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!