A black woman said she and her daughter experienced “blatant racism” when a white man posing as a health inspector asked them if they had showered before using a pool at a hotel in Pasadena, California, during their vacation.
The incident occurred on Monday at The Westin hotel. Carle Wheeler posted a video of the incident on Facebook on Wednesday, claiming she and her daughter were at the pool when they were approached by a white man. The man claimed to be a health inspector who asked them if they had showered before entering the swimming pool.
“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,” Wheeler wrote on Facebook.
Wheeler was able to capture the incident on camera. In the video, the man is being confronted by hotel staff and Wheeler, and he apologizes for asking them the question.
“I simply asked them if they’d showered. I’m sorry,” the unidentified man says in the video.
The man continues to say that he asked Wheeler and her daughter if they showered because it was part of the “rules” and he was “tired of getting in pools people consider baths.” Wheeler said he did not ask anyone else who was in the pool if they had showered.
“Google it! Google the diseases in pools,” the man said.
A man who identified himself as the manager of the hotel then asked the man to step to the side. He apologized and said the unidentified man was a guest of the hotel and that he would speak to him. A spokesperson from the Pasadena Health Department told KTLAthat they did not recognize the man and said no health inspectors were at the Westin pool that day.
“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.
In a statement to CBS Los Angeles, the management team confirmed the incident happened and said they “do not condone” the man’s behavior.
”In light of recent events, we feel it important to share that we do not condone the comments or behavior directed toward our pool guests. The safety and security of our guests is our top priority, and we strive to maintain an environment where our guests feel welcome and are treated with equal respect and attention from our team,” the statement read.
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