Grosse Pointe Park man hangs KKK flag in window facing Black neighbor sparking outrage

A racist display has a community outraged in Grosse Pointe Park after a white resident displayed a KKK flag in the window of a home facing their Black neighbor Tuesday.

"I said, I know there's not a klan sign in the window next door," said Jedonna Dinges. "And I opened the curtains and I looked and sure enough, there was a klan sign in the window next door."

She initially called state and federal authorities and shared the picture of the flag on her Facebook page before local police got wind of the situation and went to the neighbor's house, urging him to take it down.

"Detectives who came out from the Grosse Pointe Park Police Department told me, that the reason the neighbors put the klan sign up was because I put a camera on my windowsill to record what was happening along the side of my house to protect myself," she said.

Dinges says she installed a security camera after someone put a full gasoline container in her dumpster just three weeks ago. That camera points toward her neighbor's house, something he was upset about.

"When the police asked the neighbor about it, he said 'Well I didn't want to go over there and say anything to her, we never had any problems with them,'" she said. "They made it clear with the police we never had any problem with her, but we're non-confrontational people. I don't know how you get any more confrontational than a klan sign." 

The Ku Klux Klan was birthed in the wake of the Civil War. Former Confederate soldiers waged a campaign of terror and violence against newly freed African-Americans and whites who dared stand in solidarity with them.

While its membership has ebbed and flowed over the years, historian Jamon Jordan says some things remain constant.

"All these manifestations of the KKK  spell have been historically violent against African-Americans and have murdered African-Americans, have terrorized African-Americans, and have assaulted African-Americans," he said. "And so the fact that this has happened in a local community on one level, ought to be something that we take much note of."

Grosse Pointe Park's elected officials have condemned 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. 

"We're shocked," said Lauri Read Grosse Pointe Park councilwoman. "Sadly Jedonna 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."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. "And that we do better going forward as it involves issues of race."

Jedonna Dinges

And as frustrating as the incident was, Jedonna says the support she's receiving from other residents has been overwhelming.

"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.