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.”
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.