If you live in New York City, then you know that occasionally hearing a noise or two from other tenants in your building just comes with the territory. Usually, you just ignore it, no matter what. However, for one unsuspecting Black man in upper Manhattan, his neighbors decided to take their sensitivities into their own hands and he did not just sit back and take it.
Richard Scott Brookshire, who lives in 6J, came home one day to a passive aggressive letter from his downstairs neighbors complaining about his alleged late night “stomping.” Ignoring the fact that letter complaints should be left in college, the letter was also rude in the sense that it suggested the Brookshire learn how to conduct himself in a well-mannered way.
Regarding last night. It is extremely rude and inconsiderate to scream and stomp around your apartment until almost 2 a.m. My wife and I both have to get up early for work. A complaint has been submitted to the management. Next time this will go straight to the police.
Please learn your manners.
Well, it should come as no surprise that upon reading the threatening letter, Brookshire decided to craft a perfectly worded response:
To: The Passive Aggressive Neighbor and His Wife / Apartment 5-J From: Richard / Apartment 6-J
Re: I’m Finna Tell You What You Not Gon’ Do October 6th 2016
This letter serves a formal response to a note left by you expressing, in no uncertain terms, your intent to notify building management and the authorities of what you perceived to be the inconsiderate volume of my speaking voice in the evening hours of October 5, 2016. First, let me be clear in addressing my lack of bother for your grievance and resolve to not be coerced to remedial action by your idle threats or seemingly pervasive white tears. I, the tenant in apartment 6-J, having secured this rental property through earnings / made and credit / earned, have no inherent or expressly stated obligation to accommodate your hyper-sensitivities, or those of your spouse when occupying my home. Though I empathized with the emotional distress brought on by sleep deprivation, citing my voice as the root-cause for your incapacity to attain restful slumber is both improbable and juvenile. Even in the off chance that my voice had been above what you consider to be considerate, the aggressive posturing of your note to address the matter was wholly unnecessary and, quite frankly, unproductive.”
Second, 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. 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. Lastly, I think it’s worth reminding you that you currently reside in Northern Manhattan, an enclave of ethnic and racial diversity that existed in community well before your gentrifying arrival. In the words of Robert Jones, Jr., ‘one of the great divides between white people and black people (or the wealthy and the not wealthy) is noise.’ Look forward to me continuing to make it at the volume in which I determine is acceptable. Should you feel the need to threaten me again, please do so in person so that an amenable solution can be reached.
Kind regards, Richard Scott Brookshire III, MPA
Your #VeryBlack Neighbor #blacklivesmatter”
There’s no word on how the neighbors in 5J responded to the letter, but our bet is they won’t be sending any “complaints” in the near future.
(Photo: Richard Juste via Facebook)