Another encounter this time on the west coast, adds to a string of events that highlight the deep divides bumbling up all over America.
On Monday, a Black woman named Carle Wheeler wrote a lengthy Facebook post detailing a disturbing encounter she experienced with her family during their vacation stay at the Westin Hotel in Pasadena, California, according to KABC. The post also includes a video detailing the aftermath of the encounter.
Wheeler shares that her and her family were approached by a white who inquired whether or not her family had taken a shower before they entered the water.
“The man asked if me and my little girl had showered before getting into the pool because people carry diseases into the pools and he doesn’t want the health department to shut the pool down,” she wrote.
During a second approach, the man says that he works for the health department to try to corroborate his line of questioning. Wheeler became upset and decided it was time to let the man know that his actions were hurtful and inappropriate, especially since her five-year-old daughter was standing near her.
“I let him know that being black is not a disease and showering would not wash the BLACK off our skin,” Wheeler wrote.
Hotel staff were not around during the first and second interaction, but as things escalated, a hotel manager approached Wheeler and the man, along with Wheeler’s mother.
The video, which picks up after Wheeler’s mother and the hotel manager arrive, shows the man was dead set on being accusatory.
“You had no right to do what you did,” Wheeler says.
“I simply asked them if they had showered. Because that’s one of the rules,” he responds. “And I don’t know about you guys but I’m tired of getting in pools people consider baths.”
“But you didn’t ask anyone else,” Wheeler pointed out. Wheeler also said that the man continued to taunt her daughter after she asked that she be removed from the confrontation.
At one point the man yells that they can just “google” to see that diseases can be spread in the pool.
According to Wheeler, the manager does inform the man that his questions were inappropriate. But after the general manager of the hotel arrives, things go left. The man leaves the area while Wheeler, now highly agitated, explains that no justice can be served if he is allowed to walk away.
It is only after the general manager questions several witnesses that he offered an apology to the family, according to Wheeler. The general manager said that he would instruct his team to review the tapes to figure out the man’s identity.
Wheeler and her family checked out on Monday and have yet to file a police report on the incident, KABC reports.
“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,” Wheeler wrote.
The hotel has since released a statement.
“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.”