In September the Ohio Civil Rights Commission ruled that a white landlord, Jamie Hein, had violated the state’s Civil Rights Act by posting a sign by the pool of her duplex that read “Public Swimming Pool, White Only.”
A black tenant filed a discrimination complaint with the commission after Hein accused his teenage daughter of using chemicals in her hair that made the water “cloudy.” Days later, she posted the sign on the gate to the pool.
Hein has so far been unapologetic, and is asking the commission to reconsider their ruling. “If I have to stick up for my white rights, I have to stick up for my white rights,” she said. She recently defended her actions to ABC News, giving the curious excuse that the sign was merely “historical”:
An Ohio landlord accused of discriminating against an African-American girl with a “white only” sign at her swimming pool told ABCNews.com that the sign was an antique and a decoration.
“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.”
The sign in question reads, “Public Swimming Pool, White Only.” It is dated 1931 and from Alabama.
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.”
Landlords and business owners are subject to the Civil Rights Act of 1968 and Fair Housing Act, which prohibits them from discriminating against customers and tenants on the basis of race, sex, religion, color, handicap, familial status or national origin.