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'White Only' Pool Sign Just 'Historical,' Landlord Says

Outraged tenant files civil rights complaint
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 16, 2011 4:04 AM CST
'White Only' Pool Sign Just 'Historical,' Landlord Says
This sign was posted on the gate to a swimming pool at a duplex in Cincinnati.   (AP Photo/Michael Gunn)

(Newser) – An Ohio landlord says the "White Only" sign in front of a pool at a duplex she owns was just an antique, but a former tenant says her views on race also appear to be from 1930s Alabama. "We invited my daughter, who is African-American, to visit and swim in the pool for the Memorial Day weekend,” he wrote in a complaint to Ohio's Civil Rights Commission. “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.'"

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“I’m not a bad person,” Hein tells ABC. “I don’t have any problem with race at all. It’s a historical sign." The landlord—who is appealing the commission's finding that she violated the state's Civil Rights Act—says the sign was already there when the tenant's daughter visited, but it wasn't clearly visible because the gate was already open. "I’ve never said anything to that child,” she says. “If I have to stick up for my white rights, I have to stick up for my white rights. It goes both ways." (Read more Ohio stories.)

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