Winston-Salem pool patrolman Adam Bloom — aka Pool Card Adam — caught his 15 minutes of real fame last week after showing his hardass at the Glenridge Community Pool, where he was captured on cell-phone footage acting like a complete tool.
The short piece of video, showing a shirtless, haughty Bloom questioning the veracity of Jasmine Abhulimen’s claims of residence at the pool on the Fourth of July — even after she demonstrated a working access card — shot through our digital mediasphere like the firing of a collective synapse, and before the last of the week’s fireworks had fizzled out Bloom had lost his job of five years at Sonoco Paper Products, resigned from the Glenridge Homeowners Association and even forfeited his post as pool chairman. By now it’s old news.
But, hopefully, the lessons remain.
It’s good for white people to see the sort of treatment their black and brown neighbors suffer at the hands of the worst among them, to internalize the fact that they are spared this sort of scrutiny in public spaces.
It’s important for the victims to continue to document the daily injustices of their lives, both to hold a mirror up to the oppressor and also to remind the oppressed that they don’t have to take this nonsense, that justice can be leveraged with just a few seconds of unfettered reality.
Maybe these daily reminders of racial injustice, a rapidly filling database of microaggressions and outright hostility and other examples of white people behaving badly, are the best we can do right now.
That, and mete out consequences. For there must be accountability in order for change to take root.
When the business end of the hammer came down on Bloom, it perhaps gave pause to every other aspiring Pool Card Adam and Permit Patty and BBQ Becky before him: a reminder that white people do not have innate authority over everyone else, a caution against projecting their fears and insecurities onto the “other.”
And if you want to act like a racist fool, don’t bring that mess to Winston-Salem.