James Juanillo was confronted by two whites on the street to stop “Black Lives Matter” in chalk in front of his home in San Francisco, an incident that Juanillo recorded in a now viral video.
The couple asked Juanillo and then called the police.
Speaking to CNN’s Don Lemon, Juanillo said he believed he was stopped “because of the color of my skin.”
“I think it was because I was a person of color, I was standing and applying chalk on the facade of a house in a big neighborhood, and it’s historic and it’s very expensive. And I don’t think it added to them,” he said.
Juanillo said the Black Lives Matter “should resonate with every American because Black Lives Matter is about equality.”
“As a first-generation Filipino American, you have to fight for it,” he said. “And as a homosexual, we fight every day for recognition, for visibility, for equality. So the reason BLM resonates with me is because I’ve been fighting for equality all my life.”
The woman in the video who confronted Juanillo, Lisa Alexandros, issued a statement apologizing for the incident.
“I want to apologize directly to Mr. Juanillo. There are not enough words to describe how sorry I really am that I did not respect him last Tuesday when I made the decision … I should have been concerned with my own business,” the statement said. . .
“I did not realize at the time that my actions were racist and I learned a painful lesson. I have a hard time looking at the meaning behind the white privilege and I am committed to growing from that experience. ”
Juanillo said that “this can be a really instructive time for all of us.”
“If we can find a way to redeem a really bad situation, it might be an example for the rest of America,” he said.
“I hope that if she proposes an action-backed apology, she is supported by fighting for the right side and fighting for the wrong side. If she uses her platform to acknowledge that she is racist and wrong, that will be strong.”