Posted by Carle Wheeler on Wednesday, June 13, 2018
A mother is outraged after she and her 5-year-old daughter were the victims of blatant racism while vacationing at a Pasadena, Calif. hotel on Monday.
Carle Wheeler said she and her daughter were enjoying summer vacation at the Westin Hotel in Pasadena when they were approached by a white man at the swimming pool. Wheeler said the man asked if they had showered before swimming because “people carry diseases into the pools and he doesn’t want the health department to shut the pool down.”
Moments later, she said the man approached them again at the other side of the pool, this time claiming he worked for the health department. By this time, Wheeler had had enough and called the man out on his blatant racism.
“I let him know that being Black is not a disease and showering would not wash the BLACK off our skin, Wheeler wrote on Facebook. “…I think it’s awful that ANY man would think it’s 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.”
The incident only worsened from there, prompting hotel manager Ofelia Dolliver to come to the scene. Dolliver criticized the man for asking Wheeler and her child such a question, but that did little to stop the man from taunting the woman’s daughter as she was led away from the chaos.
The hotel’s general manager Carl Sprayberry arrived minutes later — only to let the man go.
“In true fashion, as soon as [Sprayberry] arrived he took one look at us and immediately let the white man leave and told us to step to the side with him,” Wheeler wrote. “…After many failed attempts at pleading with Mr. Sprayberry to not let the man go but to instead find out who he was, we left.”
It was only after white bystanders corroborated Wheeler’s story that Sprayberry instructed other managers to review the surveillance tapes to identify the man. As she left, Wheeler said Dolliver apologized for Sprayberry’s poor handling of the situation and ensured that staff was “still reviewing the tapes” to find the man and boot him from the hotel.
This was of little consolation to Wheeler, however.
“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.
“I have to teach my innocent child that no matter how much we educate ourselves with degrees, no matter what career we choose … there are still people in this world who will not like us just because of the color of our skin.”
Wheeler said she still hasn’t heard back from the hotel.