Protestors peacefully gathered in Discovery Bay, Nov. 21, following a racially charged incident that was caught on camera and later went viral.
The protest generated about 40 participants and sought to “tell Discovery Bay that racism anywhere is unacceptable and that Black lives in white majority neighborhoods matter.”
This message came on the heels of Discovery Bay resident Adana Dean’s actions, which were caught on camera by her neighbors, the Jones family. In footage posted to social media, Dean is seen telling members of the Jones family that they were “acting black in a white neighborhood” over a dispute about the Jones’ dog. Dean claimed the family’s dog had attacked her dog, although the family’s surveillance footage showed otherwise.
The protest began at Discovery Bay Presbyterian Church, with protestors marching to the gates of the Discovery Bay Country Club. Family members took a moment to share their perspective.
“Today we march for change to prove that hate like that, which was displayed this past Monday by Adana Dean, cannot be tolerated and that if you decide to act that way, you will be held accountable,” said Jariell Jones during the protest.
Jariall is the sister of the homeowner Gerritt Jones, who was also seen in footage engaging with Dean. She further noted that the family does not believe Dean has dementia as has been suggested via comments on social media.
“Dementia does not randomly wake up one day and make someone a racist,” she continued. “If it is so easy for you all to give a racist woman the excuse of dementia, it should be just as easy for you to see how living in a caustic, racist world can cause anxiety and depression … in the Black community.”
Lisa Bloom, a civil rights attorney of The Bloom Firm, is representing the Jones family and was present at the event.
“This situation should be deeply disturbing to anybody or any race, and it demands justice,” said Bloom into a bullhorn. “It is so important for all of us to stand with our African American brothers and sisters and to speak out about racism wherever it raises its ugly head.”
A small contingent of about 10 people holding Trump flags stood at the corner of Discovery Bay Boulevard and Willow Lake Road. There was little engagement between the two groups, but Bloom expressed her disappointment that they were present.
“What are they doing? They’re standing for racism? They’re standing for white supremacy?” Bloom asked. “They’re saying it’s OK to go to somebody’s house and hurl racial harassment at them. And (the family) had to walk by … and see people in support of racism. That was very disappointing.”
One man in the crowd became confrontational upon hearing these words, saying that as a Black Discovery Bay resident who supports Trump, he didn’t think it was right for Bloom to say that those holding Trump flags are racist.
The Jones family spoke with the man in an apparent attempt to diffuse the situation.
“We love everybody. We love you. We love everybody. That’s all we’re saying, OK?” said a woman. “So have a good day. God bless you.”
The protest then returned to its starting point at the church.