Hi Roy--With all due respect, I think you are misinterpreting my intent.

I did not meet with Susan for this story, either. I have done, and still occasionally do, some more serious journalism pieces, and of course, those involve trying to reach and quote both sides for balanced reporting.

But this is a Medium essay, a story, a portrait, if you will. A personal opinion. This is not a news or feature article for a newspaper or a magazine, or even for a news outlet's website.

May I ask, did Marley K interview White people for her piece titled "Yes My Dear, All White People Are Racists?" A piece with applause from 12.7 K people on Medium?

You noted:

"But you cannot even say the Black families name. They have names and are many layered too. Their names are Fareed and Norrinda Hayat."

That is a good and valid point, that there are many sides to Fareed and Norrinda Hayat, too. Exactly--and what we see in a video that has gone viral does not allow for depths to see either their or Susan's true hearts, brilliant minds, good parenting, sincere friendships--anything other than a heated neighbor dispute.

And another response referrred to "Say her name, say his name," so I see what you mean in that regard.

As I said in another response, it is not that I did NOT WANT TO mention their names. In fact, I thought Fareed and Norrinda might not want me to, in this personal essay. I hear what you are saying.

You will note that I did not mention Susan's last name, either. However, I was upset with the title of The Cut article, which was "Living with Karens," aka "Permit Karen of Montclair, New Jersey."

As a White person, I do not have a code name (like Karen) that I use for a Black person, even for a Black person who might happen to offend or antagonize me over a personal issue.

So why is it okay to call someone a Karen and a "Permit Patty" and the "beer-pong mom," when who among us has not let things slide sometimes with our young adult kids? How will it help for us to have hurtful names for each other?

Still, I thank you for this conversation and for opening my mind to the possibility of deeply ingrained racism.

As others have said here, I don't want to believe that it was a race issue, but a neighbor issue, as prickly and unpleasant as it was. Scary, too.

I have not yet met Norrinda and Fareed. But maybe I can one day, and we can have a latte downtown. I'm serious. Do you know them personally?

Thank you.

Sincerely, 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.

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