by G. Brown
Summer hasn’t officially even arrived yet and one N.C. pool center is already feeling the heat.
The Outdoor Recreation Center in Wendell N.C. recently posted new rules for this summer to its Facebook page. Among the rules listed on the now deleted page–“No baggy pants, no dread-locks/weaves/extensions or revealing clothes will be permitted or you will be asked to leave.”
The rules didn’t stay up long before the ORC of Wendell found itself drowning in a lot of pushback. Not sure how you impose a “no revealing clothes” rule at a pool where swimsuits are by design revealing, but the phrase that caused the most uproar was, of course, the rules pertaining to hair. People of different races try to wear dreads, but we know primarily this is a Black thing. The same observation can be made in regards to ‘baggy pants’-primarily young Black males tend to favor this fashion trend. So you can see why people responded to the post with outrage and cries of racism and headlines across the internet called out the center for the shady move…
ATTENTION TWITTER! There is a pool located in Wendell N.C. called *ORC of Wendell.* They have posted rules that subjectively outlines black people. DO NOT SWIM @ THIS POOL!. If you have “dreads or weave” you will be kicked out.
This is living proof that racism is still exists. pic.twitter.com/7Yl1JGOgXF
— D$ (@ImThatMofo) June 17, 2019
After some harsh pushback, ORC of Wendell deleted the rules post and the owner replaced it with an apology that said in part, ” To ALL those that have been offended by ORC rules, due to ignorance of the meaning of the word dread-locks, ORC rules should have state NO artificial hair. ORC apologizes for anyone we offended.” My question is which time do you mean “offended” when you first posted the rules or in the subsequent apology which is even more offensive–“…due to ignorance of the meaning of the word dread-locks…”-WHAT? Either the author of this apology doesn’t understand basic English or they intentionally just called dread-locks by definition ignorant and they just called the people offended by the rules ignorant.
The apology just made things worse it seems. One commenter still labeled the owners as racists and posted more contently allegedly found on ORC’s Facebook page.
The new rules were ridiculous which is why people zeroed in on the subliminal racist message. Not sure who would wear sagging baggy pants to a pool since if you are there to swim, seems like you’d be wearing swim trunks.
As for the weaves, someone tried to offer up the excuse that the extensions sometimes come off and clog the pool’s drain…but seems like you could fish that out with a net when you clean the pool. If any of these bogus rules contained even one iota of logic, people probably wouldn’t have shamed the site into taking down the rules.
If you don’t want people at your pool…don’t hide behind thinly (and poorly) veiled racists rules. Or get someone who has a fairly good command of the English language to write your rules in the least offensive manner possible. Some basic P.R. could have kept a bad thing from getting worse with a bogus apology that apologized for nothing.
You know what else could have helped? Just being a decent human being.