A Black woman who lives in suburban Detroit was angered when she discovered a Ku Klux Klan flag hanging from the window of her next-door neighbor’s home, but that was not the only problem.
The Detroit Free Press reports Je Donna Dinges and her family have experienced racist incidents like this since moving to Grosse Pointe Park, which lies just east of the city, 11 years ago. But on Feb. 15, her ex-husband noticed the KKK flag from the neighbor’s window facing Dinges home.
"I was furious. How dare he feel comfortable putting a symbol of hatred, violence, and domestic terrorism at his window facing my house?" said Dinges, 57, who owns a clothing boutique in Ferndale, Mich, another Detroit suburb. "I'm a human being. I deserve to be treated with dignity and respect like everybody else in this community."
Grosse Pointe Park is a relatively diverse middle-class community, and Dinges said she felt welcomed there. But that neighbor has always been a problem.
In another incident, she found a filled gas can in her recycling bin, the Free Press reported. She called the police about that, and installed a security camera on her home. But when she found the flag, instead of calling police, she notified the FBI because police had been of little assistance.
The agency took a report, but could not do much because there was no direct physical confrontation or verbal altercations involving racial slurs. The Michigan Attorney General’s office didn’t do much either.
So Dinges turned to local media, and a report on Detroit station WDIV resulted in two detectives visiting the neighbor.
"It happened fast, less than an hour, these two detectives came out, and they went over there (neighbor's house)," Dinges told the Free Press. "The girlfriend (of the male tenant) answered the door. She told them that she was upset that we had put a camera on the window sill. She didn't know what we wanted to capture."
The neighbor removed the flag, and there has been no issue with that household since the detectives visited.
Dinges later spoke to city officials about the whole ordeal and vocalized her feelings about what she went through.
"The culture in this community is broken; the culture in this community says that Black and Brown people are not safe. It's in this country, and this community is in this country," she said she told the officials in a conference call. If Black and Brown people felt safe with the police, being spoken to by the police, being dealt with by the police, and calling the police, we would call you. I didn't call you because I didn't think you cared."
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