A letter to my crazy white neighbour

Subject: A letter to my crazy white neighbour
From: Your Brown Neighbour two houses down
Date: 4 Jun 2017

You need to chill.
Seriously. Chill. You are the most aggressive person in our neighborhood and everyone knows it. If we can hear you when you’re yelling at your son and husband, and you live two houses apart from us, imagine how loud you get when you’re right below our balcony screaming at my dog!
First off I would like to apologize that my dog barks. He’s a dog, and if you’ve never met a dog, that’s what they tend to do when someone mean and aggressive starts yelling at them. And it would make sense that when your dog is being yelled at, the owner would come out of their house completely confused and defensive. My mom just wanted to know what was going on, you could’ve told her that our dog barking was annoying you in a nice way. It’s not like he barks all day and night (we only let him out for a few minutes at a time because of the heat).
In what world are you living in that makes it okay to start yelling at people right away? Even worse, what century are you living in, in which you’ve never heard a different accent other from yours? Do you just stay at home and never go out into the world? Can you not see that there are different people from you everywhere, and that these differences are what make the US so great?
I would hate to have to think the absolute worst of you and call you the “r” word (racist), but the language you used that day towards my mom, and the phrases you used, were definitely pointing you towards that direction.
Here are some suggestions for next time, instead of saying “I CAN’T UNDERSTAND YOU, ARE YOU EVEN SPEAKING ENGLISH?” and “SPEAK ENGLISH, GO BACK TO YOUR OWN COUNTRY!”:
- Could you please explain that again?
- I’m sorry, I just missed what you said.
- Would you be able to phrase that in a different way for me please?
It’s really not that hard. As for the second phrase. I think you’re going to have to go through some serious diversity training and self-reflection. If you can’t see what’s wrong with that phrase, then this country has got a long way to go.
We know you’re an immigrant too, and do you think that because the color of your skin is lighter than ours, that that gives you the right to be in this country and treat those different from you terribly? It doesn’t. My mom has just as much of a right to be here as you do, and her English my not be “perfect”, but that does not mean that it is in anyway “watered down” or “incomplete”. She’s been here for over 25 years and has probably worked just as hard as you have to make it this far, so why don’t we stop hating each other for little differences and come together instead? There are already enough people who hate immigrants and the diversity in the American people, you don’t have to be another one.
I understand that when we’re angry, we’ll get upset and say really stupid things. I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt and say you weren’t thinking in the moment, which does not excuse what you said to my mom, but does open up the opportunity for you to apologize to her. We’ll be waiting here, for an apology. And maybe next Christmas when you see us walking our dog, you could say something like “Merry Christmas, and in the spirit of it, I would like to apologize for what I said over the summer”.

Sincerely,
Your brown neighbor two houses down.

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