Jaime Juanillo, who exposed skincare CEO ‘Karen’ Lisa Alexander last week in a video that has been viewed more than 17 million times, speaks out in a new interview with KQED. Juanillo tweeted a video of Alexander calling the police on him after she saw him stenciling “Black Lives Matter” on a neighborhood wall that turned out to be part of his own home.
Juanillo is a gay man who was married in the home’s backyard and has lived there with his husband for 18 years, knows the neighbors extremely well, as well as the police who responded to Alexander’s call.
Juanillo explained that the couple could see what he was doing was with chalk art, that would easily wash away in the next rain. But Alexander’s racism did her in. “They rode that racial bias all the way off a cliff,” Juanillo said.
Said Juanillo to KQED: “If enough people see incidents like this, then maybe people will actually think about it and change their behavior. … 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.”
KQED adds: “But this is his home city, his home turf. He knew he had a right to be here. Juanillo is originally from the Philippines and has lived in San Francisco since childhood, attending St. Ignatius College Preparatory High School. He was armed with more knowledge, too: He knew he had lived in that Pacific Heights house for 18 years. Juanillo and his husband had even been married in that backyard. He knew his neighbors “all recognize and love me.” And he even knew the police officers who eventually pulled up to respond to Alexander’s phone call.”
Juanillo told KQED that after the incident took place, Alexander and her husband walked by the home again and he tapped on the glass, getting their attention. He said he would not have posted the video if the couple had come up and apologized but instead they stared back with a look of “total mortification” and then ran the other way.
San Franciscans take note.