After almost a month away, I’m back! Thank you for your patience while I had to take some time off due to aggressive traveling and an injury. Without further ado, let’s hop right into it.
July 13: Take Action Against Hate Crime
I have never been on the receiving end of a hate crime, and I consider myself very lucky, given the world we live in. That is until two nights ago, when the most degrading choice words were stringed together in what would normally be considered an incoherent sentence, and sent via text to me from an unknown number. I was initially stunned because although I didn’t recognize the number, the content of the text made it clear that this person knew “enough” about me.
It turned out to be my brother’s tenant and I need to give you a bit of a backstory before I can proceed.
My brother lives in Las Vegas and rents his apartment in NJ out to a family he’s known for many years. Every now and again, these people stop paying rent and what’s worse, become incommunicado. In the past, I’ve had to show up at the house to pick up rent and explain to them that avoiding phone calls and text was not the way to go about this. This situation arose again recently, and three days ago, I had to show up at the apartment again to pick up rent and I was not happy about it. Before I took a 30 minute Uber ride out to the apartment, I called the two tenants (mother and son) to see if they would pick up MY calls (they’ve never had my number in the past so they would not recognize it). As expected, no answer. So I went to the apartment. The mother was present and the whole interaction was another “here we go again” situation. Needless to say, my unhappiness about their behavior did not go unnoticed, but I was not irate in my choice of words.
Some 24+ hours later is when I received this text – it turned out to be the son (he had my number from the missed call the day before). The text was sent at 1:15am and I did everything in my power to not react (my instant reaction would’ve been both poor on my choice of words and ineffective in my choice of action). I contacted my brother, who unlike me, text the tenant immediately, with no response, of course. I did some research on how to handle a hate text message that was not a direct threat and waited until the next morning. When I woke up, I saw a text (sent at 6:59am), “Who is this?”
Now, one of two things happened. Either the idiot was drunk when he sent the original text and had no clue about it the next morning (I don’t really believe this theory) OR he knew exactly what he had done and was trying to play it off as being a clueless human being. Either way, one thing was certain, drunk or not, the content of his text (anti-religious and racist) revealed an important part of his personality and it was not pretty.
Keeping my composure, I decided to not respond to the text messages, instead, I did the following:
- Called the police department in his township and explained the situation.
- I was advised to call my own township police department.
- Called my township police department, explained the situation and was advised that a police officer would be sent to my home to take my statement.
- Police officer arrived.
- I explained the circumstances (showed the proof) and was presented with two options.
- I could either file a complaint (in which case he would be notified)
- I could report the incident (in which case he would not be contacted but the incident would be officially documented)
I only wanted an official record of the incident so that IF it escalates in the future, I would have proof of this incident. I didn’t want him notified since he is still living at my brother’s place and I’m not sure what this individual is capable of.
The police officer was very nice, he took all of my information, the tenant’s information (that I was able to provide) as well as my brothers’.
And since then, no further contact was made. I wanted to share this incident with all of you because, although I would not wish this on any of you, the reality is, you never know if and when this can happen to you. It’s important to know that ignoring ANY kind of hate messages/action is NOT OK. No one has the right to harass you and if you are ever at the receiving end of it, there is always something you can and should do about it.
I don’t know if the hate in this world will ever end, but I pray that more peace and less hate becomes the bigger message to take away. Hoping this post was helpful in some way for some of you.
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