and wishes would all disappear.

Chatty Karen Ridley is left to bear the burden alone for the entire Township. Somehow, I think she’ll survive.