What is it with all these stories about amusement parks accused of racism for snubbing Black kids?
A Black family is accusing a Missouri water park of racism after the park canceled a party for two Black teens after the family had paid to have it hosted there. According to the Kansas City Star, Cris Evens paid for Summit Waves water park in Lee’s Summit, Missouri, to host his son’s 17th birthday. But the family arrived at the park on the day of to find their party had been canceled “for no apparent reason than the color of their skin,” according to Evens.
“What are you scared of, Lee’s Summit?” Evans is heard asking in a short video clip of the confrontation with park personell. “Why are you uncomfortable?”
From the Star:
Evans had made arrangements on July 8, he said, to reserve the Summit Waves Aquatic Facility for the party on Saturday. They signed a contract to have 250 guests for $1,900. For $200 more, they could have had up to 1,400 people, Evans said.
He said when his sons arrived, they were told the reservation was canceled. No reason was given, he said.
While Evans and his wife were on the way to the water park, he said, they were told “this event doesn’t represent Lee’s Summit Waves and that my reservation was canceled because she was uncomfortable.”
Then there’s the reason for the cancelation Summit Waves administrator Joe Snook gave in a statement, according to Fox News.
Snook said Summer Waves canceled the party because it “became aware of social media posts advertising the event,” which is a weird excuse in an era when everyone posts everything on social media. I mean, if the park is saying it won’t host a party if it’s advertised on the internet then, bro, y’all just ain’t hosting parties.
Can you imagine if someone dug into things and found this park had hosted plenty of parties for white teens that were also advertised on social media?
But whatever—I’ll let the man finish.
“This raised serious concerns about the safety of party guests and the possibility the event would grow beyond the capacity of staff, “Snook continued. “After multiple attempts to reach the renter in advance of the event to discuss safety concerns, a connection was not made until the hours leading up to the event. At that point, the only recourse was to cancel the event. Despite the cancellation, approximately 500 teens arrived in the Summit Waves parking lot. Lee’s Summit Parks and Recreation is committed to ensuring the safety of all patrons and will continue to work with the renter.”
Nah, I ain’t buying it. It really just sounds like a bunch of Black people showed up for a party and white folks got scared.
Either way, the Evans family retained an attorney, so we can expect to hear about a lawsuit being filed in the future. Meanwhile, the park has issued its apology.
“A sincere apology is owed to the Evans family and our Lee’s Summit community,” Lee’s Summit Parks and Recreation said in a statement, according to Fox 4. “LSPR strives to be a respectful and inclusive organization where all members of our community feel welcome and appreciated. Inappropriate language, social media posts and behavior are not acceptable and will not be tolerated.”
It’s unclear if that last line means park officials canceled the party because they saw related social media posts that they didn’t like. Maybe hosting parties in general in 2022 just isn’t for them.