A rally has been held in the Michigan city of Grosse Pointe Park in support of a Black woman whose next door neighbor hung a Ku Klux Klan flag facing her home.
The Hate has No Home Here rally was organized for Sunday, February 21, after resident JeDonna Dinges reported the white supremacist flag at her neighbor’s home to police last week.
The white neighbor, who has not been named, reportedly hung the KKK flag to face Dinges after she installed a surveillance camera pointing in the direction of his home. Dinges said she installed the camera around three weeks ago after she discovered a full gasoline container in her garbage can.
“I’m a strong supporter of the community and to find out that our neighbors or one neighbor is not in unity with everyone or inclusive with everyone, it’s truly upsetting,” Grosse Point Park resident Lynette Halalay, one of the dozens of people who attended the rally, told Click on Detroit.
Cynthia Douglas, president of the NAACP’s Grosse Pointes and Harper Woods chapter, and executive committee members Greg Bowens and Rev. Jeffrey Baker were among those who spoke at the anti-racism rally.
“We need to know that we are standing strong as a community, and we do not accept ugly racism at any time, at any place especially not in our home,” fellow Grosse Pointe resident Robin Abner-Pearson told the Detroit Free Press.
“I hope that the community knows that we are together, we are a family not always by blood but sometimes just by relation, and we need to let people know that we don’t accept this, not here and not at all.”
The Grosse Pointe Park Department of Public Safety said after they were made aware of the flag, officers were sent to Dinges‘s home to investigate. The neighbor then agreed to remove the flag.
Dinges said that after she went public about the KKK flag, members of the community have been continuously offering their support to her.
“Some of them are neighbors, some are friends, some are family, some are complete strangers, those who have offered to sit in front of my home to ensure our safety. We are immensely grateful our hearts are full,” Dinges told Fox 2.
In a statement, the Grosse Pointe Park Public Safety Department said they serve all residents of our community “no matter their race, color, creed, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability or religion.”
A spokesperson added: “We are committed to ensuring the safety and security of all residents of this community and we take every matter brought before our department seriously. Intolerance, hate, and ignorance have no home in the Park. Threats, either real or perceived, will not be tolerated.
“The Department is reviewing the facts and its records to ensure its officers have consistently acted appropriately and in accordance with policy. If any legal action is allowed or warranted under the law, the City will take such action.”
The NAACP’s Grosse Pointes and Harper Woods added: “The fact that a KKK flag was displayed at all is deeply disturbing. Grosse Pointe Park is arguably the most diverse city in the five Grosse Pointes and yet, someone felt comfortable enough to wave their racism in their neighbor’s face with the oldest symbol of white, domestic terrorism perpetuated on Black Americans for over a hundred years.”
The Grosse Pointe Park Department of Public Safety has been contacted for further comment regarding any potential criminal charges against the neighbor.