White Busybodies Call Cops On Man Writing ‘Black Lives Matter’ On His Own Home
You can take Amy Cooper out of her workplace or even Central Park but you can't take the battalion of Amy Coopers out of minorities' lives. This weekend, we were introduced to Lisa C. Alexander of San Francisco, California, who stepped up like the American hero she is and demanded that a person of color explain himself to her. She's working hard to maintain that racial hierarchy even during a period of mass protests against it.
A white couple call the police on me, a person of color, for stencilling a #BLM chalk message on my own front retai… https://t.co/LHXGPdNtcl— Jaimetoons (@Jaimetoons)1591936577.0
James Juanillo tweeted a video of his encounter with Alexander and her male companion, Robert. He was stenciling a Black Lives Matter message in chalk on his front retaining wall. Alexander stopped and asked if this were his property or, by implication, if he was actively vandalizing the place in broad daylight, a felony if the damage is more than $400 and everything costs more than $400 in San Francisco -- even removing chalk letters before the next rainstorm washes them away.
ALEXANDER: Is this your property? Hi, I'm asking you if this is your property.
This is none of her business but also the wrong question. I'm both too lazy and unskilled to stencil a black empowerment message on my property, so I'd probably hire someone off Thumbtack to do it. The better question for a nosey Gladys Kravitz is whether they have permission to work on my house, but again, it's none of her business.
When Juanillo asked why she was getting in his grill, Alexander's companion helpfully explained that the house was “private property."
ROBERT: So, are you defacing private property or is this your building? You're free to express your opinions, but not on people's property.
It's nice of him to acknowledge that Juanillo is relatively free, except for the part where he's expected to put up with passive-aggressive white rudeness. Robert's comment regarding where and how you can express your opinions is interesting, considering white men usually have a hard time accepting they aren't free to deface private platforms or publications such as Twitter or the New York Times.
Alexander lectured Juanillo for a while and said she was fine with the Black Lives Matter sentiment but he should “respectfully" express them elsewhere, on his own property, which obviously isn't in this neighborhood. (It is.)
ALEXANDER: This is not the way to do it. This is private property.
Alexander revealed that she was just putting Juanillo through the Socratic method because she already knew it wasn't his property. Both Alexander and Robert are incredibly condescending, speaking to a grown-ass man like he's a small, dumb child. Juanillo says Alexander and her companion can either call the actual owners or the police. He doesn't give them a third option of fucking off forever, which would've been my preference.
Then the couple went off on their whitely way. They apparently did call the police, but Juanillo wasn't some rogue Banksy. The cops reportedly didn't even bother leaving their car, because Juanillo has lived in the neighborhood for 18 years.
Just to clarify, as this point has confused some people, but Alexander and her companion weren't owed an explanation. It wouldn't have helped anyway, since she was convinced Juanillo didn't live there. (He does.) This reminds me of when I lived in Seattle and I'd often come home to find a random white person sitting on my stoop waiting for an Uber. I'd try to non-aggressively get past them, so I could enter my own house. I'd even ask, “Can I help you?" That always spooked them, as if that's what black men say before killing you. (It isn't. Maybe they need to update this on Wikipedia.)
Despite obviously being recorded, Alexander pressed on and now she's subject to public ridicule and professional ruin. It wasn't long before the Twitter video went viral and she was identified as the founder and CEO of LA FACE, an anti-aging and vegan skincare line. I'm a Southerner, so you'll never catch me criticizing a woman's personal appearance -- fashion sense is a different thing, so we'll talk later about Meghan McCain's do-rags -- but “LA FACE" is short for “Lisa Alexander Face." That's a bold move.
Someone on Twitter with her name and LA FACE tried to explain away her grossness.
That worked as well as expected, so the account was deleted.
Now, her business partners want nothing to do with her.
@SFVDoula @realnebawhatsup @jaimetoons @birchbox @MrsMathsIreland We condemn the actions of Lisa Alexander. We have… https://t.co/bVqRMoIoQ2— Birchbox (@Birchbox)1592063120.0
A note from the Birchbox Team regarding Lisa Alexander and LAFACE. https://t.co/CZSpBQegeA— Birchbox (@Birchbox)1592066801.0
Newton's third law of bigotry in motion states that whenever someone experiences consequences for their public bigotry, they huddle with their PR team and release an apology. It took her 48 hours.
#BlackLivesMatter | Lisa Alexander says she wants to apologize directly to Mr. Juanillo: ⬇️ “The last 48 hours ha… https://t.co/EWLuAsRhhe— Luz Peña (@Luz Peña)1592165100.0
Like Amy Cooper before her, Lisa Alexander is now aware of her white privilege and would love to have coffee with James Juanillo in their Pacific Heights neighborhood. If I were him, I'd stay more than six feet away from her.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He's on the board of the Portland Playhouse theater and writes for the immersive theater Cafe Nordo in Seattle. Tickets are on sale now for his latest Nordo collaboration, "Curiouser and Curiouser," an adaptation of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking Glass." It promises to feel like an actual evening with SER (for good or for ill).