Fostering Paranoia Among Neighbors

A ColorLines reader offers a telling anecdote about our times.

By Kai Wright Sep 16, 2010

Barbara Ransby’s reflections on the news that famed civil rights photographer Ernest Withers may have been an FBI spy spurred a lot of thoughts for me. It’s revealing about our past, yes, but also our present. ColorLines reader SkoobieDoo echoed offered a telling anecdote:

In my own neighborhood, we have a Neighborhood Association that delivers "newsletters" that openly promote "vigilance" against possible "terrorist" activities, encouraging reporting such suspicions to local authorities. Predictably, this has led to a neighborhood environment that is completely neurotic, accusatory, and just outrageously partisan. And if you don’t participate in this cr*p, then you easily become a target for neighborhood folly and abuse!