Pre-Civil Rights Movement, “white only” signs dotted the country. Everything from the finest restaurants to not-so-fine diners bragged of their “exclusivity.” We thought that type of bigotry was gone, at least until a landlord in Ohio posted a “white only” sign at her apartment building’s swimming pool.
Jamie Hein of Cincinnati posted the sign after a tenant, Michael Gunn, invited his African-American daughter to swim in the pool. Gunn is suing Hein,
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 a sign on the gate to the pool which reads, ‘Public Swimming Pool, White Only.’”
Hein, 31, was unapologetic about the racist origins of the sign that she displayed at the entrance to her pool. She said she collects antiques and was given the sign as a gift. She also said that even though the sign seems to indicate that the pool is public, the pool is on her private property and “everybody has to ask before getting in my pool.”
The sign no longer hangs by the pool, but only because it was stolen.