At a neighborhood pool, on the Fourth of July, 2018, a white man called the cops on an African-American woman for swimming while black.
Not quite, says the man, pool chairman Adam Bloom of Winston-Salem, North Carolina. She didn’t have an ID card, Bloom insists. Only residents of the neighborhood may use the pool.
But Jasmine Abhulimen is a resident. “Where does it say I have to show an ID to use my pool?” she said in a Facebook video. When the cops came, they agreed with her. On the bright side, Bloom is no longer pool chairman.
An ugly incident involving “The View” host Sunny Hostin also took place during the Fourth holiday in Sag Harbor. “Some kids, about 20 of them, ran in front of our home and starting yelling the [racial slur] at us . . . saying this is our holiday,” she says. They broke her family’s paddleboard, and “were kind of violent.”
At the Grandview Golf Club in York, Pennsylvania, the police were recently called on five middle-aged African-American women for playing too slowly. The women say that wasn’t the case.
But they are African-American — and women. At Grandview, seems that’s a double bogey.
No, these people did not look like gangsters. A woman taking her son swimming in the neighborhood pool. A TV host and her family renting a beachfront home. A group of women in their 50s enjoying an afternoon of golf. Two guys waiting for a business meeting at a Philadelphia Starbucks, asked to leave, then the police called.
What next? A black family arrested for watching a hockey game?
Meanwhile, what’s the common denominator here? Being where one supposedly doesn’t belong. A pool in a wealthy area. A golf course. The message seems clear. Stay in your place. Or else.
Where do these bigoted creeps get the gall to act out in public what many of them just used to whisper in private?
The two men at Starbucks, Donte Robinson and Rashon Nelson, recently reached a settlement with Philadelphia. Although they had a good case, they agreed to a symbolic payment of $1 each to prove wrongdoing, then asked Starbucks and the city to help fund a $200,000 grant program for high school entrepreneurs.
They followed former first lady’s Michelle Obama’s advice. When they go low, we go high.
Playwright Mike Vogel blogs at newyorkgritty.net.