A Harvard University-affiliated research center employee dubbed “Sidewalk Susie” apologized on Monday after being caught on camera asking a neighbor and the woman’s biracial daughter to get away from her home because they were making noise and asked if they lived in “affordable housing.”
Theresa Lund, executive director of the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, told the Boston Globe that she’s “terribly sorry” and her comments were “inappropriate and wrong.” She added that “there was no reason for me to ask what type of unit she lives in.”
The conflict occurred in Cambridge on Saturday after Lund came out of her apartment to berate Alyson Laliberte and her biracial toddler for allegedly making noise by walking on the sidewalk outside the building.
“I’m sitting here because you’re preventing my children from sleeping. Would you like me to do that to your kids?” Lund told Laliberte, according to the video posted her on Facebook.
Laliberte fired back: “Who is even watching your kids right now. Are you? Cause you’re not, you’re here with me and my kid.”
The research center employee then questioned whether Laliberte is poor. “Are you one of the affordable units? Or are you one of the Harvard units?” Lund asked.
On social media, the mother slammed and accused Lund, who’s white, of racism. “It was totally discriminating and racist of her... or maybe it was because my daughter is biracial who knows,” Laliberte wrote.
“I have no idea who this woman is and the fact that she thinks she has some kind of authority over me is crazy!” she added.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.