The CEO of a cosmetics company issued an apology after a video was shared online showing her and her husband confronting a man and threatening to call police because he was stenciling "Black Lives Matter" on a property in Pacific Heights.
Lisa Alexander, the CEO of an SF based skin care company and her husband saw James Juanillo stenciling, they pulled up on him and threatened to call the cops claiming there was no way Mr Juanillo lived there because they knew the owners.Turns out he WAS, in fact,the owner and was stenciling on his own property. He encouraged them to call the police and when SFPD responded, they recognized him as a long-time resident.
Her website has since been taken down and her husband has been fired from his job.
"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," she wrote. "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," she continued "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."
She says she would love to meet with him in a coffee shop in their neighborhood to apologize and discuss.
Juanillo who is Filipino and very proudly gay says he’s experienced this kind of discrimination before.He also says that he would be open to talking with Alexander.
"The experience has left me feeling vindicated and validated. I imagine that she regrets those couple of minutes,” he said. “Do I believe that her life should be destroyed over this? No. I just hope that she realizes that what she did was racist and she can improve from this incident.”
No word yet as to whether or not they have or will meet but I think this is a great example of unconscious racial bias. The way we are taught to feel about someone because of the color of their skin and is something that society needs to unlearn. I think that open dialogue is important and I hope that these talks amongst ourselves continue to happen.