A KKK flag display in a Grosse Pointe Park man’s home faced the home of his neighbor — a Black woman on Tuesday, according to a Fox 2 report. The community was outraged and shocked at his actions. His neighbor Je Donna Dinges, according to the report, said that she installed a security camera after someone put a full gasoline container in her dumpster just three weeks earlier.
Her camera points toward her neighbor’s house, which he was upset about according to the article.
“I said, I know there’s not a klan sign in the window next door,” said Jedonna Dinges in the story. “And I opened the curtains and I looked and sure enough, there was a klan sign in the window next door.”
Dinges, who owns a local clothing shop, in a follow-up interview with the Michigan Chronicle, said that the situation was “kind of resolved” because he took the sign down. But she is looking at a potential legal action surrounding ethnic intimidation.
According to the Michigan Penal Code, Act 328 of 1931, a person is guilty of ethnic intimidation if that person maliciously, and with specific intent intimidates or harasses another person because of that person’s race, color, religion, gender, or national origin.
Ethnic intimidation is a felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than two years, or by a fine of not more than $5,000 or both, according to the penal code.
Grosse Pointe Park’s elected officials have not approved or backed the neighbor for the hanging of the flag.
“We need to make it clear that that sort of behavior is not welcome in our city,” said Grosse Pointe Park Mayor Robert Denner in the article.
“We’re shocked,” said Lauri Read Grosse Pointe Park councilwoman in the article.
“Sadly Je Donna was not shocked by these actions and that says a lot.” “We need to denounce the people that are complicit in this behavior,” said Vikas Relan, councilman in the story. “We always say we are against racism, we need to stop racism. We also need to stop people who are supporting this behavior.”
“We also need to make sure that she’s protected, that she is safe,” said Darci McConnell, councilwoman in the article. “And that we do better going forward as it involves issues of race.”
Dinges has received an outpouring of support.
“The number of people that have reached out to me, I’m overcome with emotion at the love and support that I’ve received from strangers in my community,” she said in the article.
She told the Michigan Chronicle that she’s received hundreds of messages including one from a local resident who offered to patrol her house, which she said she was grateful for.
Dinges also confirmed that a protest is taking place this weekend due to the KKK flag incident.
WE GP community organization is organizing the 2 p.m. Sunday rally. The location details have not been posted yet.
“On Feb 16th the Dinges family, African American GP Park residents, discovered their neighbor was flying a KKK flag pointed at their side window,” WE GP said in a Facebook post. “While the symbol of white supremacist terrorism has been removed, we are gathering to show support for the Dinges family and to make it clear hate has NO Home in GP.”
The rally is co-hosted by the Grosse Pointes-Harper Woods NAACP, St. Paul AME, and the Grosse Pointe Democratic Club.
Grosse Pointes-Harper Woods NAACP statement: