Residents at an Irvine, California, apartment complex were in for an unpleasant surprise when they stepped into the building’s elevator last night. A flier reminding tenants to keep it down at night pointed to black renters as the primary offenders.
A new poster had appeared on two different elevators in Toscana Apartments. The start of the message is innocuous enough, asking residents to be mindful of their neighbors by turning down their TVs and stereos in the evening hours.
But the second half—in bold text—is flagrantly racist: “We also would like to remind our African-American residents to keep conversation volume down and reduce music levels between 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m.”
The offending image picked up speed on social media, with some questioning whether the image had been doctored. An Instagram user and tenant,who identifies herself as “TT” under the handle @teyent_theequeenb, posted an incriminating video of the poster, deflating accusations of it having been photoshopped.
And while the poster seemingly exists, that doesn’t mean the real estate company is responsible.
Equity Residential, a national company that owns Toscana Apartments along with properties in roughly a dozen states across the country, has denied any association.
“Neither Equity Residential nor Toscana Apartments created or posted this flier. We are outraged by its content and are actively investigating its source,” the company posted on Facebook.
Equity spokesperson Marty McKenna maintains that the flier is not consistent with how management typically handles noise complaints, preferring to discuss violations on an individual basis, Gawker reports.
Though the origins of the flier are unknown—possibly a racist tenant or a rogue employee created it—this instance highlights discrimination within the Orange County suburban area and its neighboring university. Black residents make up a small portion of Orange County’s population, with 74 percent white residents and 2 percent black, according to 2013 census figures. Black people represent just 1.7 percent of the Irvine community.
Although the building is not affiliated with the University of California, Irvine, some of its students live at Toscana Apartments. UCI has a storied history of racist grievances, including videos created by fraternities in which members sport blackface and hold paddles labeled “slave driver,” documented in a petition from the black student union this year requesting additional resources for black students.
In the meantime, TT is hoping she can finish her college career despite the discrimination following her home. “Lord give me strength to finish school in Irvine,” she wrote as her Instagram caption.
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Original article from TakePart