How Do You Handle a Racist Neighbor in Sacramento?

Racism-in-SacramentoIt’s a bit ironic for me to read that April is Fair Housing month, given what happened yesterday. It happened in a somewhat quiet neighborhood in Woodland, made up of mostly tract homes, built in the mid-1970s. This particular home has 3 bedrooms and 2 baths, and it’s a preapproved Cooperative Short Sale through Bank of America. The family, first-time home buyers, had just received the short sale approval letter and were informed they could close escrow. They arrived at the home early yesterday morning to do a home inspection.

As they walked up the sidewalk toward the home with their agent, the next-door neighbor came out, as next-door neighbors often do during a home inspection. Coming over during the home inspection is a great time to greet new neighbors and welcome a family to the neighborhood. That’s because, for the most part, there is not a lot for buyers to do during a home inspection, except stay out of the home inspector’s way. I was not present at this meeting, so my information is third-hand, but apparently the neighbor did not welcome the new family. Instead, he began yelling and hurling racial slurs at them. He is accused of saying he would move out of the neighborhood if this family moved in. At the top of his lungs. In the middle of this quiet working class neighborhood.

You think it won’t happen in your back yard, but it does. The sellers say the neighbors never exhibited any of this hostility or prejudices when they lived there. The buyers called the police because the neighbor made threats of violence against them.

I’m not even so sure it was a racial prejudice as much as a religious prejudice — but all hatred, because people are different, is hatred. It’s vile. It’s shocking. It’s incredibly painful and sad. It’s sad for the victims who endured such vicious wrath. It’s sad for the racist because he is uneducated and ignorant. It’s sad for all of us because this kind of hatred still exists.

It makes me want to put a sign in the yard all right. A sign that says the neighbor is a racist splashed with a big red arrow pointing toward his house. But he’d just pull it out of the ground and smash it up, maybe use it to break the windows on this house. That’s what people like him do.

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