How To Handle Passive Aggressive Neighbors? This Black Man Has The Answers

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When Richard Scott Brookshire received a note last week from his neighbor complaining about his noise levels (and threatening to call the police), he wrote the most epic and necessary takedown we've ever read.

“A complaint has been submitted to the management,” the letter read. “Next time this will go straight to the police.”

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What do you do when an unnecessarily passive-aggressive note like this lands on your doorstep? New York City resident Richard Scott Brookshire teaches us how to respond to the pettiness (and what could be considered a legitimate threat given the recent police shootings of Black men) in a now-viral letter he delivered to his neighbors.

In his epic clapback, which acknowledges rising gentrification and the #BlackLivesMatter movement, Brookshire goes on to explain why the note complaining about his voice and noise level was “wholly unnecessary and, quite frankly, unproductive.”

RELATED: How Well Do You Know Your Neighbors?

Read the full clapback below:

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 

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”

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