Swimming While Black!! Racist man insists Black woman, daughter on vacation to shower because they could contaminate pool
By Susan Johnes
This is America! And swimming while Black can undoubtedly land you in trouble…
Well, that was the case with Carle Wheeler and her 5-year-old daughter who were vacationing in the sun at a pool in Pasadena, California, when a racist white man confronted them.
In a now-viral video of the incident, the white man can be seen asking if Carle Wheeler and her daughter who are both Black, had showered before using the pool. The man insists he was perfectly within his rights to ask such a question.
In a message posted on her Facebook page, Wheeler wrote ‘because people carry diseases into the pools and he doesn’t want the health department to shut the pool down.’
Wheeler said there were multiple guests at the pool, but she and her daughter were the only Black people there and the only ones asked.
She also said the man claimed to be a health inspector and said “I’m tired of getting in pools people consider baths. Google it. Google the diseases in pools.”
But Wheeler decided to act smart. With a lot of calmness, she told the racist man that ‘being Black is not a disease’ and showering would not ‘wash the BLACK off our skin.’
“I think it’s awful that ANY man would think its okay to essentially ask a woman and a little girl if we took off our clothes and scrubbed our naked bodies before getting into a hotel swimming pool,” Wheeler wrote.
During the unfolding drama, a hotel manager arrived and threatened to call the police, before asking the man to leave.
However, Wheeler said she was upset that the manager let the man walk away while asking her to step to the side to talk to him.
She said he does not believe that the man, who the manager said was another hotel guest, suffered any consequences for his behavior.
The hotel’s manager, Carl Sprayberry, released a statement that expressed regret for the way the man treated Wheeler.
“Harassment on any basis is not tolerated,” the statement said. “We are continuing to investigate this serious matter and deeply regret that one of our guests experienced this type of behavior.”
The incident is the latest in a long line of episodes to draw scrutiny to the way in which Black people are treated as objects of suspicion by others while doing seemingly nothing.
In recent months, episodes in which Black people had the police called on them – while renting an apartment Airbnb, barbecuing, falling asleep in a common room at Yale, or sitting in a Starbucks – have drawn wide attention, much of it fueled by intense emotions on social media.