Tuesday, July 15, 2008

A racist idiot

This is pretty bad.

I am ashamed it happened.

I do not know what law if any was broken except the laws of decency and civility.

Woman says 'Pool's closed' notice is racist
By Roger Croteau rcroteau@express-news.net

A New Braunfels woman is outraged over what she considers a racist attempt to intimidate her grandchildren from using her subdivision's swimming pool.

Mary Alice Altorfer is hosting a visit from her two grandchildren, whose father is African American. The children swam at the River Tree subdivision pool every day for about a week before someone posted a flier on the pool gate bearing a picture of a black man with a large afro haircut, his arms folded across his chest and the words “POOL'S CLOSED” superimposed.

“I didn't even get the implication at first — then it hit me like a club,” Altorfer said. “I was furious. These are two little kids, and it just makes me angry. I was shocked and angry and hurt.”

Altorfer said only one black couple lives in the subdivision of 172 homes, which average about $200,000 in value, and they never use the pool. She added that the only African Americans who have used the pool in recent weeks are her 6-year-old granddaughter Isabel Martinez and 9-year-old grandson Nicholas Martinez.

“I guess whoever put that up probably didn't like our color,” Nicholas said. “It made me kind of upset.”

Altorfer filed a police report Monday afternoon. She said the officer who took the report was unsure what laws the posting of the flier violated but promised to research it. The officer could not be reached for comment.

Mel Soderberg, a member of the River Tree homeowners' association board of directors, said he got a call asking if the pool really was closed after another resident found the flier on the gate to the pool area.

He removed it and later showed it to Altorfer.

Soderberg said it quickly occurred to his wife that the flier was aimed at Altorfer's grandkids, who are visiting from California.

“It was upsetting for both of us,” he said. “I'm sorry it happened, and I hope they catch whoever did it.”

Nicholas and Isabel said the attempt to intimidate them did not work. They were back in the pool Monday afternoon.

“They're not keeping us out of the pool,” Altorfer said. “This granny got mad.”