In the nearly 2-minute video tweeted by the man of color, a white couple is seen asking him if he lives there and whether he is "defacing private property."
A video of a white couple "politely" confronting a man of color for stenciling Black Lives Matter with chalk outside his own house went viral on social media over the weekend. In the nearly 2-minute video tweeted by a San Francisco man named James Juanillo, a woman and man are seen asking him if he lives there and whether he is "defacing private property." The incident—which is clearly a case of racial profiling—joins a growing pile of videos featuring racist Karens and Chads in their element and comes amid ongoing protests against racism across the country.
"If I did live here, and it was my property, this would be absolutely fine?" Juanillo is heard asking the woman in the video. "And you don't know if I live here, or if this is my property?" In response, the woman—later identified as Lisa Alexander, the owner of the skincare brand Laface—claimed she knew Juanillo didn't own the property because she knows "the person who lives there." Speaking to ABC7 News, he said, "She thought this was devaluing someone's property. She knew it was chalk, she knew this would wash away in the rain. That leaves only the message to be problematic."
Because saying “Nice to meet you” would be a lie. And they already decided I was a liar when they didn’t believe me, when I clearly said I was not doing anything illegal. You think they would have believed me if I said I lived in this enormous mansion?— Jaimetoons (@jaimetoons) June 14, 2020
When Alexander and Robert Larkin—the man who was with her—continue their condescending confrontation, Juanillo encouraged them to call the police if they believe he is committing a crime, which they eventually did. "The police came and recognized me immediately as a resident of the house and left without getting out of their patrol car. I didn't even show them my ID," he revealed. Brad Gilbertson, one of the owners of the property, revealed he doesn't know Alexander and Larkin. "She just claimed she knew the owner of the house. She doesn't know me. I thought she was out of line," he said.
A white couple call the police on me, a person of color, for stencilling a #BLM chalk message on my own front retaining wall. “Karen” lies and says she knows that I don’t live in my own house, because she knows the person who lives here. #blacklivesmatter pic.twitter.com/rOpHvKVwgP— Jaimetoons (@jaimetoons) June 12, 2020
"What she did is polite racism. It's respectable racism. 'Respectfully, sir I don't think you belong here,'" said Juanillo. With the video going viral on social media, makeup subscription service Birchbox—which previously carried products from Alexander's brand—condemned her actions and cut ties with her business. "We have not worked with LAFACE for several years and, as a result of the CEO's actions today, have officially cut ties with them," the company said in a statement.
A note from the Birchbox Team regarding Lisa Alexander and LAFACE. pic.twitter.com/CZSpBQegeA— Birchbox (@birchbox) June 13, 2020
Following the social media backlash for her "polite racism," Alexander issued an apology to Juanillo in a statement on Sunday. "I want to apologize directly to Mr. Juanillo. There are not enough words to describe how truly sorry I am for being disrespectful to him last Tuesday when I made the decision to question him about what he was doing in front of his home. I should have minded my own business," she said. "The last 48 hours has taught me that my actions were those of someone who is not aware of the damage caused by being ignorant and naive to racial inequalities. When I watch the video I am shocked and sad that I behaved the way I did. It was disrespectful to Mr. Juanillo and I am deeply sorry for that."
"I did not realize at the time that my actions were racist and have learned a painful lesson. I am taking a hard look at the meaning behind white privilege and am committed to growing from this experience. I would love to have coffee with Mr. Juanillo in our neighborhood so I can apologize in person and share a dialogue where I can continue to learn and grow and be a better person," Alexander added.
#BlackLivesMatter | Lisa Alexander says she wants to apologize directly to Mr. Juanillo: ⬇️— Luz Peña (@LuzPenaABC7) June 14, 2020
“The last 48 hours have taught me that my actions were those of someone who is not aware of the damage caused by being ignorant”
Larkin also issued a similar statement in which he said: "Over the last two days, I have had my eyes opened wide to my own ignorance of racial inequity, and I have thought a lot about my own personal blind spots. I was wrong to question Mr. Juanillo, and I was wrong to call the neighborhood police watch. It was wrong, and I am profoundly sorry for treating him with disrespect. I have a lot to learn about how racism impacts people in their lives, daily, I have hurt my neighbor. I am full of regret and very sorry. I am hoping to meet with him soon to express my sincere apology and to ask for his forgiveness and guidance in helping me begin the journey towards being a kinder, more thoughtful, and sensitive person."
The man in the racist Lisa Alexander video is names Robert Larkins, a managing director at Raymond James, who handles the pension funds for the State of California, the UC Regents, CSU, and dozens of counties and cities in California. @jaimetoons pic.twitter.com/uAGjcd0pEj— Maya 🐠 (@mayavada) June 14, 2020