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Lemonade Stand Bias

By Kimmie Wisniewski

My husband and I moved to town in 2005 and our bi-racial child started Kindergarten at North Boulevard School. I’m a very friendly and outgoing person but during our first year here, no one would speak with me, even when I attempted a simple “hello nice to meet you.” I have never felt more out of place, and suffered a great deal of anxiety at every school function.

About three years ago my daughter and I stopped at a neighborhood stand to get some cupcakes and lemonade and enjoy a typically wonderful American cultural experience with some local kids. As we waited in line, a white man got behind us and asked me where I had come from. I thought it strange and felt uncomfortable so I didn’t answer him. At that point he turned to my 6 year old and asked what street she lived on. I then became fearful of his intent, grabbed my daughter and left.

This is but one of many experiences my bi-racial family has endured in Pequannock Township. While we also enjoy many friendly relationships with our neighbors, we leave our house every day steeled against senseless enmity.

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