“Whites only” pool sign owner: “I have to stick up for my white rights”

I’m not kidding. Jamie Hein of Cincinnati, the white landlord who put up a “whites only” sign at her pool, gave an exclusive interview with ABC News about the controversy. As you all know, Hein is being accused of racial discrimination when she allegedly told a black girl she couldn’t swim in the pool because the chemicals in her hair made the water “cloudy.” Hein said she “has no problem with race” and defender her use of the sign, which originates in Alabama and dated from 1931.

Photo credit: Ohio Civil Rights Commission

From the ABC News article:

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.”

Michael Gunn, 40, is the man who took issue with Hein’s sign and filed a discrimination charge with the Ohio Civil Rights Commission. He was a tenant in one of Hein’s properties.

“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 a sign on the gate to the pool which reads, ‘Public Swimming Pool, White Only.’”

Hein said that the sign had nothing to do with Gunn’s daughter and that it was already up at the time of that party, but cannot be seen when the gate is open.

Gunn said the family previously “had unrestricted access to the pool area,” but Hein said that was not the case. She said everyone, including her own father, has to ask permission before swimming in her pool.

Gunn did not respond to requests for comment. In his complaint, he wrote that he moved out of Hein’s property in June “in order to not expose my daughter to the sign and the humiliation of the message.”

The Ohio Civil Rights Commission found on Sept. 29 that Hein did violate the Ohio Civil Rights Act by posting the sign, but Hein has asked that the decision be reconsidered. The sign has since been stolen.

“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 will meet to come to a final decision on Jan. 12, according to Brandi Martin, a spokeswoman for the Ohio Civil Rights Commission.


What exactly are white rights? Are white rights those in which white people have a right to display discriminatory, racist offensive signs that remind people of color of their second class citizenship racism and whiteness relegates them to?

Are white rights those inalienable rights in which white people should have the authority to practice racial discrimination without the threat of the gub’ment intervening?

I am more than sick and tired of hearing folks of European descent bitch and complain about being on the receiving end of racial discrimination when they continue to benefit from the oppressive tactics of whiteness. I am over white men and women lamenting the fact that they were passed over for a job offer or promotion because an employer chose a person of color rather than affirming their belief that they are entitled to be hired first and fired last. I am tired of hearing the benefactors of whiteness whine and complain about their so-called diminishing role in society.

I am sick and tired of folks hiding behind their feigned ignorance at the offensive nature of Civil War, Jim Crow, segregation-era signs, flags, slogans, paraphernalia and ideology. It’s not cute to hide behind history and heritage and defensively blame people of color for being too sensitive to not grasp the humor or irony in such offensive items.

While proponents of whiteness may believe your ploy, your contrived oblivion has always and will continue to fall on deaf ears among people of color.

White rights don’t give anyone the authority to use racially offensive imagery to intimidate or make anyone feel uncomfortable. White rights don’t give anyone the go ahead to hide behind their innocence and passive-aggressively practice the art of racism.