A Cincinnati landlord who was found in violation of Ohio law when she posted a “white only” sign at her swimming pool wants the state’s Civil Rights Commission to reconsider and reverse its ruling.

The landlord in question, Jamie Hein, tried to claim the sign was simply an “antique” she’d gotten from a friend, saying, “I don’t have any problem with race at all. It’s a historical sign.”

But a former tenant says the timing of the sign’s placement was more than suspicious. Michael Gunn, who’s white, lived in Hein’s duplex for two years, and never had any trouble until he invited his 10-year-old biracial daughter to swim in the pool in May of last year.

He claims Hein said chemicals in the girl’s hair made the pool “cloudy,” and that Hein posted a sign reading “Public Swimming Pool, White Only” on the fence surrounding the pool the same month.

Gunn moved out of his apartment almost immediately and filed a complaint with the Ohio Civil Rights Commission, which concluded last year that the sign “restricts the social contact between Caucasians and African Americans as well as reinforcing discrimination actions that are aimed at oppressing all ‘people of color.’”


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