Cheryl Eastman Knox Ridge worker aka Karen Tennessee placed on admin leave after refusing black resident and her two black friends access to housing complex swimming pool.
Here we go again. A college student housing facility in Tennessee has placed one of its ‘white’ employees on disciplinary leave after video caught the female worker, identified as Cheryl Eastman by social media, refusing a ‘black’ female resident and her friends access to the on-site swimming pool.
The incident from last Tuesday, June 9 was filmed by the young black women who then posted the video to her Twitter page, under the twitter handle, @royaal_e, where it went viral.
The young woman was with two of her friends who are also black.
They are standing a few feet away from the entrance to the swimming facility at the Knox Ridge housing complex that is home to students attending the nearby University of Tennessee in Knoxville.
While other ‘white’ students are able to enter without any questioning, the three black women instead are challenged, WATE 6 reports.
Me and my friends were just racially profiled at KnoxRidge pool. Don’t go there. This woman automatically assumed that we didn’t live there and stopped us before we could go inside. But she continued to let in other white residents. pic.twitter.com/8IXBfOTR2i
— E 🦋 (@royaal_e) June 9, 2020
Eastman a white employee of Knox Ridge is seen standing at the entrance.
The young ‘black’ woman tries to explain to Eastman that she lives at the complex and should be allowed access to the pool.
As other residents are seen entering the facility, Eastman claims that she never saw the young woman before, and thus doesn’t believe that she lives there.
‘I live here,’ the young black woman tells Eastman, who is holding the door open while she is being recorded.
‘I’m sub-leasing.’ She then gives her address at the complex.
‘We can’t have any guests,’ Eastman replies.
‘But I live here,’ the young black woman says.
‘Just because you don’t know me doesn’t mean I don’t live here’
‘Residents can’t have guests,’ Eastman says.
The student then wonders why she isn’t allowed into the facility while others are. In the video, at least one white student is seen entering the building.
‘How are you going to automatically assume that I don’t live here?’ the student asks Eastman.
‘Because I know her,’ Eastman says. ‘I know everybody that lives here.’
The student replies: ‘You don’t know everybody that lives here because I live here.
‘Just because you don’t know me doesn’t mean I don’t live here…That’s very rude of you to just assume that I don’t live here.’
‘Is it because we’re black?’
The student then asks: ‘Is there a reason you just assume that I don’t live here?’
‘[You assume] a black woman doesn’t live here but you can let this white woman in and assume she lives here.’
Eastman denies that she is denying entry to the student because she is black.
‘It’s not about that,’ Eastman says.
To which the student replies: ‘It is about that…Clearly [it is], because you see three young women of color walk up to go to the pool and you stop us before we even get to the door.’
Eastman then claims that the student didn’t fill out ‘paperwork,’ which the young woman denies.
‘I’ve been living here since March, paying rent since March,’ the young woman says.
‘How are you going to tell me [that I don’t live here]? You stopped me before I could even get to the door to speak to anyone.’
The young black student also posted a second video showing Eastman sitting at her desk. She gives the student a piece of paper with the email address of her supervisor.
— E 🦋 (@royaal_e) June 9, 2020
‘We have placed the employee on disciplinary leave’
The email address is that of Casey Schuler, who is director of operations at University Partners, the property management company based in Dallas, Texas.
The day after the video was posted to social media, Knox Ridge announced that Eastman was placed on disciplinary leave.
‘Knox Ridge is aware of the incident that occurred [yesterday] involving a staff member and resident,’ a statement from the housing facility read according to the dailymail.
‘We have placed the employee on disciplinary leave while we review this matter further.
‘As a community, we have absolutely no tolerance for discrimination – inadvertent or otherwise.
‘We intend to revisit our training program for all staff, in order to do our part to prevent situations like this happening in the future.
‘Our top priority is ensuring our residents feel at home and welcome.’
Two people on Twitter who claimed to know Eastman wrote that they did not believe she was racist.
‘I lived at Knox ridge for 2 years 2016-2018,’ tweeted Marcus Cordier.
I agree. She called the resident a bitch and seemingly ran to the door so they wouldn’t even enter the building. Fire her ass!
— Lisa Victoria Hall (@LVHall72) June 10, 2020
Latest instance of white privilege and overt racism by white females
‘Cheryl always treated me with the upmost respect and I’ve never seen her disrespect or profile anybody of color.
‘I’m sorry for your bad experience with her but I really think she just didn’t know you.’
While another Twitter user posted: ‘Agreed. Personally know this person. Far from racist.
‘More like the person you’re going to see volunteering to to make the world a better place.
‘Sad to see an ally get eviscerated on twitter over a possible misunderstanding.’
The Knox Ridge incident is the latest in a series of viral videos featuring ‘Karens’ – a derogatory term made popular on social media which is used to describe a white privileged woman usually above the age of 30 who complains about relatively insignificant and mundane things out of a sense of perceived entitlement.