The Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission begins a hearing this afternoon to look into alleged discrimination at Grandview Golf Club in York County.
The hearing is authorized under section 8.1 of the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act, said Chad Lassiter, executive director of the commission.
This section of the act, he said, allows the agency’s commissioners – based on news reports or social media postings about alleged discrimination – to hold hearings designed to gather facts, resolve any problems and make any necessary recommendations. Recommendations could include a cease and desist order and a change of policies and practices.
On April 21 management at Grandview called the police on Sandra Thompson, 50, Myneca Ojo, 56; Karen Crosby, 58; and sisters Sandra Harrison, 59, and Carolyn Dow, 56, asking them to leave. Before the call, the women had been told by management that they were playing golf too slowly.
Thompson, an attorney and president of the York chapter of the NAACP, said in a previous interview with CPBJ that she and fellow golfers were keeping pace and that the incident was more a case of racial discrimination. She and the other four golfers were the only African-Americans on the course at the time.
Since then, the incident has garnered national attention and multiple calls from state lawmakers for investigations.
“These women have every right to golf without interruption and I mean that from a genuine and objective point of view. I am looking for recommendations that will emerge from a policy perspective that will not have Grandview back in the news at any point,” Lassiter said.
The hearing is scheduled begin at 1 p.m. in the York City Council Chambers and will end for the day at 5 p.m. The hearing will re-open the following morning at 9:30 a.m. and end again at 5 p.m. All testimony will be under oath and transcribed.
“As a prisoner of hope, I would like for each side to be heard. We need to share what implicit bias looks like to the larger public and perhaps to those that engaged in the calling of the police,” Lassiter said.