Black Man’s Letter To His Passive-Aggressive White Neighbors Is A Must-Read


07/10/2016 7:26 PM IST | Updated 10/10/2016 9:33 PM IST
Richard Scott Brookshire

There are few things worse than dealing with complaining and passive-aggressive roommates and neighbors. When there’s an issue, reasonable adults calmly and respectfully address their issues directly — but not Richard Scott Brookshire’s neighbors — and Richard was not having any of that.

Richard’s neighbors left the below note on his door this week to make a complaint about alleged noise and stomping. The letter reads that he needs to “learn [his] manners” and informs Richard that a complaint has already been submitted to management and that next time they will go “straight to the police.”


Richard wasted no time responding with a swift clap back that has now gone viral.

Read the full letter 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 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”

What do you think of Richard’s response? Comment below.

Also on HuffPost
New York City's Vanishing Diners

More On This Topic