What was 'Southern Charm's' Kathryn's racist text?
Kathryn sent radio show host and Charleston activist Mika Gadsden a monkey emoji after defending a Charleston business owner for not just supporting Trump, but for organizing a Trump MAGA parade. Aside from sending Mika a monkey emoji, Kathryn taunted her and sent her 28 text messages calling her names like "psycho."
It all started when Paulina Rodriguez, who sold her jewelry at a nail salon, shared on Instagram that she was no longer doing business with the salon owner because the owner supported Trump. The salon owner posted an Instagram Story which asked followers to message Paulina and tell her that "supporting Trump does not make you racist." Paulina ended up getting a huge wave of messages from people who started to harass her.
Of that large group of locals who went after Paulina was Kathryn. Kathryn also posted an Instagram Story which showed her getting her nails done at the salon sometime before quarantine started. Paulina at this point reached out to Mika about this, who then uploaded a video to her Instagram Stories and brought up Kathryn's behavior. “This is how white women show solidarity. They attempt to bully BIPOC thinking that their lawyers or followers (fans) frighten us!” Mika wrote.
And that's when the confrontation between Kathryn and Mika happened. Kathryn DM'd Mika and told her, “Are you unaware of your absolutely sociopathic behavior. I can’t help but continue messaging you in hopes that you will get it. Ur legit what’s wrong with our city. Stop using Charleston and ur minority claim as a platform to harass people.”
Mika refused to engage with Kathryn's texts. Kathryn continued to message her anyway, eventually sending a monkey emoji, which, in this context, is incredibly racist.
Mika told Buzzfeed, “People like Kathryn Dennis are rewarded with bigger platforms, access to nationally syndicated programming and networks, people who express what folks might view as casually racist views who demonstrate microaggressions towards women of color. People like Kathryn Dennis are everywhere. They are pervasive, they’re everywhere in Charleston, and they’re rewarded for their behavior and are given spots on reality shows.”
Although Kathryn apologized, many people feel like it's still not enough. Kathryn tweeted, "I want to acknowledge that using a monkey emoji in my text was offensive, and from the bottom of my heart I sincerely apologize to anyone and everyone I hurt. Although the context was not my intention, there are no 'if ands or buts' that excuse me. I did not give it thought, and it was and is wrong. I know I am not that person. I know and will do better.”
At the very least, let's hope she does do better.