An African-American family in Texas became a victim of racism when a man instructed them to take a shower before dipping in a swimming pool at a hotel in California.
The woman, who was identified only as Wheeler, said she was with her daughter at The Westin Pasadena and was about to go in the pool when a man inquired whether they had showered or not. The man claimed he was from the “health department.”
The unnamed man further said he was asking because he didn’t want to shut the pool down and said people carry diseases into the water.
“I let him know that being black is not a disease and showering would not wash the BLACK off our skin. I am not trash, and I am not dirty. I have to teach my daughter that no matter how educated we are and how successful we are in life, there are people who will treat us like this just because the color of our skin,” the woman said.
Wheeler’s five-year-old daughter was taken away by family members as the situation began to heat up. Another family member recorded part of the incident and the video was later posted to Facebook.
In the video, the woman repeatedly asked the man why he only asked her if she had showered and not the rest of the people. The white man sided away from the question and said, “So what?” A hotel employee who tried to control the situation then told the man that his comment was “inappropriate.”
A manager then appeared and told the woman that he wanted to talk to her and the white man was told to wait for the manager in another room.
“I don’t want to call the police. And if I do, it’s going to be a big headache for everybody,” the manager told the black woman.
Pasadena Health Department spokeswoman Adrienne Kim said the department didn’t recognize the man and that he was not an employee of the health department. She also said health inspectors don’t directly contact pool goers and ask them if they have showered or not.
As a compensation, the woman was given a one-night stay at the hotel. The Westin also released a statement and said the incident was being investigated.
The incident comes amidst a slew of racially-charged rants that were caught on camera. In one incident, a black man was harassed by his white colleagues on a daily basis while his company did nothing to stop them even after the victim complained.
In another incident, a Portland food cart operator launched a racist attack on a black woman – all because she wanted to pay in quarters. He then physically assaulted her.
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