Today’s kids find it hard to believe that when their parents or grandparents were younger there was such a thing as “whites only” drinking fountains, food counters, or even swimming pools. I really thought we weren’t living in the 1940’s or even the 50’s anymore. But I guess landlord Jamie Hein of Cincinnati has proven me wrong.
A Cincinnati landlord named Jamie Hein posted a sign on her apartment complex’s swimming pool entrance which read, “PUBLIC SWIMMING POOL: WHITE ONLY.” A few days later, discrimination charges were filed with the Ohio Civil Rights Commission by Michael Gunn, an outraged tenant.
From the complaint:
“We invited my daughter, who is African-American, to visit and swim in the pool for the Memorial Day weekend,” Gunn wrote in his complaint. “The owner, Jamie Hein, accused my daughter of making the pool ‘cloudy’ because she used chemicals in her hair. Days later, she posted [the sign].”
But when ABC News confronted Hein, 31, about the sign, she denied any wrongdoing or malice:
“I’m not a bad person,” said Jamie Hein of Cincinnati. “I don’t have any problem with race at all. It’s a historical sign.”
And indeed, the sign is: It comes from Alabama and dates back to 1931. So Hein is merely a lover of antiques, who just coincidentally does not want non-white people in her swimming pool. She makes an excellent case! Except the Commission didn’t think so: On September 29, they ruled the sign violates the Ohio Civil Rights Act. Hein has demanded they reconsider.
“I’ve never said anything to that child,” Hein said. “If I have to stick up for my white rights, I have to stick up for my white rights. It goes both ways.”
The Commission reconvenes January 12 to reach their second, and final, decision on the matter. It’s kind of pointless, though: The sign has since been stolen. [abcnews.com via southernbeale]
I really thought this was just one goofball locked in the past until I started following links connected to this story. Sadly it seems a lot of young people (and old people) don’t identify with the struggle minorities have had to go through to achieve a small semblance of equality.
There’s the girl’s basketball team who think it’s funny to toss the ‘N’ word into cheers.
There’s the church that has voted not to accept interracial couples as members or let them take part in some worship activities.
I won’t go down a long list. Let’s just agree as somewhat progressive and civilized people to be aware of the slippery slope that could lie ahead.
I read news reports a few years ago about things like this in America and i thought it was all finished now.
Sadly Harry, there will always be misguided individuals.
There’s still plenty of racism still in the U.S. — it’s just usually not so obvious.
I agree Matthew. We all hope the ‘next’ generation will get it right.
I never thought it was all finished – just cloaked in clandestine behavior.
I didn’t need a sign to tell me that my color was an unwelcome presence on a hospital floor where I worked a few years ago. Nor do I need to feel rocks hitting my back or spit sliding down my cheek to let me know that my current workplace is only accepting of color representation if most of the representation is further down the ladder.
History tells us that civil rights happened. Current events spotlighting the loose tongues of public figures flapping their not-so-inner true feelings show us that we have a long way to go.
Misguided individuals seem to be multiplying and ruining this generation and the next. Perhaps the following generation will get it right.
Great points Vicki. We like to think we’ve made so much progress but I know the racism is just more subtle now. We still have a long way to go.
It is remarkable that this continues. In Britain recently a soccer player was banned for 8 matches for calling another player the N word. The fuss over the ength of the ban and not the use of such offensive language is the truly shocking thing. We’ve a long way to go it seems to me. Great post and best wishes.
I’ve been following the soccer story, Ginger. I’m a Premier League fan so it’s been discussed a lot. Of course, John Terry, who made the comment has a long history. For this of you who don’t know what we’re referring to check out this article.
Terry? Don’t get me started on him – did you know that on the day of 9/11 he and two other Chelsea players were taking the rise out of US passengers in a hotel bar near Heathrow airport. He has slept with team mates wives, been in court for brawling in nightclubs and charged people £10,000 for a tour of Chelsea’s ground. Now he is in court for racially abusing a black player. He is scum pure and simple. Perfect material to be England Captain. Our country is unbelievable sometimes for the idiocy that pervades as orthodoxy. Racism is everywhere – it just isn’t so explicit these days.
Ginger, You don’t want to get into a debate with me over whose country is stupider. We elected George W Bush. We have the Tea Party. We have elected officials who endorse teaching Creation “Science”. I win!!
As far as John Terry is concerned, at least he seems to be the exception. Case in point is Jack Wilshere. Here’s a positive link to follow showing they’re not all assholes:
Alan – when you put it like that…….
Good Lordy, the wheels on this creaky bus never seem to stop going round and round . . . empty vessels everywhere making the most sound. Case in point, plonker John Terry. Bigotry and prejudice is always personal, and with the slippery slope that could lie ahead, our silent disapproval is not enough. Provoking thoughts here Alan!
I’m not creaky Patti! Well OK, my knees are a little creaky… It truly is the empty vessels who make the most noise. Just Google our Republican candidates for President.
Alan, you smoothy! How could I ever accuse you of being creaky? Honestly! It’s that awful bandwagon of big. & prej. making all the noise and, no matter how many times we keep taking it to the scrap heap, it just keeps coming back to low life.
@gingerfightback is right about what pervades as orthodoxy with racism being everywhere, the UK absolutely no exception – John Terry has plenty of bad company.
Did you ever think that this crop of GOP hopefuls would do the job of making GWB look almost . . . . statesmanlike? For sheer entertainment value Rick Perry was hard to beat and I really do think Herman Cain should get a tonight show of his own. As for poor little Michelle, wasn’t she born in Iowa? And look how they turned their backs on her! I must stop here . . .
BTW, you might enjoy the jottings from embattled farmer
Alan, from today’s NYT’s!
Thanks Patti, I think the first one should be made into a movie with Tyler Perry as the minister.
I’m old enough (gasp) to remember a trip to the deep south of America when I was a pre-teen and there were “coloured” restrooms and drinking fountains. It troubled me then and made such a deep impression on me for life I still cannot believe there were time like that!
@S.Le, For those of us that remember those days, it’s still a little unreal.