Skip to comments.Resort That Refused Black Family Pool Access Must Pay
Posted on 08/11/2005 11:55:37 AM PDT by Tumbleweed_Connection
An extended African-American family, most of whom reside in Maryland, today announce the settlement of their discrimination claim against a vacation rental condominium resort in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, which barred them from using its swimming pool. Among other things, the settlement of the complaint filed by the Lawyers' Committee and the law firm of Sutherland Asbill & Brennan, provides the plaintiffs with monetary compensation, the amount of which cannot be disclosed under the agreement.
Over 100 African-American family members alleged that they were racially discriminated against when they stayed at Baytree III, part of the Baytree Plantation in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, for the Turner-Gray family reunion in July 2001. The plaintiffs alleged that shortly after they arrived for their family reunion weekend, Stuart Jenkins, property manager of Baytree III and president of the Homeowners' Association, padlocked and chained the entrance to the pool area closing it off to the reunion attendees. According to the complaint, the day after the reunion ended, Jenkins removed the padlock and chain and reopened the pool to guests, personally inviting white guests to use the pool during their stay.
"We selected Baytree as the site for our reunion in part because of its amenities, including the pool facilities," stated Gloria Turner-Simpkins, one of the plaintiffs who organized the family reunion. "But instead of being able to enjoy them, because of these discriminatory actions, we were humiliated and saddened, during what was meant to be an enjoyable family gathering," added Mrs. Turner-Simpkins.
In addition to monetary compensation, the Homeowners' Association agreed to issue a written apology to the family members, to conduct fair housing training for individuals involved in the day-today management of Baytree III, and to inform its members of its policy of non-discrimination.
"This settlement makes clear that such racist behavior and such blatant disregard for the law will not be tolerated," stated Charles Lester, a partner in the Atlanta office of Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP and one of the attorneys representing the plaintiffs.
"It is sad but true that in this day and age there are still those who want to stop African Americans from enjoying the same privileges as everyone else," said Barbara Arnwine, Executive Director of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. "While no amount of money can make these family members whole for the racist acts they had to endure and to explain to their small children, this settlement does give them some measure of justice."
That's true. But it's not against the law to be gay. It IS against the law to be a child molester.
That's my point. This isn't a civil rights issue, it's more tied to the enforcement of a contract, and other business related legal issues (which start to get out of my realm; I apologize).
Unless not or his duties involve trashcans and grease-traps
the suit wasn't successful.
So you think a world where a sign that says "No Coloreds" is ok on a restaurant door?
Wow I don't. That kind of behavior is Neanderthal and stupid.
The closest thing to it today is how liberals want to seperate us into groups.
If you are black and were there, would you think it was ok that your children were told that they wern't worthy to swim because of the pigment in their skin?
There are to many false situations where Jesse Jackson and his gang of thugs get their racist machine all cranked up to extort money.
This is a real situation where someone has been wronged. It was probably just one stupid person managing the place, it will cost someone $$.
What about Womens Work out World?
Just goes to show that there is no shortage of idiots.
I'm sure there is. I read through this looonnng thread, and couldn't find one sign of the other side. And, as Judge Judy says, if something doesn't make sense, it isn't true.
Why would a hotel rent to such a large group and allow them access to all facilities except the pool?
Old fashioned racists didn't like the idea of using dishware or linens that Blacks had used. This hotel had no problem with that, so why would the pool be a bigger problem? A healthy dose of chlorine takes care of worse problems than that.
What if this was a typical hotel pool, where there is no lifeguard, and you swim at your own risk? And this family of 100 showed up with 30-40 small kids and didn't appear to be watching them carefully?
Isn't the cost risk of a discrimination lawsuit less than the risk of a reckless death suit?
And I know Myrtle Beach has had problems with how to handle the Black bikers every year. Their PR stinks. Anyway, this looks to me like one of the cases where the accused just took the cheapest way out, and we will never know thewhole story.
To degrade others is a terrible thing, but I am not of the opinion that governmental regulation is the best way to address it. The flaws in our culture need to be solved from within, not imposed from outside.
But that's what statutes are: the enforcement of social values by government.
Some are, some are not. There is a difference between laws that protect us from actual harm (murder, rape, child abuse, etc.), and laws that, when it comes down to it, promote one person's rights at the expense of another's. When it comes to the latter, it becomes a balance between whose rights are circumscribed more: one person's right to run a business as they wish vs. another's right to equal use of publicly offered services.
The only way that we got to liberty in the first place was by law and statute.
No, the way we got to liberty was by revolting against unjust laws and statutes, and seizing back our God-given rights from the hands of mortal Kings.
Well, then, we agree.
But the case was a discrimination case, not a breach of contract case. One is citizen vs citizen, the other citizen vs. Govt.
It used to be against the law to commit homosexual acts, as much as it is to be a commit sexual acts with a child. The SCOTUS just recently struck down sodomy laws.
Give the ACLU and NAMBLA another 20 years, and you may not be able to say that.
However, given the condition of the average "public" pool the plaintiff's may have been spared some nasty diseases. I am deathly afraid of public pools these days, people are by and large just too careless about their hygiene. Have you ever observed how many people don't even bother to wash their hands when using a public restroom. Ugh!
Not if the ACLU is successfully RICOd soon, although that should have already happened. I still don't understand how NAMBLA has been allowed to exist for this long.
Sorry about the paragraphs. They were there when I reviewed it but something went wrong when I posted it.
He pissed away tons of money for next year's planned reunion. One hundred eaters and probably half of them are drinkers, as well.
If I owned a Hotel in that area, I'd be contacting each one personally to invite them to come next year.
Oh, yeah! All the more reason to think that this particular family was not given to imagining discrimination that's not really there.
Anyway, sounds like the manager should have been canned (or caned, as I mistyped at first :) , not re-trained.
Ms. Turner reserved twenty-one units for a total cost of $10,511.56.
Quite a sum.
I wonder how the members of the HOA feel about their president now that he has cost them a (hopefully) big lump of cash.
Family reunions are highly sought after by resorts and hotels. Many have a coordinator who is supposed to work closely with the reunion host. When I had mine last month I had to tell the hotel exactly how many adults and kids were coming. They knew how many people were eating breakfast each day and how many were going to be at the banquet. We also paid for everything five days before arriving. I can't imagine that this resort was unaware of how many kids were coming. They took this family's money and didn't let them use the facility that they paid for.
OK, so what's your guess as to why the pool was closed? It makes no sense that a hotel willing to rent to a group of Black people would only put the pool off limits.
They slept there; they ate there. They probably used other facilities. Why not the pool?
And, BTW, I have booked vacations where something went wrong, and I didn't get everything I expected. There was usually an explanation.
It is her private property. She should be allowed to rent to whoever she wishes and deny rent to whoever she wishes for any reason whatsoever.
I don't see clear evidence of racism in the complaint. I do see an admission by the plaintiffs that they had violated the pool usage rules and that prompted the pool to be closed to non-owners. Have black families rented units at the condo before? Was the pool closed during their stay?
And oh, by-the-way, they were the Democrats!
And they didn't change for a hundred years until the
Federal Government forced them to at the point of a Gun.
Why don't Republicans remind everyone of that with
every other sentence they speak?
The Republican has always had the moral high-ground yet
has never failed not to use it.
I hope the Baytree III management staff don't get carpet burns on their knuckles.
"Absolutely. Let the market decide."
My (Orthodox Jewish) landlord has quite a few African-American tenants in his building. When one of them moves out, he tries to bring in Jewish tenants -- not because he dislikes blacks, but because he wants to make the neighborhood more Jewish. Believe me, he would rent it out to a black convert to Judaism, so the issue here isn't race.
Ironically, his loyalty to the Jewish community is hurting him financially, since many of the African-Americans are outstanding & upstanding tenants. They pay the rent regularly & don't make as many demands as do some of the Jewish tenants.
Sometimes beliefs take precedence over market value. (Again, his beliefs have nothing to do with racial prejudice. And he has very good relations with his black tenants.)
"I'd like to hear the other side of this story, if there is another side."
I would also like to hear more. There is something about this story that does not pass the smell test.
The Turners began the litigation process in 2001. The case was finally settled in 2005 . . .
Yet another example how the litigation process grinds on inexorably slowly in this country. I hope the settlement was worth the wait.
"It may be private, but if they're going to rent their property to others, you have to take into account the freedoms of others who may want to rent."
Unless the potential renters or customers are smokers, then discrimination is OK. In addition, your argument above is the foundation for forcing land lords to rent to people that participate in immoral behavior. For example, imagine forcing a Christian land lord to rent to a Homosexual or forcing them to enter a lease with Planned Parenthood.
"This is why the anti-discrimination act came along - to provide reason to the selection process."
Much more reason would have been applied to the process without government intervention. Yes racism is morally wrong, yes it is harmful to the victims and no it should never be tolerated. However, government intervention has done nothing but create more riffs. The progress made up to this point is more of a result of market needs and individual personal growth.
Take a look at "Applied Economics" by Thomas Sowell for a decent discussion on the topic.
(Gabz) The story would have been just fine without that paplum.
Why? Do you think that the hurt caused by that that kind of injustice is mentally dismissed like an inadvertant bump while in a crowd? I am sure those kids were looking forward to that pool. How do you think it felt for those kids to learn why they couldn't use it? How do you think it felt for those parents to have to explain it to them?
I disagree with affirmative action, Jessie Jackson, "reparations", Al Sharpton, Calypso Luie, etc. I think these "leaders" exploit real and imagined racism, in both directions, for personal gain. I agree with Bill Cosby; the African Americans in this country need to wake up and take responsibility for mess that many are in if it is going to be corrected. But it is ignorant to pretent that discrimination doesn't exist and that it doesn't hurt to be treated unjustly.
"You're talking about private property. This was a business."
Do you consider all businesses to be public property?
"What if the CEO decided that he doesnt want Hispanic folks coming into our stores, are you saying that he should be within his right to bar them entrance? What do you think would happen to our company?"
Yes it should be within his right to bar anyone for any reason. Your second question indicates that you are aware of the more proper solution. The market would clearly not tolerate such stupidity, which would mean as a society we would eradicate these actions without government interference.
It is ignorant to acknowledge that discrimination exists but to pretend that it doesn't hurt to be treated unjustly because of it.
"Having observed many of these nuts over the last few years, both on FR and in local letters to the editor, I have to say that a special category of personality disorder ought to be reserved for these people. But that I mean not constitutionalists, or sensible constructionists, by any means, but for those who abandon any attempt at reasonableness or ordinary fairness for their obsessive and narrow-angled interpretations of the Constitution. Confronted with the complexities of today's world, I have no doubt that the founding fathers would have placed great emphasis on the desirability of non-discrimination by businesses and government, among other protections including rights of the unborn."
Whose sensibilities should set the standard? Yours? Hillary's? Jesse Jackson's? Osama's? Sadam's?
The Constitution is not a living document that is meant to be "interpreted" depending on the sensibilities of the times. When you take that stance, you end up using a "right to privacy" as the justification to a "right to abortion." At the same time you end up using "interstate commerce" potential to monitor what people ingest.
I certainly agree with you on that point...the family should be reimbursed their money. Beyond that...I see that this is an extended family of 100...they must spend some serious money at these reunions. The best revenge they could take would be to take a picture of all 100 all them together and mail it to the owner of this facility along with a note explaining what happened and why they will never spend their money there again and how each of the 100 of them will make sure that every one of their family and friends knows what happened there.
"A countersuit for the cost of the lawyers and legal fees would seemed to have been in order in they had a leg to stand on."
Not with the Jury Pools of today.
Number one, your question is leading and disingenuous, I don't know you, but I would hope it's beneath you.
Number two, you need to read the follow-ups before charging in with a question like that. I had already explained that businesses dealing with the public are different from private property under current law, in that discrimination is not allowed on the basis of race. I cannot open a diner that is open to the public and serve only white people. It's my diner, but I deal with the public in commerce.
I'm over this thread. The manager was an a$$ under any definition if he had no good reason for closing the pool. There are laws on the books that guarantee people equal treatment in commerce, as long as they behave themselves. I'm no constitutional scholar, but I can see where there would be arguments for and against those laws.
I love how it shakes out when these issues come up - if you disagree with the law, you're a racist. If you agree that the law was violated, you're a communist.
Great post. It is precisely the reason that I am addicted to FR. Thanks for your input.
I don't think his level of intelligence is relevant here.
If the facts are true, he is a racist, and that is more important.
It is events like this that make my blood boil --- and, yes, I am white.
The irony is, this racist pig probably votes Democratic as well as the attendees.
"Well, then these same private property businesses shouldn't expect public benefit of police, fire, street, or sewer."
I could buy into that. So long as they became exempt from paying taxes. Kinda circular logic, huh.
This is not a criminal matter (as long as there is no violence). Police would tell them to go to court.
A little more info. on this subject
"I prefer enforcing the law."
Do you feel the same way about all laws? Abortion laws? Or do you feel some laws are just, while others are unjust?
The article does not say. But I cannot imagine that a family, while having a reunion, would use this for blackmail. If the pool were being repaired, there would be physical evidence of nondiscrimination --- clearly not the case here. Apparently, there were also witnesses of the manager inviting white guests to use the pool.
This should not be happening in America.
Well, we've talked about this. We came to pass the nondiscrimination laws. The actions of the association were illegal.
You also confuse association with commercial activity. You can associate with whomever you want in business life. But when you open a store for business --- that is not "association" but commerce.
I don't want my country to discriminate against anybody in business and public life. Do you?
Seems the units in question are condos and the owners of those condos lease them out. Guess those owners should be sued for breach of contract as Baytree is not a leasing agent and had no prior knowledge of the reunion.
Could it be because there were 100 of them, and not because they were black?