Emily, thank you for this note and for getting me to ponder the situation more carefully.
You say all the people are "jerks first, racists second"--I like that phrasing but well, the thing is, there are good, kind people in Montclair, too. There are. Maybe I painted the picture too harshly. I was trying to show that "Hey, I'm White, and people complained about our house, too--after a tree fell through the roof in a freak force of nature and we were not living on the premises for 8 months because State Farm Insurance had to rebuild our house." (It turned into kind of a construction site.)
But as I quickly learned, calling the police on Black people does not have the same ramifications as calling the police on White people (or filing a complaint with the Housing Dept). I hear what you are saying. I have learned about the history of that. If the complaints against the family escalated, the story takes on a different tone.
I don't know, I'm still a little confused and baffled....about the march on Susan's house, etc., where I believe she still lives with her two young adult children. Do you think that reaction was warranted?
Thank you for writing.