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A Protest Sunday

Updated: May 3, 2021

From Paul Mahler


The Sunday after George Floyd’s brutal killing in Minneapolis, my daughter decided to protest for Black Lives Matter in front of the Pequannock Township municipal building. Upon learning she was alone, I joined her and we waved to supporters while ignoring the other types. After about an hour, a woman pulled into the parking lot, and as she got out of her car we noticed she was crying. Through her tears she said we needed a bigger sign, and offered a poster sized board she had intended for her son’s upcoming graduation. She stood for a few minutes as my daughter wrote Black Lives Matter on her board, then happy to have helped, she waved and drove off.


A short while later a family, father and three children went by on bicycles. The father slowed down while looking scornfully at me, but said nothing. Then as he passed my daughter, he looked straight at her and said “you don’t belong here.” My daughter is adopted. She was born in Korea and came to America at six months old. She became a naturalized citizen at age 2. To that white Pequannock Township man however, she doesn’t belong in our town.

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