You, as a minority, can relate to me — but know when you cross the line
The invisible line between Hispanics, black folks and racial slurs
This post was originally written on Medium on July 14, 2020.
My neighbor and I do not like the same lady. She’s a black woman in our building who swears people are monitoring and stealing her packages. She knocked on my door once at 11:30 p.m., asking if I’d seen her mail. I stood there, with conditioned hair dripping onto my shoulders, assuming that if someone knocked on my door at 11:30 p.m., it’s got to be important. The you’ve-got-to-be-kidding-me look on my face quickly let her know this was a stupid decision. I told her to talk to the property manager or call USPS.
Something didn’t sit right with me when my Hispanic neighbor said: “This bitch is a bad example of a black woman.”
But when I closed the door, I heard her on the phone, insisting that I “claim” to not know where her package was. Whoever was on the receiving end of the call was told that she was going to start “stealing everybody’s s — t” since her mail was coming up missing. She didn’t think I heard her in the lobby. I did. I posted signs all over the building, asking if anyone had seen her package to leave it in the doorway so she’d stop knocking on people’s doors late at night and thinking they stole her mail. And because I’m a smart-ass, I made sure to point out that I “don’t know you, don’t want to know you and can afford to buy anything you have in the mail.” I was beyond furious that a black woman would accuse another black woman of stealing — without a shred of proof.
Mail Girl got into it about her mail with my neighbor (mentioned above), too, a woman who is Puerto Rican and Mexican. We both found out about Mail Girl’s tirades and traded complaints about why she is the absolute worst. I hadn’t spoken to Mail Girl for an entire year — before she knocked on my door a second time last month, complaining about her missing mail again. This time though, I barked that I didn’t like her approach at all and wanted to know why she was so obsessed with the idea that I was stealing her mail.