'White Only' Pool Sign 'Decorative,' Landlord Claims



A landlord accused of posting a racist sign outside a swimming pool is appealing a ruling that she was in violation of anti-discrimination laws, and has reached out to the media to offer a defense for her decision to display the sign.

Jamie Hein allegedly posted the sign (pictured above) that states "Public Swimming Pool, White Only" in the spring at a duplex in Cincinnati, Ohio. According to various media reports, witnesses have said that the landlord wanted to deter a black teenager visiting her parents at the duplex from entering the pool because Hein was worried that chemicals in the female teen's hair would make the pool "cloudy."

Acting on a complaint filed by the teenager's father, the Ohio Civil Rights Commission found Hein, who is white, guilty of violating the Ohio Civil Rights Act. After hanging up on The Associated Press earlier this week, Hein told ABC News on Thursday that she collects antiques and displayed the sign only for decorative purposes. She also said that she posted the sign -- which is dated 1931 and is from Alabama -- long before Memorial Day Weekend, when the teenager visited the duplex and was allegedly told by Hein that she had made the pool "cloudy." According to a report by local TV stations WLWT, that claim would seem to contradict an earlier statement that Hein made when she told the commission that she posted the sign because of the teenager's hair.

Hein also told ABC News that the pool is private, and that contrary to a statement from the teenager's father, everyone, including Hein's own father, must ask for permission to use the pool.

Hein, who says that she's not racist, expressed no regret for the discriminatory message of the sign. She told ABC, "If I have to stick up for my white rights, I have to stick up for my white rights. It goes both ways."

If that takes the form of prohibiting black teenagers from entering pools due to hair products that they are wearing, Hein may have to adopt a new tactic in the future: The sign reportedly has been stolen since the commission's ruling.

Since filing the discrimination charge, the family of the teenager has moved out of the duplex in order to "avoid subjecting their family to further humiliating treatment," the Associated Press reports the commission as saying.


'Whites Only' Pool Controversy Deepens as Owner Fires Back


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