An Urban Leader’s Letter To His ‘Passive Aggressive’ Neighbor Goes Viral, And It’s Easy To See Why

News Editor
10.07.16 34 Comments

Unless you live in the woods, chances are good that you’ve endured some nightmare neighbors at some point. Richard Scott Brookshire — a U.S. army vet and member of the manager of the Council of Urban Professionals in NYC — dealt with a special brand of annoyance in the form of neighbors who left a brisk note, in which they threatened to “go straight to the police” if they heard him “scream and stomp” around his flat until the wee hours again. The letter also advised him to “learn your manners.”

Brookshire took inspiration from what he considers to be a very rude letter and penned a lengthy rant in response. This letter has since gone viral, and there may be some background information we haven’t heard about here, since Brookshire addressed his letter to “The Passive Aggressive Neighbor and His Wife.” Both sides are bringing drama, but when one feels attacked or even inconvenienced in their own home, emotions can run high. Here’s an excerpt from this now-viral comeback:

Your lack of both interpersonal and intrapersonal intelligence reflects poorly on you as a neighbor, and frankly an American. As one of the only tenants of color occupying this building at full market rate, I find it personally abhorrent that you’d levy the threat of involving the authorities for an insignificant infraction such as the one you noted in your poorly written and ill-thought-out correspondence.

Brookshire then extends his neighbors’ threat to call the police to include the inherent tension that exists between his community and law enforcement:

As a Black man, I take these overt actions as a direct threat to my physical and psychological well-being and as an act of violence upon me (See attached list of 821 men, women, and children killed by police or in police custody to date in 2016). This threat cannot be taken lightly. To that end, I am submitting my formal complaint to both the New York City Police Department, the American Civil Liberties Union and the District Community Board so that they are made aware of your callous and irrational threats upon my person.

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