Hi Alan--Thanks for this input about city rules for home additions and changes. I should clarify that this is NOT a homeowner association (HOA). We live in a town. a small city, really, and the town grants permits for things like additions. But certainly not for exterior paint color choices and IDK about patios, because we have a small one that was here when we moved in almost 27 years ago.

I like this part of your note best:

"My question would also be whether she would have inquired if they were white. I’m sure she would have said yes, but many people are not self aware of their biases."

My gut reaction was Susan would have inquired no matter the color of the neighbors, and that is why I was upset at the way the story was perceived.

It is so foreign to me to think of acting a different (worse, meaner) way with my Black neighbors than I would with my White ones. (And yes, we do have Black neighbors, I never said that we didn't.) I'm beginning to wonder if the many POC responding to my story act differently to White people than they do to Black ones.

Could that be partly at the heart of this debate? It seems to me that many Black readers are prejudging White people, and that is not one bit fairer than Whites prejudging Black people.

But you ended with MANY PEOPLE ARE NOT SELF AWARE OF THEIR BIASES, and I am thinking about that. Thanks.

Best, Alice

Magazine maven, craft coffee lover, legal guardian. Passionate about fashion and lipstick — though it may not look that way when I dash to the supermarket.

Magazine maven, craft coffee lover, legal guardian. Passionate about fashion and lipstick — though it may not look that way when I dash to the supermarket.