This latest post on Reddit's "TIFU (Today I F--ked Up)" subreddit proves once again that outward racism is alive and well in the United States. OP explains that he and his wife are Black and just bought their first house, which is a momentous occasion and should be a joyous one as well.
They bought an "upper-middle-class home in the eastern Tennessee area." The house is still under constructions, but they decided to drive over and walk though the house to check it out. "While we were talking through," OP writes, "I noticed the neighbor across the street kept peeking out his window at us."
They waved and smiled at the neighbor, but the guy aggressively ignored them and shut his blinds. Then, as they were about to leave, the neighbor came running out and started yelling at them to stop. "I asked him if there was a problem," OP writes. "He said, 'Yes. I don't know why y'all in our neighborhood but we don't take kindly to thieves and criminals. The police are on the way."
The outright racism is potent. But OP kept his cool in the face of wild prejudice and explained to the neighbor that they just bought the house and that they were looking around...their own house.
The neighbor responded that "people like us couldn't afford houses here and that we could save our lies for the police." Holy hell. It doesn't get much more racist than that, folks. We often talk about all the subtle, insidious ways this country remains entrenched in racism, the policies designed to hurt Black people, the structures in place that leave Black populations out of the possibility of achieving success.
But sometimes, the racism isn't subtle. Sometimes, it's so obvious and confident that it slaps you across the face. For some (read: white people), it's hard to believe that people like this neighbor actually still exist, people who call Black people "thieves and criminals" and don't believe that a Black person could possibly afford a nice house.
But Black people know these people still exist because they have to face them everyday. This neighbor didn't back down or apologize when he was told it was their house. He accused them of lying.
The police showed up shortly after this exchange, and OP and his wife were immediately handcuffed and detained "while he was free to run around and explain that I didn't belong there." That's horrendous. The police wouldn't even let them explain themselves before handcuffing them for a wrongful complaint.
Police violence against Black people is real and pervasive. If the complaint had been about a "suspicious" white couple, do you think they would have immediately been handcuffed without the ability to explain themselves? No way.
The couple was only let go 10 minutes later when the builder showed up and explained the situation. Only then did the cops let OP and his wife go about their day. This is a couple walking around the first house they own! They should be able to do so without being detained and not given the opportunity to explain themselves.
When they were finally let go and went to leave, OP's neighbor flicked him off and yelled, "F--k you!" as they drove away. "So long story short, I have a racist neighbor," he writes. Commenters urged OP to get a security system for his home, motion-activated flood lights, and even guns to protect himself. Others suggested filing a complaint with the police about the neighbor's false police report.
This racist isn't going to magically stop being racist. In an edit to his original post, OP said that they got the neighbor's number and plan on calling and going over with cookies to try and smooth things over. It's absolutely absurd that they feel like they have to be the ones to appease this disgusting racist instead of expecting him to apologize and grovel at their feet for eternity. I feel for this couple. They clearly have a long road ahead of them with this neighbor.