The director of a Harvard research center has apologized after she was filmed confronting a neighbor whose daughter was playing outside her home and asking her if she lived ‘in one of the affordable units.’
Alyson Laliberte filmed some of her encounter with Theresa Lund, the executive director of Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, an academic and research center in humanitarian crisis and leadership at Harvard University, on Saturday.
Dubbing the woman ‘another Permit Patty,’ Laliberte shared the clip on her Facebook page, where it has since attracted more than 700,000 views.
In the clip, Lund is seen sitting on the sidewalk accusing Laliberte and her three-year-old daughter, who is biracial, of disturbing her children’s sleep.
Laliberte wrote on Facebook that Lund, whose name she didn’t know at the time, asked her repeatedly if she lived in an ‘affordable unit’ at the condominium complex in Cambridge, Massachusetts, near Harvard University.
Lund apologized for the incident on her personal Facebook page, saying she was ‘terribly sorry’ about the exchange and that she had apologized to Laliberte and her daughter in person.
‘What I said was inappropriate and wrong,’ Lund wrote.
‘I should not have addressed her daughter and there was no reason for me to ask what type of unit she lives in.’
She added: ‘I am accountable for my actions and ask for their forgiveness for a moment in which I fell far short of my values and what I expect of myself.
‘I love our community and am committed [sic] engaging in dialogue and action about how to make it more welcoming and pleasant for us to live in together.’
She has since taken down her social media pages and the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative has removed her biography from its website. DailyMail.com has contacted the HHI for comment.
On Facebook, Laliberte branded the woman in her video ‘racist’ and ‘totally discriminating’ – while others on social media branded her a ‘Nap Time Nancy’ and ‘Sidewalk Susie.’
She wrote: ‘Y’all here is another Permit Patty trying to kick me off my own property because she’s having a hard time getting her kids to take a nap at 3:30 in the afternoon on a Saturday.
‘I’m outside enjoying the afternoon with my daughter when this woman came downstairs and asked me if I would move so her kids can nap.’
She added that she and her daughter ‘weren’t even being loud’ and were simply drawing with chalk.
The woman followed her around and harassed her ‘trying to get my information and apartment number as if she had a right to know,’ Laliberte said.
She added: ‘When I wouldn’t tell her she proceeded to ask me if I lived in the ‘affordable apartments’ of the building for Cambridge residents or if I lived in one of the Harvard owned apartments (which is all the same building anyways).
‘It was totally discriminating and racist of her… or maybe it was because my daughter is biracial who knows.’
She added: ‘I’ve lived in this complex for 15 years. Not one other person complained about my daughter and I.
‘I have no idea who this woman is but if someone knows her please tag her and share this if you agree!!!!’
The short clip begins with Laliberte accusing Lund, who is dressed in a purple shirt and black shorts, of cursing at her.
‘I didn’t swear. You heard me wrong,’ Lund insists.
When Laliberte accuses Lund of lying, she replies: ‘You’re lying. I’m going to sit right here with you.’
Then, turning to Laliberte’s young daughter, Lund says: ‘You’re a sweetheart. I’m sorry I’m [inaudible] with your mommy, she’s not being very nice.’
Laliberte asks her: ‘Are you just mad because I won’t get off my own property. I think that’s why you’re mad right now.’
When Lund claims she ‘doesn’t care,’ Laliberte adds: ‘Go back up to your kids. Why are you sitting here with me?’
Lund replies: ‘I’m sitting here because you’re preventing my children from sleeping. Would you like me to do that to your kids?’
Laliberte replies: ‘Who is even watching your kids right now. Are you? Cause you’re not. You’re here with me and my kid.’
At this point, Lund suddenly demands to know if Laliberte lives in an ‘affordable unit.’
She says: ‘Are you in one of the affordable units? Or are you one of the Harvard units?’
Despite Laliberte telling her that it’s not ‘her business,’ Lund replied: ‘I live here, this is my business. This is my home.’
Laliberte tells her: ‘But it’s none of your business where I live, what my name is.’
Lund insists that it is because Laliberte is allegedly causing a disturbance.
‘There’s nobody out here saying that. I’m not going anywhere ma’am. I live here, my kid is not doing anything wrong. Why should I leave?’ Laliberte says.
Lund again asks her which unit she lives in, adding: ‘I will come outside your window and scream. You’re outside mine.’
The clip ends seconds after Laliberte is seen getting up, saying: ‘Now excuse me while I go tend to my kid because you’re obviously not.’
Names like ‘Permit Patty’ and ‘Pool Patrol Paula’ have been coined in reference to some white Americans who have recently become infamous for calling the police to report alleged problems with black people.
But social media users have accused them of racial profiling and turned their ‘problems’ into national teachable moments.
In early July, Erica Walker, a white woman living in Memphis, Tennessee, called the police to report a black man who wore socks while swimming in a local pool.
The man’s girlfriend, a woman named Camry Porter, filmed the incident.
‘It’s 25, 30-plus white people out here and you haven’t said anything. You’re partying with them! But when we come, it’s an issue,’ Porter explained to a local CBS affiliate.
In South Carolina last month, a white woman demanded that a black teenager invited to the community pool by a friend ‘get out’ and hit him several times before threatening to call police. The internet dubbed her ‘Pool Patrol Paula.’
Just a week before, Alison Ettel called the police in San Francisco about an eight-year-old black girl selling water bottles on the sidewalk without a permit.
She is now known as ‘Permit Patty’ and resigned as CEO of her cannabis products company after the backlash.
‘Pool Patrol Paula’ was fired from her job as a property manager.
SOURCE: Daily Mail – Khaleda Rahman