(Photo Credits: Screengrab from @abc7newsbayarea’s Official Twitter Account)
The social media is abuzz thanks to the latest “Karen” incident in a posh neighborhood called the Pacific Heights in San Francisco.
Reportedly, a Filipino gay man named James Juanillo was stenciling the words “Black Lives Matter” using chalk in front of his house when a couple named Lisa Alexander and Robert Larkin confronted him about it.
Karen, by the way, is defined as:
a term used in the United States for a person perceived to be entitled or demanding beyond the scope of what is considered appropriate or necessary. A common stereotype is that of a racist white woman who uses her privilege to get her own way at the expense of others. Depictions also include demanding to “speak to the manager”, being an anti-vaxxer, or having a particular bob cut hairstyle.
Alexander could be heard in the video footage saying, “Respectfully, absolutely, your [Black Lives Matter] signs and everything, that’s good, but this is not the way to do it. It’s private property.”
Juanillo says, “You don’t know if I live here or if this is my property.”
To which Alexander says, “We actually do know.”
Juanillo then told the couple to “call the police.” Watch the video of the incident below:
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
Shortly after the incident, the cops arrived to their home but that they didn’t even get out of their patrol car because they recognized Juanillo. He simply informed them that he did the Black Lives Matter chalk stencil which, in turn, the police officer admired, saying, “‘Great stenciling work!’ before driving off.”
In an interview with KQED, Juanillo explained that “Lisa and Robert knew it was chalk art, and that it was going to be washed away in the first rain.” Juanillo believed the chalk wasn’t the couple’s problem but rather the “Black Lives Matter message itself.”
“And once I knew that, I can act how I needed to act. It was simple after that.” Juanillo added, “They’re wrong. And they rode that racial bias all the way off a cliff.”
Further, Juanillo said, “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.”
Juanillo and his husband has been a resident in Pacific Heights for 18 years where they also own a small dog walking business called Pack Heights. He explained, “in the predominantly wealthy, predominantly white Pacific Heights neighborhood, It’s not unusual at all for me to get a look like, ‘Do you belong here?'”
He is, however, open to meet and talk with Alexander again. “If you want to come to my house and talk to me like an equal then I will hear what you have to say and consider an apology.”
Read the story in full here and here.
After the story had gone viral online, Juanillo’s neighbors responded to the issue by creating sidewalk chalk stencil art of their own in addition to his “Black Lives Matter.”
‘CHALK OVER HATE’: James Juanillo’s SF house has become a canvas for the #BLM message after a #viralvideo showed a couple confronting him for writing "Black Lives Matter” on his own property. #blacklivesmatter https://t.co/tMtRN599Pr pic.twitter.com/TXU51zVXhe— ABC7 News (@abc7newsbayarea) June 16, 2020
As a result of the incident, Robert Larkin was fired by his employer, the Raymond James wealth management firm.
Birchbox, on the other hand, pulled their beauty products from LaFace Skincare. Lisa Alexander is reportedly the CEO of LaFace Skincare, a cosmetics company. As of this writing, the company’s website is no longer available.
A note from the Birchbox Team regarding Lisa Alexander and LAFACE. pic.twitter.com/CZSpBQegeA— Birchbox (@birchbox) June 13, 2020
June 15, 2020
Alexander had since then apologized for the incident, saying, “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.”
#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”
For his part, Larkin has also issued an apology to KPIX 5. The statement 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 his forgiveness and guidance in helping me begin the journey towards being a kinder, more thoughtful and sensitive person.</blockquote>
Meanwhile, some netizens criticized Juanillo for not explaining to the couple that he lives in the property.
“Do you really think they’re going to believe me if I point out a $10 million house and say I live there?” Juanillo explained. “She kind of said this very clearly, placating, condescending, speaking-to-a-fifth-grader tone, and that’s what I responded to.”
Take a look at some of the netizens’ reactions regarding the incident below:
Why don't you just say, "Hi, this is my place, it's fine. I'm Jaime, nice to meet you." So they're busybodies, they don't seem like my kind of people, but it's not that hard to get along with your neighbors. You're the one that mentioned the cops. Enough microaggressions.— Pat Dixon (@patdixon) June 14, 2020
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
Ppl are saying he should of answered, probably. The point is if this woman (like most ppl) would ask him the same question if he was a white man? Most likely no.(unless the wht person in question has a “bad” appearance) Why? societal and racial discrimination + stereotype.— Elle Haute Monstre (@hautemonstre) June 14, 2020
A similar incident occurred on May 25, 2020 (the same day as the George Floyd incident) where Amy Cooper, a white woman, called the cops on Christian Cooper, a gay Black man. The latter asked that she put her dog on a leash as per Central Park requirements. As a response, Amy called 911 to report that she and her dog were being threatened by “an African-American man.”
Amy Cooper, the white woman who called police on a black man during an encounter involving her unleashed dog, has issued an apology. That man, Christian Cooper, tells CNN “while she may not consider herself a racist, that particular act was definitely racist.” pic.twitter.com/4mxakOVK5l— CNN (@CNN) May 27, 2020
That chalk ‘art’ looked like crap. No one wants that all over the sidewalks in an upscale neighborhood
How about next time they mind their own fucking business?
Boo Hoo Hoo to this pathetic me-me queen. The ‘white couple’ were correct in calling him out. Graffiti (and yes, this IS graffiti) doesn’t belong in a neighborhood with “10 million dollar” homes. Take it to the ghetto …
that’s his house….
Just because you think its graffiti to some they see it as art. You Danny is just another low life racist little Queen.
Why is white couple in quotes? LOL. And when did chalk art (especially on your own property) become graffiti?
It’s amazing how white people don’t want to have conversation about race.
“Sins of the father” of which there are toooo many, in terms of lives and lifetimes-generations.
LMAO! The only thing these two idiots are sorry for is having been outed and fired. I would most certainly not except their empty lies of an apology either.
And the gay angle to all this is…. ?
Besides the fact that using “Karen” is really starting to seem misogynistic by a bunch of queens.
And calling gays queen is better right?
FYI the media calls this kind of women Karen.
Isn’t it tragic, how use that term as degradation/put-down, I was think about just last night, how wrong that really is, hypocritical. Glad you called him out on that ’cause I would have too.
So someone is chalking a sidewalk which isn’t his property to begin with and the police are too scared to say anything that could get them labeled racist AND homophobic, fired and dragged on social media by ‘tolerant’ privileged white liberals so they try to laugh it off. Got it!
you obviously didn’t read the post…
this guy owns this house!
as i understand it, sidewalks are public property in california
k and ? a white bitch can decide what people can or not do on the sidewalk? what about kids painting the sidewalk with chalk?
another white bitch will come ands tell them not to do it?
I am white, and as a child growing up in Manhattan Beach, my friends and I used chalk on the sidewalks and street and no one thought to call the police. In Redondo Beach, the kids on my block use chalk on the sidewalks and no one is offended or calls the police. I suspect children in San Francisco do the same, and no one thinks to call the police. In communities, where children use chalk on public sidewalks and streets–not only would it be racist to call the police on a person of color using chalk in those cities,… Read more »
But, he doesn’t own the sidewalk in front of his house, where it appears he also wrote in chalk. Virtue signal if you must, but sidewalks are PUBLIC. Leave the sidewalks alone!
so what? why do u care about the fuckin’ sidewalk?
@Dave: So along that same line, why do u care so adamantly about the fuckin’ sidewalk?
because it’s time now to make a change so that racists like that bitch, be shown in day light!
Everybody is equal, and its beautiful to see street art about it right now everywhere in the world.
Last I heard you can pretty much write anything you want to on your OWN property!
The moronic couple just assumed this man of color did not live there or own the house(I wonder why?) Even to go as far as to lie and tell him they knew the owner?
I feel SO sorry for them….NOT!!!!!
Seems a COSTLY lesson for both of them!!
If I’m not mistaken, just like the street, the sidewalk and greenway between the curb and the sidewalk is public property, not the property of the person who happens to own the property connected to it. So that means the retaining wall belongs to him, but not the sidewalk in front.
i get it, but why do people’s livelihood and job have to be ruined, is it a lesson or is it punishment
There’s enough racists on the side of the white couple, these dummies will recover, they’ve lost little compared to what people of color in this country have lost for simply “being-existing.” She ‘knowingly’ called the cops on him which could very well have been fatal “Karen” incident, so he could have lost his life!
I dont care if he did live there… the sidewalk is public property and belongs to the city.. so yeah they were in their rights to call the cops… chalk or no chalk… who the fuck cares..you can’t deface public property and the cops should have arrested him and charged him with disturbing the peace… i would have !
I think James and the couple (no need to point that they’re white) are both exercising their freedom of speech and I don’t see a problem with that.
Oh, why not? The whole point was/is, is that he (James) is not white, one component of why they called the cops, lying, “saying they knew who lived there” otherwise James couldn’t possibly live there (not white). “Freedom of speech” is one thing and the “Karen-ing” is a whole other thing, inciting possible murder, but you get that, I know you do, you couldn’t be that dim.
Love outing these racists and watching them whine & cry about losing their jobs. Outing these racists reminds me of the days of ACT-UP when we outed closeted queers who acted homophobic publicly and actively participated against the gay & lesbian community #BlackLivesMatter
Hmm… What’s most disturbing about this to me is the rush to embrace BLM – a militant, racist group of terrorists and cop killers founded by angry black lesbians. BLM is a bullshit movement based on the lie of police brutality while completely ignoring black on black violence. BLM is doing serious damage to race relations. Now let the hating begin – I know I’m not entitled to an opinion that doesn’t agree with yours.
#BLACKLIVESMATTER if you disagree, you’re keeping your mind closed and you’re part of the problem
For those of us who are continually questioned about our presence in certain spaces, we understand that the couple wasn’t really questioning the chalk art, they were questioning his presence in his own neighborhood. For those who don’t get it, become enlightened. As a mature black man, I was confronted by the police while I was sitting in my car beside my home several years ago as a result of an older white man in the neighborhood who walks regularly. Since he did not know me, he assumed I didn’t belong there and called the police. The black female police… Read more »
So, no one is asking the really tough question: Just who exactly did the couple think lived there? LoL
I mean, since Mr.Juanillo has been their neighbor for years…