Harvard administrator who questioned mother of biracial child about living in ‘affordable’ housing put on leave
A white woman, identified as a Harvard University employee has been “placed on leave” from her job after being caught on video asking a black woman and her biracial child if they lived in “affordable” housing, reports The Crimson.
The viral video posted by Cambridge resident Alyson Laliberte filmed before on July 14 shows Harvard Humanitarian Initiative Executive Director Theresa A. Lund asking Laliberte “Are you in one of the affordable units? Or are you in one of the Harvard units?” Lund asks in the video.
Lund first engaged them by saying they were too loud before racially profiling them and asking Laliberte where she lived. The video has been viewed more than 2 million times.
Laliberte called it “another Permit Patty,” referencing the onslaught of viral videos where white people have been racist and confronted black people.
Lund took to her Facebook page to apologize.
“I am terribly sorry about the exchange I had with my neighbor yesterday,” she wrote. “What I said was inappropriate and wrong.”
She has since deleted her social media accounts.
Harvard took swift action. The initiative’s director Michael J. VanRooyen wrote in a Facebook post Thursday night that the organization “does not condone” Lund’s behavior in the video.
“Each of us is committed to advancing our organization’s values of belonging and inclusion,” VanRooyen wrote. “As such, HHI will implement in the coming weeks additional trainings and programs for our staff to address implicit and explicit bias.”
Earlier, VanRooyen defended Lund but later deleted his tweet.
“Theresa Lund is an ethical and principled individual and leader” and that “the recent posts do not represent who she is.”
The woman #PermitPatty Laliberte was referring is former TreatWell Health CEO Alison Ettel, who called the police on an 8-year-old girl who was selling water but had the police called on her by petty #PermitPatty. Some of those dispensaries that carry products of where Ettel used to work has donated money to the girl’s college fund.
Permit Patty’s old place of employment fired her. Clearly it’s too costly to be racist so, just mind your business.