Lately, some people in the US have taken to referring to a white woman who calls 911 on a black person without cause as a “Karen.” Sometimes, this broadens to any white woman who tries to leverage her white privilege.

While I think it is legitimate to call out destructive behavior, I wish people would do it directly, not by name-calling. If one is referring to a specific incident, use the name of the person involved. If it is a more general comment about white privilege or entitlement, call it that.

There are lots of people named Karen and they don’t deserve a negative connotation being attached to their names. Some of them are men. Some of them, like Congressmember and potential vice-presidential nominee Karen Bass, are black. Karens are our neighbors, teachers, business owners, and friends. Karens are beloved members of families, including mine.

So, please, think twice about turning a name into an insult. Use a few more words and say what you intend without resorting to name-calling.