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Owner to Owner Intimidation Must Be Responded To Immediately By a Board

Painting “Gay a*****e” on a person’s door is downright rude. But in a condominium community it’s significantly wrong. Publicly attacking a person in this manner stabs at the roots of trying to create an inclusive, functional, community.

It not only acts as an attempt to intimidate the owner, it’s a public statement that directly influences others owners to perform the same action, or become supportive of it. Seriously.

Setting aside all the work on advertising and the use of messaging, there’s a pretty famous test called the Milgram experiment which shows that people who see someone perform an action, even if they find that action harmful to another human being, would perform the same action (in Milgram’s case it was applying powerful electric shocks to another person) more often than a person who has no example of the action. In essence, people are way more willing to do things they are personally uncomfortable with (even harmful) if they have first had experience of the act.

So by publically painting the slogan on, in this case James Burns’ door, the painter not only attempts to intimidate James, but hopes to receive community support to repeat or increase the severity attack on James. Even implicit support (nobody objecting) creates the feedback needed by the painter.

Thankfully at least one other member of the condominium community objects to the vandalism. Mr. Burns received a poster that was hung on the door with statements including “We advocate zero-tolerance for hate crimes” and “heart, caring, helpful, kind.”

That’s freaking awesome. It’s the “backfire” that’s required to nip owner on owner persecution before it grows. With only 66 units in the “upscale” complex (Zillow shows unit prices at about 440k at the moment), the management and board should immediately follow up with letters to all the owners, postings in the building, and a letter to Mr. Burns that state any attack on an owner is fully condemned by the condominium corporation. The communication should not only include positive statements that people of all walks and cultures are welcome at the Copley Court condominiums, Braircliff Manor NY, but person or persons found responsible for the act will be sanctioned to the maximum allowance of the bylaws.

A home, is a home, is a home. And the corporation is always in the role to ensure that all people can enjoy and feel comfortable within their residence, and by extension the common property.

Sadly – at the time of this article neither the board nor property manager has contacted Mr. Burns about this.  Time for the board to step up to the plate ensure a positive community. The longer the board waits to respond, the more implicit support they give the evil doer.

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