The woman who thought a man painting “Black Lives Matter” on a retaining wall was defacing someone else’s property issued an apology Sunday.
“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,” said Lisa Alexander in a statement sent to various media outlets.
Alexander who was jogging in San Francisco’s posh Pacific Heights neighborhood saw James Juanillo painting his support for Black Lives Matter.
She thought Juanillo, who is a Filipino American, was vandalizing private property and threatened to call 911 on Juanillo. Little did she know that Juanillo had lived at that address for 18 years.
As she was confronting Juanillo, he was video recording her on his cell phone. What she saw was a person of color in an expensive neighborhood and her bias kicked in.
“What she did is polite racism. It’s respectable racism. ‘Respectfully, sir I don’t think you belong here,'” said Juanillo.
Alexander did call 911 and police responded. When the police recognized Juanillo as resident of the property, they waved and left without getting out of the car.
Juanillo posted the video on his social media accounts and it immediately went viral with over 12 million views. The withering criticism forced Alexander, a CEO for LaFace Skincare, to disable the LaFace website and dropped her Twitter account.
48 hours after the video went viral and seeing the reaction of viewers, Anderson issued her apology acknowledging her racism.
“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.”
“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.”
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