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Gay man who exposed the CEO of all Karens speaks out: ‘She knew by calling the police that I could possibly die’

Josh Milton June 17, 2020
CAREN ACT

James Juanillo (L), a gay Filipino man, has reflected on how he handled the 'frustrating' encounter with Lisa Alexander. (Twitter)

A gay Filipino man has spoken out about how he exposed a white woman he dubbed “Karen” for “racial bias” last Thursday (June 12), saying he expected her to call the police on him for… stencilling “Black Lives Matter” with chalk on his own house.

Lisa Alexander, CEO of cosmetics company LaFace Skincare, rode her “racial bias off a cliff” when she lied to police about James Juanillo, the San Fransisco homeowner told KQED.

He described how Alexander assumed he didn’t own his property because he is Filipino, and proceeded to call the police on him and lie.

It comes after footage of the exchange went viral last Saturday (June 13) as the latest encounter with a “Karen” following the racist incident between Amy Cooper and Christian Cooper in late May.

Lisa Alexander victim hopes going public will encourage white people to ‘change their behaviour’.

Reflecting on the skirmish, Juanillo called the moment “frustrating” and was one he was wholly prepared for, being quick to hit the camera app on his mobile.

“Lisa and Robert knew it was chalk art, and that it was going to be washed away in the first rain,” Juanillo said. As he quickly figured out, their problem wasn’t the chalk, but rather what he was scribbling: “Black Lives Matter”.

“And once I knew that,” he said, “I can act how I needed to act. It was simple after that.”

“They’re wrong. And they rode that racial bias all the way off a cliff.”

He continued: “If enough people see incidents like this, then maybe people will actually think about it and change their behaviour.”

Critics were quick to flay Jualliano for not debating Alexander. In response, he said: “Do you really think they’re going to believe me if I point out a $10 million house and say I live there?

“She kind of said this very clearly, placating, condescending, speaking-to-a-fifth-grader tone, and that’s what I responded to.”

“You can presume that she knew by calling the police that I could possibly die. She was OK with that. Even knowing that I was just working with chalk, she’s willing to call men with guns.”

Lisa Alexander had no clue that the man she was calling the authorities about was also a plank of the Pacific Heights neighbourhood. When the police rolled up in their patrol car, the exchange with the officer didn’t quite go as she may have imagined it.

“So the police come up the hill and they make a big show of pulling their patrol car into my driveway,” James Juanillo said.

“I recognise the police officer and he recognises me. And I yell out to him, I’m like: ‘Are you responding to a Black Lives Matter call?’

“And I’m like, I did that. I’m all proud of it and stuff. And the police officer goes: ‘Oh, hey, you live here!’

Pointing to the chalk, the officer then cheerfully said: “Great stencilling work!”

“Lisa didn’t know that about me,” Juanillo said. “She didn’t know that calling the police would probably result in a whole lot of nothing.”

‘Karen’ criticised man for stencilling on his own home.

It was an all too familiar sight. A white busybody threatens to call the cops on a person of colour for just existing.

Often brief, these encounters are all too common in an America snarled by racism. But as the country continues to reckon with its racist practises and history thanks to Black Lives Matter protesters, these situations now, if filmed, often become tinderbox moments.

Juanillo was stencilling “Black Lives Matter” onto his Pacific Heights property with chalk when Alexander appeared.

Wearing chunky athletic shoes and her black tresses fluttering in the breeze, Lisa Alexander, with her husband Robert Latkin, began to skewer James Juanillo.

“Respectfully,” Alexander began, according to video footage, “absolutely, your [Black Lives Matter] signs and everything, that’s good, but this is not the way to do it. It’s private property.”

Indeed, it was private property – Juanillo’s property. Having lived there for the last 18 years, he even married his husband in the backyard.

Quick to flip out his mobile and film the encounter, he uploaded the inflammatory footage, showing how he didn’t reply to the couple.

Instead, he invited them to call the police. The couple then walked away, with Alexander responding: “Yes, we will do so.”

While the recording doesn’t show what happened next, Juanillo summed it up on Twitter: “A white couple call the police on me, a person of colour, for stencilling a #BLM chalk message on my own front retaining wall.”

He added that Alexander, while on the phone to an operator, “lies and says she knows that I don’t live in my own house, because she knows the person who lives here.”

I did not realise at the time that my actions were racist.

In the ensuing saga, which saw beauty brand Birchbox pull their products from LaFace Skincare, Alexander sought to tamper backlash by apologising.

“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,” Alexander said in a statement, Business Insider reported.

“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 realise 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.”

Moreover, her husband was also fired by his employer, the wealth-management firm Raymond James, according to the company’s Twitter account.

More: black lives matter, James Juanillo, Lisa Alexander, san fransisco, US

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