Dayton, OH—To his neighbors, Harvey Lasher seemed like the perfect neighbor: genial, helpful when he could be, a man who never let more than a week go by before cutting his grass and trimming his hedgerow.
But while those living next door to Harvey saw one side of their pleasant, hardworking neighbor, the world at large saw another man: a cold, calculated micro-aggressor who, in his lifetime, attacked thousands of waitresses, vendors, school personnel, and even, says his pastor, his wife Lilly. (Harvey once called the pastor’s wife “Daisy” instead of “Lilly.”)
As one of thousands of examples, Harvey is reported to have once said to his daughter’s middle school teacher, “Hey! Great pair of sunglasses! Where’d you buy ‘em? Walmart’s?” The teacher reported to police that she never shopped at Walmart’s, and was offended by the suggestion that she would. She had purchased the sunglasses at Walgreen’s.
Moreover at a restaurant once, one of the detectives assigned to Harvey’s case told reporters, Harvey said to one of the black waitresses there, who was wearing a pin from a local high school in Dayton, “Oh! So you attended Ronald Reagan High, too? So did I, forty years ago, when it was still called Wilbur and Orville Wright High.” The waitress, Suzanne, reported to police that she had attended Ronald Reagan High, and was one of two blacks in her graduating class. Harvey’s microaggression triggered Suzanne’s four years of living at an all-white high school named after the fortieth president of the United States. Suzanne, her mother reported, is now in therapy for Harvey’s flaunting his white privilege by mentioning the older name of Suzanne’s high school.
The warden at the prison where Harvey will serve out his sentence, Lebanon Correction Institution, said that Harvey is for the time being in solitary confinement, lest the serial micro-aggressor trigger the many traumatized inmates at his prison.