Samantha Cowan, Yahoo! News, May 29, 2015
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.
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.
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.