A white man was captured on video approaching a Black family at the Westin Hotel pool in Pasadena on June 11, asking whether they “showered” before jumping in for a swim, reports the New York Daily News.
Carle Wheeler posted the disturbing video of the man, who claimed to be a health inspector, going on a tirade about “diseases” while she and her 5-year-old daughter were in the pool. Wheeler shared a Facebook status update on Wednesday (June 13) titled, “SWIMMING WHILE BLACK,” where she recounts the incident. She wrote in part, “The man asked if me and my little girl had showered before getting in the pool because people carry diseases into the pools and he doesn’t want the health department to shut the pool down.”
In the video, the man can be heard telling the mother to “Google the diseases in pools.” He even patronizes the little girl saying, “it’s only a shower.” Wheeler also claims the unidentified man didn’t question any of the other guests who were lounging poolside. Due to this fact she believes she was targeted for being Black.
“It’s sad that I had to explain to my beautiful little five-year-old brown skinned girl why in 2018 a white man would think it’s OK to ask a little girl and her mom if we showered our presumably dirty black skin before entering a swimming pool,” she wrote on Facebook.
Toward the end of the video, the hotel manager intervenes and asks the man to leave the premises. However, Wheeler said he should have been banned for his crude and racist behavior. Despite the video going viral, the Westin had not contacted the mother about the issue. The hotel did comp her stay and tell the man he was not allowed on the property.
The company made a statement to ABC13: “In light of these events that happened, we feel it is important to share that we do not condone comments or behavior directed to our pool guests. The safety and security of our [guests] is our top priority. We strive to maintain an environment where our guests feel welcome and are treated with equal respect and attention from our team.”
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Christina Santi is a news and culture writer for EBONY.com. Born and raised in the Bronx, New York, she considers herself a well-read, not so traditional feminist with a heavy interest in music, fashion and pop culture. Christina currently lives in New York City, where she refers to her Cuban & Jamaican descent often while writing about her experiences as a first-generation Afro-Latinx in America. She also devotes time writing personalized reading material for her tutees and turning ideas into words for streetwear brand, PUER By Noel Bronson.