Dear Central Park Neighbors,
Recently, a family of color in Beeler Park received an anonymous, harassing postcard that used discriminatory language toward them. Less than two weeks earlier, another resident of color, also in Beeler Park, experienced an incident in which he was questioned about whether he lived there and whether he owned the dogs he was walking. This is strikingly similar to yet another incident in which another resident of color was asked if he was walking a dog that had recently been reported as stolen. These events are not new in this community or elsewhere.
In each incident of this nature, our neighbors are made to feel targeted and unwelcome in their own community. We seek to stop this pattern through identifying it as harmful, spreading awareness, and building a more supportive environment for all people, especially persons of color.
We—the Central Park United Neighbors (CPUN) Board —wish to state in the strongest terms possible that we stand firmly against exclusion, hate, harassment, bullying, and any other actions that make any neighbor feel unsafe, watched, and unwelcome. Sending anonymous letters and subjecting our neighbors to suspicious questioning are behaviors that stand in stark contrast to what we aspire to be as a community and are not in line with the founding principles of our neighborhood.
When conflicts or good-faith disagreements between neighbors arise, CPUN advocates for open communication, and professional mediation when necessary. Letters and questioning like this, however, cannot be tolerated and must be called out. The anonymity of the letter, in particular, shows that the author did not want to be connected to their own behavior. As a community, we must do better than this.
CPUN would like to provide programming on how to better support our neighbors and discuss difficult topics. If you would like to participate or get involved, please fill out this interest form to connect with the CPUN Diversity and Inclusion Committee: https://forms.gle/5xpQXZL68qxqo5iB9. Join us in coming together to support our neighbors and uniting to make everyone feel welcome!
The Central Park United Neighbors Board