Hi marquise...thank you for taking the time to write this thoughtful response. It is food for thought, for sure.
You wrote: "You yourself also got a crucial insight into why this situation was so horrendous to some people; Susan's behavior was out of pocket, ESPECIALLY considering the way you described her. I know your goal was to humanize her, but you only solidified everyone's stance by showing how the facade of a kind woman can still hold the soul of a racist. People were wrong to insult you, but I leave you with this: not every story needs to be told and not every side needs to be understood - ESPECIALLY in situations of unequal power. " That is serious food for thought, for sure. Point well taken.
Yet I can still feel that grip on my heart when I watched the video that went viral. People ganging up against Susan as she gave her side of the story. It was liking watching an acting out of "The Lottery" short story about a town stoning (by Shirley Jackson, originally published in The New Yorker in I believe 1949). If I had seen a Black person, or an Asian American, or a Puerto Rican person standing alone on the street and trying to defend herself I likely would have felt the same way. It was very uncomfortable to witness a ganging up against someone.
But then once I published the story and heard the angry responses, I realized that People of Color have felt ganged up on forever.
This is a complex issue but vital to our country's liberty and lifeblood. As you say, "We all inhabit this Earth and country"--we have to learn to get along and respect one another.
To your point, I did consider taking the story down but I felt leaving it up might advance the discussion. I am not a hateful person.
The fact that I was received as racist by so many was a true shock to me.
Learning and growing every day.
Sincerely and thank you, Alice