Going to War Against Neighborhood Racists and the Kempsville Lakes Homeowners Association: The Kids are Still Alright

Friends of Padre Steve’s World,

Last week I wrote about the lady who came to my door trying to get me to join her in trying to get recently installed basketball hoops removed in our neighborhood. Yesterday, after the National Night Out  gathering in our neighborhood on Tuesday where at least 30 kids were playing basketball, those hoops were taken down with no notice to anyone. So now, the kids of of neighborhood have no safe place to play. If you want to read the details of the history behind this just go back a week or so on this site. I’m not going to rehash details today. 

I found out about this while talking to a couple of my neighbors after a pretty shitty day at work with multiple bomb threats and a couple of shit bombs left by one of my contractors. It was the whipped cream on my shit sundae for the day. 

My neighbors and I are all going to complain to the association tomorrow since the association office was already closed. But besides complaining to people who a few years ago objected to the idea of basketball courts by telling my wife Judy that they didn’t want “unwanted elements”  and tried to tell her that we have a “gang problem” I plan on doing more. 

The fact of the matter is that our homeowners association board which is composed mainly of older white people does not like the fact that we have a mixed race community and that most of the younger families with kids in the area are minorities, many who are military families. I am career military, having spent 36 years in the Army and Navy and having grown up as a Navy brat, where I was always an outsider. I am white. I am 57 years old. We have lived in this neighborhood for almost 14 years, though I have been deployed or assigned elsewhere much of that time. We like our neighborhood, we like our neighbors. Our town home block has been very stable with good neighbors, quite a few, including Larry, a junior high teacher and coach who has lived here longer than us, are African American. Crime is low and kids are well behaved, the biggest problem is that they have to play in the street because when this area was developed the land that could have been used for parks or playgrounds was turned into lakes. 

Today I am going to war. I will call the association, then I will call my local city councilman, the I will call the local chapters of the NAACP, and the ACLU, the latter which I am a member of at the national level, as well as local media, including television news outlets. What is happening is not right. When I was a kid we were allowed to play in our neighborhood and we were a lot less well behaved than these kids, but then most of us were white, living in predominantly white neighborhoods. Race does have its privileges. 

I am going to protest the overt racism of our homeowners association as well as some of our neighbors, especially the old bitch who showed up at my door last week complaining about the kids. They are going to get a fight from me and as much as I hate doing it I will probably have to run for one of the vacant seats on the homeowners association board. 

I’ll be damned if I let them get away with this. I am going to fight for the kids. I am going to war for them. They deserve better than this. 

Pray for me.


Padre Steve+ 



Filed under civil rights, Loose thoughts and musings

6 responses to “Going to War Against Neighborhood Racists and the Kempsville Lakes Homeowners Association: The Kids are Still Alright

  1. Bill McReynolds

    Wow, unbelievable Padre. From what you said in your Blog post last week, I really thought you had nipped this one in the bud. Apparently, the heat coming out of this current, wacko administration has got some strange kernels in the mix popping onto the social scene these days like newly empowered popcorn in the hopper or something…
    So like they say, “All politics are local”. And, that bit of nastiness in your neighborhood really does need to stop. Go get ’em Padre, “CHAAARRRGE!!!”.

  2. Thank you Steve for being an advocate for kids and confronting racism and intolerance. It is especially difficult when it is at home where we live. May you find courage, strength, wisdom and support in this effort to bring about change.

  3. Bill Ramsey

    Padre Steve: In my experience working with HOAs and residing in HOA managed communities, I’ve found that they are often reactionary, out of touch, and responsive to small vocal groups. Not unlike many small town City Councils. An effective strategy would be to show up at the next HOA board meeting with as large a group as possible opposing the removal of the basketball hoops and demanding reinstallation. If the HOA Board had even a modicum of political savvy, they would have polled residents, formally or informally before taking an action that may have pissed off a large group of residents. Don’t be surprised if they attempt to cancel the next Board meeting or two hoping the dust will settle a bit. Best of luck in your and your neighbor’s efforts. Bigotry in any manifestation is absolutely unacceptable and intolerable! My best, Bill

  4. Matthew

    From the Germany Fan Base; go get ’em. This is, simply, not right and I applaud your stand!

  5. Terry Murphy

    Get’em Padre. Don’t stand for that and don’t back off. It is a just cause, so my thoughts and prayers.are with you.

  6. There is no more noble fight that to fight than that against racism in my opinion. But I fear the outcome. We see that those in power can just thumb their nose that the disenfranchised, ala Trump. Good luck Steve.

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